It’s official: The Boy Scouts of America Historic Merit Badge program begins today

This is no April Fools’ Day joke: the Boy Scouts of America Historic Merit Badge program is here.

Today marks the first day boys can begin earning Signaling, Tracking, Pathfinding, and Carpentry: four merit badges brought back for the Centennial year.

As we reported in January, the program honors Scouting’s rich 100-year history by introducing today’s Scouts to the merit badges earned by yesterday’s youth. To bring the badges into a 21st-century context, the BSA has created supplemental information guides that will accompany scans of the original merit badge pamphlets.

Ready to go? Here are some tips on how to get your guys started:

  • The badges can be earned beginning today, and requirements must be completed by Dec. 31, 2010.
  • Historic merit badges do count toward a Scout’s rank advancement.
  • Each merit badge emblem features a gold border, which will help identify it as special to the centennial year.
  • Pamphlets for these badges will not be reprinted. Instead, Scouts and Scouters can go online to find digital scans of the original pamphlets. Click each link below to be taken to the page to download these scans:
  • You’ll need to secure qualified merit badge counselors for each badge. Here’s a handy guide on where to look for an expert on each subject.
  • Want to plan a special event centered on these badges? Check out this primer on how to get started.

Take advantage of this exciting time to honor the BSA’s history with your troop. Just like the Centennial celebration, this opportunity won’t last long.

About Bryan Wendell 3282 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.