Inclusive Scouting Award
“You earn it by wearing it”
Introduced in 2002, the Inclusive Scouting Award is a way to show support for those who are threatened with exclusion from Scouting in the United States because of the current membership policies of the Boy Scouts of America, Inc. It signals that even though you wear the uniform, you disagree with the BSA’s discriminatory membership policies and aren’t afraid to show it.
It also identifies the wearer as an ally – someone who is “safe” to approach and talk to without fear of being kicked out. In this way, it is modeled after the “safe space” programs used in high schools over the last decade, which have been shown to reduce stress for marginalized youth even if they never speak to someone – just knowing that an ally is present is a significant relief.
The two ropes of the square knot symbolize religion and sexual orientation, and the knot reflects ways in which the two issues are intertwined. One rope is silver and purple – colors the BSA reserves for religious emblems. The other rope is rainbow-colored – a pattern that is representative of diversity in general and is used widely in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities as a symbol of pride and unity.
It’s usually worn on the uniform in the same manner as any other adult leadership awards, though it is unusual in that it is earned by the act of wearing it, which necessarily involves risk and requires courage given BSA’s currently unpredictable tolerance for dissent. By displaying this emblem, you set a positive example and help to create a friendlier and healthier environment for everyone in the Scouting program.
“A number of other Scouts and Scouters have asked me why I am taking a stand for Inclusive Scouting when BSA has no problem with me personally. I tell them because it is the right thing to do. If I don’t take action in support of my values and beliefs, how can I say I truly believe in them?”– a Scouting parent and Scouter
“If we would remain a nation, we must stand by one another.” – The Legend of the Order of the Arrow
To get yours, fill out our order form below. If you promise to put it on your uniform, we’ll send it to you for free. While they are free, we suggest a donation of $5 to help get the patch to others at no cost, and to help us defray shipping costs. If you’d like more than 3 patches, please email us directly email@example.com
Thank you for supporting a fully inclusive Scouting program!