The Buckeye Council’s Pipestone Award is unique in Scouting. For 84 years, scouts of our council
camps have earned the right to wear this venerable token. To this very day, the Pipestone comes
to us from a spot in Minnesota where descendants of the Native Americans still work to retrieve
this stone from the Earth. Nowhere else can this award be earned other than at Seven Ranges
Scout Reservation. The Scouts who wear the Pipestone prize it highly. Its spirit pervades our camp.
The Pipestone Camp Honors Program began at Camp Tuscazoar, Zoarville, Ohio in the summer
of 1926. The founders of the Ceremony and related camp advancement program which, by
tradition, has become the heart of the summer camp Program of the council, were George M.
Deaver, Scout Executive of the Council; C. L. Riley, a teacher at Canton McKinley High School,
who was serving as Camp Director at the time; I. W. Delp, Principal of Lehman High School in
Canton; and Charles E. Mills, a scouter who was skilled in theatrical production.
The program's intent was the rewarding of scout campers who excelled in advancement and Scout
spirit during their week in camp with an experience, and a token of that experience, which would
capture their imaginations. An Indian ceremony was a natural choice of a vehicle to convey this
message and token. The valley of the Tuscarawas River was a prime area of Indian activity as
attested by the history of the area.
The spontaneous enthusiasm for the program led its founders to set it as a five-year series, this
being the maximum number of years attendance in summer camp which could be expected of a
scout in the late 1920's.
The reader is reminded that the Pipestone Ceremony itself is not intended to be, nor is it
conducted as an initiation or a hazing, and it is not to be represented to scouts as such!
The basic theme of the five years' ceremonials have withstood the test of the years, being as viable
now as they were in 1926 when the program was conceived.
A significant effect of the Pipestone Program is the encouragement of the return of scout campers
to Summer Camp for three, four, five years and beyond, in percentages which lead the country. The
worth of the Program is verified by the fact that, at the time of this writing, 14% of all campers using
the Council Summer Camp have attended for 5 or more years. It is important to emphasize,
however, that Pipestone's primary concern is the boys; not retention statistics.
Since its founding, the worth of the Program as an incentive to scouts has been universally
apparent to unit and council leadership, eliciting almost unanimous voluntary participation in the
program. Likewise, scouters responsible for the Pipestone Camp Honors Program share the
conviction that Scouting can be eminently successful in exerting a positive influence on young
men's lives if they can be kept within the sphere of influence of Scouting, between the ages of 14 to
17 years. Traditionally, no scout leader has pointedly been required to commit his unit to
participation in the Camp Honors Program. It is structured to appeal to the overwhelming majority
of boys, and all campers should be given the opportunity to pursue this honor.
The Pipestone Camp Honors Program is five years of progressively more advanced work in
Summer Camp in those areas of Scouting advancement which deal with the safety of a scout, his
ability to deal with emergencies, an awareness of nature, and the ability of the scout to live out-of-
doors and be self-sufficient at it. The progression of the requirements is closely related to an
acceptable rate of advancement through Scouting ranks with emphasis on development of
proficiency in swimming, nature, and leadership, which will enable the older scout to assist his
younger brother scouts.
The Camp Good Turn requirements are intended to foster in each scout and leader a sense of
sharing in the ownership and care for our Camp through the investment of a reasonable share of
his time in a group or individual improvement project for the betterment of the grounds and facilities
of our Camp.
The swimming requirements have as their purpose the same objective which governs Scouting
swim requirements. That is, the safety of the scout in the water, by developing in each scout a
confidence and true sense of his own ability. Thus, the rule regarding the enforcement of the
Pipestone swimming requirements has been an ever-constant, rigid adherence to the letter of the
requirement. To give a boy the "benefit of the doubt" and grant approval of his inadequate
performance of a swimming requirement might be the most fateful decision a leader in camp will
All Pipestone requirements are kept relevant to National Standards in skill and merit badge
Finally, the Camp Spirit requirement, required all 5 years, challenges each scout to live with his
brother scouts in camp in a spirit of good fellowship and good sportsmanship. It requires each
Pipestone candidate to exemplify the very qualities which he pledges to uphold in the Oath and
Law, and it requires his leader to evaluate his fulfillment of this requirement with equal importance
to the skills, swim, and other requirements.
