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Next up: Welding merit badge

UPDATE, Jan. 27, 2012: Click here for a Welding merit badge update and the final, official requirements.

Want to spark some passion in your Scouts?

Tell them about Welding, the next new merit badge from the Boy Scouts of America.

When it debuts in the next month or two, it will become the BSA’s 128th current merit badge, joining fellow newcomer Chess, which made its move onto the list during the summer. (See a complete list of merit badges here.)

Some merit badges are all about enjoying the outdoors — Whitewater, Camping, Backpacking. Those active subjects are an essential part of a boy’s involvement in Scouting.

But those merit badges that focus on career exploration are just as important. I’m talking about subjects like Architecture, Graphic Arts, Home Repairs, and — my personal favorite — Journalism.

Welding fits right in with those.

Where else but Scouting can a young man learn from industry practitioners in real-world fields? It’s the perfect, hands-on way to explore a subject that a Scout may one day make his career.

And in this time of job uncertainty, welding would be a smart career choice. It’s one field where demand for workers exceeds supply, says David Landon, vice president of the American Welding Society.

That’s because, as he told Scouting magazine in our latest issue, almost everything in our industrial society is connected to welding.

“People are building racecars and all kinds of construction equipment,” he told us. “Then there’s welding robotics, where you’re programming robots to do the welding for you.”

While you’re spreading the word about Welding to your Scouts, BSA representatives are in Chicago this week talking up Welding merit badge to professionals at the FABTECH Expo, North America’s largest welding event.

Uniformed Boy Scouts led the flag ceremony, and Jack Compton, who helped write the merit badge pamphlet, led hands-on demonstrations with his two grandons, who are Scouts.

Another big goal at the expo: Recruiting professional welders to serve as merit badge counselors in their communities.

You can help there, too. If you know someone in the welding field, ask them to teach the merit badge to your troop.

There’s no exact release date or finalized list of requirements just yet, but stay tuned right here as I get that information.

In the meantime, let’s all cheer everyone’s three favorite words: New merit badge!

20 Comments on Next up: Welding merit badge

  1. Colleen Martel // November 16, 2011 at 10:59 pm // Reply

    This is great! My nephew just joined Pack 194 in Surprise, AZ and is a certified Welder/Fabricator, I will mention to him that he should teach this locally

  2. Dennis bear Short // November 24, 2011 at 12:06 am // Reply

    not only am I welding shop owner I am the scoutmaster of troop 215 Portsmouth Va. so you know my boys will be welding up a storm (i can just see it now ALUMN CHUCKBOXES)
    D. bear Short

  3. Jerome Riscovallez // November 29, 2011 at 2:48 pm // Reply

    At first I thought this said “wedding” merit badge. Oops!

  4. damn, all the good ones come out right after i turn 18….

  5. Thomas S. Taylor // December 8, 2011 at 8:22 am // Reply

    I like the new merit badge on Welding. Think it is a great idea and long overdue. How about a Merit Badge dealing with teachers & education?

  6. The Jan.-Feb issue mentions two new Merit Badges, Search and Rescue & Kayaking. any word on when these will be officially out? My son turns 18 in March and would LOVE to do the SAR Merit Badge.

    • Mike, these are both due out in the summer, I’m told.


  7. Hi Bryan.

    It is now well into January and there is still no sign of Welding merit badge. When will it be released?

    • Andy,

      I’m asking around for a status update on this. Thanks!


  8. Tom Prockish // January 18, 2012 at 11:32 am // Reply

    Would like to know when the Welding Merit Badge pamphlet will out. I am trying set up to teach this merit badge to scouts this summer. Mainly I need the requirements to make flip charts and setting up a teaching guide.

  9. We are hoping to offer the Welding Merit Badge during our Merit Badge College in Dover, DE this coming March. Starting to worry about timing. Has anyone received or heard about an update on the status of this new merit badge?

    • Ed, Welding is official now, the link to the requirements is On this page it states that the MB books should be in stores in late Feb.


      • Excellent. Thank you.

  10. The requirements are at

  11. Will the Kayaking merit badge be out in time to teach it at Summer Camps for 2012?

    • Yes, it will!

      • What about the Search and Rescue Merit Badge, any word on when it may be released?

    • We are hoping to offer Welding at our Merit Badge College on March 17th. Originally, that seemed like a reasonable date in terms of the Welding Merit Badge being officially released. I am now starting to worry. Do we have a “feel” for when the badge will become official?

  12. When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get several emails with the same comment.
    Is there any way you can remove people from that service?


    • I believe there’s an option at the bottom of the emails. Sorry for the hassle!

5 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Next up: Welding merit badge | Lewis and Clark District Committee
  2. New York OA Trader | Today’s Links November 17, 2011
  3. More New Merit Badges on the Way | Scout Wire
  4. Scouting will give you Job Skills « Scouteradam's Blog
  5. Welding merit badge requirements, launch details released | Bryan on Scouting

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