2021 - Sep Apr
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The Environmental Protection Agency turned 50 last year, so the BSA and EPA came up with a special, limited-time award that scouts can only earn during 2021. So, you've got 3 months left to get 'er done! Fortunately, if you've got some merit badges under your belt, it's pretty easy to earn.
A scout needs to learn about human health and the environment through merit badges and service. The simple requirements to earn the award are (completed in any order):
- During 2021, participate in an approved Scouting service project of at least 6 hours and that is environmental or public health oriented.
- Earn the Public Health merit badge
- Earn a merit badge from this list of Animal Study badges: Animal Science, Bird Study, Insect Study, Mammal Study, or Reptile and Amphibian Study
- Earn a merit badge from this list of Earth Science badges: Energy, Forestry, Geology, Nature, Oceanography, Plan Science, Soil and Water Conservation, Weather
- Earn a merit badge from this list of Outdoor Activity badges: Backpacking, Camping, Canoeing, Climbing, Fishing, Fly-Fishing, Gardening, Hiking, Kayaking, Scuba Diving, Whitewater, Wilderness Survival
The merit badges can be earned in 2021 or have already been earned previously.
The unit leader completes and brings this application to their local Scout Shop to get a recognition patch.
Some service project ideas are: trail maintenance, clear garbage from a stream, plant trees or flowers, make bird feeders, birdhouses, bat houses, collect recyclables, remove trash from a park, eradicate invasive species. The scout does not need to Lead the project, only participate - so participating in someone's Eagle service project or other troop project could count.
It's been a bit of a rough year for Scouting in America, and around the world. The covid 19 pandemic made it more challenging for all aspects of Scouting, but did not hinder motivated scouts, adult volunteers, and supporters from keeping the program thriving.
During the time of Scouting at home, online meetings, and virtual Courts of Honor, some of the social skills of our scouts have become rusty from lack of use. Now, with pandemic numbers dropping, vaccinations being distributed, and social restrictions gradually being reduced, it's the perfect time to roll out the new Socializing Merit Badge! The requirements for this prestigious recognition help scouts re-build their lost social skills as in-person activities become more safe and common, and we work towards purging the pandemic.
Summer camps, high adventure bases, and campgrounds are all preparing to welcome Scout groups for outdoor experiences this summer, and that will mean more face-to-face interaction. Earning this one gives scouts confidence in knowing how to socially interact, plus many studies have shown that scouts earning this merit badge have 553% more fun, receive 813% better grades, earn Eagle 692% faster, and fall for jokes 944% less often.
This Socializing merit badge will help us all purge the pandemic.Scout On! (or get some patches now in prep for the ending of the covid 19 pandemic)
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