Scouting Heritage Merit Badge

 

I am a merit badge counselor for Scouting Heritage Merit Badge in the Northern Star Council in Minnesota and Western Wisconsin.  I put this page together to help Scouts who are working on the badge, either with me, or with another counselor.  This page has two parts.

 

First, I have listed the requirements (current as of October, 2012), and broken that down into two categories:  The things the Scout should do, and the things we will do at the counseling session. 

 

Second, I have listed some helpful web pages and other resources to help you prepare for this Merit Badge. While the information on this page is not presented "workbook" style, I think you'll find a lot of helpful information here.   I strongly encourage you to read the Merit Badge pamphlet.  (This is the fastest way to prepare.)  But if you don’t have access to the book, you can still get all of the information you need to prepare from other sources.  And after you’ve read the book, you might want to learn even more about what Scouts did “back in the day”.  Most Scouts will enjoy looking at some of the old handbooks and old issues of Boys’ Life.  These are available absolutely free on the Internet, and the links are shown below.

 

This Merit Badge can be a lot of fun to earn.  Believe it or not, Scouts a hundred years ago weren’t very different from you.  You will enjoy learning about the kinds of things they did, and then doing them!

 

How to Prepare for The First Merit Badge Session.

 

Scouting Heritage probably isn’t the easiest merit badge, but it’s definitely not the hardest one. Any Scout will be able to earn it with some preparation.  In fact, if the Scout is well prepared, this badge can easily be earned in a single session with the counselor.

 

To Be Prepared to do this, the Scout should complete all of the requirements shown in the YELLOW column below prior to the merit badge session.  (These are my expectations, so if you’re working with a different counselor, please check with him or her first.)  If a Scout does EVERYTHING in the yellow column before the session, then he WILL finish the badge in a single session.  If he does MOST of the things in the yellow column, then he will finish MOST of the requirements for the badge, and either get a “partial” sign-off of his blue card, or else be able to complete the merit badge at a second session.

 

The requirements for Scouting Heritage Merit Badge can be found at scouting.org.  These requirements (current as of 2012) are shown below.  But it’s a good idea to check the latest edition of the Merit Badge Pamphlet of the official requirements online in case they have recently changed.

 

Requirement No.

Requirement

What to do BEFORE your session with the counselor

What you'll do with the counselor at the merit badge session

1

Discuss with your counselor the life and times of Lord Baden-Powell of Gilwell. Explain why he felt a program like Scouting would be good for the young men of his day. Include in your discussion how Scouting was introduced in the United States, and the origins of Boy Scouting and Cub Scouting under Baden-Powell.

Read about Baden-Powell.  Sources of information are listed below.

We will talk about what you learned about “B-P”.

2a

Give a short biographical summary of any TWO of the following, and tell of their roles in how Scouting developed and grew in the United States prior to 1940.

Daniel Carter Beard

William D. Boyce

Waite Phillips

Ernest Thompson Seton

James E. West

Pick two of the people on this list and learn about them.  Sources of information are listed below.  You may write a short biography.  There is no requirement for the minimum length, but to cover all of the information needed, this will usually be at least one page.  Or if you prefer, you can come to your session prepared to tell your counselor (and the rest of the Scouts) what you have learned.  Again, there is no requirement for the minimum length, but to cover everything, you should be prepared to talk for about five minutes total.

I will read the biographies that you wrote.  Or, if you prefer to give your report orally, you will tell me and the rest of the group what you learned about the people you chose.

2b

Discuss the significance to Scouting of any TWO of the following:

 

Brownsea Island

 

The First World Scout Jamboree

 

Boy Scout Handbook

 

Boys' Life magazine

Pick two of the items from this list and learn about them.  Sources of information are listed below.  Be prepared to tell your counselor (and the rest of the Scouts) what you have learned.  Again, there is no requirement for the minimum length, but to cover everything, you should be prepared to talk for about five minutes total.

You will tell me and the rest of the group what you learned.

3

Discuss with your counselor how Scouting's programs have developed over time and been adapted to fit different age groups and interests (Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, Exploring, Venturing).

Learn about how Scouting has changed over the years.  Be prepared to tell your counselor (and the rest of the Scouts) what you have learned.  Again, there is no requirement for the minimum length, but to cover everything, you should be prepared to talk for about five minutes.

