Historic Merit Badge Program on Hold

Update:  As of April 1st the Historic Merit Badge Program is live.  Learn more by reading Historic Merit Badge Program A Go (for real this time!)

According to the good folks over at U.S. Scouting Service Project News Blog, the historic Merit Badge program is on hold. There had been a few rumors about the program happening, but it looked like everything was in the bag when the Scouting Magazine blog introduced the program on Jan 12, 2010. Turns out that is not the case.

In case you missed one of the many posts (Scouting News had yet to cover the program, as something just didn’t feel right about how it was being announced) that were made about the Historic Merit Badge Program the concept was, for one year, to bring back four historical merit badges. The badges selected were reported to be: Signaling, Tracking, Pathfinding, and Carpentry.

It is my understanding the program will still happen, however the details about the requirements and the back-end details with the Supply Group are still being worked out. Hopefully the details are finalized soon so summer camps can incorporate the historic badges into their offerings!

Update:  As of April 1st the Historic Merit Badge Program is live.  Learn more by reading Historic Merit Badge Program A Go (for real this time!)

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I sure hope that Supply and National get their act together on the historical MB program. I am chomping at the bit to teach Signaling as that was my favorite MB as a youth. I became a ham radio operator and semaphore served me well abord ship in the USN. National: please don’t let us old scouters down!

By Jeff Barstow, GRFC T114 on February 24th, 2010 at 11:00 am

I don’t think the problem is the Supply Division anymore as the Historic Merit Badges are available in the National Scout Shops. I keep hearing March 1st is going to be the day the requirements will get posted…

By Dan on February 26th, 2010 at 9:45 pm

Paul posted this response he recieved from National on Feb 23rd over at the meritbadge.org community:

We are working as fast as we can to get all the pieces and parts of this exciting 2010 anniversary activity activated. It isn’t on hold, just not ready to release yet. We have one final piece some volunteers are working on which is a guide to the original requirements that explains how it was back then compared to how it is now. We want this to be a real growth experience not just four more badges. We’re hoping we will be able to release this very soon.

By Dan on February 26th, 2010 at 11:11 pm

I know they are really, really close on this. I have seen a sneak peak of the explanation documents which are in their final draft form. As I understand it, once all the information and processes are completed, it will be officially released. I think that includes having the badges in the shops. There will even be a group in the scouting community social network.

By Kimo on March 1st, 2010 at 9:06 pm

Hmm… interesting… Just a few days ago I saw four plastic wrapped tubes of these merit badges in our Council’s office. They were not placed in the store yet, since no official requirements have been published. I’m doing my best to “bribe” the nice lady into selling me one of each of the patches just to show my Troop.

Has anyone else thought about the implications that for the first time (I think) this will enable the more industrious Eagle Scouts to earn 21 Palms instead of only 20 that have been available for quite some time. Of course, the Scout would have to work his tail off to make all of the time requirements.

By Will on March 3rd, 2010 at 11:51 pm

Well today is the 6th of March. 6 days later than when they said would be posted…. Still waiting….. Our troop is doing the carpentry TODAY!! If we cant believe something that was published in 2 offical websites who do we believe?

By the time it gets sent out to units via the coucils, it will be July or August!!! I guarantee you. They beeter get their ducks in a row quickly because they have allready cut the program short by 1/4 of the year!! They also better extend the dates “to be started by 12-31-10”
National has lost a lot of trust from the leaders, and the kids on this.

By Joe Munns on March 6th, 2010 at 4:56 am

Any word, yet? I haven’t seen anything that indicates an updated announcement. I am planning a merit badge fair day offering these badges at the end of May, so I am hoping that word comes out soon! I, too, am sorely disappointed in National for the seemly uncoordinated effort put forth in this opportunity. For something they had been touting for months and months ahead of time, and then to fall months behind the anticipated start date, is generating a lot of negative feelings at the local level and ultimately the Scouts are going to be the ones who pay the price in missed opportunities to earn these historical badges. Hoping good news comes soon!

By Christy on March 23rd, 2010 at 8:04 pm


The above link has all the information required for the new Historical Merit Badge Program. If you search BSA’s (Scouting.org) site there is no news releases published stating that the above link has been put on hold. If you follow the links you will discover training material and direction on implementing the the 4 retro merit badges. Sometimes going to the source is better then speculating. Your friend in Scouting.

By Rob Sloop on March 31st, 2010 at 10:59 pm

The Historic Merit Badge requirements are now available online at http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/BoyScouts/AdvancementandAwards/MeritBadges.aspx

By Franklin on April 1st, 2010 at 12:23 pm
By JCE2 on April 1st, 2010 at 12:25 pm

[…] wait for the details as is apparent from the comments on our February 2nd post stating the Historic Merit Badge Program was on hold until the materials were finished and posted online per the original […]

Thanks for everyone sharing the news about the Program being launched on April 1st. I have posted a new article and will put an update on this article.

By Dan on April 2nd, 2010 at 6:32 pm

@Rob – The materials were just recently made available (March 30th), however Scouting Magazine announced the program back in January. This article was posted in February when the final touches were still being put on the program and it was not yet available… hence the “on hold”.

Scouting News was one of the few sites that did not jump the gun by posting the requirements that were made live on the National site for less than six hours back in January. When I contacted National I was told the materials would be coming March 1st, March 15th, then finally April 1st. No speculation here…

By Dan on April 2nd, 2010 at 6:34 pm


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