Boy Scouts of America releases Scouting Heritage merit badge

UPDATE (4:10 p.m., May 4): An earlier version of this post stated in Requirement 4 that Scouts need to visit an event or location to complete this merit badge. In fact, they can fulfill the requirement by sending a letter to the National Scouting Museum. Also, the previous version stated that the new merit badge is No. 126. It is actually the 127th current merit badge. The correct text is below.

Scouting uses its 126 different merit badges to shine a
light on topics that engage and inspire young minds. But with merit badge No.
127, the BSA intends to turn the light on itself.

The new Scouting Heritage merit badge,
available now, introduces boys to the history of the Boy Scouts of America. They’ll
learn it all—from Scouting’s beginnings under Lord Baden-Powell to the history
of their own troop.

Here’s an abbreviated list of the requirements. For the
complete list, click the link above or pick up a copy of the merit badge
pamphlet (item No. 35970).

  1. Describe Scouting’s origins under Lord Baden-Powell.
  2. Create biographies of two of Scouting’s founders.
  3. Explain how Scouting has expanded to include various age
    groups and interests.
  4. Visit one of
    these events or locations: a BSA jamboree, a world jamboree, a national BSA
    high-adventure base, the National Scouting Museum in Irving, Tex., or Adventure
    Base 100
    OR send a letter to the National Scouting Museum.
  5. Learn about the history of your unit and present your
  6. Make a collection of personal Scouting memorabilia.
  7. Play an old-time Scouting game.
  8. Interview at least three former Scouts over the age of 50.

Completing the requirements will heighten your guys’
appreciation of Scouting’s rich history—perfect timing in this centennial year.

18 thoughts on “Boy Scouts of America releases Scouting Heritage merit badge

  1. This must be the only merit badge that requires spending hundreds (or thousands) of dollars to visit a small set of specific places. Adventure Base 100 went through California months before this was published, and a couple of hundred miles from our troop.
    The requirement to visit specific events or places should be removed.

  2. I had thought there were 121 merit badges before the introduction of Scuba Diving. Four Historical Badges and Scouting Heritage makes 127 from my count. What am I missing?

  3. Also, what is the status of the Geocaching Merit Badge? From what I understand the pamphlet and cloth badge are not yet out but the requirements are released. Is it out now?

  4. @walter-
    You need to re-read the requirements.
    #4 ALSO says: “OR send a letter to the National Scouting Museum.”
    So scouts do NOT need to spending hundreds of dollars to visit ANYPLACE to earn this merit badge. Please read requirements first before spreading misinformation.

  5. @Brent Mair–Yes, the Bugling MB icon is missing from that website. Might be because Music/Bugling are a combined MB pamphlet but the Bugling MB requirements are not listed under the Music icon either.

  6. Thanks for correcting the “visit” requirement. I’m not sure of the point of sending a letter to the the NSM, but it does make the badge possible for all Scouts.
    One source of old time Scouting games are the historical publications at The Dump:
    You could start with the Gilcraft Book of Games:
    Or try the Thurman Throw from the current BSA Troop Program Resources. That is named after John Thurman, camp directory at Gilwell from 1942 to 1969.

  7. @Walter-
    “I’m not sure of the point of sending a letter to the the NSM.”
    Prehaps you should read the full requirement:
    “Write or visit the National Scouting Museum in Irving, Texas.* Obtain information about this facility. Give a short report on what you think the role of this museum is in the Scouting program.”
    Its NOT just visiting these places, but learning something from them. So the idea is that if you can’t visit the NSM, write them to obtain information on scouting history.

  8. There are a number of private Scouting museums around the country that should satisfy this requirement, if possible. Near Chicago is the Ottawa Scouting Museum in Ottawa, IL and the E. Urner Goodman Scout Museum at Owasippe Scout Camp in Michigan. I would have thought this would also satisfy #4.

