Here’s the Mining in Society MB patch, cover and first two requirements

miningUpdated Feb. 21 to add image of cover.

Mining in Society merit badge won’t officially launch until Feb. 24 at the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration’s Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City.

But I’ve been given the OK to release the merit badge patch and first two requirements today — just to give you and your Scouts a sneak peek at the all-new merit badge coming later this month.

First, though, pay careful attention to the merit badge’s name. It’s Mining in Society, not simply Mining. And after looking at the full list of requirements today I can confirm that Scouts won’t be doing any actual mining. So leave the hard hats at home.

That is, of course, unless Scouts opt to visit an active mine for Requirement 5. That’s one of five hands-on options from which Scouts can choose, and it’s only to be done with advance planning, parental permission and proper safety gear. Scouts who don’t live near an active mine or who prefer not to visit one can choose from four other activities, including Internet-based mine tours.

When I’ve blogged about Mining in Society merit badge in the past, many have asked how this merit badge and the new Sustainability merit badge can coexist. Well, you’ll be pleased to see that Requirement 6 asks Scouts to explore that very subject. For Requirement 6c, for instance, they’re told to “Discuss the transformation of the BSA Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve from a mine site to its current role.”

On the whole, the eight requirements for Mining in Society are less about learning how to work in a mine and more about understanding how the results of modern mining are all around us — in our smartphones, in our bicycles, pretty much in everything.

I see parallels with Pulp and Paper merit badge, which I earned at the 1997 National Scout Jamboree. Yes, Pulp and Paper MB asks Scouts to make a sheet of paper, but its main focus is the hundreds of pounds of paper every American uses each year and how that paper is made.

But back to Mining in Society, here are the first two requirements I promised you, as well as a higher-resolution version of the merit badge patch for you to share:

Mining in Society, first two requirements

Note: These are for informational purposes only. Scouts shouldn’t begin work on this merit badge until its official release on Feb. 24.

1. Do the following:

a. Select 10 different minerals. For each one, name a product for which the mineral is used.

b. Explain the role mining has in production and processing things that are grown.

c. From the list of minerals you chose for 1a, determine the countries where those minerals can be found, and discuss what you learned with your counselor.

2. Obtain a map of your state or region showing major cities, highways, rivers, and railroads. Mark the locations of five different mining enterprises. Find out what resource is processed at each location, and identify the mine as a surface or underground operation. Discuss with your counselor how the resources mined at these locations are used.

Mining in Society, merit badge patch


Mining in Society pamphlet cover


Calendar of New Merit Badges

Mining in Society is just one of several new and upcoming merit badges. Get all the details at my Calendar of New Merit Badges.

23 thoughts on “Here’s the Mining in Society MB patch, cover and first two requirements

  1. I was thinking “Mining in Society” was going to be about recovering valuable materials around urban centers… in the vein of recycling. How much valuable metal is lying around discarded in junk yards, empty lots and streets.

    • I see your point. My thinking is that 1 and 2 are self-explanatory, but 5 and 6 address questions volunteers have asked in the months since Mining in Society was first announced.

      • Bryan…my point is that it’s silly to me to release pieces of a MB requirements when in 3 weeks the whole thing will supposedly come out. Are there the obligatory FA and Careers requirements? That would give us 6 of the 8.

        The Digital Tech MB blog didn’t give any of the requirements early.

        • This is for people who might be interested in seeing the requirements. Like when a movie studio releases a movie trailer three weeks before the film’s debut.

        • Exactly…I am interested in seeing ALL the requirements. I guess I’ll wait for the wait…I have the Moviemaking requirements.

          Just interesting the BSA would let a “teaser” out on this one especially with an Announcement at the Big Mining meeting. I do remember all the excitement generated when Robotics requirements got out prior to the Robotics convention and had to be pulled off web sites.

          Okay…I’m ready for some more downward thumbs now.

        • Not crying Eric…just was trying to make the point that releasing 2+ requirements didn’t help me tell my troop any real info to let them know about the MB Reqmts.

          I do find it interesting that every post on this except Bryan’s has more negative thumbs than positives.

  2. “Advance planning” is redundant. All planning, if it fits the definition of planning, is done in advance, as is “pre-planning”, which is also redundant. I’m an LNT Master Educator, and I find the first principle — “Plan ahead and prepare” — to be equally amusing. Again, isn’t all planning done “ahead” of time? If it weren’t, it wouldn’t be planning. So let’s just short-form the word to what it is and should be: planning.

  3. Can we add another requirement. I think the Scouts will love it…
    # . With your parents permission, start a mining operation under your home to determine which minerals you can find.

    What do you think? 🙂

    • I am a scout. And I love it…. Maybe I’ll do that even if its not a requirement… then the BSA wouldn’t be responsible for my death! I am going to be so rich. Gold…. Silver….. Magnesium Sulfate… Na2CO3….

    • Seems like #2 introduces that. A lot of folks are completely unaware of how much delving is “in my back yard.” And how much the very keys that these replies are typed with are the result of persistent and aggressive upending of mineral resources.

    • This is critical, especially in light of the requirement that mentions the “reclamation” of The Summit from formerly mined land. Not too far from that location, mountaintop removal to reach coal seams is destroying the environment, burying streams and hollows under overburden, damaging the water table and water supplies for those who live nearby, and displacing long-time landowners from their property. It will be interesting to see what influence the mining industry has on downplaying this damaging practice, or how it points out that is really is “beneficial” to the industry.

  4. Thanks Bryan,
    To be honest I didn’t think it had anything to do with mining. I thought it was going to be some kind of play on words. You know some kind of anthropological nonsense. This looks more interesting than I had anticipated.

    Anyway, thanks for this “trailer”.

    • That would be up to your son’s Mining in Society Merit Badge Counselor. The MBC has authority to accept or reject any previous work.

  5. We are excited…….we already have this merit badge on our schedule to be taught in our Troop this summer. We have a trip to a coal mine and oil field also scheduled!

  6. I still think the name is confusing and stupid. If they are going to talk about mining the merit badge should be called mining. This stupid name sounds like a euphemism for ‘grooming’ like sexual predators do.

  7. I have to agree with the Scoutaholic. It’s Mining. How could it NOT be in society? I have not yet seen the MBBook, I hope there is some discussion (and requirement to understand ) Mining’s history and environmental impact (not just it’s economic contribution) on “society”.
    I immediately marveled at the Summit’s naming their campsites after local WVA coal mines, but there didnot seem to be any acknowledgement (a “History of” or “How it was done” pavilion?) in the various display tents and exhibits. And how could they NOT name a campsite after the mine portrayed (a real one!) in “October Sky”, that favorite movie of every Woodbadge course?
    John L. Lewis, please call your office…..

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