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Fretwell Award

The Elbert K. Fretwell Outstanding Educator Award has been developed by the Educational Relationships Subcommittee (ERSC) of the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Dr. Fretwell1 was a professor of education at Columbia University, an early thinker in the Scouting movement, and the second Chief Scout Executive of the BSA (succeeding James E. West).

The Fretwell Award is presented by local Scouters to teachers, educational support staff, and school administrators who stand out from their professional peers in instilling Scouting values in their students. Dr. Fretwell championed Scouting programs as extracurricular learning opportunities that promoted positive values and community service. Scouting benefits from easy access to schools for recruiting and from opportunities to serve schools.

This program is designed to be implemented by the Scouting district2 committee, through the membership chair and district membership committee. It may be adapted for use at the council, area, regional, and national levels as well.

As you review this guide, keep in mind that the Fretwell Award is an initiative to bring more youth into Scouting. Presenting the award is an act of service to schools and creates direct engagement with the school administration. The goodwill that results will open doors for Scouting to interact with students directly and to recruit them into our program.

Each local council and district has the freedom to tailor the Fretwell Award process to their local school situation. In that spirit, this guidebook provides guidelines, implementation options, presentation approaches, and suggestions. You will need to understand some of the philosophy behind this award so you can make the best decisions on how to implement it. You should also be aware that while this program is intended to reach all levels of education from elementary up to the college level, this document is written from the perspective of working with elementary education organizations.