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mrkstvns

Merit Badges of Yore...

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I find lists of BSA merit badges entertaining. The list has grown considerably over the past 100+ years, but despite the constant additions, some merit badges fall out of favor.  Maybe irrelevance. Maybe a general lack of interest. Maybe....who knows?

Some just get renamed.

Some get merged into more generic umbrella badges. (For example, Hog Production, Rabbit Raising and others into "Animal Science").

Here's a few discontinued badges that don't seem to have been victims of re-naming efforts or consolidation into other more generic badges  

  • Masonry
  • Cement Working
  • Interpreting
  • Pathfinding
  • Taxidermy
  • Clerk
  • Master-at-Arms
  • Stalking 
  • Beekeeping

Wonder why Cement Working and Masonry got dropped?  They're clearly still relevant as I see lots of men making their living by building bridges, buildings, sidewalks, highways, etc. 

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Sort of like Auto Mechanics that is now Automotive Maintenance, it can be confusing

They brought back Pathfinding and Stalking in 2010 as part of the historic merit badges.  Pathfinding was interesting and achievable, had a good clinic for that one with the unit.  We looked at having a clinic for Stalking but it was pretty in depth and took a hard pass.

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On 2/6/2019 at 2:45 PM, walk in the woods said:

I'm the proud holder of a Beekeeping MB.  At one point the BSA said they were going to make pollinators part of Env. Science I think.

Bees are in the Environmental Science MB and Insect Study MB as options.

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Yes things adapt and change.   No more "Blacksmithing" MB. 

And I must remind folks that there is no truth to the rumor that BSA is planning to fold the Pet MB into the Cooking MB..... 

  • Haha 2

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On 2/19/2019 at 7:39 PM, SSScout said:

Yes things adapt and change.   No more "Blacksmithing" MB. 

And I must remind folks that there is no truth to the rumor that BSA is planning to fold the Pet MB into the Cooking MB..... 

Nope. No "Blacksmithing" MB, but the Metalwork MB does contain options for "Foundry" and "Blacksmithing", so a boy could earn the badge the "old fashioned" way...

BTW: I don't know of many summer camps that offer Metalwork MB, but Sid Richardson Scout Ranch in Texas does (they even have a forge!)

 

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I thought I read somewhere that if a Merit Badge was earned by less than a given number of scouts, it is considered for dropping.

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Just now, jr56 said:

I thought I read somewhere that if a Merit Badge was earned by less than a given number of scouts, it is considered for dropping.

If that were the case, Bugling would have ceased to exist decades ago.  It's perennially at the bottom of the "most popular merit badge" lists...

(For good reason too, since a scout has to be able to play several obsolete, esoteric calls that nobody in the modern world (other than a Bugle merit badge counselor) would recognize.)

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For shame....  A bugle is the epitome of the human powered, middle distance communication device.   Esoteric ? Obsolete?  Poorly recognized, perhaps.  Not so widely used and utilized as previously, perhaps.  Obsolete?  Only for those who own stock in lithium battery companies....

When I counsel BMB,  I am always disappointed and still surprised at the Scouts that come and expect to walk away with a slam dunk merit badge . A brand new horn, still in the plastic bag, can't even make a noise on it, much less play a tune.  What did they expect?  "pre-requisites? What's that? " 

And then the next Wynton Marsalas walks in, answers every question, plays the calls from memory, knows when they would be appropriate.  Thank you, Lord.

The bugle only has five notes, six or seven if you are REALLY good, and can bring tears to the eyes of some listeners, for the GOOD reasons. Yeah, I know, I almost cry too, listening to some of the Scouts that come to me.  Play the Tatoo back in the woods with some emotion, before taps.....

I rank the bugle up there with holding up the Scout Sign.  Hold up your Sign and wait?  How many Scouts in your view hold up and wait?  or even quiet down?   If the Scouts are "educated"  in it's purpose and use, how much more efficient could your Troop become?  

A well played bugle can be heard a mile away over open ground,  less back in the woods, of course.   Ever been at the Nat Jam and listened to the various bugles from the Troop sites here,,, over there...  there...  over here....  then listen to the Scouts complain when you tell them to GET OFF THE RECHARGING STATION AND GET BACK TO YOUR CAMP

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My impression is a bugle is a trumpet without any valves, same notes if you don't hold down any keys. Not sure what this has to do with anything.

Everyone used to have metalwork but then they added some forge requirements and it got dropped. I must admit the forge would be way cool. Maybe a glass making merit badge with a big honkin kiln. I would sign up for that.

I could also use cement working. My driveway is cracking and the price to replace it is nuts. If I could just do one slab at a time... or better yet, have some scouts do one slab at a time.

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Scouts+sledgehammers. There's a recipe for success.:confused:

Actually Mrs. Q sucking us into hand-pouring our cracked sidewallk one year allowed me to helped a scout frame in the molds for 8x8 slabs for a project. 

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