Tag Archive | "Merit Badge"

Historic Merit Badge: Carpentry

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Historic Merit Badge: Carpentry

Posted on 03 April 2010 by Dan

As we stated in Historic Merit Badge Program A Go (for real this time!), we are going to be taking an in-depth look at each of the four Historic Merit Badges in the next few days.  First up is Carpentry Merit Madge!

Carpentry Merit Badge was first offered in 1911, and was discontinued in 1952. 

 Original Carpentry Merit Badge Book:

New Information for Carpentry Merit Badge:

Carpentry Merit Badge Requirements:

  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.

Related Current Merit Badges:

  • Woodwork Merit Badge
  • Home Repairs Merit Badge

This historical merit badge will only be available during the 100th Anniversary year of Scouting. The Carpentry merit badge counts toward rank advancement.  Requirements must be completed by Dec. 31, 2010.

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Geocaching Merit Badge Requirements

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Geocaching Merit Badge Requirements

Posted on 11 March 2010 by admin

A few Councils have started releasing the requirements for the much anticipated Geocaching Merit Badge.  This was originally discussed as GPS/GIS Merit Badge.  Keep in mind the Geocaching merit badge and pamphlet are not finalized yet, but these appear to be close to, if not, the final Geocaching Merit Badge requirements. Scouts should NOT start working on the Merit Badge until the pamphlet is available!

Geocaching Merit Badge—Revised Requirements 2/24/2010
1. Do the following:
a. Explain to your counselor the most likely hazards you may encounter while participating in geocaching activities and what you should do to anticipate, help prevent, mitigate, and respond to these hazards.
b. Discuss first aid and prevention for the types of injuries or illnesses that could occur while participating in geocaching activities, including cuts, scrapes, snakebite, insect stings, tick bites, exposure to poisonous plants, heat and cold reactions (sunburn, heatstroke, heat exhaustion, hypothermia), and dehydration.
c. Discuss how to properly plan an activity that uses GPS, including using the buddy system, sharing your plan with others, and considering the weather, route, and proper attire.

2. Discuss the following with your counselor:
a. Why you should never bury a cache.
b. How to use proper geocaching etiquette when hiding or seeking a cache, and how to properly hide a geocaches.
c. The principles of Leave No Trace as they apply to geocaching [[Front country and back country issues can be discussed in the text.]]

3. Explain the following terms used in geocaching: waypoint, log, cache, accuracy, difficulty and terrain ratings, attributes, trackable. Choose five additional terms to explain to your counselor.

4. Explain how the Global Positioning System (GPS) works. Then, using Scouting’s Teaching EDGE, demonstrate the use of a GPS unit to your counselor. Include marking and editing a waypoint, changing field functions, and changing the coordinate system in the unit.

5. Do the following:
a. Show that you know how to use a map and compass and explain why this is important for geocaching.
b. Explain the similarities and differences between GPS navigation and standard map reading skills and describe the benefits of each.
c. Explain the UTM (Universal Transverse Mercator) system and how it differs from the latitude/longitude system used for public geocaches.
d. Show how to plot a UTM waypoint on a map. Compare the accuracy to that found with a GPS unit.

6. Describe the four steps to finding your first cache to your counselor. Then mark and edit a waypoint. [[To all: After more thought, I think we can leave out any mention of geocaching.com here and just cite the Web site as the source in the text. We use this same type of reference in other mbps, such as Whitewater.]]

7. With your parent’s permission*, go to www.geocaching.com. Type in your zip code to locate public geocaches in your area. Print out information about three of those geocaches and share this with your counselor. [[Yes, details about account info can be discussed in the text. We have specific guidelines for online use—this doesn’t need to be written by MS.]]
*To fulfill this requirement, you will need to set up a free user account with www.geocaching.com. Ask your parent for permission and help before you do so.  [[Q to all: Does this wording work?]]

8. Do ONE of the following:
a. If a Cache to Eagle series exists in your council, visit at least three of the 12 locations. Describe the projects that each cache you visit highlights, and explain how the Cache to Eagle program helps share our Scouting service with the public.
b. Create a Scouting-related travel bug that promotes one of the values of Scouting. “Release” your travel bug into a public geocache and, with your parent’s permission, monitor its progress at www.geocaching.com for 30 days. Keep a log, and share this with your counselor at the end of the 30-dayperiod.
c. Set up and hide a public geocache, following all the www.geocaching.com guidelines. [[We will include those guidelines in the text.]] With your parent’s permission, follow the logs online for 30 days and share them with your counselor.
d. Explain what Cache In Trash Out (CITO) means, and describe how you have practiced CITO at public geocaches or at a CITO event. Then, either create CITO containers to leave at public caches, or host a CITO event for your unit or for the public.

9. Plan a geohunt for a youth group such as your troop or a neighboring pack, at school, or your place of worship. Choose a theme, set up a course with at least four waypoints, teach the players how to use a GPS unit, and play the game. Tell your counselor about your experience, and share the materials you used and developed for this event.

Source: Capital Area Council and Jayhawk Council.


I find this Geocaching Merit Badge interesting for two reasons.  First, it is one of the few Merit Badges that doesn’t really introduce Scouts to a possible career.  Second, the requirements are tied into a private website that the BSA has no control over.  What happens if geocaching.com stops offering free accounts, or shuts down? 

What do you think about these Geocaching Merit Badge requirements?

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Scuba Merit Badge

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Scuba Merit Badge

Posted on 09 October 2009 by Dan

Scuba Diving Merit Badge PamphletAs we mentioned back in August, Scuba Merit Badge was approved and would be showing up later this year. Wait no longer. The details are now available. While the requirements and information have been released and will be pushed out through the Councils, it will take a little while for the merit badge pamphlet and actual badges to make there way into the supply system.

Scuba Merit Badge is not like many other BSA Merit Badges. This Badge requires an additional certification in order to recieve the badge, this means Scouts have to complete all the training requirements provided by an outside agency as well as paying for the certification and instruction. This will not be a cheap merit Badge to earn. There are additional Notes to Counselors (ie. caveats) provided in the Merit Badge pamphlet, you can see some of them and learn more about the certification requirements on USSP Scuba Merit Badge page.

Scuba Merit Badge Requirements:

1. Do the following:
a. Show that you know first aid for injuries or illnesses that could occur while scuba diving, including hypothermia, hyperventilation, squeezes, decompression illness, nitrogen narcosis, motion sickness, fatigue, overexertion, heat reactions, dehydration, injuries by aquatic life, and cuts and scrapes.
b. Identify the conditions that must exist before performing CPR on a person, and explain how to recognize such conditions. Demonstrate the proper technique for performing CPR using a training device approved by your counselor.
2. Before completing requirements 3 through 6, earn the Swimming merit badge.
3. Discuss the Scuba Diver’s Code with your merit badge counselor, and explain the importance of each guideline to a scuba diver’s safety.
4. Earn an Open Water Diver Certification from a scuba organization recognized by the Boy Scouts of America scuba policy.
5. Explain what an ecosystem is, and describe four aquatic ecosystems a diver might experience.
6. Find out about three career opportunities in the scuba industry. Pick one and find out the education, training, and experience required for this profession. Discuss this with your counselor, and explain why this profession might interest you.

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