If you have a Scout working on Scouting Heritage merit badge Requirement 4, Joe Connole’s your guy.
The programs coordinator and lead admissions clerk for the BSA’s National Scouting Museum in Irving, Tex., is in charge of answering letters and emails from Scouts working on that merit badge.
A Scout has three options for completing Requirement 4 of Scouting Heritage merit badge, each involving keeping a journal or writing a report:
A: Attend a BSA national jamboree, world Scout jamboree OR a national BSA high-adventure base.
B: Write or visit the National Scouting Museum in Irving, Tex.
C: Visit an exhibit of Scouting memorabilia or a local museum with a Scouting history gallery or visit with someone in your council who is recognized as a dedicated Scouting historian or memorabilia collector.
Scouts who choose to write the National Scouting Museum (4B), will need to contact Joe. If they do, they’ll get a response with a letter, a brochure, and — drumroll please — the awesome free patch seen below. To help Scouts taking this merit badge and counselors teaching it, Joe shared some details on how it works:
First, write a letter or email to the museum
Scouts must either write (email or regular mail) or visit the National Scouting Museum and obtain information about the facility.
Scouts will receive a letter, fact sheet, brochure and the patch seen here.
The patch is the only way a counselor can verify that the Scout has actually written or visited the Museum.
They can contact Joe either by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or via regular mail:
1329 W Walnut Hill Ln.
Irving, TX 75038
Scouts must include the following information: first and last name, current Scout rank and their mailing address.
Information will not be sent to counselors or Scoutmasters, only to Scouts working on the merit badge.
If a troop is working on the merit badge, they can write a single letter as long as each Scout signs and writes his name showing that he worked on the letter.
Parents or leaders should verify that the Scout’s information appears legible and is accurate; Joe receives a number of letters every year where the Scout’s information isn’t legible or is inaccurate.
Then, wait for a response
Mailings are done every Wednesday; Scouts should allow at least three weeks for a response.
Joe receives more than 1,000 letters every year (last year that accounted for 28 percent of all Scouts who earned this MB), and while he strives to send information within three weeks, there are times when that is not possible.
Other Scouting Heritage MB advice
As for the other requirements, Joe strongly suggests that Scouts get the merit badge book as well as the reprint of the first-edition Boy Scout Handbook to complete Requirement 7.
Counselors should notice that Requirement 8 doesn’t say that they must talk to a man over the age of 40 who was a Boy Scout. It says to speak to someone over the age of 40 who was a Scout.
Joe also created a PowerPoint presentation that covers Requirements 1 to 3. Download it here.