arrowHOME—International Scouting—Highest Rank/Award/Badge

Highest Rank/Award/Badge in Scouting & Guiding

First, we'd better define what we mean by 'highest rank'. Most national Scout & Guide associations have various awards for adults and Scouts/Guides. These can include awards that are bestowed, such as a medal for bravery or saving life. And they can include other awards that can be earned, such as those for training or service. But by 'highest rank' (award/badge), we are referring to the highest award for advancement (achievement) that a youth can earn (generally under age 18).

Baden-Powell created the original system of Scout advancement, starting with Tenderfoot (basically a new or inexperienced Scout), followed by Second Class, and culminating with First Class. B-P's Scouting for Boys explains general requirements for these awards, which are often called 'ranks' or 'awards' (and sometimes 'badges') in English-speaking countries. In 1909, Britain's King Edward VII authorized a new top rank, King's Scout (called Queen's Scout since approval by Queen Elizabeth II in 1953). This is available to Scouts in countries that are members of the UK Commonwealth. Although Girl Guides started in 1910, it wasn't until 1946 that King George VI authorized the Queen's Guide award (whose patron was King George's wife, Queen Elizabeth [not to be confused with her daughter, the current Queen Elizabeth]). Many national Scout & Guide associations have also created similar highest awards.

Some national Scout/Guide associations do not have an advancement system, and hence do not have a highest level of advancement/achievement/rank that a Scout or Guide can earn. For those associations that have an advancement system, they often have a highest award for each program section (Cub Scouts/Brownies, Boy Scouts/Girl Guides, Venturers, Rovers, etc). But the highest award, and the one with the most prestige (and carryover value into the adult world) is typically the top award available to a Scout or Guide in the association's program for high-school-aged youth (typically aged about 14 until 18, although some associations that have Rovers allow earning their top award up to about age 25, and some have a separate top award for adult Rovers).

So far, we've found 52 Scout/Guide Associations in 45 countries where there is a highest rank or advancement award. We'd be delighted if you would email us with addtional information, as we have certainly missed many, and we have not found good images of all the top badges. A website that has information and photos of top ranks in many countries is ATAS595, sponsored by ATAS (Association of Top Achiever Scouts), an international Scouting organization for recipients of the top Scouting award in the Asia/Pacific Region of WOSM/WAGGGS.

It's interesting that the name of the highest rank typically falls into one of four categories:
(1) Named after the Chief of State (King, Queen, President, Sultan) (21 associations)
(2) Named after an animal (sometimes mythical or religious) (condor, dolphin, dragon, eagle, garuda, lion, quetzal, sable, springbok, tiger) (16 associations)
(3) A name with national pride or religious significance (11 associations)
(4) Named after the top Scouting official (usually 'Chief Scout's Award') (4 associations)

Prestige. The highest award in some countries carries significant prestige and value beyond Scouting. But in those countries where they have a highest award for each program section, each with an identical name, we doubt there is much recognition outside of Scouting for such awards. For example, the Eagle Scout award in the US is well-known outside of Scouting, tends to 'open doors' in job or university applications, and even gains the recipient an early rank advancement in the US military forces. We would be curious to hear from you about the prestige (or lack thereof) of the highest awards in other countries.

(Scout Association)
Top Award
Picture of Top Award
Scout / Venturer Advancement Progression
(Scouts Australia)

Queen's Scout
Queen's Scout / Australia
A Scout in Australia can earn a number of awards,
starting with the Scoutcraft badge, then Pioneer(red)/
Explorer(blue)/Adventurer(green) target badges,
followed by similar colored cords with additional
requirements, and culminating in the Australian Scout
Scoutcraft badge, Pioneer/Explorer/Adventurer target badges; cord; Australian Scout Medallion
A Venturer can earn 4 awards: Venturing Skills Award,
The Venturer Award, Endeavour Award, and Queen's
Scout Award.
Venturing Skills Award, Venturer Award, Endeavour Award, Queen's Scout Award
(Girl Guides Australia)

Queen's Guide
Queen's Guide (metal) / AustraliaQueen's Guide (cloth) / Australia
(Bangladesh Scouts)

President's Scout
President's Scout / Bangladesh
(The Scout Association of Belize)

Queen's Scout
Queen's s Scout / Belize
(União dos Escoteiros do Brasil)

Escoteiro da Pátria
(Scout of the Fatherland)
Escoteiro da Pátria / Brazil
A Scout or Guide (Escoteiro/Escoteira) in Brazil can
earn the Lis de Ouro (Gold Badge).

