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On It’s Own Merit

MB_ArtThis past weekend I attended my nephew’s Eagle Scout court of honor (congrats Brendan). This is the 3rd Eagle Scout ceremony I’ve been to in the last year, all very moving affairs. For those civilians, (and I am one, having been a cub scout for all of 2 months), It’s the highest advancement rank in Scouting.
To achieve this, a scout must pass through lower ranks and tests along with fulfilling requirements in skills which are represented by merit badges.
“Merit badges signify the mastery of certain Scoutcraft skills…” , There are 120 merit badges available in scouting, we’ve all probably seen a scout proudly wearing the patches on their sash: first Aid, swimming, archery, etc.
I googled merit badges to find out more and came across wonderful examples of non-scout merit badges. Some spoofed scouting life in an animal house –esque way but others I feel (as obviously do others) actually do bestow merit for achievements most of us non-scouts go through that deserve recognition.

Female merit badges (all images below are © Mary Yeager) from http://www.maryyaeger.com/posterdescr.html

Femme Badges

(Above) Mary Yeager has a fantastic exhibit posted of merit badges stitched by her that mark significant events in the lives of a woman. Above is a small sample. Someone had posted a comment on Yeager’s site about a merit badge for enduring sexual harrasment as a female rite of passage…how sad but true, that would be an appropriate badge.


(Above) Pod Post’s one in a series of mail art crafting merit badges. Check out their site’s gallery for pix of their line of merit badges being worn on a sash by Pod Post scouts. © Pod Post


(Above) Spoof merit badges from Boy Scout Store (not affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America) © Boy Scout Store


(Above) Nerd Merit badges and available laptop sash from Nerd Merit Badges


(Above) NaNoWriMo Merit Badges.  Word-Count Padding, Procrastination, Caffeine Abuse, Secret Noveling  to name a few.  © The Office of Letters and Light


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