Greatest hits: My 12 most-read blog posts of 2012

For Scouts and Scouters, 2012 had plenty of ups — and a couple of downs.

We welcomed changes: new merit badges, new Eagle Scout requirements, a new Chief Scout Executive, and a new high-adventure base in West Virginia, to name a few.

We celebrated 100 years of the Eagle Scout award and learned 46 ways that Eagle Scouts are different from non-Eagles.

We mourned together when news broke that two of the young victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting were Tiger Cubs.

And we healed together when superstorm Sandy struck close to home for some Scout units on the East Coast.

I tried to chronicle these important BSA happenings throughout the year here on Bryan on Scouting through 229 new posts. I’m thankful for readers like you who contributed to the 850,000 views in 2012. Statistically, it was the best year of the three full years I’ve been blogging about all things Scouting.

So thanks for helping me share what I found newsworthy, interesting, or fun.

But which of these posts caught your attention most this year? Let’s find out by revealing the 12 most-read blog posts of 2012, after the jump… 

12. Found ’em! Search and Rescue merit badge requirements released

search-and-rescueAug. 20, 2012

After months of clamoring from eager Scouts and Scouters, we finally got the requirements for Search and Rescue merit badge in August. The BSA’s 130th current merit badge is sure to be a hit at summer camps and troop outings.

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11. Boy Scouts of America names its next Chief Scout Executive

Wayne Brock

May 21, 2012

Hail to the Chiefs! In May we tipped our caps to both outgoing CSE Bob Mazzuca — who served from 2007 to 2012 — and incoming CSE Wayne Brock (left), who took office on Sept. 1.

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10. The 20 most (and least) earned merit badges of 2011

MB-top20Jan. 25, 2012

It came as no surprise that 12 of the top 20 merit badges earned in 2011 were Eagle-required. What did surprise us was which non-Eagle-required merit badges made the top 20 — and which made the list of least-earned in 2011. See for yourself at the link below.

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9. Watch a sneak peek of ‘Are You Tougher Than a Boy Scout?’

tougher-logoJune 26, 2012

The viewing period didn’t last long, but that didn’t stop thousands of curious Scouters and Scouts from watching a sneak peek of the new reality show Are You Tougher Than a Boy Scout? The show, which debuts in spring 2013, is the subject of this Scouting magazine cover story.

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8. BSA Chief visits Newtown, presents Spirit of the Eagle Award to Tiger Cubs’ parents

newtownDec. 20, 2012

Our hearts broke when we heard about the tragic, senseless shooting in Newtown, Conn., earlier this month. And then they broke again when we learned that two of the young victims were Tiger Cubs. BSA Chief Scout Executive Wayne Brock flew to Newtown to pay his respects and present the families of Chase Kowalski and Benjamin Wheeler with the Spirit of the Eagle Award. Rest in peace, Chase and Benjamin.

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7. Special badge for Scouts who earn Eagle in 2012

eagle-patch-2012-hiresOct. 14, 2011

The only blog post from 2011 to make the 2012 most-read list, this one broke the news of a special-edition patch available for boys who earned Eagle in 2012. How many new Eagles in your troop are now sporting it on their pockets?

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6. This Eagle Scout infographic pretty much says it all

eaglescout100-3April 11, 2012

In keeping with the Eagle Scout theme, April brought us a visualization of just how fantastic Eagle Scouts are. Never before had I seen the facts presented in such a clear, concise, visually compelling manner. If you haven’t seen the infographic, don’t miss out.

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5. How to request congratulatory letters for your Eagle Scout

Norris-PhotoMay 2, 2012

When a boy earns Eagle Scout, his Scoutmaster and parents want the world to know. Can’t blame them, then, for seeking out politicians, astronauts, celebrities, and other recognizable figures to send hand-signed letters to their new Eagle Scouts. This post, which included some of the Eagle Scout congratulatory letters my parents requested for me, was a hit among readers.

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4. The Ultimate List of Scouting Apps

smartphonesAug. 9, 2012

As Scout leaders, we can now carry a library, GPS, weather radio, compass, map, camera, and field guide in our pocket. But to sort through the hundreds of thousands of apps now on the market — 98 percent of them worthless — I asked fellow Scouters for their favorites. The result: this guide for Scouters with iPhones, Android devices, and Windows Phones.

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3. BSA to use Scout Oath and Scout Law for all programs

cub-saluteOct. 17, 2012

For Scouters, Oct. 17 was a big day. And, in turn, that meant a big day for Bryan on Scouting. On that Wednesday, I learned of two big changes that would affect Scouts and Scouters, and I quickly posted what I knew. The first was the word that the resolution to move to one Oath and Law for Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Varsity, Sea Scouts, and Venturing was approved by the Boy Scouts of America’s executive board. Full details, including a rollout schedule, at the link below.

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2. Cooking, Sustainability merit badges to become Eagle-required

Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, this badge will get a silver border.

Oct. 17, 2012

The other big news on Oct. 17 affected the list of Eagle-required merit badges. The total number required will stay at 21, but we learned that Cooking and Sustainability will join the list, with the latter set to become an option to Environmental Science. The changes will begin after the 2013 jamboree and continue after Jan. 1, 2014.

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1. New study shows 46 ways Eagle Scouts are different

baylor-study-coverApril 10, 2012

I love it when the good news wins. This year’s most-read post — and the most-read post in my blog’s history — was April’s analysis of a 2010 Baylor University study called Eagle Scouts: Merit Beyond the Badge. I read the study and summarized the 46 ways in which Eagle Scouts are different from their non-Eagle brethren. The timing was perfect in the 100th anniversary of the first Eagle Scout Award.

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What made headlines in your world?

I’d love to hear what made 2012’s list of “greatest hits” for your pack, troop, team, ship, or crew. Did your troop add a few Eagles to its rolls? Did your pack have an extra-special outing? Leave a comment below, and share your memories.

About Bryan Wendell 3281 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.