Fulfillment of Pipestone Requirements
Every Pipestone requirement is well defined, as are the options, procedures, and time limits for
completion. As an adult leader, you share in the responsibility to ensure that the value of the
Pipestone Camp Honors Award is upheld, so that future scouts will find the same motivation and
the same rewarding thrill and excitement which comes to those who currently journey to The
Council Fire of The Braves.
No honor is respected by its recipient or his peers if that honor is gained through deceit or unfair
practices. Striving for the Pipestone Honor encourages the scout to advance both in Camp and in
his unit. It is a valuable learning experience, and it emphasizes character development and builds
Remember, the Pipestone cannot be awarded on the basis of effort alone!
The candidate must have fulfilled the established requirements as written. To reward a Scout when
he is less than deserving, for emotional or other reasons, may do him a greater disservice than to
encourage him to try again. Scouting's role is to prepare a boy to face life. Your own experience
tells you that the most meaningful experiences are not always the easiest to attain!
Registered Scouters who qualify by reason of service to Scouts as leaders in the Summer Camp
are encouraged to participate fully in the Pipestone program with their Scouts, that they may better
understand the purpose and effect of the program on the Scouts whom we all seek to serve.
The Pipestone Honor is awarded only to Scouts and Scouters who attend and participate in the
program of the Buckeye Council Summer Camp.
ALL PIPESTONE REQUIREMENTS MUST BE COMPLETED BY 12:00 NOON ON FRIDAY!
Scout (Pipestone wood required)
10 parts of any rank** or one merit badge.
Identify in the field: any combination of 15 trees, plants, or shrubs. Identify 4 constellations and 8
Jump feet first into water over your head, swim non-stop using any stroke a distance of 25 yards. ***
This is the daily practice of the living Code of the Scout Oath and Scout Law. Camp Spirit is very
important. A Scout could complete all the other requirements and not be eligible for the award
because he did not live by the Scout Oath and Scout Law.
Second Class (Pipestone wood required)
12 parts of any rank** or one merit badge.
Identify in the field: any combination of 25 trees, plants, or shrubs. Identify 6 constellations and 10
animals, mammals, reptiles, fish, crustaceans, or amphibians.
Jump feet first into water over your Head, swim non-stop using any two different strokes a distance
of 50 Yards. ***
Same as for all years. See first year requirements.
First Class (Pipestone wood required)
14 parts of any rank** or one merit badge.
Identify in the field: any combination of 35 trees, plants, or shrubs. Identify 8 constellations and 10
Jump feet first into water over your head, swim non-stop using any three strokes a distance of 100
Same as for all years. See first year requirements.
Star (Pipestone Wood Required)
One merit badge.
Serve as or assist the Unit Naturalist or Astronomer or serve in a designated leadership capacity.
Jump feet first into water over your head, swim non-stop 125 yards of which 25 yards must be a
Leadership on the unit’s project.
Same as for all years. However, particular emphasis is placed upon Scout Spirit for the 4th year
candidates. They should set an example for the younger Scouts. Example should be 90% of this
Serve in a designated leader’s capacity.
Jump feet first into water over your head, swim non-stop for 150 yards of which 25 yards must bea
resting back stroke AND pass or hold swimming merit badge.***
Serve in a designated leadership capacity.
Same as for all years.
Notes on Pipestone Requirements:
* Requirements for rank must be completed, but a Board of Review is not required to have been
** Excluding Scout Spirit and a Board of Review. The Scoutmaster’s Conference may be counted
if all the other requirements for that rank have been completed. If the required number of skills
cannot be met, a merit badge must be earned.
*** Waiving the swimming requirement for one’s camp honor shall be governed by the guidelines
set forth under the “Disabilities” section of this guide.
A camper may only attempt to earn their Camp Honor once in a summer. He may not come back
for a second week if falling short on the first attempt.
A Scout who comes to camp with his Eagle rank is not required to pass additional merit badges in
camp unless he does not have Swimming merit badge. However, fulfillment of the Scout Skills
requirement for any year’s camp honor must be met by service in a clearly designated leadership
Definition of Requirements
Any 10 (1st year), 12 (2nd year), or 14 (3rd year) numbered parts of rank or any combination of
rank numbered parts as listed in the Scout Handbook are acceptable.
