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New badges? What would you like to see?

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We have a boy who qualifies for handicap adaptation in our troop, and I was researching what he could do instead of the Biking/Hiking/Swimming badge requirements for EAgle ( another thread on the General board)


this boy happens to have a black belt in Karate - but is not able to do strenuous activities because of heart and lung problems. when looking for alternatives, it surprised me to find that there is no "Martial Arts" badge; there's even 'Athletics' (track and field) & 'Sports' (team sports, mostly) and 'Sports' specifically excludes Karate (but includes 'Judo?' & "Wrestling"? in it's options).


Why? hey, if they have a badge for GOLF - why not one for karate or other martial arts? I would think the self control required for martial arts would fit as well with the Scouting value system as anything else.


I could see a need - or a gap in the program, as it were - that needs to include the following badges:


Martial Arts

or a general Sports badge desinged to encompass any recognised 'Sport' of choice - what about Tennis?

or maybe and "individual sport" badge and a "team sport" badge?






Divide 'Pets' into specifics - they have 'Dog Care'

What about "Cats"

Domestic Birds

Home Aquaria

Small pets (rodents and amphibians - pets - NOT the same as the Reptile and Amphibians Badge)


If they have Auto repair - why not Small Engines - like lawnmowers and go carts?


amd we can't forget - the "Duct Tape" badge! LOL!


But seriously, what kind of badges would YOU like to see? Is there somewhere/ somehow we can let BSA know we need to add some?




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I don't know that new badges are needed. Some improvements on the ones we already have. Family Life could be expanded. It's kinda whimpy for an Eagle required badge.


Ed Mori


Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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Martial Arts involves punching and kicking.....something that BSA does not approve of. Guide to Safe Scouting and Youth Protection. Judo and Wrestling involve "grappling". My son was into Tae Kwon Do for almost 2 years. I was surprised too when I found out that it was not an approved sport for BSA. I was hoping he could use it for some of his Cub awards since he was no longer playing baseball or basketball, but nope. Just out of curiousity, making black belt is usually a very tough thing and takes years.....kind of like Eagle Scout, how did a handicapped person make Black so young? If he can attain a Black Belt, I don't see how some of the other sports would be off limits. Martial Arts is a very demanding activity. There are some Martial Arts schools that are like Eagle mills and pump out Black Belts at 6 and 7 years old. We went to tournaments and saw little kids running around with Black that had only been in for a year or two. Technically, they may have done the minimum, but they didn't do the real thing. An adult could still grab a 6 year old and over power them easily. About the youngest Black Belt ever in our school was 14 and he started out at 4 or 5. And even then, he was not a full Black Belt, he would have to retest at 18 to be considered a full Black Belt.

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I would like to see a merit badge on the lines of the Venture "Outdoor Living History" elective merit badge.


Sample Requirements:

Build a scale model of a log cabin (no pre-cut Lincoln Logs allowed, come to think of it, Hops, do you know what a Lincoln Log is?)or maybe a Sod Hut


Help build a real Log Cabin or Sod hut


Prepare a week end of meals from an 18th century menu


Put together a period costume,


Research typical educational and receational opportunities for the youth of that time period


Comparative Religion

Sample Requirements

Earn your faith's Religious award

Study at least two other Faiths and learn about simularities and differences

Attend worship services in other fatih's buildings


Etiquette Merit Badge

Sample Requirements

How to set a table for a 7 course meal

Demonsrate proper use of flatware for a 7 course meal (yes, means they have to eat one)

Proper fomal methods of introducing people, self

Explain when thank you notes are indicated

Explain the need for diction



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OGE, good idea. But I see it as a revamp of Pioneering MB. The idea should get some serious attention. Personally, and unless people are cheating, I see Env. Sci. as too hard and in need of some modification.


Oops, forgot the original question. I would suggest Orienteering as a substitute. There is a hefty knowledge/skill level required as well as a physical requirement that he should be able to do on a golf course or similar terrain.


