Badges are the central way in which Scouts demonstrate achievement and challenge themselves. They are largely self-directed in nature, although some badges can be earned concurrently with another member. They are sewn onto the red sash that is worn over the shoulder.
Badges are awarded for all kinds of achievements – from citizenship, to volunteer work, to outdoor skills, to demonstrated proficiency in sports and music. They encourage Scouts to develop outside interests while earning credit for it within the organization.
Badges are organized under the following categories:
- Home & Family
- Personal Development
- Science and Technology
- Culture and Society
The badge system culminates in the Chief Scout’s Award, named for the Governor General of Canada – who is also Canada’s Chief Scout. The requirements for the award involve first aid, citizenship, conservation, community service, presentations, program design, and badge achievement. Realizing this prestigious honour generally occurs over a Scout’s several years in the program.