Greatest hits: The 10 most-read blog posts of 2022

Throughout my nearly two decades as a member of the BSA’s publishing division — from Boys’ Life to Scout Life and now On Scouting — the most common question I get from readers hasn’t changed: “Where do you get your story ideas?”

The answer: We get them from you guys!

I’m old enough to remember when we at the BSA used to get letters … in the mail! … Written by hand! (Nowadays, it’s easy enough to contact us or our friends at Scout Life electronically.)

But regardless of how we all communicate, you, the readers, are the most important part of what we do.

Thanks to you, our humble little blog has kept on humming, and we’re honored that you continue to click on our stories and send us ideas for things to write about in the future.

As we prepare to turn the page to 2023, we’re going to take one last look back on 2022. Here are the top 10 most-read posts of this year.

10. Celebrate the BSA’s 112th birthday by solving these 12 Scouting-themed Wordles

The Boy Scouts of America was founded at 11:03 a.m. on Feb. 8, 1910, meaning this great movement turned 112 on this day. To celebrate, we’ve created 12 Scouting-themed Wordle puzzles just for you. Read the post.

9. Incredible colorized photo shows Scouts meeting Civil War veterans at Gettysburg

For a few hundred Scouts in July 1938, the Civil War was more than a lesson in history class.

That month, exactly 75 years after the Battle of Gettysburg, 500 to 600 Scouts gathered in Pennsylvania to camp, meet Civil War veterans and commemorate the bloodiest battle of the war. To help bring that gathering to life, the Adams County Historical Society in Gettysburg, Pa., used technology from MyHeritage to colorize a photo from the event. Read the post.

8. Scouters to receive 2022 Silver Buffalo, Silver Antelope awards, Scouting’s top national and territorial volunteer honors

For Scouters whose work affects the Scouting movement on the council, territory and national levels, the BSA bestows what is known as the “Silver family” of BSA awards. This includes the council-level Silver Beaver, territory-level Silver Antelope and national-level Silver Buffalo. Read the post.

7. 2021 merit badge rankings: Return of summer camps shuffles the list again

After the pandemic forced most summer camps to temporarily shut their gates in 2020, these beloved Scouting destinations returned in full force in 2021. For proof, just look to the annual merit badge rankings, where a number of summer camp staples reclaimed their positions high on the list. Read the post.

6. Here’s an Eagle Scout congratulatory letter request template to use or adapt

Parents, guardians and Scouters have been contacting famous people for decades to inform them of their Scout’s accomplishment. This is often intentionally done without the Scout’s knowledge so they can be surprised with these letters at their court of honor. By sending a letter to a dignitary, these adults are creating potential memories for their Eagle Scout that will last for generations. Read the post.

5. Pandemic-prompted changes to Scouts BSA advancement requirements expire March 1

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Scout units modified their procedures to ensure that Scouts could have a safe, meaningful and memorable journey along the Scouting trail. Early in 2022, the BSA decided it was time for those adjustments to be retired. Read the post.

4. A Good Turn from afar: Eagle Scout helps Ukrainian Scout escape to safety

About a week before war erupted in her home country of Ukraine, Irina Segreevna Vasiliuk got a message from her friend Lucian Kugler. The two had met during the summer of 2017 at the BSA’s Camp Fiesta Island in San Diego. So Irina wasn’t shocked to see a message from Lucian last month — until she read what he had said. Read the post. 

 

3. Does picking up trash constitute conservation?

Scouts serve their communities in many ways. One popular way involves picking up litter, thereby keeping their hometowns, parks and local environments clean. This post from last summer stirred up a lot of (mostly respectful!) debate in the comments. Read the post.

2. Teach your Scouts how to enhance their cooking skills using a Dutch oven

The first-year patrol is planning its menu for the upcoming campout: cereal for breakfast, peanut butter sandwiches for lunch and hot dogs for dinner. It’s their third outing in a row with such simplistic fare. The answer? The Dutch oven. Read the post.

1. Update to Scouts BSA joining requirements opens the door to more young people

A change to the Scouts BSA joining requirements earlier this year made it easier for young people to join a troop alongside their friends and classmates. Effective April 18, 2022, the Scouts BSA joining requirements now state that a young person can be a member of Scouts BSA if they meet any of these requirements … Read the post.

Honorable mentions

Some posts were published before 2022 but still racked up a lot of views. Here are the top 5:

  1. The Cub Scout Six Essentials
  2. One surprising fact about anyone who earned Eagle before Oct. 1, 1965
  3. Meet 112 Scouts who became famous
  4. 2019 merit badge rankings
  5. How to request congratulatory letters for your Eagle Scout

My favorite post(s) of the year

Sometimes, the most important post of the year isn’t the most popular. But if you ask me which posts I’m most proud of, it’s the pair of posts we did back in March, the first announcing the opening of registration for the 2023 National Jamboree, and the second following up with more details.

The theme of the Jamboree is “Forward,” representing the Scouting journey. I can’t think of a better thought to leave everyone with this holiday season.

We hope you’ll join us as we move forward into 2023 … and beyond!

About Aaron Derr 258 Articles
Aaron Derr is the senior editor of Scout Life and Scouting magazines, and also a former Cubmaster and Scouts BSA volunteer.