The Silver Buffalo Award is the national-level distinguished service award of the Boy Scouts of America. It is presented for noteworthy and extraordinary service to youth on a national basis, either as part of, or independent of the Scouting program. The award is made by the National Court of Honor and the recipient need not be a registered member of the BSA.


The award consists of a silver buffalo suspended from a red and white ribbon worn around the neck. Recipients may wear the corresponding square knot, with a white strand over a red strand, on the BSA uniform.


The concept of the Silver Buffalo was based on the Silver Wolf Award award of the Boy Scout Association.The buffalo pendant was designed by A. Phimister Proctor. A red-white-red ribbon bar was introduced in 1934 for informal uniform wear. In 1946, ribbon bars were replaced by the current knot insignia.

Silver Buffalo award and citation presented to the Unknown Scout
During the first presentation in 1926, twenty-two awards were presented in a particular order determined by Chief Scout Executive James E. West. Since then, the awards have been presented on an annual basis in alphabetical order.

The first Silver Buffalo Award was conferred upon
Lord Baden-Powell, founder of the Scouting movement and Chief Scout of the World. The second went to the Unknown Scout who inspired William D. Boyce to form the BSA. This award is represented by a small buffalo statue in Gilwell Park.

For fifty years the Silver Buffalo was awarded only to men until
LaVern W. Parmley became the first woman to receive the honor in 1976. As of 2008, 674 people have been presented the award, including 14 presidents of the United States.

Sunny Land Council

Harry D. Thorsen Jr.
Sarasota, Florida
Scouts on Stamps Society International; Executive

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Southwest Florida Council

Hugh C. Clayton
Bokeelia, Florida
Architect; Engineer; Civic Leader; Veteran Scouter

Herbert J. Rowe
Naples, Florida
Association Executive; Community Leader; Loyal Scouter