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NEWS OF MERIT Prepare the Sashes

Here’s what you need to know about three new or updated merit badges:

COOKING: This year, a Scout may continue — or begin work — using the old Cooking merit badge requirements and pamphlet. Or he may switch to — or begin work on — the new requirements as stated in the 2014 Boy Scout Requirements book. If a Scout chooses to use the old requirements, he may continue using them until he has completed the badge. Scouts completing the requirements for Eagle rank after Jan. 1, 2014, must earn

the Cooking merit badge under the existing requirements or under the requirements revised in 2013. Any Scout who earned and received the old green-bordered Cooking patch may purchase or be presented with the Cooking badge that has a silver border signifying it is Eagle-required. He may not wear both.

MINING IN SOCIETY: This merit badge was launched in February at the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City. Janice Downey, senior innovation manager at the BSA, says Scouts will love learning how much mining contributes to their daily lives. “Your typical smartphone is con- structed with 30 minerals and metals extracted from the earth,” Downey says. “A bike is made with iodine, salt, silica, aluminum, graphite and more.”

SIGNS, SIGNALS AND CODES: Over the years, Downey says, the Boy Scout Handbook has de-emphasized activities like orienteering, Morse code and trail marking. This new badge reboots these staples, stressing many of the ways we nonverbally communicate. “Think of all the signs used in sports like baseball, or on aircraft carriers and loud construc- tion sites,” she says. Councils should receive requirements by March, with pamphlets available in May. Looking toward summer camps, this will be a great interactive outdoor activity.

The Cub Scouting You Love, Only Better

You spoke, and the Boy Scouts of America listened. Cub Scouters said current achievements are too passive, activi- ties lack connection to Scouting’s values and the Cub Scout advancement model is too complicated for new parents. The BSA responded, and a volunteer-driven task force created a revamped Cub Scout program that will debut in May 2015. Expect better activities, improved advancement and redesigned handbooks (see prototypes below). By the 2015-2016 Scouting year (which, for most packs, begins in August or September 2015), all packs will

use the new requirements. The timing coincides with the switch from the Cub Scout Promise and Law of the Pack to the Scout Oath and Scout Law, which everyone from Tigers to Venturers will begin using in May 2015. Cub Scouting will keep its current Cub Scout motto, sign, salute and handshake. However, not every-

thing is changing. Get all the latest at programupdates.


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