Stamp Collecting Merit Badge Requirements and Worksheet

Stamp Collecting Merit Badge

Stamp Collecting Merit Badge

January, 2007

Requirements for the Stamp Collecting merit badge:

  1. Do the following:
    1. Discuss how you can better understand people, places, institutions, history, and geography as a result of collecting stamps.
    2. Briefly describe some aspects of the history, growth, and development of the United States postal system. Tell how it is different from postal systems in other countries.
  2. Define topical stamp collecting. Name and describe three other types of stamp collections.
  3. Show at least ONE example of each of the following:
    1. Perforated and imperforate stamps
    2. Mint and used stamps
    3. Sheet, booklet, and coil stamps
    4. Numbers on plate block, booklet, coil, or marginal markings
    5. Overprint and surcharge
    6. Metered mail
    7. Definitive, commemorative, semipostal, and airmail stamps
    8. Cancellation and postmark
    9. First day cover
    10. Postal stationery (aerogramme, stamped envelope, and postal card)
  4. Do the following:
    1. Demonstrate the use of ONE standard catalog for several different stamp issues. Explain why catalog value can vary from the corresponding purchase price.
    2. Explain the meaning of the term condition as used to describe a stamp. Show examples that illustrate the different factors that affect a stamp's value.
  5. Demonstrate the use of at least THREE of the following stamp collector's tools:
    1. Stamp tongs
    2. Water and tray
    3. Magnifiers
    4. Hinges and stamp mounts
    5. Perforation gauge
    6. Glassine envelopes and cover sleeves
    7. Watermark fluid
  6. Do the following:
    1. Show a stamp album and how to mount stamps with or without hinges. Show at least ONE page that displays several stamps.
    2. Discuss at least THREE ways you can help to preserve stamps, covers, and albums in first-class condition.
  7. Do at least TWO of the following:
    1. Design a stamp, cancellation, or cachet.
    2. Visit a post office, stamp club, or stamp show with an experienced collector. Explain what you saw and learned.
    3. Write a review of an interesting article from a stamp newspaper, magazine, book, or web site (with your parent's permission).
    4. Research and report on a famous stamp-related personality or the history behind a particular stamp.
    5. Describe the steps taken to produce a stamp. Include the methods of printing, types of paper, perforation styles, and how they are gummed.
    6. Prepare a two- to three-page display involving stamps. Using ingenuity, as well as clippings, drawings, etc., tell a story about the stamps and how they relate to history, geography, or a favorite topic of yours.
  8. Mount and show, in a purchased or homemade album, ONE of the following:
    1. A collection of 250 or more different stamps from at least 15 countries.
    2. A collection of a stamp from each of 50 different countries, mounted on maps to show the location of each.
    3. A collection of 100 or more different stamps from either one country or a group of closely related countries.
    4. A collection of 75 or more different stamps on a single topic. (Some interesting topics are Scouting, birds, insects, the Olympics, sports, flowers, animals, ships, holidays, trains, famous people, space, and medicine, etc.) Stamps may be from different countries.
    5. A collection of postal items discovered in your mail by monitoring over a period of 30 days. Include at least five different types listed in requirement 3.

Stamp Collecting Worksheet

 Mar 07, 2014 - Jim Ewins
Foreign stamps are a very important part of stamp collecting which appears to be ignored. A note on what has happened to the hobby in the last 10 years would place it is perspective. (I don't believe it is still the most popular hobby world wide)
Sep 28, 2014 - Yvette Starr
I agree.  With the invention of electronic communications, the move to eliminate the instruction of hand writing in schools, the rising cost of stamps and the introduction of self adhesive stamps, sadly this is becoming a hobby of the past.
Sep 29, 2014 - Bjorn Wang
Sadly you are correct. The desire of most youth to collect stamps has gone away.  I began when I was a child and now have a boy of my own who is just now moving from Cubs to Boy Scouts.  Despite the fact that I have collected for nearly 35 years, and that I have written award winning reference books for stamp collectors, I can barely get him to work on this merit badge. I am even the merit badge counselor in the area.
I have found that attending a local stamp show will usually supply a boy with nearly everything they need for the merit badge at little or no cost. Our local club has a youth table that gives them stamps for free.
According to the BSA only about 1000-1100 boys have earned this merit badge in each of the past 3 years.  Sad.

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