The *2006 Boy Scout Requirements* book (33215B) is out and should be arriving at our local Scout Shops very soon. I received my copy of the new book on Thursday afternoon, from national supply, after ordering it through the Web. (Note that, although the catalog has the new book, the Web site still lists the old one. After I ordered it, and got a confirmation that they were sending me LAST YEAR's book, I e-mailed customer service, to make sure I got the right edition. The Customer Service rep. manually changed the order to make sure I got the 2006 book. I've have been feverishly working on the review ever since. (With a little time out for work, meals, a little sleep, and a bit of time with my family.)
I think I've gotten everything revised and posted to the US Scouting Service Project website. The analysis of what's changed since last January 1, 2005 can be found at: http://usscouts.org/usscouts/advance/bo ... ges06.html
There are links from that page to the individual merit badges and I've posted, in most cases, word by word analyses of what changed.
Here's a rough summary of what the new book contains, in the way of changes:
------ First Class requirements change ------------
The new First Class requirement is there as requirement 11 (after Scout Spirit) with the SM Conference and BOR being renumbered. The transitional footnote reads:
"Effective January , 2006, Scouts already working on their First Class rank prior to this date will have until June 30, 2006, to complete the rank without fulfilling requirement 11."
I've added the following note regarding the footnote:
Questions have been raised as to when does a Scout begin "working on their First Class rank"? Is it when he starts working on the first requirement for First Class, which could be as soon as he has completed the requirements for joining, since "The requirements for Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class ranks may be worked on simultaneously; however, these ranks must be earned in sequence."? Or is it when he completes his Second Class Board of Review, and is now working toward First Class? Arguments can be made in favor of either interpretation. We have requested a clarification from the National BSA Office to resolve the issue.
--------- Merit Badge Changes - Previously announced -------------------
During 2005, after the 2005 Requirements Book was issued, at least 15 new merit badge pamphlets were issued all with new or revised requirements, that I had previously posted to the website. Those merit badges were:
American Cultures, American Heritage, Bird Study, Computers, Disability Awareness, Energy, Geology, Photography, Plant Science, Public Health, Reptile and Amphibian Study, Shotgun Shooting, Truck Transportation, Veterinary Medicine, and Whitewater.
All of those changes are now covered in the 2006 Boy Scout Requirements Book, and in each case, nothing else changed, *except Shotgun Shooting* (see below).
In addition, the new book includes the changes to Scholarship merit badge that were inadvertently omitted from the 2005 requirements book, and the two requirements for Astronomy merit badge which had been left out of the 2005 book, even though in both cases, they had appeared in the pamphlets released during 2004. No other changes were made to those two merit badges.
--------Shotgun Shooting ----------------
For Shotgun Shooting, the new requirements book DOES have a few of the changes that appear in the new merit badge pamphlet, but *NOT all of them*. The majority of the changes were NOT transfered to the new Requirements Book. I'll write to BSA to see if I can find out what happened. In addition, the requirements in the pamphlet appear, to me, to have two editorial errors. On my site, I've listed what I believe should be the correct wording, but keep in mind that it's simply my best guess. I'll try to get those clarified as well.
----------------Other merit badge changes -------------
In addition to the 17 merit badges listed above, 11 other merit badges have had changes, all but two of which are substantial or almost complete rewrites. Those are:
American Labor, CAMPING, Chemistry (minor changes), CITIZENSHIP IN THE WORLD, Crime Prevention, ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE, Forestry, Genealogy, Pioneering, Pulp and paper, and Skating (minor changes).
NOTE: The three in ALL CAPS are, of course, EAGLE REQUIRED badges, so Scouts, Scoutmasters, and Merit Badge Counselors for those badges should take particular care to review the changes.
--------------------- NEW badge -----------------------
At the 2005 National Jamboree, there was a display and demonstration of a proposed new merit badge in Composite Materials. That merit badge has been added to the requirements book. The pamphlet for the badge is NOT available yet, but should become available in the next few months.
---------------------- Merit Badge Books -------------------
I've also updated my listing of merit badge pamphlets, at http://usscouts.org/usscouts/mb/mbbooks.html
to reflect the list on the inside back cover of the requirements book.
In addition to the 15 merit badge pamphlets I mentioned above that had previously been released during 2005, 10 of the 11 merit badges listed under the "Other merit badge changes" heading above have new pamphlets with copyright dates of either 2005 or 2006. (The Chemistry pamphlet is unchanged.)
By my records, there are only 12 merit badges with requirements that have remained completely unchanged since January 1, 1999, and only 10 with pamphlets that haven't been revised since that date.
If you find any errors in the typing or transcribing of these changes, please let me know. Thanks.
Paul S. Wolf, P.E.(Ret.) mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Secretary, US Scouting Service Project, Inc.