U. S. Scouting Service Project at http://usscouts.org

COMPLETE REPLACEMENTS FOR EXISTING MERIT BADGE REQUIREMENTS

Effective: April 1, 1999

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Bird Study
Graphic Arts
Journalism
Skating
Snow Sports (Replaced Skiing)

REVISED MERIT BADGES

DISCONTINUED MERIT BADGE

Skiing (REPLACED WITH Snow Sports)


The changed requirements may be used immediately.  Scouts who have already started a merit badge may continue to use the old requirements until their 18th birthday.  Scouts starting a Merit Badge after April 1, 1999, must use the new requirements.


Bird Study:

The requirements were completely rewritten, as follows:

  1. Explain the need for bird study and why birds are useful indicators of the quality of the environment.
  2. Show that you are familiar with the terms used to describe birds by sketching or tracing a perched bird and then labeling 15 different parts of the bird. Sketch or trace an extended wing and label types of wing feathers.
  3. Demonstrate that you know how to properly use and care for binoculars.
    1. Explain what the specification numbers on the binoculars mean.
    2. Show how to adjust the eyepiece and how to focus for proper viewing.
    3. Show how to properly care for and clean the lenses.
  4. Demonstrate that you know how to use a bird field guide. Show your counselor that you are able to understand a range map by locating in the book and pointing out the wintering range, the breeding range, and/or the year-round range of one species of each of the following types of birds:
    1. Petrel
    2. Plover
    3. Falcon
    4. Warbler or vireo
    5. Heron or egret
    6. Sparrow
    7. Normative bird (introduced to North America from a foreign country since 1800)
  5. Observe and be able to identify at least 20 species of wild birds. Prepare a field notebook, making a separate entry for each species, and record the following information from your field observations and other references.
    1. Note the date and time.
    2. Note the location and habitat.
    3. Describe the bird's main feeding habitat and list two types of food that the bird is likely to eat.
    4. Note whether the bird is a migrant or a summer, winter, or year-round resident of your area.
  6. Be able to identify five of the 20 species in your field notebook by song or call alone. For each of these five species enter a description of the song or call, and note the behavior of the bird making the sound. Note why you think the bird was making the call or song that you heard.
  7. Do ONE of the following:
    1. Go on a field trip with a local club or with others who are knowledgeable about birds in your area.
      1. Keep a list or fill out a checklist of all the birds your group observed during the field trip.
      2. Tell your counselor which birds your group saw and why some species were common and some were present in small numbers.
      3. Tell your counselor what makes the area you visited good for finding birds.
    2. By using a public library or contacting the National Audubon Society, find the name and location of the Christmas Bird Count nearest your home and obtain the results of a recent count.
      1. Explain what kinds of information are collected during the annual event.
      2. Tell your counselor which species are most common, and explain why these birds are abundant.
      3. Tell your counselor which species are uncommon, and explain why these were present in small numbers. If the number of birds of these species is decreasing, explain why, and what, if anything, could be done to reverse their decline.
  8. Do ONE of the following. For the option you choose, describe what birds you hope to attract, and why.
    1. Build a bird feeder and put it in an appropriate place in your yard or another location.
    2. Build a birdbath and put it in an appropriate place.
    3. Build a backyard sanctuary for birds by planting trees and shrubs for food and cover.

mb122c.gif (7497 bytes)Graphic Arts:

The requirements were completely rewritten, as follows:

  1. Review with your counselor the processes for producing printed communications: offset lithography, screen process printing, electronic/digital, relief, and gravure. You may show samples or draw diagrams to help with your description.
  2. Explain the difference between continuous-tone, line, and halftone artwork. Describe how it can be created and/or stored in a computer.
  3. Design a printed piece (flier, T-shirt, program, form, etc.) and produce it. Explain your decisions for the typeface or typefaces you use and the way you arrange the elements in your design. Explain which printing process is best suited for printing your design. If desktop publishing hardware and software are available, identify what hardware and software would be appropriate for outputting your design.
  4. Produce the design you created for requirement 3 using one of the following printing processes:
    1. Offset lithography
      Make a layout and then produce a plate using a process approved by your counselor. Run the plate and print at least 50 copies.
    2. Screen process printing
      Make a hand-cut or photographic stencil and attach it to a screen that you have prepared. Mask the screen and print at least 20 copies.
    3. Electronic/digital printing
      Make a layout in electronic form, download it to the press or printer, and run 50 copies. If no electronic interface to the press or printer is available, you may print and scan a paper copy of the layout.
    4. Relief printing
      Prepare a layout or set the necessary type. Make a plate or lock up the form. Use this to print 50 copies.
  5. Review the following postpress operations with your counselor:
    1. Discuss the finishing operations of padding, drilling, cutting, and trimming.
    2. Collect, describe, or identify examples of the following types of binding: perfect, spiral, plastic comb, saddle stitched, and case.
  6. Identify three career opportunities in graphic arts and tell how you can prepare for them.
  7. Do one of the following, and then describe the highlights of your visit:
    1. Visit a newspaper printing plant: Follow a story from the editor to the press.
    2. Visit a commercial or in-plant printing facility: Follow a job from beginning to end.
    3. Visit a school’s graphic arts program: Find out what courses are available and what the prerequisites are.
    4. Visit three Web sites on the Internet that belong to graphic arts professional organizations and/or printing-related companies (suppliers, manufacturers, printers): Download product or service information from two of the sites.

