Scouting for the Boy Scout badges of your youth? Be prepared for a
booming market in Boy Scout memorabilia, with badges alone
encompassing over one million different items — an indication of the
widespread popularity of scouting, and the prolific production of badges
commemorating everything from a boy's accomplishment at archery to a booth at the last national Jamboree.
Since 1911, Scouts have earned those iconic merit badges (less than 200
in total) for mastering specific activities and areas of study.
Subjects have evolved with the times, painting an intriguing picture of
American culture. Every few years the Boy Scouts review how timely
or how valuable these skills are, changing requirements or discontinuing entire merit badge programs.
Where once you might have earned honors in Beekeeping, Pigeon-Raising,
Sheep Farming or Farm & Ranch Layout, today's Scouts strive for badges
in Agribusiness, Atomic Energy, Entrepreneurship and Crime Prevention. To
keep adventurous kids in scouting, badges have been added for Climbing,
Whitewater Rafting and Scuba Diving.
Most Boy Scout badges are machine embroidered, though some older badges
are either embroidered or silkscreened on felt. Designs have changed over
time, helping to date some badges on sight.
Next: Collectibles Market for Scouting Badges
The Boy Scout Council Shoulder Patch Guide by Steve Delman, Elisa Delman
Scouting for Boys: A Handbook for Instruction in Good Citizenship by Robert Baden-Powell
The Boy: Baden-Powell and the Siege of Mafeking by Pat Hopkins, Heather Dugmore
The Official Boy Scout Handbook by Boy Scouts of America