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Apr 07

Help Reinstate the Boyscout Beekeeping Merit Badge

Note: This is a quote of an email I recently received.  I'm posting it for our readers because I believe in it's goat to encourage young people to learn about beekeeping and hope you will too.   -Tim
 
Beekeeping Merit BadgeI want you to consider helping Christopher Stowell, a young Boy Scout and beekeeper, in his efforts to persuade Boy Scouts of America to reinstate the Beekeeping Merit Badge. There is not enough youth involvement in beekeeping.  Both the involved scouts and the beekeeping community would benefit greatly if BSA will reinstate the merit badge.
 
BSA discontinued that merit badge about 15 years ago. I don’t think it is a coincidence that, around that time, many beekeepers quit due to difficulties caused by varroa mites.  With the development of the internet, we now have a way to pair up scouts with mentors.  Beekeepers support for this effort will be critical to its success.
 
Here is what I ask you to do:
 
1.  Please go to this website and sign Christopher Stowell’s online Petition:  http://www.experienceproject.com/beepetition
 
2.  Please spread the word about the online Petition by asking your friends and contacts to sign it.  For example, you can send an email to your contacts or send a message to your friends on Facebook giving them a link to the Petition and asking for support.  You will find that most people, even non-beekeepers, are happy to support a 13 year old who is on a mission to accomplish something positive. 
 
3.  If you are actually willing to be a mentor, please pledge to BSA that you would be willing to act as a beekeeping mentor for scouts in your area.  There are two ways that you can make this known.  The easiest way is to go to the “Pledge To Be A BSA Beekeeping Mentor” thread on BeeSource, which is located here: http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?p=521453#post521453
 
If you do not want to do a public post, you can print, sign and mail this form letter to Christopher Stowell: http://www.beesource.com/files/bsabeekeepingletter.bsa.pdf .
 
4.  Finally, if you are a member of a beekeeping club, please ask your club to pass this resolution:  http://www.beesource.com/files/bsaclubresolution.bsa.pdf
Christopher's goal is to present to the BSA on July 15, 2010. So please keep this in mind and make sure you take action as soon as possible. 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.honeyrunapiaries.com/blog/uncategorized/help-reinstate-the-boyscout-beekeeping-merit-badge/

4 comments

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  1. Santiago Wallace

    Hello, My name is Santiago wallace, I would love to act as a beekeeping mentor for scouts in my area….Volusia County, Florida.  I have a son who is 11 turning 12 in July, and he would love to earn a Beekeeping Merit Badge.

  2. BeeMinded

    What a great idea. (1) I didn't know there WAS a merit badge for that or I would have chased it when I was a Scout. (2) I know a good number of beekeepers in my area who would be eager to share their knowleged. (3) Bringing back the merit badge is a step toward 'bringing back the bees'.

  3. MIchael Bailey

    We need more diversity in merit badges and some of the older badges like this are what makes Scouting fun.  We have Beekeepers all around this area in Southern Ohio who would gladly show the scouts what's what with bees.

  4. Brad Cobb

    According to the following source, even though a merit badge is discontinued, it may still be earned:

    http://www.scouters.us/homemb2.html

    a quote covering this information:

    “A director of the Boy Scout division of the BSA stated at a Boy Scout Program conference at Philmont that a merit badge is never officially dropped. They are just omitted from all literature, the cloth badge is not made, and there are no books published. Apparently someone that has the most recent set of requirements can use them. I am not sure how one goes about getting an approved counselor. That could be a problem, however that hasn’t stopped some people. A case in point is the Rabbit Raising Merit Badge that was dropped in 1993. BSA records indicate that 49 Rabbit Raising Merit Badges were earned in 2003. Using a realistic approach, my definition for the final year for a merit badge is the last year it appears in BSA literature as a valid merit badge even though it may be earned many years after that.”

    I hope the above information fills your needs, so you may earn the desired merit badge. Even if there is no current production of badge available, you can still purchase badges previously made, which are still out there, as per example:

    http://shop.ebay.com/?_from=R40&_trksid=m570&_nkw=Scout+Beekeeping+Merit+Badge

    As to applying for a copy of out-of-print beekeeping merit badge book, they are available here:

    http://www.worldcat.org/title/beekeeping/oclc/11151081?referer=di&ht=edition

    Now as to finding a mentor, you can get a start here:

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?239672-Pledge-to-be-a-BSA-Beekeeping-Mentor&p=521453#post521453

    I’m in north east Kansas, and since my nephew is wanting to get his Beekeeping merit badge, I am looking into the steps necessary for BSA to accept me as a councilor, as per their requirements. I would suppose whatever mentor you discover would similarity have apply to their local BSA council and go through the approval process.

    Good Luck!

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