mb066c.gif (6950 bytes)Journalism:

The requirements were completely rewritten, as follows:

  1. Do ONE of the following:
    1. Read a local newspaper, a national newspaper, a newsmagazine, and a computerized online news source. From each of these, clip stories about the same event. Put each item on a separate piece of paper. Write an analysis comparing the different stories explaining how the stories are objective or subjective and how each publication handled the story differently depending on its purpose or audience.
    2. All on the same day, watch a local television newscast, watch a national network newscast, listen to a radio newscast, and study the computerized online news provided by a national news broadcast source. List the different news items, features, and editorials on the broadcasts, including the time in minutes and seconds devoted to each story, and print out a copy of the online edition's "front page." Write an analysis comparing the different story lists, explaining how the stories are objective or subjective and why different news outlets treated the stories differently.
  2. Do either a OR b:
    1. Print journalism:
      1. Visit a newspaper office and tour the various divisions, including the newsroom, the editorial offices, the business side, and the printing plant. During your tour, talk to an editor or reporter about what it's like to be a newspaper journalist, where they get story ideas, and what makes a good newspaper. If possible, go with a reporter and your buddy to cover a news event. Get your parent's permission first.
      2. With the help of your counselor, prepare a front-page newspaper layout. Edit copy, proofread a story after it has been typeset , and be able to explain the printing process.
    2. Broadcast journalism:
      1. Visit a radio or television station and tour the various divisions, including the newsroom, the studios, the control rooms, and the business side. During your tour, talk to a producer or reporter about what it's like to be a broadcast journalist, where they get story ideas, and what makes a good station. If possible, go with a reporter and your buddy to cover a news event. Get your parent's permission first.
      2. With the help of your counselor prepare a television or radio news show format. Edit audiotape or videotape, and be able to explain what it takes to broadcast radio or television news.
  3. Attend a news event and do ONE of the following:
    1. Write a newspaper story about the event, a sidebar feature, and either an editorial or a critical review of the event.
    2. Using radio or TV style write a newsstory about the event, a color story and either an editorial or critical review of the event.
    3. Take a series of photographs that would help to tell the story in pictures, including some news photos and some feature photos. Write cutlines for your photos and a brief story of the event.
  4. Answer at least three of five questions about qualifications, educational preparations, training opportunities, wages, and personal satisfaction in journalism.

mb103c.gif (8395 bytes)Skating:

The requirements for In-line and Roller Skating  were split into separate sections, and were completely rewritten. The complete new requirements are as follows:

  1. Show that you know first aid for injuries or illnesses that may occur while skating, including hypothermia, frostbite, lacerations, abrasions, fractures, sprains and strains, blisters, heat reactions, shock, and cardiac arrest.
  2. Complete ALL of the requirements for ONE of the following options,

Ice Skating

    1. Do the following:
      1. Give general safety and etiquette rules for ice skating.
      2. Discuss the parts and functions of the different types of ice skates.
      3. Describe the proper way to carry ice skates.
      4. Describe daily skate care when skates are in use.
      5. Describe how to store skates for long periods of time, such as seasonal storage.
    2. Do the following:
      1. Skate forward at least 40 feet and come to a complete stop. Use either a two-footed snowplow stop or a one-footed snowplow stop.
      2. After skating forward, glide forward on two feet, then on one foot, first right and then left.
      3. Starting from a T position, stroke forward around the test area, avoiding the use of toe points if wearing figure skates,
    3. Do the following:
      1. Glide backward on two feet for at least 25 feet.
      2. Skate backward for at least 40 feet on two skates.
      3. After gaining forward speed, glide forward on two feet, making a turn of 180 degrees around a cone, first to the right and then to the left.
    4. Do the following:
      1. Perform a forward shoot-the-duck until you’re nearly stopped. Rise while still on one foot.
      2. Perform forward crossovers in a figure eight pattern.
      3. Take part in a relay race.
      4. Perform a hockey stop.

