An overall goal of the program is for a majority of registered Scouts to earn one or more of the historical merit badges during the BSA’s centennial year. Complete requirements for the 2010 Historic Merit Badge program may be downloaded at www.scouting.org/BoyScouts/AdvancementandAwards/MeritBadges.aspx, but here is a brief overview.


  • First offered in 1910; discontinued in 1992.
  • ·Sample requirements: Build a simple buzzer or blinker capable of sending Morse code messages; send a Morse code message of at least 35 words; send and receive messages using semaphore flags at a rate of at least 30 letters per minute.


  • First offered in 1911 (as the Stalking merit badge); discontinued in 1952.
  • Sample requirements: Recognize the tracks of 10 different kinds of animals; give evidence to show you have trailed at least two different kinds of wild animals or birds, documented their speed or gait.


  • First offered in 1911; discontinued in 1952.
  • Sample requirements: Be able to guide people at any time (day or night) within a three-mile radius of the Scout headquarters (council office); submit a scale map of your community.


  • First offered in 1911; discontinued in 1952.
  • Sample requirements: Demonstrate the use of hand tools, such as a mitre and bevel; build a simple piece of furniture for use at home.

The historical merit badges will count toward a Scout’s rank advancement. However, Scouts must start and finish all requirements within the year 2010. So if your guys built furniture for their patrol kitchen at last year’s summer camp, they can’t use that product for the Carpentry merit badge. And don’t delay—after Dec. 31, 2010, these merit badges will go back on the “retired” list.

Badges may be earned by individual Scouts, but districts and councils are encouraged to offer opportunities to complete requirements for at least some of these merit badges at summer camp, local merit badge workshops, BSA 100th Anniversary events, and other special venues.