Sample Press Release
For Immediate Release (newspapers, radio and TV, and other outside BSA media)
Contact: [Local council representative and contact information]
Scouts to Experience the History of Scouting
Advancement Opportunities Highlight Scouting’s Heritage
HOMETOWN, [Date] — In 2010, the Boy Scouts of America celebrates a century of influencing the lives of America’s youth. Since its beginning, the BSA has used advancement as a method to achieve the aims of Scouting—character building, citizenship training, and physical and mental fitness. Each aim is emphasized in the four phases of the Scouting program: Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, Varsity Scouting, and Venturing.
One aspect of Boy Scout advancement—the merit badge program—has always been an important element of Scouting. Through completion of merit badge requirements, generations of Scouts have learned lifetime citizenship lessons, personal fitness habits, and life skills. Countless careers and lifelong hobbies have been launched as a result of the merit badge program.
In the past century, many changes have occurred in the merit badge offerings. As society has changed, the Boy Scouts of America has adapted by revising the requirements, implementing name changes, adding new merit badges, and in some instances, eliminating some badges altogether.
To allow today’s youth members to experience a piece of Scouting’s past, the BSA’s 2010 Historical Merit Badge program will bring back four discontinued merit badges. These merit badges must be started and completed during the centennial year, starting April 1, 2010, through Dec. 31, 2010. The historical merit badges are Carpentry, Pathfinding, Signaling, and Tracking, which were all released between 1910 and 1911. In addition to completing the same requirements as Scouts did a century ago, today’s Scouts will learn what that their counterpart in 1910 might have experienced. They will learn why Morse code might have been important during a period when most homes had no TV, radio, computer, telephone, or electricity. However, the value of the program for young people is to understand the changes in 100 years of Scouting.
Badges may be earned by individual Scouts, but districts and councils are encouraged to offer opportunities for Scouts to complete requirements for at least some of these merit badges at Boy Scout resident camps, local merit badge workshops, or special 100 Anniversary Celebrations.
The [insert name or council] will give Scouts an opportunity to begin working on these awards at the upcoming [insert name of event] to be held at [insert name and address of meeting place] at [insert event date and time].
“All Boy Scouts are invited to join us at the [insert name of event],” said [insert Scout executive’s name], Scout executive of the [insert council name]. “This is a fun way for our youth members to experience firsthand the great heritage of the Boy Scouts of America.”
Information about the 2010 Historical Merit Badge program, including requirements, may be downloaded at www.scouting.org/BoyScouts/AdvancementandAwards/MeritBadges.aspx.
Sample Council Newsletter Article
It is hard to believe that just one hundred years ago, when a Scout earned the Signaling merit badge, that Scout most likely lived in a home with no telephone and probably no electricity. It was a time when there were no power tools, no Home Depots to shop, no TV, no radio, and no cell phones. Scouts of that period were very likely taught to be self-sufficient and were able to build their own furniture, which was actually used. Their neighborhoods were different, too. Everyone knew one another. There were few gas stations, and instead of mega grocery stores, there were only locally run grocery stores, pharmacies, and general stores.
One hundred years later, our world is quite different. Our council offers four vintage merit badges to help a Scout understand how these two worlds are different but, in many ways, the same. The 2010 Historical Merit Badge program offers Signaling (introduced in 1910), Carpentry (introduced in 1911), Pathfinding (introduced in 1911), and Tracking (Stalking; introduced in 1911). Scouts of 2010 may earn these badges during 2010 using the same requirements as in 1910 and 1911. Original merit badge pamphlets may be found at www.scouting.org/BoyScouts/AdvancementandAwards/MeritBadges.aspx, along with interesting narratives about each historical merit badge and that explain the language used in 1910 and how it can be translated into today’s terms.
Council note: Add specifics of your own plan such as summer camp programs, merit badge events, University of Scouting training sessions, the need for qualified merit badge counselors, etc.
For more information, contact Bill.firstname.lastname@example.org.