Roller Skating

    1. Do the following:
      1. Give general safety and etiquette rules for roller skating.
      2. Discuss the parts and functions of the roller skate.
      3. Describe five essential steps to good skate care.
    2. Do the following:
      1. Skate forward with smooth, linked strokes on two feet for at least 100 feet in both directions around the rink and demonstrate proper techniques for stopping.
      2. Skate forward and glide at least 15 feet on one skate, then on the other skate.
    3. Do the following:
      1. Perform the crosscut.
      2. Skate backward for at least 40 feet on two skates, then for at least 15 feet on one skate.
      3. Skate forward in a slalom pattern for at least 40 feet on two skates, then for at least 20 feet on one skate.
      4. Skate backward in a slalom pattern for at least 15 feet on two skates.
    4. Do the following:
      1. Shuttle skate once around the rink, bending twice along the way without stopping.
      2. Perform a widespread eagle.
      3. Perform a mohawk.
      4. Perform a series of two consecutive spins on skates, OR hop, skip, and jump on skates for at least 10 feet.
    5. Do the following:
      1. Race on a speed track, demonstrating proper technique in starting, cornering, passing, and pacing.
      2. Perform the limbo under a pole placed at least chest-high OR shoot-the-duck under a waist-high pole and rise while still on one foot.
      3. Perform the stepover.
      4. While skating, dribble a basketball the length of the floor, then return to your starting position, OR push a hockey ball with a stick around the entire rink in both directions.

In-Line Skating

    1. Do the following:
      1. Give general and in-line skating safety rules and etiquette.
      2. Describe the parts and functions of the in-line skate.
      3. Describe the required and recommended safety equipment.
      4. Describe four essential steps to good skate care.
    2. Do the following:
      1. Skate forward with smooth, linked strokes on two feet for at least 100 feet.
      2. Skate forward and glide at least 15 feet on one skate, then on the other skate.
      3. Stop on command on flat pavement using the heel brake.
    3. Do the following:
      1. Perform the forward crossover.
      2. Perform a series of forward, linked swizzles for at least 40 feet.
      3. Skate backward for at least 40 feet in a series of linked, backward swizzles.
      4. From a strong pace, perform a lunge turn around an object predetermined by your counselor.
      5. Perform a mohawk.
    4. Do the following:
      1. Perform a series of at least four one-footed downhill slaloms on pavement with a gentle slope.
      2. Describe how to pass a pedestrian or another skater from behind.
      3. Describe at least three ways to avoid an unforeseen obstacle while skating.
      4. Describe two ways to get on. and off a curb, and demonstrate at least one of these methods.

mb104c.gif (8137 bytes)Snow Sports:

We had previously reported that Snow Sports Merit Badge was going to be considered as a NEW Merit Badge and listed as No. 135, and that Scouts COULD earn both this badge and the former Skiing Merit Badge, based on information we received from BSA.

We have now been informed that Snow Sports is simply a RENAMING of the former Skiing MB, and will be listed as No. 104.

Therefore, Scouts that earned Skiing Merit Badge before it was renamed ARE NOT eligible to earn the Snow Sports Merit Badge.

The skiing portions were revised, and an option for Snowboarding has been added. 

The full new requirements are as follows:

  1. Discuss winter sports safety, and show that you know first aid for injuries or illnesses that could occur while skiing, including hypothermia, shock, dehydration, sunburn, fractures, bruises, sprains, and strains. Tell how to apply splints.
  2. Explain why every skier should be prepared to render first aid in the event of a skiing accident.
  3. Explain the procedure used to report an accident to the local ski patrol for the area where you usually ski.
  4. Tell the meaning of the Your Responsibility Code for skiers and snowboarders. Explain why you must follow this code.
  5. Complete all of the requirements for ONE of the following options: downhill (Alpine) skiing or cross-country (Nordic) or snowboarding.

