Distinguished Conservation Award Program

The BSA Distinguished Conservation Service Awards are the highest conservation-related awards in Scouting. Scouts and Venturers working on this Award complete two major conservation projects in different areas of conservation and earn conservation-related Merit Badges or complete related requirements.

If you are a Scout or Venturer who is interested in conservation and want to complete significant and meaningful conservation projects, this award is for you! To learn more please contact the GLAAC Council Distinguished Conservation Service Awards Coordinator, Ross Arnold at Rossarnold1213@gmail.com .

You must contact Mr. Arnold before starting to work on a DCS Award project. The Greater Los Angeles Area Council Conservation Committee uses the BSA Distinguished Conservation Service Awards Guide from the Blue Ridge Mountain Council as a resource for Scouts and Scouters. To access the Guide, please visit https://williamobrochta.net/bsa_distinguished_conservation_service_awards

A common question we receive often is can a DCSA also be used as an Eagle Project, and the answer is yes but there are differences between these two projects. If you look at the website listed above, you will a document that outlines the difference between an Eagle and DSCA project.


The BSA has maintained an active conservation awards program since 1938. The current group of awards seek to reward Scouts and Venturers who complete large, Eagle sized conservation projects and numerous Merit Badges. The BSA Distinguished Conservation Service (DCS) Awards are the highest conservation awards for Scouts and Venturers and the rarest awards in Scouting. This program replaces the Hornaday Program.


Scouts interested in earning a DCS Award may be currently working on conservation related Merit Badges, an applicable Eagle project, or have time left in Scouting and be looking for a challenging, rewarding, and meaningful conservation experience.


Scouts and Venturers earn the DCS Award by planning and leading two conservation projects and completing either seven Merit Badges or conservation- related Venturing requirements. One project may be combined with an Eagle project. There is also an adult award and a non-Scouting individual or organizational award.


A DCS Award project must be a significant and lasting effort in natural resource conservation or environmental improvement. Each project must be chosen from a list of different disciplines of conservation. Only one project may be completed on Scout property; other organizations are usually excited to help Scouts find projects.


Before starting to work on a DCS Award, Scouts must contact the Council DCS Awards Committee Chair to obtain a Conservation Advisor. These individuals will help Scouts decide on appropriate projects and make sure that they are meeting the application requirements.


DCS Awards must be completed before Scouts turn eighteen or Venturers turn twenty-one. The award typically takes a year or more to complete. Adult awards require twenty years of service to conservation.

Additional Information:

Ross Arnold, BSA Distinguished Conservation Service Awards Committee Chair, Rossarnold1213@gmail.com, (323) 605-2740