Fretwell Outstanding Educator Award

The Elbert K. Fretwell Outstanding Educator Award is a new BSA award with real potential to result in membership growth.

The Outstanding Educator Award — also referred to as the Fretwell Award, after Elbert Fretwell, the BSA's second Chief Scout Executive and a former professor of education at Columbia University — is presented to teachers, educational support staff, and school administrators who instill Scouting values in their students. It recognizes a person’s work for students in his or her professional role — not for what the person does directly for Scouting.

The award can be presented at the district, council, area, regional and national levels. There’s no minimum or maximum number of awards that can be presented per school year.


How many awards can each Council present?

As many as you want, up to one award per school per year. The goal is to build relationships that allow us to serve the school community and bring the opportunities of Scouting to students.

Who approves the awards?

Each council approves its own awards. It also can design its own methods for nominating and selecting candidates. The Outstanding Educator Award Implementation Guidebook provides different ideas from which to choose, such as using existing membership, advancement, or relationships committees. You can also create a panel of community members to solicit and review nominations. Only area, region, and national level awards need to be approved through the National Council. 

Where do I get the forms?

Example forms are included in the Outstanding Educator Award Implementation Guidebook, and each council is free to modify these forms to meet its own needs. 

Should education administrators be considered for the Outstanding Educator Award?

Anyone serving in education who promotes positive Scouting values to students, including administrators, is eligible. Ideally, a recipient is someone whom students and parents know personally. Be sure to consider staff members as well as teachers.

Is the award limited to Scouters?

This award is primarily given to people who are not registered volunteers. Scouters are eligible but are recognized for what they do in their professional capacity to support our schools, not for their Scouting activities. There are plenty of other awards to recognize Scouting volunteers.