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Top 5 merit badges to help you when there are llamas on the loose
Blog     27 Feb 2015 | 8:08 am
Yesterday, the Internet went crazy over a pair of llamas on the loose in Sun City, Ariz. The majestic creatures — one black, one white — were eventually caught and safely returned to their owner after a citywide manhunt animal hunt. Fortunately, no llamas were harmed. But it got me thinking: How can we be better prepared for the next inevitable episode of llama drama? The answer is in right in front of us: the BSA’s collection of 135 merit badges. Here are five that might be useful in the next great llama escape. Can you think of some I missed? Let me know in the comments section...


Top 5 merit badge books to help you survive the zombie apocalypse
Blog     27 Feb 2015 | 6:00 am
You turn on CNN, and it’s official: the zombie invasion has begun. As the Scout or Scouter in your group of survivors, you’ll be the guy or gal everyone turns to. Are you prepared? If you’ve read these five merit badge books, the answer’s yes. I’ve looked through all 135 currently available merit badges to find five that’ll help you if (when?) the zombie invasion comes. Take a look at my list, and tell me which ones I forgot in the comments section. 5. Wilderness Survival In almost every zombie-related TV show and movie, the survivors end up in the woods. So the skills taught in Wilderness Survival merit badge, which was my favorite as a Scout, will...


Signs, Signals and Codes merit badge requirements released
Blog     26 Feb 2015 | 6:00 am
For decades, teens have used their own language — one of emojis, shorthand and coded messages passed in school hallways — to communicate without words. And now, for the first time, those skills could translate into a merit badge. Today the Boy Scouts of America officially releases Signs, Signals and Codes merit badge, the BSA’s 135th current merit badge. (You can see the complete list here.) Look for the merit badge pamphlet now at your local Scout Shop and at ScoutStuff.org. Requirement 9c is one straight out of 2015. It asks Scouts to discuss text-message symbols, also known as emoticons or emojis, and share their 10 favorites. Then comes the fun part:...


2015 Silver Buffalo class to be announced in May
Blog     25 Feb 2015 | 10:00 am
Updated Feb. 26: Oops, I jumped the gun by sharing these names. Look for the complete list in May around the time of the BSA’s National Annual Meeting. The edited post follows. You can call these people Scouting legends. Or maybe Scouting Hall of Famers. Whatever you call them, call me grateful for their incredible service to the Boy Scouts of America. The 2015 Silver Buffalo class will consist of 13 Scouting volunteers whose tireless service and dedication to Scouting on a national level has earned them the BSA’s highest honor for adults. The names of these individuals will be announced in May. They’ll receive their red-and-white medals in a special recognition ceremony...


Why isn’t the World Crest pre-sewn on BSA uniform shirts?
Blog     25 Feb 2015 | 6:00 am
That little purple circle on your Scout uniform shirt means a lot. It’s the World Crest, and it’s worn by all registered youth members and adult leaders to symbolize membership in the World Scouting movement. You wear it centered horizontally over your left pocket and vertically between left shoulder seam and the top of the pocket. So if it’s worn by all registered members, why doesn’t come pre-sewn on the shirt, like the American flag patch on our right sleeves? I found the answer in today’s Ask the Expert.  Why do we wear the World Crest? Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Sea Scouts, Varsity Scouts and Venturers wear the World Crest because we’re members of the World Organization...



   
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