Ask the Expert: How to complete Scouting Heritage MB Requirement 4B

Ask the Expert: What happened to Bugling merit badge?If you have a Scout working on Scouting Heritage merit badge Requirement 4, Joe Connole’s your guy.

The programs coordinator and lead admissions clerk for the BSA’s National Scouting Museum in Irving, Tex., is in charge of answering letters and emails from Scouts working on that merit badge.

A Scout has three options for completing Requirement 4 of Scouting Heritage MB, each involving keeping a journal or writing a report:

A: Attend a BSA national jamboree, world Scout jamboree OR a national BSA high-adventure base.

B: Write or visit the National Scouting Museum in Irving, Tex.

C: Visit an exhibit of Scouting memorabilia or a local museum with a Scouting history gallery or visit with someone in your council who is recognized as a dedicated Scouting historian or memorabilia collector.

Scouts who choose to write the National Scouting Museum (4B), will need to contact Joe. If they do, they’ll get a response with a letter, a brochure, and — drumroll please — the awesome free patch seen below. To help Scouts taking this merit badge and counselors teaching it, Joe shared some details on how it works:

First, write a letter or email to the museum

Scouts must either write (email or regular mail) or visit the National Scouting Museum and obtain information about the facility.

Scouts will receive a letter, fact sheet, brochure and the patch seen here.


The patch is the only way a counselor can verify that the Scout has actually written or visited the Museum.

They can contact Joe either by email ( or via regular mail:

Joe Connole
1329 W Walnut Hill Ln.
Irving, TX 75038

Scouts must include the following information: first and last name, current Scout rank and their mailing address.

Information will not be sent to counselors or Scoutmasters, only to Scouts working on the merit badge.

If a troop is working on the merit badge, they can write a single letter as long as each Scout signs and writes his name showing that he worked on the letter.

Parents or leaders should verify that the Scout’s information appears legible and is accurate; Joe receives a number of letters every year where the Scout’s information isn’t legible or is inaccurate.

Then, wait for a response

Mailings are done every Wednesday; Scouts should allow at least three weeks for a response.

Joe receives more than 1,000 letters every year (last year that accounted for 28 percent of all Scouts who earned this MB), and while he strives to send information within three weeks, there are times when that is not possible.

Other Scouting Heritage MB advice

As for the other requirements, Joe strongly suggests that Scouts get the merit badge book as well as the reprint of the first-edition Boy Scout Handbook to complete Requirement 7.

Counselors should notice that Requirement 8 doesn’t say that they must talk to a man over the age of 40 who was a Boy Scout. It says to speak to someone over the age of 40 who was a Scout.

Joe also created a PowerPoint presentation that covers Requirements 1 to 3. Download it here.

Related posts

National Scouting Museum keeps BSA history alive, one artifact at a time

Boy Scouts of America releases Scouting Heritage merit badge

20 thoughts on “Ask the Expert: How to complete Scouting Heritage MB Requirement 4B

  1. My son recently wrote Joe and received a response within 3 weeks, with very helpful information. 🙂

  2. “If a troop is working on the merit badge, they can write a single letter as long as each Scout signs and writes his name showing that he worked on the letter.”

    Just because a Scout writes his name on a group letter really doesn’t seem to follow the requirement for the Scout to write a letter. As a merit badge counselor it is our job to make sure that scouts meet the requirements. If a whole troop writes one letter, how does one determine the level of each Scouts participation in meeting fulfilling that requirement.

    Yes all the Scouts participating would still need to give a short report on the rle of the museum.

    I would think it would be best to have each Scout write their own letter.

    • I find it a little funny that someone would rate this comment down without posting why they oppose having each Scout fulfill the requirements of a merit badge as written. Unless otherwise stated Merit Badges are not meant to be group projects.

      The requirement for this Merit Badge is to “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.” I read this as each Scout should complete a separate letter in order to complete this task vs. a group of Scouts.

      For anyone that says that it doesn’t specifically say this task can’t be completed as a group. I would think that they should reacquaint themselves with the Guide to Advancement. States: “There must be attention to each individual’s projects and his fulfillment of all requirements. We must know that every Scout—actually and personally—completed them. If, for example, a requirement uses words like “show,” “demonstrate,” or “discuss,” then every Scout must do that. It is unacceptable to award badges on the basis of sitting in classrooms watching demonstrations, or remaining silent during discussions.”

