Scouts-L Mail Archive for April of 1999: Early BSA Ranks/Merit Badges
Early BSA Ranks/Merit Badges
Thu, 22 Apr 1999 12:47:45 -0400
I own a reprint of the original 1911 BSA Handbook in which I attempted to
look up the old merit badge that Jim Weiland had asked about. By time I had
dug it out someone else had already identified the merit badge as
Automobiling. However, I did find something interesting regarding the
earliest BSA merit badges and ranks.
In the Scoutcraft chapter of the handbook, after all the merit badges and
their requirements are listed, it says:
" Life Scout
The life scout badge will be given to all first-class scouts who have
qualified for the following five-merit badges: first aid, athletics,
life-saving, personal health, and public health.
The star scout badge will be given to the first-class scout who has
qualified for ten merit badges. The ten include the list of badges under
Any first-class scout qualifying for twenty-one merit badges will be
entitled to wear the highest scout merit badge. This is an eagle's head in
silver, and represents the all-around perfect scout."
(In case you are commenting about my sloppy capitalization, this is exactly
how it is printed in the handbook.) I thought that it was interesting that
Life originally came before Star, and that Life, Star, and Eagle appear to
have originally been in the category of merit badges rather than ranks --
ASM, Troop 1