If the packed tent is any early indication, Mining in Society merit badge will be a hit when it debuts in February 2014.
Scouts attending the 2013 National Jamboree got a sneak peek at the new elective merit badge, set to be released at the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration’s Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City.
Mining has been an important part of our nation since the 19th century.
Today, the industry employes 3 million Americans, directly and indirectly, and is a major contributor to the global mining landscape. Continue reading
Do your Scouts prefer their bike tires fat instead of thin? Then I’ve got good news.
Beginning today, Cycling merit badge now includes a mountain biking option. That means Scouts can choose between road cycling or mountain biking when earning the Eagle-required badge. (To earn Eagle, Scouts must earn Swimming or Hiking or Cycling.)
The change is to Requirement 7, which now reads “Using the BSA buddy system, complete all of the requirements for ONE of the following options: road biking OR mountain biking.”
Instead of a 50-mile road biking trip that must be completed in eight hours, Scouts who choose the mountain biking option must finish a 22-mile trail ride in six hours.
The change widens the audience for an already-popular merit badge by encouraging Scouts who prefer riding the trails on a mountain bike to riding the streets on a road bike.
Print this flier (PDF) or follow the jump for the complete requirements for 7b, the Mountain Biking option. Continue reading
Much of Baden-Powell’s vision for Scouting still holds true today. But put this one in the category of something B-P never could have predicted.
Today the Boy Scouts of America releases Programming merit badge, an elective badge that challenges Scouts to, among other requirements, “write, debug, and demonstrate a functioning program.” Programming MB continues in the BSA’s long tradition of preparing young men for modern-day careers, so I’m a big fan already.
The merit badge’s requirements are available below. Scouts may begin working on Programming MB once pamphlets arrive in Scout Shops and at scoutstuff.org in early August.
Take a look at the official requirements: Continue reading
Updated, Aug. 22: Leaders, check out Scouting magazine’s latest Merit Badge Clinic focusing on the Sustainability merit badge. In this column, writer Mark Ray speaks to the four members of the Sustainability Merit Badge Task Force, all of whom share insights into why Sustainability merit badge was created and how to help Scouts earn the new badge.
Updated, July 16 with clarification about water bill
Ready … set … go green!
The long-awaited requirements for the Boy Scouts of America’s Sustainability merit badge have been released.
The badge joins the Eagle-required list as an option to Environmental Science merit badge. Scouts must earn either Sustainability or Environmental Science on their journey to Eagle.
Scouts may begin working on Sustainability MB once pamphlets arrive in Scout Shops and at scoutstuff.org in early August, but you can get a first look at the requirements below. Or click here (PDF) for a downloadable flier you can share with your Scouts.
Sustainability MB requirements
The Ask the Expert floodgates are wide open.
I’m now getting roughly 50 emails a week with Ask the Expert questions, a sign that Scouters out there care enough to seek out the right answer to their burning BSA queries. (By the way, ask your question by emailing email@example.com, subject “Ask the Expert.”)
For the third round of rapid-fire FAQs, I’ve picked out nine popular questions and tracked down the right answers.
We’ll cover parents who make light of a Scout earning lots of merit badges, a troop that won’t count the same leadership position twice, a discussion of who should pin on an Eagle medal, unofficial belts, jamboree entertainment, and more.
Let’s go … Continue reading
Updated May 15 with some clarifications.
Not all merit badges are earned in the traditional troop setting.
Enterprising Scouts can earn them at council-run merit badge “colleges” or workshops, summer or winter camps, or on their own with a registered counselor.
But some troops restrict or even prohibit this practice, insisting that merit badges must be earned under their own roof — with only troop-sanctioned counselors.
True, the Guide to Advancement says Scouts must discuss their choice of merit badge counselor with their Scoutmaster, but some troops take it one step farther, declaring that merit badge workshops themselves aren’t kosher.
Is that OK? That’s what a Scouter named Thomas wondered in an email last week. In his troop, Scouts cannot earn Eagle-required merit badges at events like workshops, instead needing to earn those merit badges in-house. He writes: Continue reading
If a Scout camps several nights with his troop before getting a signed blue card from his Scoutmaster, do those nights count toward his earning Camping merit badge?
That’s what a Scouter, who I’ll call James, wondered last week in an email. James wrote:
I have a question concerning when a Scout must have a blue card. Our troop has a merit badge counselor that told boys that none of their camping nights count prior to them getting a signed blue card from the Scoutmaster.
It seems that I have read that this is contrary to BSA policy. Could you point me to a specific BSA reference for this?
Well, James, there’s no greater authority on this than Christopher Hunt, advancement team leader here at the BSA’s National Office. Continue reading
Which merit badges had Scouts rushing to counselors and Moms and Dads rushing to the sewing machine last year?
Here’s your answer. In January 2012, I presented a list of 2011′s most- and least-popular merit badges based on sales numbers from the Supply Division. This year’s numbers come from the BSA Program folks and are based not on sales but on the actual number earned, meaning they should be more accurate.
As you’d expect, the 12 most-earned merit badges from 2012 were all Eagle-required. Those merit badges provide extra motivation for Scouts to finish them on their journey through the ranks. But the badges that ranked 13 to 130 have some interesting takeaways:
What’s on the menu for the revamped Cooking merit badge, served up later this year?
The BSA’s volunteer-led team isn’t ready to dish on the main course just yet, but I was authorized to give you a taste — an appetizer, if you will.
OK, enough cooking puns. Here’s what I know: Continue reading
The final cover (click to enlarge).
Let me stop you right here. I know what you’re thinking, but, no, this is not a merit badge Scouts earn by playing video games.
Now that I’ve dispelled that common misconception, here’s the real story: Game Design merit badge — released today — teaches Scouts how to create, test, and refine a game from one of four categories.
It’s the BSA’s 131st current merit badge and it’s likely a one-size-fits-all badge—appropriate for super-athletic Scouts as well as those who are less so. And perfect for the right-brainers and the left-brainers.
Today, March 6, is the official release date, but the merit badge pamphlets are still being printed and shipped. So, they won’t arrive in Scout Shops until later this month. The quickest way to get a pamphlet may be online, with an order to scoutstuff.org. This way, you’ll get your pamphlet right from the source. I don’t see the pamphlets on the site just yet, but keep checking back.
As for requirements, I’ve got a full list below. But most of the work revolves around creating an actual game in one of these four categories:
- Electronic (games for computers, game systems, or mobile devices)
- Outdoor/Athletic (sports or games like capture the flag)
- Tabletop (dice-based games, board games, card games)
- Pen and Paper or Role-Playing Games
Here’s the full list: