Concerning Badges

Why, yes, we do need them.

Why, yes, we do need them.

Podcast Topics

Ken and Colin kick off 2021 by discussing...well, after an extended amount of banter about holidays and a few other topics, the discussion eventually settles onto the history of badges.

Call them what you want: crests, merit badges, personal achievement badges, outdoor adventure badges...they’re a nigh-universal element of Scouting programs that can trace their history back to the movement’s founding. Even in Scouting for Boys, Baden-Powell discusses badges at various particular, the Scout Badge, a two-part crest that combines a scroll (which reads “Be Prepared”) and an arrowowhead/fleur de-lis. This badge signified progression in the Scouting program; a newly-invested Second Class Scout would receive the scroll, and then later the arrowhead upon being prompted to First Class.

And badges are used, in part, as a means of signifying a Scout’s progression even to this day. But, of course, that’s not all they’re used for either, is it?


First off, a shout-out is due to J.P. Torunski and the 36th Ottawa Cub Scouts. They have challenged Cub Scouts across Canada to get out and move over the winter months ahead. By the end of March, Cubs should try and do one of the following:

  • Hike 50 km
  • Ski (cross country)100 km
  • Skate 75 km
  • Bike 200 km

Personally, we say: why limit this challenge to just Canada? If you’re anywhere in the world and you have a Cub Scout pack, feel free to challenge them to achieve one of these adventures; they’ve got three months to make it happen!

And, as always, a big thank you to the folks at Scouting Radio for rebroadcasting Scouting Stuff episodes to their worldwide Scouting audience. If you're listening to us on Scouting Radio right now, let us know; reach out and get in touch. We'd love to hear from you.


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Slow Burn, by Kevin MacLeod