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What "OLD" Merit Badges should be added back?

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A corrolary to the 121 MB discussion is: Why only those 121?

I have been told that Irving regularly culls those MBs that are less popular (?less than ten awarded in a given year?) and institutes new MBs, as tastes change and new skills and technologies evolve. Notably Computer Science, Composites, etc.


But how 'bout Blacksmithing? Is that only to be included in Metalworking? Phillipine Scouts (according to my research) still awards a Blacksmithing badge. Could a Scout earn that? (by correspondance?)


Even if a MB is "obsolete" it is never "eliminated" , according to one source.

See http://scouters.us/mb.html If one could still earn the Rabbit Raising MB, how to obtain a badge to award?


The above site notes that "theoretically", our over achiever Scout might earn as many as 239 MBs!


Think of the possibilities!


What "old" MBs would you like to see available, again?

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Even if a MB is "obsolete" it is never "eliminated" , according to one source.


Please, what do...


Your Council Advancement Chairman


Your District Advancement Chairman


ACP&P #33088


BSA Requirements #33215


say about that assertion? I have never heard that one claimed before...

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My understanding is that if a Scout is working on a badge at the time it is discontinued, he may continue working on it. But a Scout today couldn't simply choose to go back and earn Signaling, for example.


(I just skimmed ACP&P and couldn't find this ... but that's what sticks in my head.)


It's important to note that a Scout can learn any skill he wants! Scouting activities aren't limited to subjects in the merit badge program, as long as they meet safety standards. So - blacksmithing! Sure, go ahead!


Personally, I'd like to see Signaling return.

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I earned several MBs which are now obsolete. One in particular stands out in my mind, printing. Admitedly, I am biased regarding this one, as my father was a printer from 1937 to 1994 (and he retired using the same model printing presses which he used to start his first business). My point is that doing printing taught me about alignment, balance, visual symetry, layout, use of colors, and much, much more.


I know that in today's world of computers, the trade of offset printing is obscure, at best, but you can't say that there is no longer printing. If anything, we print far more now than when I earned the badge 30 years ago. And the diversity of printing techniques and methods is much greater in this computer age.


I am a computer programmer by trade (never earned a computer or electronics or any related MB). Yet I use the skills learned working with my father on Printing MB almost daily in how I choose to lay out reports, or even scouting flyers, forms and even Power Point.


Likewise, I earned the Bookbinding MB. Just this weekend, my son came up to me wanting to tape the binding of a well used card trading book. He and I spent some time talking about how the book was bound (he had never noticed) and we were able to rig "binding press" to re-glue and repair his book. He was impressed, and said he wished he could also could have earned the Bookbinding MB.


Just my 2.

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shortridge, I've heard that as well. I think it's an extension of once the MB is started the Scout (working with the same Counselor) may continue to work it until he ages out of youth membership.


That said, if a kid started MB X at 11, it was withdrawn when he was 12, and he didn't finish it out until he was 17 1/2: The SM would have a tough time finding a patch for him (short of ebay).

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I'd bring back all the rural MBs...farm design, poultry, rabbit raising, all the crop related badges....


As I travel our great country, I'm struck at how many farms I see.


For urban kids, it would be a good experience to work on a farm, even for a little while.


The old trade MBs (printing, blacksmithing, taxidermy) are worthwhile too.

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Keep'em coming!


Concerning Rabbit Raising.... The old one did seem to be about raising for meat, "market rabbits" as they are called. Soon-to-be-Life son raises our lagomorph friends for pets and show. He (and mom!) have earned many ribbons at shows sponsored by 4H, county fairs, Rabbit Breeders Associations. He has learned about public presentation, genetics, hygiene, gardening (manure!), construction (a new barn/shed), finances, nutrition, care for a living thing (many, many, actually), acceptance of death and the pride of accomplishment from hard work.

The "AHA" moment for me, the dad, came when I realized that the fifty or so recognized breeds of show bunnies were bred from the only 5 (or so) wild, natural species of rabbit/hare! Longhair, short hair, big (30 pound rabbit!) or small, short ear, long ear, up ear, lop ear, black, white, spotted, grey, lavender, brown, amber, tan, the combinations of shape and color is amazing. All from the DNA that is already there.

None of the show breeds could exist in the wild. Check out the Flemish Giant and the Netherland Dwarf.

As in any human endeavor, there is it's own subculture, equipment and industry.


But I digress. Any more "old " MBs to reconsider?


I remember a demo table at the 2005 Jamboree touting Pigeon Breeding/Racing as a MB.

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OGE I was in a Tandy store years ago, when a little girl discovered the stack of rabbit pelts. It was interesting hearing her dad explaining that bunnies donated their coats, like she donated her old coat to the mission barrel at church.


BTW I remmeber that the Girls Scouts have design your own merit badge.

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