Thursday, February 25, 2010

Historical Merit Badges Provide Unique Opportunity For Scouts This Summer

In honor of the Boy Scouts of America's 100th anniversary, the BSA's has launched a special centennial Merit Badge program for Scouts. The 2010 Historical Merit Badge program features a set of four previously discontinued Merit Badges. Scouts will get the opportunity to experience some of the activities their predecessors enjoyed by earning these unique badges.

This is a limited-time program and boys must start and finish all requirements within the year 2010 - because on December 31st these badges go back into the vault. However these are full-fledged Merit Badges and, just like any other Merit Badge, these special badges can be used towards rank advancement.

This summer Camp Minsi will be offering Scouts a chance to earn all four historical Merit Badges - Carpentry, Pathfinding, Signaling, and Tracking! These are badges aren't easy, but you won't want to miss out on the once in a lifetime opportunity to earn them!

History: First offered in 1911 and discontinued in 1952.
Location: Handicraft (11:00-11:50am)
Sample requirements: demonstrate the use of tools, such as a miter and bevel; build a simple piece of furniture for use at home.
Notes: Scouts should have prior experience working with wood tools. This badge challenges Scouts to make a piece of furniture while using various carpentry tools and techniques.

History: First offered in 1911 and discontinued in 1952.
Location: Scoutcraft (Open in afternoon, MWR)
Sample requirements: be able to guide people to important places within a three-mile radius of your home; submit a scale map of your community.
Notes: Counselor’s will work with Scouts on an individual basis. Scouts must come fully prepared to show they can satisfy all requirements.

History: First offered in 1910 and discontinued in 1992.
Location: Scoutcraft (2:00-2:50pm)
Sample requirements: build a simple buzzer or blinker capable of sending Morse code messages, and send a message of at least 35 words; send and receive messages using semaphore flags at a rate of at least 30 letters per minute.
Notes: Scouts must bring a hand-made device that can be used to send Morse Code. Scouts should practice their Morse Code and Semaphore prior to camp to earn this difficult badge.

History: First offered in 1911 (as Stalking) and discontinued in 1952.
Location: Ecology Conservation (3:00-3:50pm)
Sample requirements: recognize the tracks of 10 different animals; give evidence to show you have tracked at least two different kinds of birds or animals, documenting their speed and direction.
Notes: This merit badge involves a lot of independent field work. Scouts must bring a digital camera to capture their findings. Scouts are encouraged to begin capturing animals on camera prior to camp.

Detailed requirements and additional information will be posted to a special section of the BSA's web site, located at

Update: April 7, 2010
Below are the complete requirements for each of the Merit Badges.

To obtain Carpentry Merit Badge, a Scout must:
  1. Demonstrate the use of the rule, square, level, plumb-line, mitre, chalk-line and bevel.
  2. Demonstrate the proper way to drive, set, and clinch a nail, draw a spike with a claw-hammer, and to join two pieces of wood with screws.
  3. Show correct use of the cross-cut saw and of the rip-saw.
  4. Show how to plane the edge, end and the broad surface of a board.
  5. Demonstrate how to lay shingles.
  6. Make a simple article of furniture for practical use in the home or on the home grounds, finished in a workmanlike manner, all work to be done without assistance.

To obtain Pathfinding Merit Badge, a Scout must:
  1. In the country, know every lane, bypath, and short cut for a distance of at least two miles in every direction around the local scout headquarters; or in a city, have a general knowledge of the district within a three-mile radius of the local scout headquarters, so as to be able to guide people at any time, by day or by night. 2.
  2. Know the population of the five principal neighboring towns, their general direction from his scout headquarters, and be able to give strangers correct directions how to reach them.
  3. If in the country, know in a two mile radius, the approximate number of horses, cattle, sheep, and pigs owned on the five neighboring farms; or, in a town, know, in a half-mile radius, the location of livery stables, garages and blacksmith shops.
  4. Know the location of the nearest meat markets, bakeries, groceries, and drug stores.
  5. Know the location of the nearest police station, hospital, doctor, fire alarm, fire hydrant, telegraph and telephone offices, and railroad stations.
  6. Know something of the history of his place; and know the location of its principal public buildings, such as the town or city hall, post-office, schools and churches.
  7. Submit a map not necessarily drawn by himself upon which he personally has indicated as much as possible of the above information.

To obtain Signaling Merit Badge, a Scout must:
  1. Make an electric buzzer outfit, wireless, blinker, or other signaling device.
  2. Send and receive in the International Morse Code, by buzzer or other sound device, a complete message of not less than 35 words, at a rate of not less than 35 letters per minute.
  3. Demonstrate an ability to send and receive a message in the International Morse Code by wigwag and by blinker or other light signaling device at the rate of not less than 20 letters per minute.
  4. Send and receive by Semaphore Code at the rate of not less than 30 letters per minute.
  5. Know the proper application of the International Morse and Semaphore Codes; when, where, and how they can be used to best advantage.
  6. Discuss briefly various other codes and methods of signaling which are in common use.

To obtain Tracking Merit Badge, a Scout must:
  1. Demonstrate by means of a tracking game or otherwise, ability to [track] skillfully in shelter and wind, etc., showing how to proceed noiselessly and “freeze” when occasion demands.
  2. Know and recognize the tracks of ten different kinds of animals or birds in his vicinity, three of which may be domestic.
  3. Submit satisfactory evidence that he has trailed two different kinds of wild animals or birds on ordinary ground far enough to determine the direction in which they were going, and their gait or speed. Give the names of animals or birds trailed, their direction of travel, and describe gait and speed; or submit satisfactory evidence that he has trailed six different kinds of wild animal or birds in snow, sand, dust, or mud, far enough to determine the direction they were going and their gait or speed. Give names of animals or birds, their direction of travel, and describe gait and speed.
  4. Submit evidence that he has scored at least 30 points from the following groups:
    brGroup (f) and 4 of the 5 groups (a), (b), (c), (d), (e) must be represented in the score of 30 and at least 7 points must be scored from (a), (b), or (c). Make clear recognizable photographs of:
    (a) Live bird away from nest - 4 points each
    (b) Live woodchuck or smaller wild animal - 3 points each
    (c) Live wild animal larger than woodchuck - 4 points each
    (d) Live bird on nest - 3 points each
    (e) Tracks of live wild animal or bird - 2 points each
    (f) Make satisfactory plaster cast of wild animal or bird tracks with identification imprint on back of cast - 2 points each

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