Hooray! They are finally official!
In keeping with BSA’s 100th Anniversary theme, “Celebrating the Adventure, Continuing the Journey,” four retired badges will be brought back for the anniversary. These can ONLY be earned from January 1, 2010 – December 31, 2010. They will go back into retirement at that point.
The specially-issued badges will be bordered in gold thread. Scouting Magazine’s blog has some great ideas on how to incorporate them into your council, district, or troop 100th anniversary celebration. They’re meant to tie the past and the future together, and I think the choices were very good ones. It’s a very exciting possibility to earn these badge IN the centennial year. They won’t be available again. The gold thread will designate them as 100th anniversary badges (and, yes, they count for your advancement).
The Carpentry badge, discontinued in 1952, offers boys an introduction to construction. Most of the badge is learning how to use tools, but there is a furniture making requirement as well. This is great to pair with either Home Repairs or Woodwork. You might even turn this into a troop project, repairing a senior’s home.
1. Demonstrate the use of the rule, square, level, plumb-line, miter, chalk-line and bevel.
2. Demonstrate the proper way to drive, set, and clinch a nail; draw a spike with a claw-hammer; and to join two pieces of wood with screws.
3. Show correct use of the cross-cut saw and of the rip-saw.
4. Show how to plane the edge, end and the broad surface of a board.
5. Demonstrate how to lay shingles.
6. Make a simple article of furniture for practical use in the home or on the home grounds, finished in a workmanlike manner, all work to be done without assistance.
An excellent resource for this badge is Carpentry for Boys, a free online guide.
The kindler, gentler BSA term for the second badge is now Tracking. It used to be Stalking. Understandable why it was changed. Imagine combining Bird Study and Mammal Study and you’ll get a good idea for what it entails. The three together would make for a fantastic weekend at Theler, Nisqually, or other wildlife refuge.
1. Demonstrate by means of a stalking game or otherwise, ability to stalk skillfully in shelter and wind, etc., when occasion demands.
2. Know and recognize the tracks of ten different kinds of animals or birds in his vicinity, three of which may be domestic.
3. Submit satisfactory evidence that he has trailed two different kinds of wild animals or birds on ordinary ground far enough to determine the direction in which they were going, and their gait or speed. Give names of animals or birds trailed, their direction of travel, and describe gait and speed; or submit satisfactory evidence that he has trailed six different kinds of wild animal or birds in snow, sand, dust or mud, far enough to determine the direction in which they were going, and their gait or speed. Give names of animals or birds trailed, their direction of travel, and describe gait and speed.
4. Submit evidence the he has scored at least 30 points from the following groups: [Group (f) and 4 of the 5 groups (a), (b), (c), (d), (e) must be represented in the score of 30 and at least 7 points must be scored from (a), (b), or (c)].
Make a clear photograph of:
a. Live bird away from nest (4 points)
b. Live woodchuck or smaller wild animal (3 points)
c. Live wild animal larger than woodchuck (4 points)
d. Live bird on nest (3 points)
e. Tracks of live wild animal or bird (2 points)
f. Make satisfactory plaster cast of wild animal or bird tracks with identification imprint on back of each (2 points)
Pathfinding has a lot of similarities to Citizenship in the Community, and troops gearing up for that Eagle-required badge ought to strongly consider offering Pathfinding along with it. Finding your way from point A to point B may be a lot easier in today’s world than in 1952 when it was canceled, but the skill set hasn’t changed much.
1. Demonstrate a general knowledge of the district within a three-mile radius of the local Scout Headquarters, or his house so as to be able to guide people at any time day or night to points within this area.
2. Know the population of the five principal neighboring towns and cities as selected by his Guide or Counselor. Demonstrate direction for reaching them from Scout Headquarters or his house.
3. If in the country, know the breeds of horses, cattle, sheep and hogs owned on the five neighboring farms; if in the city, demonstrate directions to tourist camp and to five places for purchasing food supplies.
4. Demonstrate how to direct tourists from his home to gas, oil, tire, and general auto repair.
5. Give telephone number, if any, and directions for reaching the nearest police station, fire-fighting apparatus, Court House or Municipal Building, the nearest Country Farm Agent’s office, doctor, veterinarian and hospital.
6. Know something of the history of his community and the location of its principal places of interest and public buildings.
7. Submit a scale map, not necessarily drawn by himself, upon which he has personally indicated as much of the above-required information.
The most difficult of the resurrected badges is Signaling. Scouts will need to learn both Morse Code and Semaphore. Build your own Morse Code signalers, or take a trip to the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma, where they have Morse Code stations set up. For Semaphore, find out which parents are affiliated with the Navy (in Kitsap, probably most!). Or contact the Sea Scouts at the SSS Hurricane in Port Orchard. I’m told that some of the Scouters on board the USS Turner Joy possess this skill. An overnighter on that restored ship may be the perfect time and place for your Scouts to learn this skill.
1. Make an electric buzzer outfit, wireless, blinker, or other signaling device. Send and receive in the International Morse Code, by buzzer or other sound device, a complete message of not less than 35 words, at a rate of not less than 35 letters per minute.
2. Demonstrate an ability to send and receive a message in the International Morse Code by wigwag and by blinker or other light signaling device at a rate of not less than 20 letters per minute.
3. Send and receive by Semaphore Code at the rate of not less than 30 letters per minute.
4. Know the proper application of the International Morse Code and Semaphore Codes; when, where, and how they can be used to best advantage.
5. Discuss briefly various other codes and methods of signaling which are in common use.
ORCA District Signaling Counselor: Greg Newton; Sinclair District Signaling Counselor: CDR Brian Adams
There is some excellent training on Semaphore located at the Sea Cadets site here.
There is an interesting, albeit non-traditional, way to learn Morse code here.
Translate your message into Morse Code
Boys’ Life Morse Code Game
Phew. Combine these with the rumored four that are “new” (Scuba, Robotics, Scouting Heritage, GIS) and there are 129 badges now available. What luck for all those Scouts trying to earn them all! The Centennial is now upon us – time to get busy!