You will tell me and the rest of the group what you learned.

4

Do ONE of the following (4a OR 4b):

Pick either 4a or 4b below.

We will do one of the following (4a or 4b):

4a

Attend either a BSA national jamboree, OR world Scout jamboree, OR a national BSA high-adventure base. While there, keep a journal documenting your day-to-day experiences. Upon your return, report to your counselor what you did, saw, and learned. You may include photos, brochures, and other documents in your report.

If you attended any of these (Jamboree or High-Adventure Base) prepare the journal/scrapbook and bring it the merit badge session.

We’ll look at the journal and other items you brought and talk about them.

4b

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.  (If you visit the BSA’s national traveling tour, Adventure Base 100, in 2010, you may use this experience to fulfill requirement 4b.)

If you visited the museum in Irving, Texas, or visited Adventure Base 100 in 2010, be prepared to talk about it at the merit badge session.

 

If you didn’t attend either of these, write for the information from the museum.  The contact information is shown below.  If you receive the information before the session, please bring it.

We’ll talk about the museum.

5

Learn about the history of your unit or Scouting in your area. Interview at least two people (one from the past and one from the present) associated with your troop. These individuals could be adult unit leaders, Scouts, troop committee members, or representatives of your troop's chartered organization. Find out when your unit was originally chartered. Create a report of your findings on the history of your troop, and present it to your patrol or troop or at a court of honor, and then add it to the troop's library. This presentation could be in the form of an oral/written report, an exhibit, a scrapbook, or a computer presentation such as a slide show.

Interview at least two people from your Troop.  At least one must be from the present, and at least one must be from the past.  If you need ideas about who to interview, ask your Scoutmaster or other leader.

 

Write a report about what you learned, and make sure you include the information listed in the requirement. 

 

Present this report at a troop meeting, patrol meeting, or Court of Honor.

 

Give a copy of your report to your Troop Librarian and/or Scribe to include in your Troop Library.  (Be sure to keep an extra copy to bring to the merit badge session.)

I will read your report.  If you want, you can also give the same presentation you gave your troop or patrol.

6

Make a collection of some of your personal patches and other Scouting memorabilia. With their permission, you may include items borrowed from family members or friends who have been in Scouting in the past, or you may include photographs of these items. Show this collection to your counselor, and share what you have learned about items in the collection. (There is no requirement regarding how large or small this collection must be.)

Make the collection and bring it to the merit badge session.

We’ll look at your collection, the collections brought by other scouts, and my collection.

7

Reproduce the equipment for an old-time Scouting game such as those played at Brownsea Island. You may find one on your own (with your counselor's approval), or pick one from the Scouting Heritage merit badge pamphlet. Teach and play the game with other Scouts.

Find an interesting game, learn the rules, and make the equipment that is required.  You can teach the game to your own Troop or Patrol and play it with them before the merit badge session.  Or, if this will be a group merit badge session, you can bring the equipment to the merit badge session, and we will play it then.

If you played the game with your own patrol or troop, you will tell us about the game.  If you didn’t do it with your own troop or patrol, you will teach it to the rest of the scouts at the session and we will play it then.

8

Interview at least three people (different from those you interviewed for requirement 5) over the age of 40 who were Scouts. Find out about their Scouting experiences. Ask about the impact that Scouting has had on their lives. Share what you learned with your counselor.

Interview the people in the requirement and be prepared to talk about what you learned at our session.  It’s not a requirement, but this will be easier if you take good notes during the interview.

We’ll talk about what you learned from these interviews.

 

Suggestions and Sources of Information

 

To earn this merit badge, you will need to do some research and reading before the merit badge session.  The fastest way to do this is with the Scouting Heritage Merit Badge Pamphlet.  The page numbers with the information for each requirement are listed below.  If your Troop Library doesn’t have a copy, you can buy this book from your local Scout Shop or online from scoutstuff.org.  If you don’t have the Scouting Heritage merit badge pamphlet, (or if you want to learn more about the subject), I also have other books and websites listed below.  All of the information you need for this merit badge can be found online.  You can usually find all of the information that will help you from one or two of the sources listed below.  If you want to learn more about any of these subjects, you can look at some more of these sources.

Note: Links on this page are to external sites. These links were accurate and appropriate when added, but are not under my control. Get your parent's approval before visiting any of these sites.

