What happens to Scouting Heritage MB requirement 4B during National Scouting Museum relocation?

Scouting Heritage merit badge requirement 4B asks Scouts to write or visit the National Scouting Museum in Texas.

As the museum prepares to relocate to Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, the procedure for completing this requirement has changed.

Effective April 1, 2017, Scouts seeking information for this requirement should send correspondence to Philmont at the address below. Alternatively, counselors might guide Scouts to one of the other options for completing requirement 4.

The National Scouting Museum in Texas will remain open for visitors through Sept. 4, 2017. It is scheduled to open at Philmont Scout Ranch in 2018.

Scouting Heritage merit badge requirement 4

Requirement 4 is a fun and hands-on way for Scouts to learn about the BSA’s rich history. A Scout has three options, 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, Texas
  • 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

How to complete requirement 4B during the transition

Previously, Scouts followed the instructions outlined in this post. As of April 1, 2017, they should mail requests to the address below.

Note: This address is for requests for information about the museum. It is not where Scouts send their actual report to complete the requirement. That report goes to the young man’s merit badge counselor.

Scouting Heritage Merit Badge Request
Philmont Museums
17 Deer Run Road
Cimarron, NM 87714

Or by email to: philmont (dot) museums (at) scouting (dot) org.

Consider requirement 4C instead

Counselors might want to guide Scouts toward requirement 4C during the museum’s transition.

This requirement option connects Scouts with their local community. It gives them a sense of the history of Scouting in their area. If they meet with a Scouting historian or memorabilia collector, they’ll benefit from that personal interaction, too.

20 Comments

  1. After reading the Dec 6th article, I too ask, “Who came up with this idea? And Why?”

    The National Scouting museum is currently centrally located in the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex – it is now accessible easily to everyone. The idea of putting it in the New Mexico wilderness makes it accessible to a much smaller audience.

    The Philmont website says that “Philmont Scout Ranch is located in the rugged mountain wilderness in the Sangre de Cristo range of the Rockies in northeastern New Mexico” . I guess the next time I get to see the museum is when I have to make connections at Cimmaron International Airport – oh wait…there isn’t one.

    Not much traffic at Irving was given as a reason to moving. Perhaps there wasn’t enough marketing. Of the 32K people who go to Philmont each year, how many will delay the start of their trek or of their return to spend several hours in the museum.

    A much better decision on the museum could be made – like have it stay in its current central location and spend the money that will be spent on the move on marketing it. Use it as a tool to market to potential scouts. This move is I guess egalitarian. It makes it accessible to almost everyone in the country. How long now before National decided that even fewer people are seeing it, and that we just store everything away, or perhaps sell the artifacts to collectors!

    • Near Irving, I’m too distracted by other things, like barbecue. 😉
      Let’s see who on the West Coast has slack-time at PSR to visit the museum.

    • Most people who go to Philmont have time before or after their treks to tour the Villa Philmonte and the current museum. When I’ve taught at the Philmont Training Center (which offers participants a half-day off to hike, tour museums, etc.), there’s always a steady stream of Scouts heading to the Villa and the museum.

    • This has already been discussed thoroughly, but I totally agree with Carey. Nobody is going to Philmont just to see the museum; only scouts and scouters already going there will see it. In the Dallas area, many more people had the opportunity to see it. I personally wish the museum wasn’t moving.

  2. suggest they take exhibit on the road visiting all over the country. They could work with councils all over and area museums. This way more scouts could see what is in the archives. Not as many scouts will see exhibits in Philmont as may have seen them in Texas.

  3. I can’t believe that they don’t have enough material to have more then one place displaying portions. Based on my last visit to the museum my guess for how the idea came about went something like:
    Person 1: We really do need to do some maintenance on this place, and a refresh would be great.

    Person 2: Well if we are going to have to redo the thing, perhaps we could save rent by moving it to PSR. There is plenty of room there. Besides, labor is likely cheaper meaning we can redo it completely for the same cost.

