Explorer GOLD Award Requirements

Growth Opportunities in Leadership Development for Explorers

Adapted from BSA Publication No. 23-877, 1995 printing
The Gold Award is available to all Explorer members of the Boy Scouts of America.

The purpose of the Gold Award program is to:


Explorers should have the opportunity to work toward tangible, challenging goals, and to be recognized for their efforts.

The Gold Award program has been developed to recognize a significant accomplishment in a young person's life; it requires outstanding performance in a broad spectrum of activities related to Exploring's six experience areas (career, service, fitness, social, leadership, and outdoor). The program was developed to challenge at to motivate young people over an extended period of time.


Candidates for the Gold Award must submit a written petition to their post Advisor/Skipper, in which they should outline their plans and ambitions for their projects to achieve the award. Advisors/Skippers are encouraged to have a conference with each candidate to ensure that the Explorer has developed a well-conceived plan, and that he or she has specific goals in mind.

The program is designed to challenge young men and young women with interests that cover a wide variety of Exploring activities. Several requirements must be met to qualify for the Gold Award; the requirements are listed separately below.

The Gold Award will be presented only to young adults whose personal conduct is in keeping with the principles of the Explorer Code and the Boy Scouts of America.


The Gold Award program is designed to permit adaptation of certain phases of the program so that all Explorers may work for and achieve the award. In order to offer a challenge to youth, and in the interest of maintaining a standard of qualification, minimum requirements have been established that must be met before the Gold Award can be presented to an Explorer. These requirements are:
  1. The candidate must have been an active, registered Explorer for at least 12 months tenure before final qualification.
  2. The candidate must have been an active member of the Explorer post, and served in one or a combination of leadership roles within the past 12 months (roles may be concurrent) as follows.
  3. For leadership roles within the post, a candidate might be:
    For leadership roles outside the post, a candidate might be:
  4. The candidate must have participated in a district/Exploring division, council, area, region, or national Explorer event.
  5. The candidate must, in consultation with the post Advisor or a member of the post committee, set one personal growth goal related to each of the six experience areas of Exploring, in which the Explorer certifies completion of the goals.
  6. For personal growth, a candidate might
  7. The candidate must plan, prepare for, and lead to completion two or more post activity projects that relate to at least two of the six experience areas; suggested post activity projects are listed separately below.
  8. For post/ship activities, the action should involve at least five Explorers, and it should require a minimum of 4 to 6 months from inception to completion; the project should be approved and the goals of the project set by the post Advisor and/or a member of the post committee and the Explorer candidate. Both parties should certify the completion of the projects(s). Activities should be arranged to fit into normal post programming. Qualifying post/ship activities include, but are not limited to the following:
  9. The candidate must be able to recite the Explorer Code.
  10. The candidate must submit three letters of recommendation to the post Advisor that confirms he or she lives in accordance with the principles of the Explorer Code. The letters should come from adults outside the post, such as school or church leaders, employers, or community leaders.
  11. After completing all other requirements, the candidate should prepare evidence of completion of the work and submit it to the post Advisor/Skipper. The post president/boatswain, in conjunction with the post Advisor/Skipper, should then appoint a review committee of four to six people including Explorers and adults. The committee should review the candidate's written presentation and interview the candidate to determine whether that person grew as a result of the pursuit of the Gold Award.
  12. Finally, the candidate must have qualified for the Gold Award before his or her 21st birthday.

Suggested Qualifying Activities

Because of the designed, flexible nature of the program, post Advisors and post committee members are permitted a reasonable degree of latitude in approving activities that serve to meet the qualifying requirements for the Gold Award in the areas of leadership, personal growth, and post activity projects. Likewise, post Advisors, post committee members, and Explorers are encouraged to seek out additional appropriate activities, bearing in mind the purpose of the Gold Award program. 
NOTE: The Gold Award is recognized nationally; however, the program is administered and approved, and recognition is made, at the local council level.