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Physical Fitness Award

A Program of Emphasis For Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Venturers, and Leaders


The 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 physical fitness.


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.



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 unit leader.


Teaching Areas

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 participation.
  • 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 Fitness (Link to National website)
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.

Note to Mentors (Link to National website)
This award has been developed to encourage the development of attitudes, knowledge, and skills that promote fitness and safe conduct.

Award Application for Leaders and Scouts (Link to National website)
Application form and requirements for the BSA Physical Fitness Award.