Scouts get a first look at Mining in Society merit badge, coming 2014

If the packed tent is any early indication, Mining in Society merit badge will be a hit when it debuts in February 2014.

Scouts attending the 2013 National Jamboree got a sneak peek at the new elective merit badge, set to be released at the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration’s Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City.

Mining has been an important part of our nation since the 19th century.

Today, the industry employes 3 million Americans, directly and indirectly, and is a major contributor to the global mining landscape.

The merit badge will cover the history of mining, explore the status of mining in the 21st century, introduce Scouts to modern mining careers and explore the all-important topic of mining safety.

Mining in Society, like the already-popular Welding merit badge, is another STEM-focused merit badge that will help introduce Scouts to real-world careers that are actively hiring.


17 thoughts on “Scouts get a first look at Mining in Society merit badge, coming 2014

  1. I’m hoping that this merit badge shows how deep (pun NOT intended, but I’ll take it) mining affects all of us in the world. I’m skeptical of this merit badge being announced in a very pro-mining location (WV). Let’s see the pamphlet and requirements – I’ll have a better informed opinion then.

    • Will you be less skeptical when you realize it was announced months ago from BSA headquarters in Texas?
      Or that it is being released in Utah?

  2. The BSA had Mining Merit Badge from 1911 to 1937 when it was replaced by Rocks and Minerals Merit Badge, which was discontinued in 1953, when it was replaced by Geology Merit Badge.

  3. Is the geology MB going away? I don’t remember seeing anything about that, but it appears that there may be a lot of duplicaiton between this new MB & the Geology MB.

    • No, Geology is not going away. Mining in Society will focus more on how mining impacts our daily lives rather than the “rocks and minerals” that would be more of a duplication of geology.

  4. I still think the name is stupid. If it is about mining, then it should be called mining. The ‘In Society’ makes it sound like it is not about mining, but about something else. Is that like data-mining? Or is it more like what predators do to find their victims?

    • The name was chosen because much of the focus of the MB is on how mining affects our daily lives. Yes, there is information on the different types of mining, etc. but the main “gist” is to show how mining affects all of us and how important it is to our daily lives (i.e., society).

  5. Looks like I’ve been censored. I thought it would be interesting to show what Mining MB requirements used to be.

    • Because the MB will be introduced at the end of February and is still being finalized through BSA, we aren’t able to share them yet.

  6. Mining is such a fundamental part of our society that you will have a very difficult time providing examples of things we do or use daily that didn’t originate from a mine. If the air you breathe is air conditioned or heated, that is done with metals and energy typically mined. If you like your drinking water clean it takes mined material to make that happen. I especially liked showing the boys at the tent the trona and asked if they would eat it. Nobody said they wanted to eat a rock. But it’s your biscuits. Trona is where baking soda comes from and it is mined in 4 underground mines in southwest Wyoming. I love to hear misinformed people ride mining for all of it’s bad historical issues. These are the same folks that enjoy the nice concrete and asphalt roads, the good fertilized food they eat, and oh yeah the internet, Iphone, and Ipad they use every day. If you didn’t have mining you would be naked in the jungle. Man started mining when he picked up the first rock to use to sustain himself. Our young people need to be able to connect the dots between what they have and where it comes from. Mining is one of the least understood, but vital, parts of our society. The truth is we wouldn’t have the society we have without it.

  7. I was enlightened by the information shared at Jambo about this MB, and thank the volunteers who were there doing so. As a society, we’ve accepted the importance of increased education on where our food comes from. This is an extension of that reconnection with what sustains us.

  8. The exhibit was interesting, the presenters smart and informed. Several of them also work for the coal industry, one of whom offered to share a “Clean Coal” car magnet. It was evident that the work behind the merit badge has been funded in part by the coal industry, which is not an indictment in and of itself, but it is cause for concern and scrutiny.

    If this merit badge does not discuss the cyanide used in certain metals mining — and mountaintop-mining and valley fills — and the mercury content of coal that gets burned into the air and thence into the food chain — among other ill side effects and potential side effects of mining — then this merit needs to be fundamentally reconsidered.

  9. Mining is MORE than coal. Those precious metals in your smart phone and computer came from the ground at some time… Also remember, merit badges are designed to show scouts a field of interest he may want to follow as a career or as a hobby. I think it is a great addition to the list of potential “growth” badges available. The more we can show youth on “Smart ways” to get the rerasources we use the better off we all are. They need to add one for the “Teaching” profession.

  10. When I heard about Sustainability, I was thinking yes for the environment and after both my boys have earned this that 100% people in the world need to understand the concepts there.

    However announced at the same time: Mining……Mining??!! hmmmm…not so much excitement here. When are my kiddos going to need Mining? Never!! Now that it has had a chance to sit and think, what a great opportunity. When is my kid ever going to hear about, have the opportunity to learn about, possibilities to try out so many things our little four walls of home or Troop could teach him?

    Thanks for all the various and wide variety of merit badges for us to explore and learn about potential jobs, hobbies, and more. From the skeptical to now the appreciated scout mom and leader. Well done Mining MB…bring it on and Thank you to all!!

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