Just for clicks: First look at the Digital Technology merit badge patch and cover

Digital-TechnologyTo borrow a phrase from a certain smartphone maker: The next big thing is almost here.

Digital Technology merit badge, set to debut in mid-April 2014, will guide Scouts through the exciting, complex, ever-changing world of smartphone apps, computer software and tech-focused careers.

It’s the Boy Scouts of America’s latest in a growing roster of STEM-focused merit badges that help upgrade a Scout’s skills for today’s digitally focused workplaces.

As I mentioned in January, Digital Technology merit badge is debuting as Computers merit badge nears retirement. Computers MB came online in 1967 — long before anyone could’ve dreamed of a palm-size computer that also makes phone calls.

Scouts have until Dec. 31, 2014, to earn Computers merit badge. And yes, a Scout can earn and wear both Computers and Digital Technology merit badges. See more details about the phase-in and phase-out process at this link.

As for Digital Technology MB,

I can’t reveal the requirements just yet, but I can say they’ll include a Scout showing his merit badge counselor an up-to-date Cyber Chip. That’s a requirement a Scout could complete now, if he wanted to be one-ninth of the way done. (And, besides, earning the Cyber Chip is a good idea for any Scout — even if he’s not yet working on a merit badge that requires it.)

Other requirements will cover the Internet, smartphones, content creation on digital devices and much more. Potential merit badge counselors, get ready for Digital Technology to debut in mid-April.

In the meantime, check out the cover:


Thanks, as always, to Janice Downey for the info on this one!>

16 thoughts on “Just for clicks: First look at the Digital Technology merit badge patch and cover

  1. Bryan…the DT requirements are already included in the 2014 Boy Scout Requirements book that is available now.

    • DT does not have an official “earn date” yet.

      Also would be nice if the boy on the cover was in a scout uniform.

  2. The requirements are very similar to those for Computers. Basically they added a couple; cyber chip and recycling and a few minor changes to others.

  3. Interesting merit badge requirements. I hate the patch design. I don’t see why a fleur de lis that symbolizes scouting would be the center and focal point of the design.

    • I agree – the patch shows what is basically an integrated circuit, which is not necessarily “digital technology”. Integrated circuits are also analog and have been around since the 1960’s. When I hear “digital”, I think 1’s & 0’s which is what digital really is. Simply Google “Digital Technology” and you will see what I mean. But I’m an adult engineer, which slants my opinion, and puts me way out of the target demographic, which are Boy Scout age youth (11-17). Perhaps the BSA used focus groups using Scouts to come up with the “best” patch design, and if that’s what today’s youth think of when they hear “digital technology”, then that’s indeed the answer.

      Also, the MB book cover will quickly become dated due to the photo of today’s smart phone and video game controller. Instead of the video game controller, I would have put more Scouting related digital technology on the cover, such as a hand held GPS device. I also agree about the uniform – at least a Class B could have been used.

    • I also find it odd to have a random fleur-de-lis slapped on there. Only 3 other merit badges have a fleur-de-lis on them — Automotive Maintenance (in the center of the tire), Golf (on the golf ball), and Moviemaking (on the clapboard). Even Scouting Heritage does not have a fleur-de-lis in the design! I wouldn’t find it so odd if every merit badge had a fleur-de-lis on them, but only 4 do — it seems random, subjective and pointless to have one here and not on, say, Small-Boat Sailing or Game Design too.

      • ARGH! Don’t give them any ideas! Please BSA – if you are listening – do not slap a fleur de lis on every merit badge like you have on every other patch we wear. We get it. We’re scouts. One fleur de lis on the uniform is enough, but as it is, only patrol emblems and rank advancement do no have fleur de lis.

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