Calling all young inventors! (deadline May 7)

The next big thing: Will one of your Scouts invent it?

Encourage that future Ford, Fulton, or Bell to enter the Boy Scouts of America and Edison Nation Challenge, where creative thinkers could get help turning their ideas into products.

Edison Nation, an “idea-to-shelf product developer,” has teamed up with the BSA to promote this challenge. But despite the collaboration, the challenge is open to boys and girls ages 7 to 21, regardless of BSA membership.

Couple this news with the recent release of the Inventing merit badge, and there’s no better time to get your Scouts to think about their new ideas.

Here’s how it works: Continue reading


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.)

Continue reading

Go 'Bots!

Robotics merit badge launch includes all-new interactive resource center

The age of robots in the Boy Scouts of America has begun.

No, the BSA isn’t planning to replace Scoutmasters with androids. At least not that I’ve heard of.

I’m referring to today’s launch of the Robotics merit badge. It’s the latest example of how Scouting embraces the interests of modern boys while preparing them for careers in science, technology, engineering, and math—fields collectively known as STEM.

Perfect timing, too. Saturday marked the start of the second-annual National Robotics Week, and the VEX Robotics World Championship begins on Thursday. And then, on April 29, NASA will carry 100 Robotics merit badges into space aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour. Continue reading

Boy Scouts, American Radio Relay League make partnership official

Through the Wireless merit badge (now known as Radio merit badge), the Jamboree on the Air, and K2BSA at the national Scout jamboree, the Boy Scouts of America and the American Radio Relay League have a partnership that has spanned generations.

And late last month, the two organizations made their bond official.

That’s when BSA Chief Scout Executive Bob Mazzuca and ARRL President Kay Craigie signed a Memorandum of Understanding. Read the complete memorandum here (link opens PDF), or watch the video above for a summary of how this partnership affects you.

In the history of the BSA’s interaction with ARRL, the Scouting organization has awarded more than 140,000 Radio merit badges, hosted 53 Jamboree on the Air events, and allowed hundreds of thousands of Scouts to experience the wonder of amateur radio.

And that’s only the beginning.

2011 revised requirements: Sports merit badge

If you're keeping score at home, you'll want to know about a minor revision to the requirements for Sports merit badge, effective Jan. 1, 2011.

The change affects requirement 2 and shows the BSA's continuing commitment to childhood health. The new requirement is the following:

Explain the importance of the following:
(a) The importance of the physical exam
(b) The importance of maintaining good health habits for life (such as exercising regularly), and how the use of tobacco products, alcohol, and other harmful substances can negatively affect your health and your performance in sports activities
(c) The importance of maintaining a healthy diet

For comparison, here's the old version of requirement 2:

Explain the importance of the following:
(a) The physical exam
(b) Maintaining good health habits, especially during training
(c) Maintaining a healthy diet

2011 revised requirements: Archery merit badge

Archery merit badge has set its sights on two minor revisions to its requirements, effective Jan. 1, 2011. 

They affect requirement 5.

Change option A (recurve bow or longbow), subpoint F, sub-subpoint 2 to the following:

Shooting 30 arrows in five-arrow ends at an 80-centimeter (32-inch) five-color target at 15 yards and using the 10 scoring regions, make a score of 150.

Similarly, change option B (compound bow), subpoint F, sub-subpoint 2 to the following:

Shooting 30 arrows in five-arrow ends at an 80-centimeter (32-inch) five-color target at 15 yards and using the 10 scoring regions, make a score of 170.

The previous requirements said 10 yards in each instance.