How to earn the BSA Total Solar Eclipse 2024 Emblem on April 8

There’s a solar eclipse coming in three months, and it’s going to be special.

So special, in fact, that the BSA is offering a glow-in-the-dark Total Eclipse 2024 Emblem to youth members who complete five simple requirements.

Some of you will remember that we did this six years ago, and it was awesome.

The 2024 eclipse — on April 8 — will be even better, and the BSA wants you to be ready.

A solar eclipse occurs somewhere in the world around once every 18 months. Often, though, they are only visible from the middle of the ocean or some similar sparsely populated area.

The 2024 eclipse will pass right over North America over a period of about four hours starting at right around noon Central time.

How to earn the BSA Total Solar Eclipse 2024 Emblem

Earning the 2024 patch is easy and fun. It could make a great activity for a den meeting, pack meeting, Scouts BSA meeting, family outing … and everything in between.

  1. Locate a site suitable for viewing the eclipse. There are lots of good sources out there, but I’m partial to NASA’s official site, which lists all the major cities over which the eclipse will cross, with the exact times that Scouts and families need to be ready.
  2. Describe how to safely view the eclipse. It is not safe to look directly at the sun without specialized eye protection for solar viewing. This includes looking at it through binoculars, a telescope or your phone’s camera. Solar viewing glasses are thousands of times darker than regular sunglasses. Look for solar viewing glasses that comply with the ISO 12312-2 international standard. You can also safely view an eclipse using an indirect viewing method, such as Scout Life’s shoebox viewer.
  3. Discuss with your group what you saw and felt during the eclipse. A total solar eclipse happens when the moon passes between the sun and Earth. Depending on how close you are to the path of totality, you may see the sky darken considerably. Depending on the weather, you could see stars, as if it were nighttime. In some instances, night creatures might even come out.
  4. Do the following:
    • Cub Scouts: Discuss what a solar eclipse is with your leaders.
    • Scouts BSA members: Draw a diagram of the positions of the moon, Earth and sun to show how the solar eclipse occurs.
    • Venturers and Sea Scouts: Research Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington’s 1919 experiment and discuss how it confirmed Einstein’s theory of general relativity.
  5. Ask your unit leader to purchase the BSA Total Solar Eclipse 2024 Emblem! Scout Shop is also offering a glow-in-the-dark patch set and a nifty looking glow-in-the-dark T-shirt, if you really want to go all out. (How cool would it be if a group of Scouts all wore that glow-in-the-dark shirt at a public viewing event in their community?!?)
The BSA Total Solar Eclipse 2024 Patch Set
The BSA Totality Solar Eclipse 2024 Tee

What else can I do to make the eclipse fun for my Scout and my family?

Scout Life has you covered!

A map of the 2024 eclipse path across the United States
Graphic courtesy of NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio

About Aaron Derr 454 Articles
Aaron Derr is the senior editor of Scout Life and Scouting magazines, and also a former Cubmaster and Scouts BSA volunteer.