As outdoor enthusiasts, it’s no surprise that we highly encourage participation in a scouts program. Scouts isn’t just about learning to tie a knot (although that comes in handy). The program helps build character and form a well-rounded appreciation for the great outdoors. Here are some of our favorite outdoorsy badges that scouts can earn:
The archery badge is as much about skill as it is about safety. The badge requires knowledge about bow and arrow mechanics, gear, and usage; scouts also need to be able to clean, care for, and properly store a bow. That’s all in addition to being able to actually use the thing and hit a target. Earning this badge is no easy task, but it’s a great way to get into bow hunting.
This is probably the most well-known scout badge and for good reason: you get to go camping! Mapping a trip, proper clothing and equipment, and first aid are huge parts of the camping badge. Two other big chunks of the badge (and two of our favorites) are learning the “Leave No Trace” principles and the Outdoor Code. Pitching a tent, hiking, biking, and cooking are all included in the camping badge. With all scouts get to do while earning their camping merit, we wouldn’t be surprised if this is the first badge scouts want to earn.
It’s about the time of year when scouts will be working on this very badge, and they can choose between downhill or cross country skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing. Each option requires knowledge of that particular sport, including possible hazards, first aid, and care of equipment. Although scouts aren’t expected to be experts at their chosen sport, they must be able to, for example, ski proficiently.
An understanding of our forests and how they impact the environment carries over into several facets of life, which is one of the reasons why we love this badge. Identifying local and invasive species of trees and shrubs, sustainable forest management, forest fire prevention, wildlife habitat, and soil protection are all discussed while scouts are earning their forestry badge.
Of course, this isn’t every outdoor badge that scouts can earn; others include: fly fishing, fish and wildlife management, backpacking, bird study, climbing, and rowing. You can find a complete list of merit badges here.
At the Sports Show, scouts can find experts in their field of interest to assist them with their merit badges. We even have a “Scouts Day,” when all scouts can get in free (find out more here).