It’s Eagle required, too — well, Scouts can choose either Environmental Science or Sustainability, but must earn one or the other to earn Eagle rank.
Requirements for the new Sustainability merit badge were released on July 16, concurrent with the 2013 National Scout Jamboree at the Summit. A lot of people missed the announcement, I’ll wager.
It’s good news. Conservation and nature-related merit badges have suffered a decline in Scouting, it seems to me. The conservation series was very much the keystone of a trek to Eagle when I was a Scout, at least as important as the citizenship series. But I don’t see that emphasis in Scouting today, sadly.
BSA recently created a Mining merit badge, which created some quiet grumbles among conservationists — this new, Eagle-path badge more than makes up for that, I think (though mining is a great topic for Scouts, especially in the western U.S., I think). This will not set well with the anti-conservation, anti-Agenda 21 crowd and their merry hoaxsters. But nothing BSA does is removed from political criticism from the right any more (see this odd photo choice for the Sustainability badge notice at the radical right-wing Daily Caller site).
This announcement gives me hope.
- Worksheet for the Sustainability merit badge from Boy Scout Trail
- Flyer with requirements for the Sustainability merit badge from Scouting.org
- Boy Scouts Launch Sustainability Merit Badge (stateimpact.npr.org)
- Boy Scouts of America introduce sustainability merit badge (treehugger.com)
- Boy Scouts Prepare for Sustainablilty (echo2hotel.wordpress.com)
- Five big takeaways from today’s release of the 2013 Guide to Advancement (scoutingmagazine.org)
- Fenton Eagle Scout earns all 135 merit badges (mysanantonio.com)
- Mining finally arrives: Boy Scout merit badge approved (mining.com)
Below the fold, the requirements and announcement from Bryan on Scouting, at Scouting Magazine’s site, verbatim and in total.