    Person 3: And besides think how many people will visit as part of their trip to PSR.

    Person 4: Makes perfect sense, and perhaps its location there will get more people coming to the ranch.

  4. Moving the museum to Philmont makes no sense, just as it made no sense back when it was hidden on a rural college campus in the western corner of KY. This was a disappointing and poorly considered move by BSA National. National should consider working with the National Capital Area Council to put a permanent exhibit at Camp Snyder, right outside of DC and in the heart of the Civil War battlefields (a huge tourist draw).

    It’s worth noting that a Scout can complete the merit badge requirement by going to any of the Scouting museums and exhibits at local councils and summer camps. We are fortunate to have several in Virginia and our Scouts have also enjoyed seeing them in other states as well. The museum at Ten Mile River Reservation in NY is exceptional.

    • VA Scoutmaster…you are incorrect in your thinking that a Scout can visit a local Scout Museum for this requirement. The requirement clearly states the ‘National Scouting Museum’. You can’t change the requirements unless approved by national. No more no less.

      • The move has little impact of the Heritage MB:
        >the requirement 4 is do ONE (a or b or c), where 4c is clearly stated local museum.
        >and the 4b is “write” OR visit.
        >and since Scout who already visited Philmont SR, which is HA base, that met 4a.

      • Scouter Bill, with all due respect, I disagree. Option C very clearly says, “Visit an exhibit of Scouting memorabilia or a local museum with a Scouting history gallery…” If a local Scout museum does not have an exhibit of Scouting memorabilia or a Scouting history gallery, then that would be surprising. In fact, I’ve even seen some excellent exhibits of Scouting memorabilia at Council offices. For example, the Ozark Trails Council had an excellent exhibit of their history last time I visited. I just recently learned that they too opened a History Museum of Ozarks Scouting (http://ozarktrailsbsa.org/about/museum-of-scouting).

    • Dear VA Scoutmaster…I realized after I hit submit that I was incorrect and had not read option C. I tried to remove my comment but couldn’t. Sorry for the confusion.

  5. There was a whole blog dedicated to this several months ago, and it elicited a lot of comment. On one side were those who felt like this was reducing scouting’s visibility and limiting access. On the other were those who felt like non-scouts generally would not visit regardless where it is at and that Philmont was an ideal location as it is a popular destination for scouts.

    • Dear VA Scoutmaster…I realized after I hit submit that I was incorrect and had not read option C. I tried to remove my comment but couldn’t. Sorry for the confusion.

  6. My question is why William “Green Bar Bill” Hillcourt isn’t listed for Requirement 2A? Every single Boy Scout and Scouter from 1926 – 1972, and then again from 1979 -1989 has been directly affected by his writings: Scoutmaster Handbooks, Boy Scout handbooks, Patrol Leader’s Handbook, Woodbadge Syllabus, Brownsea 22 syllabus, and “Green Bar Bill” articles in Boy’s Life.

    For those who do not know about Bill, his autobiography, originally in BL, is here:

    http://www.mendhamtroop1.org/green-bar-bill-hillcourt.html

    NY Times Obit here: http://www.nytimes.com/1992/11/14/obituaries/william-hillcourt-a-boy-scout-writer-and-columnist-92.html

    Best part of Bill was his love of Scouting. This proves it:

    “A new handbook for Boy Scouts was needed, one that would tell about the
    romance and excitement of Scouting. I came out of retirement and gave the Boy
    Scouts of America an offer they couldn’t refuse: “I will give you a year of my
    life free, gratis, without pay, to write a new Boy Scout Handbook.” My offer was
    accepted. I started the book October 25, 1977. I finished it October 25, 1978.
    It came out on schedule, February 8, 1979. Today, three million copies are in
    print.”

    Yes, the “Improved Scouting Program” of 1972 was so bad, that Bill came out of retirement for no pay to save Scouting.

  7. I would like to know how does one get to become “someone in your council who is recognized as a dedicated Scouting historian or memorabilia collector”

Join the conversation