 

Requirement 1:  Baden-Powell

Requirement 2a:  Daniel Carter Beard

  • There is a biography of Beard on page 11 of the Scouting Heritage Merit Badge pamphlet. PDF documents and other resources are available at the following links:
  • Wikipedia biography of Beard.  (See the warning above about Wikipedia articles.)
  • Beard biography at meritbadge.org
  • The American Boy’s Handy Book (1888) and The Boy Pioneers, Sons of Daniel Boone (1909) and other books by Dan Beard are available as  free eBooks from Google Books.  These books were written before Scouting was formed, but Baden-Powell got a lot of ideas from them, and many of these same ideas found their way into the Scout Handbook.
  • There is a short biography of Beard at scouting.org.  (This biography is very short, and you'll probably need to look at least one other source to get all of the information you need for the merit badge requirement.)

Requirement 2a:  William D. Boyce

  • There is a biography of Boyce on  pages 13-14 of the Merit Badge pamphlet.
  • Wikipedia biography of Boyce.  (See the warning above about Wikipedia articles.)

  • Boyce biography at meritbadge.org.
  • There is a short biography of Boyce at scouting.org.  (This biography is very short, and you'll probably need to look at least one other source to get all of the information you need for the merit badge requirement.)

Requirement 2a:  Waite Phillips

Requirement 2a:  Ernest Thompson Seton

  • There is a biography of Seton on page 10 of the Merit Badge pamphlet.
  • Wikipedia biography of Seton.  (See the warning above about Wikipedia.

  • Biography of Seton at meritbadge.org.
  • There is a short biography of Seton at scouting.org.  (This biography is very short, and you'll probably need to look at least one other source to get all of the information you need for the merit badge requirement.)

Requirement 2a:  James E. West

  • There is a biography of West on page 16 of the Merit Badge pamphlet.
  • Wikipedia biography of West.  (See the warning above about Wikipedia.)

  • Biography of West at meritbadge.org.

  • There is a short biography of West at scouting.org.  (This biography is very short, and you'll probably need to look at least one other source to get all of the information you need for the merit badge requirement.)

Requirement 2b:  Brownsea Island

Requirement 2b:  First World Scout Jamboree

Requirement 2b:  Boy Scout Handbook

Requirement 2b:  Boys' Life Magazine

Requirement 3:  How Scouting Has Changed Over the Years

Requirement 4:  National Scouting Museum

  • If you write to the Scouting Museum for information, their contact information is available on their website: 

     

    Requests to the National Scouting Museum for requirement 4B of the Scouting Heritage merit badge should be directed to Joe Connole by e-mail to to Joseph.Connole@Scouting.org or mail to 1329 W. Walnut Hill Lane, Irving, Texas 75038. Please include your name, rank, and mailing address. An information packet will be mailed to the address provided. All requests are processed in a timely manner. Please allow three weeks for delivery.

 

Requirement 5:  History of Your Unit

  • Pages 57-59 of the Merit Badge pamphlet give some ideas for the interview question and answer techniques.

Requirement 6:  Your Scouting Collection

 

  • See pages 53-56 of Merit Badge pamphlet.

Requirement 7:  Recreating an Old Scouting Game

Warning:  BSA safety requirements have changed over the years.  Some of the games and activities you will find in some of the following old publications are no longer approved, and some will need to be modified.  For example, many of these games involve archery, and those games would need to be modified to comply with current BSA rules.  Get the approval of your counselor or unit leader before doing any of these activities.

 

  • There are some old games on pages 67-69 of the Merit Badge pamphlet.  Also, there are many games starting on page 291 of the 1911 Scout Handbook.  (See above for how to get a copy of this book.) As you can see, for some of these games, the equipment you need to make is complicated. But for some of the games, the "equipment" is very simple, such as pieces of paper. You can pick either type of game.
  • The American Boy’s Handy Book (1888) and The Boy Pioneers, Sons of Daniel Boone (1909) by Dan Beard both contain many games that were played by Scouts. 
  • Finally, by looking at old issues of Boys Life (see above for how to find them), you will find other games played by Scouts.

Requirement 8:  Interviewing Old Scouts

  • Pages 57-59 of the Merit Badge pamphlet give some ideas for getting good answers for your interviews.


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