  9. Gee @Walter, lighten up! I sure hope your demeanor with the boys is a bit more charitable than it has been with Mr Quinn. Why is it that BSA adults show each other such little charity and grace.
    Take a chill pill man! It’s all for the boys!

  10. I was in Tulsa and had a free day on a Saturday. Decided to drive to Bartlesville to see Frank Lloyd Wright’s Skyscraper on the plain. On the way back I was wandering through the Osage land, remembering the “Wild Horse of the Osage” who was a St Louis Cardinals infielder in the “Gas House Gang.” There I stumbled across Pawhuska OK, home of the FIRST BOY SCOUT TROOP IN AMERICA. This is also “There will be blood” country.

    Our [Troop 9 Chester, NJ] former Scoutmaster, H Melvyn Blaufuss held the position for 76 years. Green Bar Bill operated in the immediately adjoining town [same high school] of Mendham NJ, especially at the Schiff Scout Reservation. Maps of Schiff by Bill are in my “Scout Field Book” ’48 edition, ’58 printing. I bought a house on that map in 1992.

    from the wiki:
    re: United States of America
    There are numerous troops which claim to be first boy scout troop in the United States. There appears to be several boy scout troops that were operating prior to the official establishment of the Boy Scouts of America.
    A claimant for first boy scout troop is Troop #1 of Barre Vermont in 1909. It was formed in Barre, Vermont by William Foster Milne, who moved to the United States from Aberdeen, Scotland.
    In 1907 William Foster Milne, a stonecutter immigrated to Barre, Vermont from Aberdeen, Scotland, where he had been active in the early scouting movement.[17] He is referred as the “First Scoutmaster in America” by Sir Francis Fletcher Vane.[18] Sir Francis Vane was London Commissioner of Scouts in Baden Powell’s organisation and also became President of the British Boy Scouts.[19] In 1909 “Billy” Milne learned of a small group of boys at the First Baptist Church in Barre, who were already members of the Boys Brigade, he offered them an alternative to their routine of marching and drills. By re-organizing into a new “Boy Scout Club” (Troop #1 in the United States) these scouts learned first aid, new outdoor skills and being helpful to others. “Billy” Milne went back to his native Scotland and brought back the books and materials he needed along with a British Charter. By 1910 Barre’s Troop #1 joined the Boy Scouts of America.[20]
    By March 1910 the Boy Scouts in Vermont had expanded to such a degree that the girls of nearby Thetford became interested. These girls along with William Chauncy Langdon, Dr. Luther Gulick and Charlotte Vedder Gulick formed the Camp Fire Girls which became the sister organization of the Boy Scouts of America on March 17, 1910. The Camp Fire Girls preceded the Girl Scouts of America by 2 years.[21] (The Boy Scouts of America has always regarded the Camp Fire Girls – not the Girl Scouts! – as its sister organization. Up until the 1970s there were suggestions to merge the BSA and the CFG.)
    The original group of boys that made up Troop #1 were Charles Booth, George Booth, Gerald Brock, Carl Burgess, Earl Burgess, Stanton Burgess, Raymond Cave, Clarence Geake, James Grearson, Walter Grearson, Douglas Inglis, Harry Kent, George Murray, Milton Rollins, Craig Rollins, Cecil Watt and Wallace Watt.[22] Dr. Wallace Watt moved to Clinton County Michigan to attend college and remained there as a scout leader for his entire life. He received the Silver Beaver Award in 1981 and in 1984 a 75 year Diamond Jubilee service pin from the Boy Scouts of America. Upon his death his widow donated his Barre, Vermont Troop 1 artifacts to the Paine-Gillam-Scott Museum[23] in St. Johns, Michigan.[24]
    The honorable Governor Deane C. Davis was an early member of Barre, Vermont’s Troop #1.[25]
    spring: A claimaint for first Boy Scout Troop in the United States is Burnside, Kentucky in 1908.[26]
    Bala One is another claimant for first Boy Scout Troop in the United States in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania. It was started by Frank H. Sykes prior to the founding of the Boy Scouts of America.[27]
    May: Another claimant for first Boy Scout Troop in the United States is in Pawhuska, Oklahoma in 1909. The first Boy Scout troop in America was organized in Pawhuska, Osage County, Oklahoma, in May 1909 by Reverend John F. Mitchell. Rev. Mitchell was a missionary priest from England sent to St. Thomas Episcopal Church by the Church of England. Rev. Mitchell, who had been associated in scout work with Lord Baden-Powell in England, organized the troop of Boy Scouts under English charter and equipped them with English uniforms, manuals, and badges.
    On September 10, 1910, S. F. Lester of Troy, New York, became the very first person to hold the Scouting leadership position of Scoutmaster (commissioned by the BSA). He received his certification from the BSA headquarters in New York City. In 1910 he led a group of 30 scouts at Camp Ilium, in Pownal, Vermont. Camp Ilium was the starting point of the Boy Scout Movement for Troy, NY and Pownal, VT which is only 35 miles away from Troy, NY.[28]
    Troop 1, Paoli, PA (outside of Philadelphia) was chartered in March 1911 with the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America in New York City, but the troop was organized the year before at the Good Samaritan Church in Paoli, from which it takes its name. Efforts began in Paoli when church rector Horace A. Walton had returned from a trip to England where he was inspired by scouting founder Robert Baden-Powell, famed author of Scouting for Boys: A Handbook for Instruction in Good Citizenship, (1908), which would become among the best-selling books of the 20th century. Rev. Walton served as the first scoutmaster from 1911-25. [29][30]
    Troop 5, Denver holds claim to be the oldest continually chartered Boy Scout troop in the United States having been chartered continuously since 1910.[31]
    Troop 39, Chapel Hill, North Carolina is also one of the oldest currently active and continually chartered Boy Scout troop in the USA. It was organized in the Fall of 1911 and chartered as Troop 1 in March 1912 by C. Walton Johnson, the original Scoutmaster. Troop 1 became Troop 5 when it was placed in the Cherokee Council in the 1920s and became Troop 39 when it joined the Occoneechee Council in 1937. The troop has been continually chartered since 1912.[32]
    Troop 1, Park Ridge, Illinois was formed in 1910 and chartered on June 22, 1912. Charles Morison Dickenson was the first scoutmaster from 1912 to 1914.[33] Troop 1 has been continuously chartered by United Methodist Church in Park Ridge since its inception.[34]