Designated Leadership Positions
The Scout shall confer with his Unit Leader or the Reservation Director, set a leadership goal that
is mutually agreeable to the Scout and leader, carry out said project during his week in camp, and
complete a written report on the project signed by himself and the leader by noon on Friday.
This report must be made out by the camper and placed in the Reservation Director’s mailbox in
the Adult Leader’s Conference Room, located at the Dining Hall. Projects may be in the nature of
specific counseling of Scouts who need assistance on a specific project to a unit leader or camp
staff member, etc. The criteria to be applied must be “that significant personal growth through
assistance to others is achieved.” Serious thought on the part of the involved Scout must be given
to this project.
Burroughs Award Camp Honors Requirements
Candidates for the John Burroughs Award may apply their accomplishments in this field toward the
camp honor for which they are working. In addition, they must fulfill rank, swimming and Camp
Scout Spirit requirements. A scout who is proficient in nature may elect to take the three degrees
of John Burroughs over a 3-year period or any level in a single year and apply the earning of that
specific year towards his camp honor. A specific degree may only be earned once and only a
degree of more difficulty may be earned a second and third year.
BSA Aquatics Supervisor and Kayaking Camp Honor Requirements
Scouts working towards certification as a BSA Aquatics Supervisor during their week in camp
may apply their accomplishments in this field toward the camp honor for which they are working. In
addition, they must fulfill rank, swimming, and Camp Scout Spirit requirements. Certification must
be earned by Friday at noon. However, these programs do not count towards rank advancement.
Explanation of the Second and Third Year Ecology Requirements
For animal identification, the candidate must identify in the field mammals, reptiles, fish,
crustacean, birds, or amphibians either by sight or by identifying evidence of their presence (e.g.
tracks, dens, burrows, droppings, calls, or feeding areas). Domestic animals are not included in
Good Turn Requirements
During the week in camp, every camper, youth and adult, shall participate in an approved project to
maintain or improve Seven Ranges Scout Reservation. Emphasis should be on participation as a
patrol effort, but an individual camper or leader may complete the requirements. A unit that wishes
to carry out a significant good turn (i.e. a project which involves construction, special tools or
materials) for the camp prior to its week in camp must request prior approval for such a project
from the designated representative(s) of the Buckeye Council Properties Committee. If the project
is approved and completed, those unit members who participated in the project will receive credit
for their good turn for camp that season.
Each camper attempting to earn the Pipestone, except fifth year candidates, is expected to
provide one cubic foot of Pipestone wood during his week in camp. This may be fulfilled by
bringing the wood to camp on Sunday (tightly wrapped with twine) or by gathering it in the camp by
Thursday afternoon. This is hardwood only (not from evergreens, such as pines or spruces), which
has lost its bark naturally and burns quietly. It should be reasonably straight with no branches or
protruding stubs, approximately twelve inches long (broken, not sawn), no thinner than the little
finger and no thicker than the thumb. Between 300 and 550 scouts and scouters will go through the
Pipestone Ceremonies each week of the summer. To be most effective, the Ceremony Circle
needs the kind of firelight that comes only from burning this kind of wood. Fifth year candidates
need not bring wood to camp but should complete part of their leadership requirement by closely
supervising the quality and quantity of wood collected by other campers. Wood bundles deemed
acceptable by the troop leadership should be placed on the “Pipestone Wood Trailer”.
SPL2B Camp Honor Requirements
Senior Patrol Leaders who are participating in the SPL2B program must complete their
advancement, ecology, and swimming requirements the week before their troop is in camp. The
candidate will fulfill their leadership requirement while their unit is in camp.
Adult leaders who attend Summer Camp are encouraged to earn their Pipestone as well. The
camp honor requirements for adults are as follows:
~Be a registered Scouter.
~Attend Summer Camp as part of a Boy Scout Troop, Venture Scout, or Explorer organization.
~Complete a Camp Good Turn as described above.
~Complete attendance requirements described in the following paragraph entitled “Pipestone
~Function fully in a leadership capacity to Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts, or Explorers while in camp
as determined by the Reservation Director. Attendance without leadership service does not qualify
an adult for camp honors.
~Adults should not bring Pipestone wood to camp but should exercise leadership by closely
supervising the quality and quantity of Pipestone wood collected by Scout candidates using the
standards listed above.
