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Occoneechee Council, BSA Introduces Historic Merit Badge Program

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Occoneechee Council, BSA Introduces Historic Merit Badge Program

Posted on 20 April 2010 by Dan

The Occoneechee Council has announced that the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is now offering four historic merit badges in honor of the 100th Anniversary of the founding of BSA.  Scouts will have the opportunity to earn merit badges in Signaling, Tracking, Pathfinding, and Carpentry.  The merit badges became available April 1.  Scouts must complete the badge requirements by December 31, 2010.

“It is so great to give Scouts the opportunity to earn such unique and historic badges,” said John Akerman, Scout Executive of the Occoneechee Council.  “Since these merit badges are no longer offered on a regular basis, Scouts will be able to go back to their roots and understand what early Boy Scouts had to go through to earn their badges.  I think it will be a challenging yet rewarding experience.  It will really help Scouts appreciate modern technology that earlier Boy Scouts had to do without.”

Each of the badges features a special gold border in honor of the Centennial year and will count toward a Scout’s rank advancement.  Sample requirements to earn the badges include demonstrating the use of tools and building a simple piece of home furniture.  The BSA has provided additional guides to explain each badge and requirements for more information.    

“This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Scouts,” says Akerman.  “Three of these badges were discontinued in the 1950’s. Scouts should take pride in earning these historic badges, since this chance will be gone in December.”
The Signaling badge was first offered in 1910 and discontinued in 1992.  The BSA began offering Tracking, Pathfinding and Carpentry in 1911, but they were all discontinued in 1952.  

About The Occoneechee Council, Boy Scouts of America
The Occoneechee Council of the Boy Scouts of America is headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina and serves the following North Carolina counties: Chatham, Cumberland, Durham, Franklin, Granville, Harnett, Lee, Moore, Orange, Vance, Wake, and Warren.  The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law. The Boy Scouts of America is the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training. For more information on the Occoneechee Council, visit www.ocscouts.org or call 800-662-7102.

Source: Occoneechee Council Press Release

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Historic Merit Badge: Tracking

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Historic Merit Badge: Tracking

Posted on 05 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 was Carpentry Merit Badge, then Signaling Merit Badge, and now Tracking!

Tracking Merit Badge was first offered in 1911 under the name Stalking, and was discontinued in 1952.  Stalking had one additional requirement that was not included as part of the Historic Merit Badge Program, and that was to follow the trail of  a person.  According to the Tracking Merit Badge support material, it was decided to omitt this requirement and switch the name to Tracking based on what the term stalking means in today’s language.

Original Stalking Merit Badge Book:

New Information for Tracking Merit Badge:

Tracking Merit Badge Requirements:

  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:
    Group (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
  5. (a) Live bird away from nest – 4 points each
  6. (b) Live woodchuck or smaller wild animal – 3 points each
  7. (c) Live wild animal larger than woodchuck – 4 points each 
  8. (d)  Live bird on nest – 3 points each
  9. (e)  Tracks of live wild animal or bird – 2 points each
  10. (f) Make satisfactory plaster cast of wild animal or bird tracks with identification imprint on back of cast – 2 points each

Related Current Merit Badges:

  • Orienteering
  • Citizenship in the Community

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

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Historic Merit Badge Program A Go (for real this time!)

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Historic Merit Badge Program A Go (for real this time!)

Posted on 02 April 2010 by Dan

It’s been a long wait since Scouting Magazine announced the Historic Merit Badge Program back in January to yesterday when the program was made live for Scouts to earn the badges.  (ok, technically the material first appeared on March 30th, according to some readers- however according to the material April 1st was the first day of the program.)  The original announcement with lack of details caused quite a flurry on the web with some Councils and Leaders jumping the gun and offering the merit badges based solely off of the original requirements.  A lot of folks couldn’t 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 announcement.

All of the support material for the Historic Merit Badge Program can now be found here:

The site features background, requirements for each of the four Historic Merit Badges (Carpentry, Signaling, Tracking, Pathfinding), sample press releases, Historic Merit Badge Fliers, an implementation plan, and plans to hold the merit badge sessions at Council events.

According to the National site, one of the goals for the Historic Merit Badge program is for a majority of the BSA’s registered Boy Scouts earn one of the merit badges during the centennial year.  The historic badges will count towards a Scout’s rank advancement, and the effective date for earning these merit badges is April 1, 2010, and the requirements must be completed no later than December 31st, 2010.

Since it is now official, don’t delay, go out and recruit some appropriate Merit Badge Counselors and help your Scouts take this step back in history!  Everything you need is available at http://www.scouting.org/sitecore/content/Home/BoyScouts/AdvancementandAwards/historical_mb_program.aspx

Over the next few days, we at Scouting News are going to take an in-depth look into all four of these Historical Merit Badges.

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