    Downhill (Alpine) Skiing

    1. Show how to use and maintain your own release bindings and explain the use of two others. Explain the international DIN standard and what it means to skiers.
    2. Explain the American Teaching System and a basic snow-skiing progression.
    3. Explain and discuss the following:
      1. Five types of Alpine skis
      2. Telemark skis
      3. Snowboards
    4. Name the major ski organizations in the United States and explain their functions.
    5. Explain the importance of strength, endurance, and flexibility in downhill skiing. Demonstrate exercises and activities you can do to get fit for skiing.
    6. Do the following:
      1. Present yourself properly clothed and equipped for downhill skiing. Discuss how the clothing you have chosen will keep you warm.
      2. Demonstrate two ways to carry skis and poles safely and easily.
    7. Demonstrate how to ride one kind of lift and explain how to ride two others.
    8. Explain the international trail-marking system.
    9. On a gentle slope, demonstrate some of the beginning maneuvers learned in skiing. Include the straight run, gliding wedge, wedge stop, sidestep, and herringbone maneuvers.
    10. On slightly steeper terrain, show linked wedge turns.
    11. On a moderate slope, demonstrate five to 10 christies.
    12. Make a controlled run down an intermediate slope and demonstrate the following:
      1. Short-, medium-, and long-radius parallel turns
      2. Sideslip and safety (hockey) stop to each side
      3. Traverse across a slope
    13. Demonstrate the ability to ski in varied conditions, including changes in pitch, snow conditions, and moguls. Maintain your balance and ability to turn.

    Cross-Country (Nordic) Skiing

    1. Tell the meaning of the Wilderness Use Policy. Explain why each skier must adopt this policy.
    2. Show your ability to select, use, and repair, if necessary, the correct equipment for ski touring in safety and comfort.
    3. Discuss the basic principles of waxing for cross-country ski touring.
    4. Discuss the differences between cross-country skiing, ski touring, ski mountaineering, and downhill skiing.
    5. Explain the importance of strength, endurance, and flexibility in cross-country skiing. Demonstrate exercises and activities you can do to get fit for skiing.
    6. List items you would take on a one-day ski tour.
    7. Present yourself properly clothed and equipped for a one-day ski tour. Discuss the correct use of your clothing and equipment.
    8. Demonstrate the proper use of a topographic map and compass.
    9. Show a degree of stamina that will enable you to keep up with an average ski-touring group your age.
    10. On a gentle, packed slope, show some basic ways to control speed and direction. Include the straight run, traverse, sideslip, step turn, wedge stop, and wedge turn maneuvers.
    11. On a cross-country trail, demonstrate effective propulsion by showing proper weight transfer from ski to ski, pole timing, rhythm, flow, and glide.
    12. Demonstrate your ability, on a tour, to cope with an average variety of snow conditions.
    13. Demonstrate several methods of dealing with steep hills or difficult conditions. Include traverses and kick turns going uphill and downhill, sidesteps, pole drag, and ski-pole "glissade."

    Snowboarding

    1. Discuss forward-fall injuries. Tell about prevention and what action must be taken in the event of any type of injury or accident.
    2. Do the following:
      1. Demonstrate your ability to select the correct equipment for snowboarding and to use it for safety and comfort.
      2. Present yourself properly clothed and equipped for snowboarding. Discuss how the clothing you have chosen will keep you warm and protected.
      3. Demonstrate how to carry a snowboard easily and safely.
    3. Show how to use and maintain your own bindings, and explain the use of the different binding methods. Explain the need for leashes.
    4. Demonstrate exercises and activities that will get you fit for snowboarding.
    5. Demonstrate how to ride one kind of lift and explain how to ride two others.
    6. Explain the international trail-marking system.
    7. Demonstrate the basic principles of waxing a snowboard.
    8. On a gentle slope, demonstrate beginning snowboarding maneuvers. Show basic ways to control speed and direction. Include the sideslipping maneuver.
    9. On slightly steeper terrain, show traversing.
    10. On a moderate slope, demonstrate an ollie, a nose-end grab, and a wheelie.
    11. Make a controlled run down an intermediate slope and demonstrate the following:
      1. Skidded, carved, and jump turns
      2. Stops
      3. Riding fakie
    12. Demonstrate your ability to ride in varied conditions, including changes in pitch, snow conditions, and moguls. Maintain your balance and ability to turn.
    13. Name the major snowboarding organizations in the United States and explain their functions.

This analysis was  prepared as a service to Scouts and Scouters nationwide by:
Paul S. Wolf
Advancement Committee
Winding Rivers District
Greater Cleveland Council
Boy Scouts of America

Copies may be freely distributed, so long as the author and editor are acknowledged.


Page updated on: May 02, 2013

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