Christian’s Hornaday Award & Eagle Scout Projects

Christian’s Hornaday Award & Eagle Scout Projects


Hello Everyone!

My name is Christian Snouffer and I am currently a Life Scout with Troop 69 from Jacobus, PA. Currently, I am working on my Eagle Scout Rank project along with earning the William T. Hornaday Silver Medal, which is Scouting’s highest award for conservation. 

Why is this award so significant? Below is a detailed explanation of the BSA award I am working on along with my project details.

What is the BSA William T. Hornaday Silver Medal?:

The William T. Hornaday Silver Medal is the Boy Scouts’ highest conservation award. The Silver Medal, in its present form, was created in 1975 and is so rare it has only been awarded about 250 times in the past 42 years. By contrast, while only 5% of scouts earn Eagle, since 1975, about 1.7 million scouts have become Eagle Scouts. Going further back, the Silver Medal and its predecessors, the William T. Hornaday Award (created in 1937) and the Wildlife Protection on Medal (created in 1914), have been awarded about 1,200 times in 103 years or an average of 12 per year. The Silver Medal, because of its rarity, has been called “an Olympic Medal bestowed by the Earth.” Created to recognize those that have made significant contributions to conservation, the Hornaday Award began in 1914 as a national award open to all Americans by Dr. William Temple Hornaday, founder of the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. and director of the New York Zoological Park. Dr. Hornaday was an active and outspoken champion of natural resource conservation and a leader in saving the American bison and the Alaskan/Northern Seal from extinction. Hornaday’s Wildlife Protection Medal was created to challenge Americans to work constructively for wildlife conservation and habitat protection. After his death in 1937, the award was renamed in Dr. Hornaday's honor and became a Boy Scouts of America award.

In 1975, the Hornaday Award program was revamped by the Boy Scouts in order to include different levels of participation by individual scouts, adult leaders and Boy Scout Troops. The new program broadened the late Dr. Hornaday's idea of conservation to include environmental awareness. It was at this time the Silver Medal was created as the highest individual honor a Boy Scout could earn. In addition to the Silver Medal, the revamped Hornaday Award program included the Hornaday Badge, the Bronze Medal (for individual scouts), the Gold Badge (for adult leaders) and the Hornaday Unit Award (for Boy Scout troops). There is also a Hornaday Gold Medal awarded to adult scout leaders who have provided significant leadership in conservation on a national or regional basis over a period of at least twenty years.

 In order to earn the Silver Medal, a scout must earn nine merit badges in conservation and environmental topics including: Energy, Environmental Science, Fish and Wildlife Management, Forestry, Public Health, Soil and Water Conservation and other sciences or animal interests. A scout must also plan, organize, fundraise and execute not one, but FOUR major conservation projects from different categories such as:

·  Energy conservation

·  Soil and water conservation

·  Fish and wildlife management

·  Forestry and range management

·  Air and water pollution control

·  Resource recovery (recycling)

·  Hazardous material disposal and management

·  Invasive species control

Each of these projects must be larger in size and scope than an Eagle Scout community project. It is possible a Boy Scout could complete the requirements for the Silver Medal, but be turned down by the Boy Scouts National Awards Committee because the projects did not meet the high standards for the Hornaday Silver Medal requirements.

We have identified FIVE PROJECTS to date as follows:

COMPLETED (08/25/19) - Project 1: Resource Recovery (Recycling): Battery & Electronics Recycling Program In Dallastown Area School District, Dallastown, PA. Generate a battery and electronics recycling program in the Dallastown Area School District. Bins will be a placed to deposit used batteries in each building of the district starting with the Intermediate School. To date a total of 92.8 pounds of used batteries along with 10 cell phones, 1 tablets, 2 laptops, 2 electronic scales, and 2 wifi routers have been collected from the Intermediate School. Plans are to get permission to expand the program to all Elementary Schools, Middle School, and the High School. Logistics of maintaining the program into the future will be developed in conjunction with environmental clubs at the schools. There also was and will be an educational element in this program. Estimated Cost: $1,200
COMPLETED (07/17/20) - Project 2: Soil and Water Conservation: Riparian Buffer Project BSA Hidden Valley Scout Reservation – Loysville, PA. There is currently a problem in the camp along Sherman’s Creek with run off from the roads into the creek. My project will include correcting this situation by adding a 125 foot riparian buffer from the creek. The buffer will consist of 180 different native species of trees bushes and grasses assorted in such a way that prevents this run off and soil erosion. In the process of putting this buffer in place we will also be eliminating invasive species of plants such as multi-foral rose. Estimated Cost: $7,500

COMPLETED (08/22/20) - Project 3: Hazardous Material Disposal and Management: we installed 308 storm inlet markers that say NO DUMPING - DRAINS TO CREEK in both Yoe Borough and York Township. An article I wrote was also published in both municipal newsletters. The installation of these markers and the connected education of the residents will helps remind people to think about what they throw down on the ground and helps reduce erosion and runoff sediment, nutrients, oils, trash, and other potential pollutants that are currently running into these drains. I also educated the residents about the fact that the water from the storm inlets enters the streams untreated not like water in a sanitary sewer system would. Estimated Cost: $6,500

Project 4: Fish and Wildlife Management: I am doing this project in Perry County, PA. Per the PA Game Commission, PA has had a 99% decline in bat population. 4 out of the 9 species of bats in PA are endangered and 1 more is considered a threatened species. The indiana bat, the northern long-eared bat, the tri-colored bat and the little brown bat are endangered. The small footed bat is threatened. I intend to help increase the little brown bat population throughout Perry County with this project. “Bats play an important role in native ecosystems by pollinating plants, dispersing seeds and eating agricultural pests that destroy crops and harm the economy,” U.S. Interior Department Secretary David Bernhardt said in a statement. “Unfortunately, white-nose syndrome is destroying native bat populations". I intend to install 20-25 bat boxes that will hold up to 250 little brown bats each. I will seek out property owners throughout the county who will be willing to install the bat boxes on their property according to instructions I will provide. Bats assist in keeping insect populations under control. A single bat could consume as many as 2,000 insects each night. In recent years, we have seen negative impacts on bat populations due to the spread of white nose syndrome, which has decimated some species in Pennsylvania. These bat boxes will help protect colonies, allow their numbers to recover, and ultimately help get these bats off the endangered species list. Estimated Cost: $3,500

Project 5 (Eagle Scout Project): I am working on my Eagle Scout project, which is one of Scouting’s highest honors. Only about 5% of all scouts earn their Eagle Rank. To earn my Eagle Rank I must plan, organize, fundraise, provide leadership, and execute this project. My Eagle Scout project consists of replacing a dilapidated playground area for Salem Lutheran Church located at 99 York Rd., Jacobus, PA 17407 and their Montessori School which provides services to children Newborn to 6 years old. I intend to supply site preparation, an Octagon GaGa Pit with 8 foot sides and an ADA compliant door, a large vinyl playset, 4 benches, and fencing with 2 ADA compliant gates. I have a commitment for a donation of the large vinyl playset at this point. I am seeking donations to be able to provide the money and materials needed to complete this project. This project will create a safe fun place for children to learn and play. Outdoor play provides children exercise, teaches taking turns, shows them how to resolve conflict, and improves communication skills. Estimated Cost: $22,500

If you would be willing to volunteer to assist Christian in completing any of these projects, please feel free to contact us anytime. 


Again thank you in advance for everyone's time and consideration!!

Christian Snouffer
Life Rank
Outdoor Ethics Guide
William T. Hornaday Badge Recipient
BSA Troop 69
Jacobus, PA


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Christian Snouffer 
Dallastown, PA
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