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BSA Merit Badges

 

Boy Scouts of America

 

One of the best organizations for introducing boys to the history, culture and the great outdoors of our amazing land is the Boys Scouts of America (BSA). For many years, the BSA has awarded merit badges to Scouts as a means of recognizing the accumulation of specialized knowledge. Currently there are 135 different badges beginning with American Business and ending with Woodworking. All are interesting, informative and require effort, partipation, and a quest for knowledge.

At the CCMRRCAM, we are primarily concerned with merit badge #94 - The Railroading BSA Railroading Merit BadgeBadge. By earning this merit badge, Scouts will learn about railroading and it's rich history in North America as well as Cape Cod. We will look at the position that railroads hold in the country today and then engage in a comparison with the position of yesteryear. Time will be taken to examine railroading careers and speak with real people who work on the railroad and a close look at Operation Lifesaver and how Scouts can promote their important message.

Finally a good section of the requirements for successful achievement of this badge involves model railroading. This special interest area offers the opportuntity to show the hobby to an interested group of youngsters and encourages new skills. We will be able to use our model trains to show how real trains are moved, switched and dispatched and explain how signalling works.

These requirements, like all of the merit badge requirements, are in-depth and participatory. The Cape Cod Chapter of the NRHSScouts know that to be successful in achieving merit badges they are expected to use their thinking skills, creativity and problem solving to gain knowledge of their subject matter. The varied requirments for the Railroading merit badge mean that several organizations need to be involved to lend their knowledge and expertise. The Cape Cod Chapter of the National Ride the Cape Train!Railroad Historical Society, the Mass Coastal Ry.preservers of the storied original train station in West Barnstable, have agreed to co-sponsor the event with us. Also expected to take part is the Cape Cod Central Railroad and/or the Mass Coastal Railroad, both railroads use the tracks from Buzzards Bay to Yarmouth for passenger and freight service.

The Railroading Merit Badge was first awarded in 1952 and it has remained a popular achievement since. One element of the merit badge achievement program that has changed is the approach that the Scouts take toward completing the requirements. The accessibility of information via the internet, as well as the efforts required to has encouraged merit badges to be offered via colleges.

The BSA has been especially helpful to our club as we developed our Child Protection Policy; ultimately, most of our policy is directly derived upon, if not taken completely from, the BSA Child Protection Policy. We are grateful to the BSA for the hours of work and thoughtful effort that was instilled into the creation of this policy. By ensuring that Child Protection Policy is completely adhered to, we protect kids and adults alike and make our club a safe place for people of all ages to gather.