New BSA Merit Badges Align with Tech Camps

By the end of 2014, there will be a Boy Scout Merit Badge to coincide with every one of our technology camps: Robotics, Game Design, Animation, and Programming! Here are the details for each badge:

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Robotics BSA Merit Badge

We discussed the Robotics Merit Badge in 2011 when the badge first came out. Little did we know this was going to revitalize the entire Boy Scout Merit Badge collection!

Game Design BSA Merit Badge

  • Estimated launch date: March 2013

The Game Design Merit Badge will focus on one or more of the following:

  • Electronic (games for computers, game systems, or mobile devices)
  • Outdoor/Athletic (sports or games like capture the flag)
  • Tabletop (dice-based games, board games, card games)
  • Pen and Paper or Role-Playing Games

In addition to designing and testing a game, scouts will also learn:

  • How to think critically about certain games
  • What makes games fun
  • Important game terms
  • How to design and implement rules
  • Problem solving

This is great news, which means that the Video Game Design camp will likely qualify for most of the requirements for the Game Design merit badge. It also means that if someone cannot attend a Video Game Design camp, the merit badge can also be attained by developing a tabletop, outdoor, or RPG game without a computer.

Animation BSA Merit Badge

  • Estimated launch date: 2014

The unofficial information about this badge is: Computer or traditional animation tasks that will test a Scout’s creativity, artistic skills, and storytelling abilities. Boy, this sure sounds like everything we do in the Stop Motion Animation camp!

  • Scout creativity: Every movie we make in Stop Motion Animation camp is unique, all the way down to the characters, background, action sequences, and storylines.
  • Artistic skills: In camp, we build backgrounds with LEGO and green-screen chroma key, covering physical and artificial backdrops.
  • Storytelling abilities: We storyboard our movies before we begin our video capture. This is key to detailing what we need to digitally capture to tell our story.

This merit badge should be fulfilled by most everything we do in Stop Motion Animation camp.

Programming BSA Merit Badge

  • Estimated launch date: July 2013

The Programming Merit Badge will focus on the software side of the old Computers Merit Badge. We expect the badge to allow programming in any one of the many computer programming languages out there, including Scratch which we teach in our Computer Programming camp.

References

Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the senior editor of Scouting magazine. His information was used in creating the content for this Classroom Antics blog article.

Continue the Conversation

Do you know more about the merit badges mentioned in this article? What do you think about the direction the Boy Scouts of America is going with these new merit badges? Tell us in the Comments section below.