      There are Merit Badges where a Scout can complete the requirement as part of a group. When a requirement can be completed as a group if will specifically state that in the requirements. For example, Pioneering Requirement 10 states: “With a group of Scouts, OR on your own, select a pioneering project. With your counselor’s guidance, create a rough sketch of the project.”

      • I believe some common sense should be practiced when possible . The point of the requirement is for the scout to learn about the museum and present the councilor with what the scout thinks is the role of the museum. A group of scouts requesting information putting their names on the letter to request the information fulfills the requirement and is the scout law in practice, a scout is thrifty. I like the idea, a patrol writing a letter reinforces the patrol method, and shows the necessity of team work and cooperation to accomplish a goal. Each scout should make an individual report about the role of museum and present the report to the councilor. Using the logic you present the email wouldn’t work either because it isn’t written, it is typed.

        • The point of the requirement would be for the Scout to complete the requirement themselves. Many requirements have more than just one purpose. The Pioneering one listed above could possibly utilize the Patrol Method. For this one, a Scout is not only learning about the Museum, they are practicing their communication skills (writing a letter and making a short presentation). If the requirement was just to learn about the museum, a simple web search (which would enhance their computer skills) could provide enough information needed to complete the requirement.

          In reality using the Patrol Method to write a letter will result in 2-3 Scouts writing the letter and the rest of the patrol stating that they can’t think of anything else to say, someone else said what they were going to say, or that they think what is written sounds good.

          I don’t disagree that a Scout should be thrifty. Emailing a letter saves the cost of postage associated with snail mail by using email. Typing is a generally acceptable form of writing. (see Merriam-Webster definition of the word “write: to create (a book, poem, story, etc.) by writing words on paper, on a computer, etc.”).

          Communications Merit Badge requirement 7 even states “Write to the editor of a magazine or your local newspaper to express your opinion or share information on any subject you choose. Send your message by fax, e-mail, or regular mail.” I don’t believe they are expecting the Scouts to scan in a hand written letter in order to email it. So I guess the BSA doesn’t limit a scouting writing media to pen and paper.

  3. Anyone good with the internet discussion groups?

    I’d love to help someone start a webpage that would have a sub-topic on each Merit Badge. And under each merit badge topic, it would have information just like what’s in this blog post.

    MB counselors could go to that page for ideas on filling each requirement, how to lead each MB, project ideas and on and on. It’d be like a Roundtable but just for MB counselors … they could both get and receive ideas, MB updates, etc. for all 130+ MBs.

    Let me know if you’re interested. I’m good at managing things but don’t know how to get started on this. (or if there’s already something out there, please advise.)

        • Bill Nelson: yes. great site. but it’s not set up like what I’m thinking. there’s no good way to find and post info without doing a search (complicated) or drilling down through each post.

          What i’m thinking of is more of a Reddit site. There would be a sub-group for each merit badge. under each merit badge would be a sub-group for each requirement. then people could post for each requirement ideas on how to accomplish, present, lead, etc. for that requirement. If wanted to know more about how to get the Scouting Heritage MB Requirement 4B, then I could drill down to it and find links to this post, the New Jersey idea someone had above, etc.

      • I have not. Although this would be a great place to start, it’s more a wiki than a discussion group and I don’t think the software at the wiki is setup for posting items. I could see them and what I’m thinking of as integrating thought.

  4. Scouts in or near the great state of New Jersey are welcome to visit the New Jersey Scout Museum located in the same building as the Monmouth Council Service Center in Morganville, NJ. The museum is open every Wednesday evening from 6 PM to 8 PM, except during major holidays and during the summer. Other times can be arranged by appointment. Website:

  5. Great info, please consider cross posting it to Boys Life! I know several of my scouts are more likely to be interested if they discovered it themselves, and a few more who would take it to get the Museum patch.

  6. Reblogged this on Algonquin District and commented:
    Hey All you Scouting Heritage MB Candidates! Here’s the details on completing Req 4B – attend a Jamboree or write a letter to the National Scouting Museum. Nifty patch!
    BTW, Bill Langham (AKA StarScout59) is a Scouting Heritage MB Counselor if you’re interested in earning this badge.

  7. Good information. I didn’t know the Scouting Musuem gave out patches and stuff to the people who wrote/emailed them. That is a nice gesture.

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