September 13, 2004

Orders of merit

It's a little random, but so are most of my interests. Here is a list of Boy Scout merit badges introduced after 1980 (not counting one whose names were merely changed):

Handicapped Awareness (1980-1984) (replaced by Handicap Awareness, then Disabilities Awareness)
Backpacking (1982)
Printing/Communication (1982-1987)
American Labor (1987)
Graphic Arts (1987)
Whitewater (1987)
Cinematography (1990)
Collections (1991)
Medicine (1991)
Auto Mechanics (1992)
Crime Prevention (1996)
Archaeology (1997)
Climbing (1997)
Entrepreneurship (1997)

Some other merit badges of note:

Atomic Energy (1963)
Personal Management (1972)
Pulp and Paper (1972)
Salesmanship (1927)
Truck Transportation (1973)

No longer offered:

Cement Work (1927-1952)
Clerk (1910-11) (renamed the less grim "Business")
Interpreting (1911-1952)
Invention (1911-1917)
Master-At-Arms (1910-1911)

No longer offered, but ripe for reinstatement:

Stalking (1911-1952) (formerly called "Stalker")

Posted by Francis at 03:35 PM

Coincidentally, a friend just wrote about selected Canadian Boy Scout and Girl Guide badges.

Posted by: Tablesaw at September 13, 2004 04:13 PM

I would have expected the Whitewater badge to debut around 1994... who knew the independent counsel utilized child labor?

Posted by: Dan at September 13, 2004 04:31 PM

Y'all are compulsive geeks.

Say, wanna hear about all of producer/writer Michael Wilson's cameo appearances in the Bond films he produced? In order?

What? Why are you looking at me like that?

Posted by: Columbine at September 13, 2004 10:24 PM

As a designer, I'm curious to know what Boy Scouts have to do to earn the Graphic Arts badge. Compare and contrast Paul Rand's "Death Star" AT&T logo with his IBM logo? Or perhaps a write an essay deconstructing Massimo Vignelli's statement "Make it big. If you can't make it big, make it red"?

And I'm frankly not sure I want to know what you have to do to earn the Atomic Energy badge. Though given that it dates from 1963, perhaps all you had to do was demonstrate advanced duck 'n' cover skills.

Posted by: debby at September 14, 2004 09:37 AM

Requirements for all the merit badges can be found here, although I find it's more amusing to just imagine them.

Posted by: Francis at September 14, 2004 10:04 AM

Oh, but then you miss classic requirements like the one for the Theater badge in which you have to pantomime one of five possibilities, including "You are at a banquet. The meat is good. You don't like the vegetable. The dessert is ice cream."

Posted by: Lance at September 14, 2004 10:46 AM

Nice! I also notice that the requirement for a Collection badge are pretty wide-open; I'm pretty sure a kid with a lot of Magic cards could squeeze a badge out of it.

Posted by: Francis at September 14, 2004 01:29 PM

The only ones of these I earned were Backpacking, Personal Management, and maybe Printing/Communication (if it's the same as Communications). The first and third should be pretty self-explanatory and the second is not too different from the basic Finance/Accounting class I had to take in high school.

Atomic Energy has a great story behind it, it was basically sponsored by a coalition of nuclear power companies and the AEC to promote atomic energy as safe and cheap, and to try to brush away the shadows of the end of WWII and the burgeoning Cold War from the industry. They decided that getting a bunch of Boy Scouts to pursue an Atomic Energy badge would both promote it in the minds of future leaders (heh) and link nuclear power to something clean and wholesome in the minds of the American People.

I was surprised you didn't have Rabbit Raising or Beekeeping on your list of notables.

Posted by: Scott at September 14, 2004 01:50 PM