The history of merit badges in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has been tracked by categorizing them into a series of merit badge types. In addition to the Boy Scouts of America, many other Scouting and Scouting-like organizations around the world, such as Pathfinders, Baden-Powell Scouts and Royal Rangers, issue merit badges or their equivalent; though they are sometimes called honors or proficiency badges. Other organizations, such as fire brigades, issue badges or awards that they refer to as merit badges, but that are in some respects different from the badges awarded by the BSA.

…In 1911, the BSA manufactured the first official 57 merit badges and began awarding them.The number of badges available has been as high as 127 in 1975 and again in 1987. As of March 2014, the number of badges available is 134. Merit badge types are identifiable by the cloth and manufacturing process used to make them. The classification of badges into types came about as a way for collectors to categorize and classify their collections. Merit badge collectors often collect other Scouting memorabilia as well. –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story in which the pursuit of a merit badge (or some equivalent) drives the plot.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a merit badge or some other award you earned that meant a great deal to you.

Art Prompt: Merit badge

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the history of merit badges.

Photo Credit: dennis crowley on Flickr

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