Additional Youth Awards - BSA
Physical Fitness Award
Two important challenges in
preparing youth for the 21st century—particularly in today's increasingly
automated and sedentary culture—are physical fitness and good health. Every
adult leader for the year 2002 should set the example and contribute directly to
the health and fitness of today's Scouts by completing requirements for the BSA
Physical Fitness Award.
The award's objectives, developed by the Council
Services Division of the National Council and the national BSA Health and Safety
Committee, are as follows:
- Encourage youth fitness in the BSA by providing
positive role models and by enhancing youth awareness and understanding of
fitness parameters, health risks, and personal circumstances.
- Encourage physical fitness among Scouters by
enhancing their awareness and understanding of fitness parameters, health risks,
and personal circumstances.
- Reduce the rate of stress- and fitness-related
incidents throughout Scouting.
People who earn the recognition can receive a
special certificate and can purchase and wear the unique BSA Physical Fitness
Award patch. In addition, upon completion of the Fitness Award requirements,
Scouts and Scouters may wear a special recognition pin and patch that can be
purchased through their local council.
This award is a national program of emphasis
designed to heighten fitness awareness and to help change the lifestyles of
American youth and adults regarding exercise and a healthy diet to improve the
quality of their lives.
Many concerns have been voiced regarding the
increasing percentage of overweight and out-of-shape adults and youth in America
due to overeating, poor diet, and lack of exercise. The Boy Scouts of America is
the organization that is best equipped to adopt a program of emphasis on
One of the founding purposes of the movement is
to emphasize physical fitness. This program is intended to have significant
grassroots involvement without encumbering a district or council. The target
audience is the youth and adult members of the units.
BSA Physical Fitness Award
This award has been developed to
Encourage the development of
attitudes, knowledge, and skills that promote fitness and safe conduct.
Lay a skill, knowledge, and
attitude foundation of the seven major components of fitness.
Improve health, fitness, and
quality of life through daily physical activity.
Scouts completing the requirements can receive a
patch. The complete award application should be submitted to the council by the
Instruction and participation must be conducted
in an environment free from all hazards and dangers. All BSA precautions and
safety measures apply to this award.
These people will be identified by the council's
health and safety committee, risk management committee, or training committee,
and could include any person recognized and trained in activity education. A
merit badge counselor in any physical activity-oriented merit badge may serve as
a mentor for this award.
Mentors and merit badge
counselors must have undergone the appropriate BSA merit badge counselor
orientation training, as reviewed and identified by the council's training
committee and health and safety committee.
The mentor should check to make
sure all participants have had medical checkups from their physician prior to
The mentor should not omit, vary,
or add requirements unless part of the individual's goal.
The mentor should recognize that
both youth and adults will participate in this program.
Mentors, merit badge counselors,
and adult Scouters will be provided with the new trifold Leader's Fitness Card
(pocket card) as they initiate this program. The council's training committee
and health and safety committee will ensure that adequate supplies are available
for the duration of the BSA Physical Fitness Award program.
The Seven Major Components of
The BSA Physical Fitness Award's
core requirements are the following seven major components. They are used to
measure an individual's improvement over time, not to establish an arbitrary
minimum level of activity.
Posture is evaluated with a posture-rating chart. The Scout or Scouter is
compared to a photo of his or her starting posture, noting 13 different body
segments. Each body segment is scored as a five, three, or one, making a
possible range of scores from 13 to 65. Higher scores over time reflect
The target throw is used to measure accuracy. The Scout or Scouter makes 20
throws with a softball at a circular target and is scored on the number of times
the target is hit.
The sit-up is used to measure strength. The Scout or Scouter lies on his or her
back with knees bent and feet on the floor. The arms are crossed on the chest
with the hands on the opposite shoulders. The feet are held by a partner to keep
them on the floor. Curl to the sitting position until the elbows touch the
thighs. Arms must remain on the chest and chin tucked on the chest. Return to
the starting position, shoulder blades touching the floor. The score is the
number of sit-ups made in a given time.
The side step is used to measure agility. Starting from a center line, the Scout
or Scouter sidesteps alternately left and right between two lines 8 feet apart.
He or she is scored on the number of lines crossed in 10 seconds.
The dash is used to measure speed. The score is the amount of time to the
nearest half-second running a set distance that can be increased each year.
The squat stand is used to measure balance. The Scout or Scouter squats with
hands on the floor and elbows against the inner knee. He or she leans forward
until the feet are raised off the floor. The score is the number of seconds held
in that position.
The squat thrust is used to measure endurance. The Scout or Scouter starts from
the standing position. He or she performs the usual four-position exercise. The
score is the number of completed squat thrusts made in a given time.
Some of these tests measure more
than the components they represent. For example, the sit-ups, a measure of
strength, also reflect some endurance because of their repetition. The squat
stand requires balance, its major component, but also requires strength and
endurance to support the weight of the body on the arms.
The following physical fitness activities are included in the Cub Scout, Boy
Scout, and Venturing programs. These suggested advancement requirements could be
a resource for youth in earning the BSA Physical Fitness Award.
Tiger Cub Handbook
Wolf Cub Scout Book
Bear Cub Scout Book
Webelos Scout Book
Aquanaut : Swimming, boating
Athlete : Push- and pull-ups, curl-ups, standing long and vertical
jump, 50- and 600-yard dash
Sportsman : Two team sports, two individual sports
Complete a cardiovascular fitness
evaluation/consultation with your personal health care provider. (This can be
done as part of the examination required by any council-approved class 3 medical
Using the BSA references listed
after the seven major components, give a presentation to a BSA or other
community youth group (at least eight youth participants) on cardiovascular
fitness, diet, the health benefits of regular aerobic exercise, exercise
recommendations for the Scout-age group, and healthy lifestyles.
Review the BSA guidelines for the
Athletics and other physical activity or personal fitness-oriented merit badge
and explain steps you have taken to follow each of the guidelines for the
fitness goals. Explain precautions to be taken for a physical fitness activity
in each of the following: woods, fields, facilities, and waterfront.
Explain to your mentor the
symptoms of dehydration and hypothermia. Explain the special considerations for
preventing dehydration and hypothermia.
Properly outfit for physical
activities with proper equipment, clothing, and footwear. Know your own
capabilities and limitations. Illustrate how you would prepare for the physical
fitness goals included in the award program.
With supervision from your mentor
or other qualified persons, set up a fitness goal-oriented plan using the seven
major components of fitness.
Demonstrate your ability to
improve your strength, posture, endurance, agility, speed, accuracy, and balance
with your own goal-oriented fitness plan.
Fitness Award Form here.