The Challenger Award is the highest award for skill and achievement in the North Star Scout program. It recognizes successful completion of the Challenger Project that effects a significant measurable improvement in a community.
It is the greatest adventure in our Scout Programs. The purpose of this award is recognition of the most extraordinary achievement. It takes our Scouts their entire Scout experience to develop the skills and achievements necessary to earn the Challenger Award. Our Scouts who earn this Award have the right stuff - including character and determination.
The Challenger Project is a large part of earning the Challenger Award, however the content of our Scouts' character is the most important aspect of earning the Challenger Award. Our Challenger Award Committee places a higher value on how the project was completed, how much effort was put into the project, and if our Scouts conducted themselves with character than whether every aspect of the plan was successful.
The National Council of the Scout Programs of Adventure Scouts USA will establish a Challenger Award Committee. That committee will make and publish such reasonable guidelines and procedures as it deems necessary to inform Scouts and others involved in qualification for and grants of the award.
At any time after receipt of the Summit Award and preferably at least nine months before the Scout's eighteenth birthday, the Scout who wishes to qualify for the Challenger Award must submit in writing a proposal if they have not already done so, for the Challenger Project to the Team's leadership. Team Counselors and Team Leaders counsel the Scout concerning the project and upon granting their approval, forward the proposal to the Challenger Award Committee for review.
To qualify, the proposal must describe in written detail the objectives and means to attain the objectives of the Challenger Project. The report will state in detail the objectives of the project, who it intended to help, when the project will commence, where the project will be done, why it will be done, and how it will be done. The proposal must provide an estimate of the number of man-hours necessary for completion, letters of support from proposed cooperating agencies and/or organizations and a budget. The proposal must also state the intended effects of the project on the community.
The Challenger Award Committee will reply in writing within thirty days, stating whether it has approved or disapproved the proposal. If the Committee disapproves a project, it will state its reasons in writing.
The project must involve the significant efforts of the Scout's teammates and large numbers of people in the community and the cooperation of government and a significant number of other companies, community organizations, religious organizations, or any combination of multiple agencies, companies or organizations. The Scout must plan, organize, lead and evaluate the project with the guidance of the Team's leadership and with the advice and counsel of representatives of the cooperating entities.
The Scout must implement the plan. The success of the project is less important than whether the plan was implemented as intended.
Upon completion of the project, the Scout will submit a comprehensive report of evaluation in writing. The report will state in detail what the objectives of the project were, who it intended to help, when the project was completed, where the project was done, why it was done, and how it was done. Also included is an explanation of what mistakes were made and what aspects which in hindsight would have been done differently. The report must also state how the project affected the community and to what extent the initial expectations were achieved. The Scout should also state what they got out of participating in the project.
The report includes a detailed accounting of all expenditures, the names and affiliations of every person who contributed to the project and a summary of each person's contribution including the amounts of cash donations, the estimated value of in-kind donations and hours worked.
The Scout also solicits letters from one representative of each cooperating agency or organization stating their expectations of the Scout during the course of the project and whether or not the Scout met those expectations. The representatives must be persons in positions of responsibility within their agency or organizations.
Upon receipt of the Scout's report and letters from two representatives, the Team's leadership prepares a letter stating their recommendations and forward those recommendations to the Challenger Award Committee for consideration. The Committee will reply within thirty days stating whether the project meets the high standards of the Challenger Award. If it is the decision of the Committee to deny the award, the letter will state its reasons and specify in what manner the project failed to achieve the published guidelines.
If it is the decision of the Committee to grant the award based upon the completion of the Challenger Project and the other criteria necessary, the Committee provides a certificate and award medallion in accordance with the policies and procedures of the Scout Programs of Adventure Scouts USA.
If the Committee grants the award, the Team's leadership arranges for a suitable awards ceremony at an appropriate time and place. Persons who may present the award may include but shall not be limited to the Scout's parents or other person from whom the Scout wishes to receive the award, elective officials, representatives of the cooperating agencies or organizations, Team Sponsors, and the Team Leaders.
The Team's leadership invites such persons as may reasonably be expected to take an interest in the award presentation including public officials. Notices may be submitted to the media and other entities, inviting representatives of the press to the event. Team Leaders also provide photographs and details of the Scout's achievement for use within the Scout Programs of Adventure Scouts USA.