Correct Editions of MB Books
Ed Henderson (BigEdBSA@AOL.COM)
Thu, 19 Sep 1996 23:48:01 -0400
One of the most frequent "sins" I see as advancement chairman is councils and
camps using outdated requirements to teach Merit Badges. Typically any scout
shop will adopt a policy of sell out of all old before ordering any new.
Unfortunately, sometimes at camps, the Trading Post may stock the current
copy but the counsellor will be using an older version of the book left over
from a previous year.
In all honesty I found found that National Camp Schools do a POOR JOB in this
one aspect of preparing area directors. Except for the Waterfront guys who
LOVE to rewrite their book titles every few years, and whos authors often are
the ace instructors at NCSD, I have found that other sections are often not
even aware of the updated requirements. At two NCS schools in the Southern
Region I was at in 1994 when the new Pioneering Requirements came out I found
the Scoutcraft Section Instructors were not even aware of the new
requirements, and had the older version of the book. As a camp
administrator, I think if I send a staff member to these schools they should
receive up to date instruction with SPECIAL EMPHASIS being placed on these
kinds of changes.
Of course, the instructors themsevles are in all liklihood, volunteer
scouters who are giving of their week. It is really the responsibility of
the region Camping Director to provide their instructors with up to date
I wanted to touch on some other points about outdated books:
* ALWAYS read the inside cover of the new bianneal set of the BSA requirement
book, it lists dead badges as well as all badges with revised text. This can
become a regular time for the troop librarian to do a house cleaning of all
* Sometimes a Merit Badge is totally rewritten from the ground up with a
completly new book and set of requirements. In is a case where I feel
switching to the new book is very important. Other times however, the
revision is minor. In the case of a lot of Merit Badges this year, a CPR and
other first aid requirements were inserted into a lot of badges with few, if
any, other changes. In this case, I see no problem if a First Aid Merit
Badge Pamphlet is used with the old book so long as the new requirements are
taught. It is important to remember that the Book is a teaching aid, it is
not a mandatory item. Emergency Preparedness is a good example of a book
that had no requirement change but was rewritten on the inside. A good tip
off of a revised edition of a book is if the outside cover picture has
changed or if the revised edition date has changed.
* I can tell you that even if a requirement has changed, BSA Supply Division
will still ship the old book until sold out! As a summer camp Trading Post
Business Manager, I therefore try to place my older as late in April as
possible to hopefully get the new editions. One year I ordered in March and
got about 100 non returnable books of badges I knew had been revised.
* At your summer camp be villigent to make sure that the Trading Post is
selling and staff are teaching with the same edition of the book, and that
the version is up to date. If the post has old books, they should at least
offer a photostated copy of the current requirements, and the counsellor
should be aware of the places where he needs to point out changes to what is
printed in the book.
* Also, as a service to your community: If your local town libnrary keeps a
selection of all of the MB books, why not visit it every few years and help
the librarians weed out the old outdated books, and get them to order the new
Summer Camp Program Director (Past Years)
Summer Camp Chaplain & Business Manager (Past Three Years)
"We ALWAYS have ONLY the CURRENT edition of book in our camp!"
Thunder Scout Reservation - Griffin GA
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City