  11. I was in Tulsa and had a free day on a Saturday. Decided to drive to Bartlesville to see Frank Lloyd Wright’s Skyscraper on the plain. On the way back I was wandering through the Osage land, remembering the “Wild Horse of the Osage” who was a St Louis Cardinals infielder in the “Gas House Gang.” There I stumbled across Pawhuska OK, home of the FIRST BOY SCOUT TROOP IN AMERICA. This is also “There will be blood” country.

    At the museum I was offered and bought a copy of “Burnham, King of Scouts.”
    Fred Burnham taught Baden-Powell scouting. Or so the story goes. It is almost too interesting to be true. Too long for scouts in school, but I recommend strongly for scouters.
    Burnham survived indian raids in MN, shot meat for miners in AZ, found oil in the LaBrea tar pits, took on the big guys and built an oil pipeline, built a house above the Hollywood sign, fought in the Boer Wars (where he was with Baden Powell), found gold in greater Zimbabwe, headed for the Klondike, chased the Yaqui out of a valley in Mexico where most of our non-Jersey tomatoes are grown, had a mountain named for him nest to Mount Baden-Powell …

  12. On my visit to Scouting Headquarters I was most surprised at Baden-Powell’s facility in painting. The museum there has several watercolors (?) that B-P did with brushes in both left and right hands. Fortunately we do not require our scouts to be ambidextrous.

  13. Pingback: Calendar of New Merit Badges | Troop 139 Ortonville, MI.

  14. Pingback: Ask the Expert: How to complete Scouting Heritage MB Requirement 4B « Bryan on Scouting

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