Submitting New Merit Badge Ideas

From MeritBadgeDotOrg

Revision as of 22:11, August 16, 2018 by Nicouds (Talk | contribs)
(diff) ←Older revision | Current revision (diff) | Newer revision→ (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search

Ever had a really great idea for a new merit badge? Always wanted to know who to talk to or how to get your idea into the right hands? HERE'S HOW!

Suggestions for new merit badges may be sent to [email protected]. Ideas are researched for relevance to the BSA mission and the needs of today’s youth and families. Subject matter must spark interest in Scout-age boys; thus part of the process involves presenting submissions to a youth panel.
Guide to Advancement (2017), § New Merit Badges

The following section contains information that is out of date as far as the procedure to request new merit badge. However, it is left intact because it does contain some useful advice on doing background research prior to submitting an idea for a new merit badge to the national advancement committee.

Subject: New Merit Badges?
From: [email protected] (Bruce E. Cobern)
Date: 1995/06/18
Newsgroups: rec.scouting

In rec.scouting [email protected] (Eric Friedl) said:

>Can anyone tell me the procedure for submitting new merit badge ideas to
>the BSA National Council?

Just send a letter with the description of the badge and your suggestions
regarding requirements and the reasons why you feel there should be such a
badge to T.J. Van Houten at the National Office.

I should warn you, however, that he receives hundreds of suggestions each
year. He has a ring book with all the suggested MB subjects that have been
rejected. The appropriate committee reviews all of the suggestions every 2
years in preparation for the release of the new Requirements book.

The odds are that they have already received your suggestion, whatever it
is. When I was at the advancement seminar at Philmont in 1990 the entire
class was hard pressed to come up with a suggestion that he had not already
heard. I believe that Collections might have come out of that particular

Good luck and keep us posted.

Bruce E. Cobern
Adv Ch, Founders District, Queens Council, NY

Thanks to Bruce Cobern for sharing this information with the Scouting community.

You can get in touch with the national office advancement committee in Texas at the following address:

Boy Scouts of America
National Advancement Committee
1325 West Walnut Hill Lane
P.O Box 152079
Irving, TX 75015-2079

However, before you write to them, please consider the following...

If you really want the National Advancement Committee to take notice of your idea, you should document the idea and do some background research. This could include:

  • Contacting some professionals in the field or related fields.
  • Putting together some basic ideas about possible requirements.
  • Using your resources for support material such as your local library, university, or

Many thoughts and ideas have been expressed at about ideas for new merit badges. Don't go to all the trouble of reinventing the wheel! See what they're talking about in the forums before submitting your ideas to the national office.

Finally, don't expect overnight success. Like all bureaucracies, everything in Scouting has to "go through processing." If you know of other folks interested in your subject, get them to write letters in support of it as well.

Good Luck!

Personal tools