How to complete requirement 4B of Scouting Heritage merit badge

Two Boy Scouts check out an exhibit at the National Scouting Museum – Philmont Scout Ranch. Photo by Shane Mrozek

When Scouting Heritage merit badge debuted in 2010, Scouts completing requirement 4B were asked to “write or visit the National Scouting Museum in Irving, Texas.”

Now that the museum has officially opened at its new home at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, the procedure for completing this requirement has changed.

Scouts still have the option to visit the museum in person and see its stunning new digs. That’s what I would call “Plan A.” Or they may complete the requirement by writing to the museum via email or traditional mail.

But what’s the procedure for doing so? What will the museum send in reply? And what else should Scouts know about completing this requirement?

I talked with David Werhane, director of the National Scouting Museum – Philmont Scout Ranch, to learn more.

Scouts learn about the history of merit badges at the National Scouting Museum – Philmont Scout Ranch. Photo by Shane Mrozek.

What is Scouting Heritage merit badge requirement 4B?

To complete requirement 4, Scouts must do one of the following. I’ve bolded 4B for emphasis, but a Scout can choose any one of the three options.

Requirement 4

  • (a) Attend either a BSA national jamboree, OR world Scout jamboree, OR a national BSA high-adventure base. While there, keep a journal documenting your day-to-day experiences. Upon your return, report to your counselor what you did, saw, and learned. You may include photos, brochures, and other documents in your report.
  • (b) Write or visit the National Scouting Museum. Obtain information about this facility. Give a short report on what you think the role of this museum is in the Scouting program.
  • (c) Visit an exhibit of Scouting memorabilia or a local museum with a Scouting history gallery, or (with your parent’s permission and counselor’s approval) visit with someone in your council who is recognized as a dedicated Scouting historian or memorabilia collector. Learn what you can about the history of Boy Scouting. Give a short report to your counselor on what you saw and learned.

What if Scouts want to visit the museum in person?

Great idea! Any excuse to visit Philmont is a good excuse to visit Philmont.

Consult the museum’s operating hours at this link.

What’s the preferred address for Scouts who want to write a letter to the museum to fulfill this requirement?

Via email: Philmont.Museums@scouting.org. Scouts should include “Scouting Heritage Merit Badge” in the subject line.

Via U.S. mail:

National Scouting Museum – Philmont Scout Ranch
Attn: Scouting Heritage Merit Badge
17 Deer Run Rd.
Cimarron, NM 87714

What will Scouts receive in response to their letter?

  • A letter, which will also answer any questions the Scout might have asked during the inquiry. The letter may feature the National Scouting Museum – Philmont Scout Ranch passport stamp and date.
  • A museum facts sheet and timeline of the history of BSA museums
  • A museum brochure

What else should Scouts know when working on this requirement?

  • IMPORTANT: Email/snail mail requests should be from Scouts, not merit badge counselors or parents
  • Scouts should feel free to ask a question about BSA history, the museum itself or Philmont. The idea is to do more than merely write, “I’m working on Scouting Heritage merit badge, please send information.”
  • Don’t use the National Scouting Museum Facebook page to make a request. Stick to email or snail mail.
  • Counselors can verify that a Scout completed the requirement by:
    • A Scout’s checking in to the museum’s location on Facebook if they visit in person
    • A dated “National Scouting Museum passport stamp,” available in the lobby
    • A mailed reply from the museum
    • An emailed reply from the museum
    • Completion of the museum’s virtual geocache
  • If Scouts write a letter, make sure it is legible — especially the return address.
  • Remember that the visit, letter or email is the first step of requirement 4B. The second is to “give a short report on what you think the role of this museum is in the Scouting program.”