Merit badges have been a fixture of the Boy Scouts of America since its inception in 1910. The requirements that generations of Scouts have completed have taught lifetime citizenship lessons, personal fitness habits, and life skills. Merit badges have kindled countless careers and lifetime hobbies.
In the past century, many changes have occurred in the merit badge offerings. A merit badge called Computers would sound just as crazy to a 1910 Boy Scout as a merit badge called Tracking sounds to Scouts today. That is because the BSA’s list of available merit badges has evolved through the years as the interests of Scouts have changed. Some merit badges have been added, and others have had requirements revised. Still others have had name changes, and in some instances, badges have been eliminated altogether.
In honor of the BSA’s 100th Anniversary, today’s generation of Scouts will get the unique opportunity to experience some of the activities their predecessors enjoyed. That’s possible thanks to the BSA’s new Historical Merit Badge program, which allows Scouts today to earn four merit badges that were discontinued long ago. Four merit badges are included in the program—Carpentry, Pathfinding, Signaling, and Tracking. These new offerings will provide a fun and exciting way for youths to step back in time to experience Scouting like it was a century ago.