A Senior Scout or Guide (Sênior/Guia) can earn the
Escoteiro da Pátria award.
Lis de Ouro (left); Escoteiro da Pátria (right)
(Persekutuan Pengakap Negara Brunei

Pengakap Sultan
(Sultan Scout)
Pengakap Sultan / Brunei
(Scouts Canada)

Queen's Venturer
Prix Aventurier de la Reine
Queen's Venturer / Prix Aventurier de la Reine / Canada
A Scout in Canada can earn 4 advancement awards:
Pioneer Scout, Voyageur Scout [the top half circle],
Pathfinder Scout [the bottom half circle], and Chief
Scout's Award.

A Venturer can earn 2 awards: Venturer Award and
the Queen's Venturer Award.
Pioneer Scout, Voyageur Scout (top), Pathfinder Scout (bottom), Chief Scout's Award (left 4 badges); Venturer Award, Queen's Venturer Award (right 2 badges)
(Girl Guides of Canada /
Guides du Canada)

Chief Commissioner's Gold Award
Prix d'or de la commissaire générale
Chief Commissioner's Gold Award / Canada
The highest achievement for a Pathfinder (ages 12-15)
is the Canada Cord.

A Ranger (ages 15-17) can earn various awards,
culminating in the Chief Commissioner's Bronze, Silver,
and Gold Awards.
Canada Cord (left); Chief Commissioner's Bronze/Silver/Gold Awards (right)
(Asociación de Guías y Scouts de Chile)

Cóndor Scout
Cóndor Scout / Chile
China / Hong Kong
(The Scout Association of Hong Kong)

Dragon Scout
Dragon Scout / Hong Kong
(Cyprus Scouts Association)

Proskopos Dimokratias
(Republic's Scout)
Proskopos Dimokratias / Cyprus
Czech Republic
(Junák - svaz skautu a skautek CR)

(three eagle feathers)

Lvi skaut II. stupne
(Lion Scout second degree)
Tri-Orli-Pera / Czech RepublicLvi skaut / Czech Republic
It appears that Tri-Orli-Pera is the highest award
a Scout (age 11-15) can earn, while Lvi skaut is the
highest Rover award (age 16-26). Lvi skaut requires
earning Tri-Orli-Pera, among other requirements.
Eswatini (formerly Swaziland)
(Eswatini Scout Association)

Lion Scout
Lion Scout / Eswatini/Swaziland
(Soma Ellinon Proskopon)

Proskopou Ethnous
(Scout of the Nation)
Proskopou Ethnous / Greece
(Asociación de Scouts de Guatemala)

Scout Quetzal
(the resplendent quetzal is the
national bird)
Scout Quetzal / Guatemala
(Asociación de Scouts de Honduras)

Caballero Scout Lempira
(Knight Scout Lempira; refers to a
16th Century leader who fought
against the Spanish conquistadors)
Caballero Scout Lempira / HondurasCaballero Scout Lempira (medal) / Honduras
(Bandalag Islenskra Skáta)

(President Award)
Forsetamerkið / Iceland
(The Bharat Scouts and Guides)

Rashtrapati Scout / Guide
(President's Scout / Guide)
Rashtrapati Scout / India Rashtrapati Guide / India
A Scout or Guide in India can earn 5 advancement
awards after passing the Pravesh (Entry) requirements:
Pratham Sopan (First Level), Dwitiya Sopan (Second
Level), Tritiya Sopan (Third Level), Rajya Puraskar (State
Award), and Rashtrapati Puraskar (President Award).
First Level, Second Level, Third Level, State Award, President Award

Last Revision to This Page: 7 July 2021
Text copyright © 2009-21 by Troop 97 BSA
Images are either non-copyright or are copyright © their respective organizations