In order to encourage physical fitness and good health in Scouts, the BSA Physical Fitness Award is now offered to all Cub Scouts and leaders.

The award is used to:


-Encourage the development of attitudes, knowledge, and skills that promote fitness and safe conduct

-Lay a skill, knowledge, and attitude foundation of the seven major components of fitness

-Improve health, fitness, and quality of life through daily physical activity;


Scouters who wish to earn this award must complete the seven requirements and have an application submitted to a Council Service Center by the unit leader.

Cub Scouts and leaders who earn the award may then purchase a special recognition pin, certificate, and patch from a local Scout Shop.


Every participant must complete this award with the assistance of a council approved mentor. The Great Salt Lake Council has designated all Boy Scout

Physical Fitness merit badge counselors as qualified mentors for this award.

Instruction and participation in this award must be conducted in an environment free from all hazards and dangers. All participants must have had medical check-ups from their physician prior to participation. All BSA precautions and safety measures apply to this award.




1. Complete a cardiovascular fitness evaluation/consultation with your personal health care provider. (This can be done as part of the examination required by any council-approved class 3 medical evaluation.)

2. Using the BSA references listed after the seven major components, give a presentation to a BSA or other community youth group (at least eight youth participants) on cardiovascular fitness, diet, the health benefits of regular aerobic exercise, exercise recommendations for the Scout age group, and healthy lifestyles.

3. Review the BSA guidelines for the Athletics and other physical activity or personal fitness-oriented merit badge and explain steps you have taken to follow each of the guidelines for the fitness goals. Explain precautions to be taken for a physical fitness activity in each of the following: woods, fields, facilities, and waterfront.

4. Explain to your mentor the symptoms of dehydration and hypothermia. Explain the special considerations for preventing dehydration and hypothermia.

5. Properly outfit for physical activities with proper equipment, clothing, and footwear. Know your own capabilities and limitations. Illustrate how you would prepare for the physical fitness goals included in the award program.

6. With supervision from your mentor or other qualified persons, set up a fitness goal-oriented plan using the seven major components of fitness.

7. Demonstrate your ability to improve your strength, posture, endurance, agility, speed, accuracy, and balance with your own goal-oriented fitness plan.


The Physical Fitness Award is meant to improve the fitness of its participants over time.

Every participant must assess their physical fitness, create and follow a fitness program for improvement, and complete a series of educational requirements in order for them to achieve this award. A mentor can help you create a plan based on personal preference and personal fitness needs. There are seven major components to Physical Fitness, as well as tests to measure them:


-Posture. Posture is evaluated with a posture-rating chart. The Scout or Scouter is compared to a photo of his or her starting posture, noting 13 different body segments. Each body segment is scored as a five, three, or one, making a possible range of scores from 13 to 65. Higher scores over time reflect improving posture.

-Accuracy. The target throw is used to measure accuracy. The Scout or Scouter makes 20 throws with a softball at a circular target and is scored on the number of times the target is hit.

-Strength. The sit-up is used to measure strength. The Scout or Scouter lies on his or her back with knees bent and feet on the floor. Arms are crossed on the chest with the hands on opposite shoulders. The feet are held by a partner to keep them on the floor. Curl to the sitting position until the elbows touch the thighs. Arms must remain on the chest and chin tucked on the chest. Return to the starting position, shoulder blades touching the floor. The score is the number of sit-ups made in a given time.

-Agility. The side step is used to measure agility. Starting from a center line, the Scout or Scouter sidesteps alternately left and right between two lines 8 feet apart. He or she is scored on the number of lines crossed in 10 seconds.

-Speed. The dash is used to measure speed. The score is the amount of time to the nearest half-second running a set distance that can be increased each year.

-Balance. The squat stand is used to measure balance. The Scout or Scouter squats with hands on the floor and elbows against the inner knee. He or she leans forward until the feet are raised off the floor. The score is the number of seconds held in that position.

-Endurance. The squat thrust is used to measure endurance. The Scout or Scouter starts from the standing position. He or she performs the usual four-position exercise. The score is the number of completed squat thrusts made in a given time.

In creating a physical fitness improvement plan for Cub Scouts, leaders and mentors may implement the following suggested activities from the respective handbooks:


Tiger Cub Handbook Activities
  • Take a Bicycle Ride (elective 37)
  • Fun in the Water (elective 40)

Wolf Handbook Activities

  • Feats of Skill (achievement 1)
  • Ride a Bike Safely (achievement 9e)
  • Go on a Family Walk (achievement 10c)
  • Foot Power (elective 7)
  • Sports (elective 20)

Bear Handbook Activities

  • Ride Right (achievement 14)
  • Games, Games, Games! (achievement 15)
  • Building Muscles (achievement 16)
  • Sports, Sports, Sports! (achievement 23)
  • Boats (Elective 5)
  • Swimming (Elective 19)
  • Sports (Elective 20)

Webelos Handbook Activities

  • Aquanaut Activity Badge
  • Athlete Activity Badge
  • Sportsman Activity Badge

BSA Physical Fitness Award Application:

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