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Iggle required merit badges, which would you add?

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Knot head,

Thank you for mentioning Backpacking. Would divide the wheat from the chaff. BIG TIME.


We say we are an outdoor group but that's lip service. We have kids make Eagle who don't do duff when it comes to real camping. Most camporee are more like an overnight picnic lunch.



Doing Laundry and other home ec type stuff is what you learn when your

Mother is audacious(sp?) enough to suggest you get the game controller out of you hand for 2 seconds while you help her with some of the menial chores, after all she's probably been at work all day helping your family's ends meet and the average kid is coddled so much he may as well be still in connected by his belly button.


sewing is important so is doing laundry.


No merit badge is required,make it a Tenderfoot requirement that the Scout sew his Scout patch. Done. As far a sewing being for sissies, I wish we could reincarnate some old time filthy dirty sailors that were tough as nails, call them sissies while they repair sails.




I love watching us sink to Hades in a handbasket.

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"No merit badge is required,make it a Tenderfoot requirement that the Scout sew his Scout patch. Done."


It wouldn't happen. Mom would sew the patch on because little Bobby would sit there and cry about it.


"As far a sewing being for sissies, I wish we could reincarnate some old time filthy dirty sailors that were tough as nails, call them sissies while they repair sails."


Call my tailor a sissy and he'll sew up your burial shroud.

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I like the idea of adding badge requirements to Star and Life (just to ensure some time management), but I'd add Cooking required for the FIRST CLASS badge. I feel that cooking is an essential thing just as a pullup or sit up or those hurry case first aids. You do part of it anyhow, so let's just finish it and be able to actually COOK dinner instead of eating pop tarts as I've seen from boys before.

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Cooking for 1st Class! Here!! Here!!


One thing I really dislike are the "timed" badges. Do this thing for ninety days.


I'd make Family Life or Personal Management required. But, Family Life seems like a waste of time as it is currently written. (Then again, my kids have a pretty good, strong home life.)


Add a choice of Wilderness Survival or Backpacking.


And, add an arts or engineering badge requirement as well.


Dump Personal Fitness.

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(Disclaimer: I am not an Eagle Scout. I hung around for the camping.)


I know I'm going to be in the minority here, but here goes.


Add badges? I would GET RID of several of the required badges.


Right now, the merit badge program is not what it could be. From the kids' viewpoint, there are two types of merit badges:


1) The GOLDEN Eagle-required badges; and

2) The worthless filler badges.


In many troops, just about every kid earns the required badges, and then chooses the easiest possible other badges (Basketry, anyone?)


The result is very little diversity among the Scout experiences for Eagles.


What should a merit badge be? It should be an opportunity for a boy to experience in-depth learning and practice in a field of interest to him. It shouldn't be some drudge he has to slog through to get his Eagle.


I've seen some postings in this thread along the lines of "We need to require Badge X because Scouting is supposed to support Aim Y." Well, the program as a whole should be doing that.


Now, a kid with a strong interest in American government should be encouraged to work on Citizenship in the Nation. Should every kid? Not unless you have Boy Scouts confused with 8th grade Civics class. Scouting should provide things that can't be found in school, not be more of the same.


Cooking badge? Every Scout on a campout is going to have to learn how to cook if he wants to eat. Only the kids with a strong interest should go the extra mile and earn the badge.



Off the current list, I would keep or toss:


Keep: Camping, Cycling OR Hiking OR Swimming, Emergency Preparedness OR Lifesaving, First Aid

Toss: Communications, Environmental Science, Family Life, Personal Fitness, Personal Management

Toss 1 of 3: Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation, Citizenship in the World - Have kid choose two. (If it were up to me, I'd toss all 3, but there are realities of serving our Chartered Orgs.)



The number of badges should stay the same, maybe even go up to 24. But the kids should be able to choose much more freely than they can now.


Looking through the historical requirements for Eagle, the method they used in the 50s is appealing - groups of badges (Outdoor Sports, Conservation, etc.) from which the boys had to choose.


If I really could get rid of all the blah blah book learning badges, I'd add two more athletic/outdoor badges (Backpacking, Canoeing, Fishing, Rowing, Shooting, etc.), two conservation/nature badges (Bird Study, Fish and Wildlife Management, Plant Science, Environmental Science, etc.) and two career or life skill badges (Electronics, Farm Mechanics, Home Repairs, Woodwork, Dentistry, Engineering, etc.) But these would be wide open choices among 10 or 20 badges each.

(This message has been edited by Greg Nelson)

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Greg -- I read this whole dad-gummed thread and you beat me to the punch on the very last post.


While I like the idea of Cooking being returned to the required list and NJ's option list of Scout-skill MBs, my greatest complaint is with the number of elective MBs.


I would increase the total required to 25 or 26. Because of the way many Scout camps are run, by the time a Scout finishes his third year summer, he's picked up the nine elective MBs almost by osmosis. Boys miss one of the main benefits of the MB program -- exploring career or interest areas for the first time -- because they don't need to.


Greg's right -- almost every Scout, First Class and above, can recite the list of "gimme" badges they can get without breaking a sweat: pets or dog care or both, music, reading, scholarship, wood carving, basketry. There's six of the nine right there.


I'm not discounting these badges, but when they are all a Scout earns, he's missing a great opportunity.

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One question I always ask at Eagle BOR's is which MB would you drop from the required list and what would you replace it with.


The most common answer to what to drop is Citizenship in the World by a big majority.


When asked what to replace it with Cooking and Pioneering get a lot of votes. The most recent EBOR I sat on was interesting. The candidates response was Disability Awareness. Not my choice, but the young man made a compelling argument for it.

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