Scouting has always been about friendship, serving the community, and “Being Prepared.” Scouts not only learn of the value of God and Country, but have the opportunity to learn many new skills to lead them down a positive road through life.
One way Scouts are exposed to new ideas, new skills, and new opportunities is through the Scouting Badge Program. There are more than 100 Merit Badges a Scout can work towards. Every badge encourages the Scout to learn new skills and to become experienced in many new areas of endeavor. “Be Prepared” is not just a motto, it’s a reality.
Today, let’s look at a few of the Merit Badges available to Scouting.
The first Merit Badge a Scout can earn is “American Business.” It’s amazing that such a badge has driven thousands of people to excel in business, politics, and community life. People such as Gerald Ford, Martin Luther King, John F. Kennedy, Neil Armstrong, and Bill Gates were a part of Boy Scouts. They all trained as Scouts to be prepared.
The American Business Badge helps Scouts learn about practical business matters. A Scout must demonstrate knowledge of how business in the United States functions. The Scout must:
• Describe the free enterprise system in the United Sates. Describe the benefits and responsibilities applicable to business. The Scout must also be able to describe how the Scout Oath and Scout Law apply to business.
• Describe the industrial revolution and the major developments that marked the start of the modern industrial era in the United States.
• Visit a bank and describe the organization and how changes in interest rates, taxes, and government spending can affect the economy. The Scout must demonstrate knowledge of how businesses raise capital and the place profit holds in business. He must understand the possible types of insurance required in business.
• Pick two stocks, obtain corporate financial information, and describe how the information may be used as an assist with investment decisions.
• Assume you have purchased $1000 of a company’s stocks. Tell how you made the investment decisions and track the stocks for three months to see the results of your “investments”.
• Show knowledge about the role of unions in the United States. This knowledge should include the definitions of the following: a union shop, an open shop, collective bargaining, shop steward, business agent, and union counselor. He must also be able to describe four federal or state agencies in labor relations.
• Operate a small business such as delivering newspapers or lawn mowing for at least three months and keep all records of the activities.
The badge for American Business has helped thousands of young Scouts learn to “be prepared” to accept their position in business in the United States. The objective of the badge is to expose Scouts to the elements that drive the economy. This knowledge, in turn, will help the Scout’s with decisions involving future career opportunities.