Pipestone Attendance Requirements
Youth campers must be in camp from Sunday Campfire through Saturday check-out to qualify for
camp honors. Serious personal reasons are justified excuses for qualification. Vacations, athletics,
and other such activities are not excusable.
The Reservation Director shall be the final authority in determining the acceptability of a Scout’s
reason for leaving camp in regards to earning camp honors.
Adult campers who spend four full days and three full nights in attendance at Summer Camp during
the single given week that the unit for which leadership is provided attends Summer Camp meet
the attendance requirement for camp honors. For this attendance qualification, one of the nights
may not be Friday night.
The Reservation Director is empowered to adjust camp honor requirements for Scouts unable, for
sound medical reasons, physical or mental, to meet the requirements as prescribed. Unit leaders
are urged to use restraint in requesting such adjustments. As support for such a request, the
scout's current Personal Health and Medical Record must indicate specific limitations advised by
his physician. Considering the unique circumstances of each case, the Reservation Director will
make substitutions of a fair and equitable proportion. Substitutions must be made by Monday and
will then become the true objectives of the scout in question.
Pipestone Scorecard and Report Forms
A special scorecard is available for each camper to maintain his own record. Unit leaders and
junior leaders (authorized by the Unit Leader) will sign the scout’s card and certify that he has met
the requirements. All requirements must be completed by 12:00 noon on Friday (wood should be
turned in by Thursday afternoon). By 1:00 PM on Friday, Unit Leaders must submit the official
report at the designated meeting or to the Pipestone mailbox as directed listing those campers
who have clearly fulfilled the camp honor requirements.
Things You Should Know and Understand to Assist the Pipestone Program
As a unit leader, it is important for you to understand that the Pipestone program can only work with
your help and understanding. The Camp Staff supervises the day-to-day operation of the program,
but you, the unit leader, must keep accurate records for your boys. The Camp Staff can help you
with some record-keeping forms.
Sunday Night Campfire
The Sunday Night Campfire is a spirited way to start the week. After the songs and skits, the
campfire will end with a serious talk about the history and meaning of the Pipestone Camp Honors
Program. After these reflective moments, everyone will be instructed to leave the campfire without
talking and without lights.
This simple act will help Pipestone candidates when they return from the Friday Night Ceremonies.
You can help by directing that only your adult leaders should take flashlights to the Sunday
campfire. Scouts will also be directed to go directly to bed without talking, unless you want to have
a meeting with them. This can help set the tone of self-discipline for the week. It can also help you
to have a quiet first night in camp after a long check-in day.
This is not an old-fashioned idea at Seven Ranges Reservation. The self-discipline that is
demanded during the week will make the Friday night Pipestone experience much more enjoyable
for the boys. During the week, the staff will ask that everyone enter and leave the dining hall quietly,
with arms folded. Being on time for appointments and merit badges is also a growing experience.
The morning clean-up and inspection should be "by the boys, and for the boys". You are
encouraged to participate in the spirit of the program. Be a part of the contests, songs, patrol and
troop activities, and fellowship with other units.
This is an integral part of the "Scout Spirit" Requirements.
As a unit leader, please take care in following the instructions and filling out the Pipestone
Qualification forms. The Camp Staff will give you instructions at the leaders' meeting. Your care
and concern will insure an equitable and safe experience for everyone. After dinner on Friday, all
campers will be instructed to return to their campsites until it is time for the Pipestone Ceremonies
to begin. The Pipestone flag will be flown after retreat, as a solemn reminder of the evening's
activities. Please take this time for quiet activities and preparation for the evening. The boys must
realize that they are about to be honored in a very serious and rewarding ceremony!
The Camp Staff will give you complete information on times, places, and proper attire. Please
check your scouts thoroughly before they leave your campsite to make sure that they have on the
proper clothing and that they have their Pipestone, if they are second-year or higher candidates!
Wearing of, and Care of the Pipestone
The Pipestone is to be worn buttoned under the right shirt pocket flap of the Scout Uniform. Only
one Pipestone can be earned each year, and it must be taken to the next year's ceremony to be
exchanged for a higher award if the wearer has qualified for it.
Caution your Scouts not to wear the Pipestone in rough games or outdoor activities where it may
be lost or broken.
The Indian polished Pipestone with the natural oil from the side of the nose.