Mountain biking added as an option in Cycling merit badge


Do your Scouts prefer their bike tires fat instead of thin? Then I’ve got good news.



Beginning today, Cycling merit badge now includes a mountain biking option. That means Scouts can choose between road cycling or mountain biking when earning the Eagle-required badge. (To earn Eagle, Scouts must earn Swimming or Hiking or Cycling.)

The change is to Requirement 7, which now reads “Using the BSA buddy system, complete all of the requirements for ONE of the following options: road biking OR mountain biking.”

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Programming merit badge requirements released

programmingMuch of Baden-Powell’s vision for Scouting still holds true today. But put this one in the category of something B-P never could have predicted.

Today the Boy Scouts of America releases Programming merit badge, an elective badge that challenges Scouts to, among other requirements, “write, debug, and demonstrate a functioning program.” Programming MB continues in the BSA’s long tradition of preparing young men for modern-day careers, so I’m a big fan already.

The merit badge’s requirements are available below. Scouts may begin working on Programming MB once pamphlets arrive in Scout Shops and at in early August.

So if your Scouts are fluent in JavaScript, PHP, C++, or one of the dozens of other programming languages out there, be sure to share this printable flier (PDF) with the merit badge requirements.

Take a look at the official requirements: [

Sustainability merit badge requirements released

sustainabilityReady … set … go green!

The long-awaited requirements for the Boy Scouts of America’sSustainability merit badge have been released.

The badge joins the Eagle-required list as an option to Environmental Science merit badge. Scouts must earn either Sustainability orEnvironmental Science on their journey to Eagle.

Scouts may begin working on Sustainability MB once pamphlets arrive in Scout Shops and at in early August, but you can get a first look at the requirements below. Orclick here (PDF) for a downloadable flier you can share with your Scouts. [Read more »]

Guide to Advancement

The Guide to Advancement is the official source for administering advancement in all Boy Scouts of America programs: Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, Varsity Scouting, Venturing, and Sea Scouts. It replaces the Advancement Committee Policies and Procedures and Advancement and Recognition Policies and Procedures, which are no longer valid.

Read More

Ask the Expert: Can merit badge progress begin before a Scout gets his blue card?

If a Scout camps several nights with his troop before getting a signed blue card from his Scoutmaster, do those nights count toward his earning Camping merit badge?

Read More

The most- and least-popular merit badges of 2012

From Bryan on Scouting. See full article here.

Which merit badges had Scouts rushing to counselors and Moms and Dads rushing to the sewing machine last year?

As you’d expect, the 12 most-earned merit badges from 2012 were all Eagle-required. Those merit badges provide extra motivation for Scouts to finish them on their journey through the ranks. But the badges that ranked 13 to 130 have some interesting takeaways:

Four lessons learned
Newcomers Chess, Kayaking, Geocaching, and Robotics were all in the top 50, despite the fact that each is only a few years old.
Most, but not all, of the badges in the top 30 are offered at council summer camps, meaning it’s easier for a Scout to earn one without finding a qualified counselor. [Read more »]

Philmont Scout Ranch Expeditions Lottery Results


Philmont Scout Ranch Expeditions would like to congratulate


Troop 46 of the Westark Area Council

(Sponsor: Mount Sequoyah Conference Retreat Center – Fayetteville, AR 72701)

Your unit has been picked as a winner for a reservation in 2014 at Philmont Scout Ranch.

Your arrival date is July 26, 2014. (Departure: Aug 2, 2014)

We have your unit con firmed for 5 youth and 2 adults (1 crew).


Fifteen Thoughts for Scout Leaders

repost from CLARKE GREEN on NOVEMBER 30, 2012

Here’s fifteen thoughts for Scout leaders that I hope you find helpful.

1. Trust the Program.
100 years of proven results – Follow it! Seek to understand and embrace changes.

2. Conduct Activities that are Age Appropriate.
Respond to the specific needs of each developmental stage: don’t push Scouts into activities for older, or hold them back in activities for younger Scouts

3. Be prepared to work with different family standards and expectations.
The way you were raised and the way you raise your children aren’t the only ‘right’ way. Never complain to a Scout about his parents or disparage his family .

4. Avoid Disagreements. – Run to the Resource.
Disagreements and difficulties are inevitable, seek resolution with as little disruption as possible. Policy and procedures are written down for a reason – know these resources and use them.

5. Accept Help.
You will need help, it will come from many directions (even a few you don’t like) accept it gracefully and always say ‘thank you’.

6. Be Professional.
“I am just a volunteer” is never an excuse for being unprepared, or doing a poor job.

7. Maintain Perspective and Proportion.
You are important, your work in Scouting is important, so are your Scouts – but so are a lot of other things in life.

8. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

9.  Scouts are measured individually based on their effort. 
B.P. said: the standard of performance is purposefully undefined to give every boy the opportunity to grow according to his own abilities and interests.

10. Keep Your Commitments.
Don’t over-extend your volunteer roles, be realistic about what you can and can not do.

11. Focus on  success of your Scouts.
Individual success is prerequisite to the success of the group.

12. Strive to understand your role and maintain your Scouting education.
Be inquisitive, get training – don’t wait around for someone to bring you knowledge – seek it out.

13. You are not likely to encounter a new problem or difficulty – ask more experienced leaders for help.

14. If Something Doesn’t Work…
It’s either not a part of the Scouting program or you may have misunderstood or misapplied something. It is not the Scouts fault or some shortcoming in the program.

15. It’s not just about your boy but all of the Scouts.
For an hour a week you are a Scout Leader first and a parent second.

The Scout Law and Cybersafety/Cyberbullying

Cybersaftey and Cyberbullying are a issue, and one that our Troop has tried to stress to scouts at various times. The BSA has just released a new pledge, based on the 12 points of the Scout Law, that stresses to young and old scouters the importance of living out the principles taught in scouting at all times, even online. Please print out this PDF document and discuss it with your scout. Once they understand and agree to apply it, sign it and bring it to a troop meeting. If you cannot print it, go over it online and we will have copies available to sign at the troop meetings.

Link to Cybersafety Document


Scout Discover Prepaid Card

Not sure what to get that special Scout in your life for Christmas? All those camp gadgets and outdoor specialty products can be confusing and difficult to decide on. Why not give them a way to get their favorite items when and where they want?

The BSA has unveiled a new pre-paid card program through the Discover network. The Scout prepaid card is designed as a Scout’s first financial tool to teach financial education and responsibility. It will include many of the same features of a typical bank account, as well as these additional benefits:

  • Online and mobile access to the card account
  • Special financial education information for parents and Scouts to discuss
  • Direct ties to earning-related merit badges
  • Safety concierge service for Scouts in emergency situations
  • Access to discounts at tens of thousands of merchants nationwide

To learn more about the Scout prepaid card program, please visit


Boy Scouts Troop 46 is located in Fayetteville, Arkansas. We are chartered by the Mount Sequoyah Retreat and Conference Center and are members of the Razorback District of the WestArk Council.

If you are interested in joining the scouting experience please contact us at