I also sympathize with the note on martial arts but no need to make a big deal. Without more knowledge of the nature of his limitation it is hard to judge.(This message has been edited by packsaddle)

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Construction Trades. I think it's a huge omission from the career-exploration-type merit badges. Needs to emphasize the management end of contracting, not just the trades, some of which are covered by separate badges.


Possible requirements: Interview a general contractor or professional construction manager. Explain the educational requirements for their job. Tell what their job responsibilities are.


Be able to read a blueprint for a simple construction project. Explain what 10 standard blueprint symbols mean.


Using the same blueprint, develop a list of materials needed for the project. Price the materials at a lumberyard or building materials supplier and develop a materials budget for the project.


Develop a schedule for your project. Use a critical-path chart to show the sequence of the project.


There could be optional requirements for the various trades which aren't covered by other MBs, like carpentry, and masonry.


Why is plumbing the only trade which still has it's own merit badge? Didn't there use to be MBs for carpentry and masonry?

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I hope I didn't sound judgemental on the Martial Arts comments. But Martial Arts are very strenuous and demanding. My sons class spent the first 15 minutes doing situps, pushups and running before they ever worked on their kicks, punches or defense moves. I can't imagine anyone with a Black Belt not being able to bike, hike or swim. I agree that more info is needed and to give the scout the benefit of the doubt. It is just with my knowledge of Martial Arts (as an observer and parent) something does not compute.

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Hi all - some good ideas -


i agree that there should be more career exploration areas - and not just in the trades, and professions such as law and medicine - what about real estate? financial / banking/ stock?


I DON'T know anything about martial arts - but isn't Judo a martial art? whats the difference?


As for BSA not liking punching and kicking - that it's bad - but it's OK to swing a sword at someone? (Fencing is allowed on the 'sports' list) - and I really don't see any difference between punching/kicking/wrestling/ flipping/ pinning/ or poking someone with a sword.....


I do know that someone in our troop mentioned that this boy was recently in the paper for getting his black belt - he's been taking Karate for years since preschool - he's 1/4 japanese and i suspect his parents got him into it partly for cultural purposes, as he is adopted. He does not appear to be handicapped - other than being kinda small 7 uncoordinated for his age - all i know is that he had a number of open-heart surgeries as a child which cut and damaged chest muscles and he has limited lung capacity because of that and severe asthma - he is prone to sinus/throat/etc infections that can have very serious repercussions for him because he doesn't have the staminia to withstand them and keep breathing. He may have some other developmental and possibly physical problems as well - but like most, his parents want him to be treated as normally as possible - so they try not to advertise his problems until and if they become problems with what he needs to do.


for that, I highly commend them. it's tough to ride the rail between challenging your child to reach for the moon and protecting him from falling from it!


the biking/swimming/hiking badges all require stamina (50 mile trips?) and lung capacity that he will never have. Right now, he's also slightly developmentally behind in his coordination - again, biking and swimming is very tough for him. Backpacking with a 40lb pack? I doubt he even weighs 70 - 80 lbs. himself!


i could see where Karate - though disciplined and strenuous - could be paced to HIS capacities.

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To say that the martial arts are about kicking and punching is like saying that Boy Scouts is about Camping. Kicking and punching, like camping, is the method used to meet the objectives. Yes, the martial arts are about self defense, but aims of the martial arts are really discipline, self control, and wellness of body and spirit. Yes, it's probalbly time for a martial arts merit badge.


Evmori, I think your wife could enlighten us further.

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Extremely well said! I agree.


I've actually written to National about my idea, but 've never received a response. I think it is a crime that we have the attention of teenagers for as much as 7 years, yet never expose them to things such as sewing, washing clothes, ironing, and other domestic chores. We want to turn out young men of character, with the ability to make their own way in the world, but we don't give them the oppurtunity to learn how to iron a shirt? I'd be satisfied combining my idea with Ed's and including this in Family Life, or make it it's own MB. But I think it is sad that we don't have a formal way of teaching a kid that he shouldn't bleach colored fabrics (well, except for denim!).



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