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Top 5 merit badges for a spring break staycation

March 6, 2015

For Scouts and Venturers, spring break often means a supertrip — a weeklong outing that wouldn’t be possible over a weekend.

But what about those Scouts staying home? They can still find time for Scouting, if they choose, by completing some spring break-friendly merit badge requirements.

Here are five merit badges for making the most out of a spring break staycation.

Each one has requirements Scouts could earn during their school-free week, and all are waymore fun than doing homework.

Know of some I missed? Let me know in the comments.

Salesmanship-MB5. Salesmanship

Spring break trips — to the beach or to the slopes — can be pricy. But rather than destroying the piggy bank for a week of frivolity, an enterprising Scout might try to fill his coffers instead.

If he earns Salesmanship merit badge, he’ll learn the self-confidence, motivation, friendliness and persistence needed to pull in some cold, hard cash.

For example, check out requirement 5B: “Sell your services such as lawn raking or mowing, pet watching, dog walking, snow shoveling and car washing to your neighbors. Follow up after the service has been completed and determine the customer’s satisfaction.”

Who knows? He may be able to fund next year’s spring break trip this year.

Astronomy-MB4. Astronomy

This one’s tailor made for the night owls.

Working on Astronomy merit badge during spring break means Scouts can stay up stargazing as long as they want — without suffering any ill effects at school the next day.

Maybe he’ll use the free time to plan and participate in a three-hour observation session (requirement 8B) or star party (requirement 8C).

Or perhaps he’ll make a nightly check-in with the moon for requirement 6B: “Sketch the phase and the daily position of the Moon, at the same hour and place, for four days in a row.”

Golf-MB3. Golf

Is sun in the forecast? What better time than spring break for earning Golf merit badge?

Since us working stiffs have to be in the office all week, the golf courses of America should be refreshingly wide open for Scouts to swing away.

Once they’ve learned the rules and proper techniques, Scouts earning Golf merit badge complete the greatest requirement of all, requirement 8: “Play a minimum of two nine-hole rounds or one 18-hole round of golf with another golfer about your age and with your counselor, or an adult approved by your counselor.”

Fore!

Chess-MB2. Chess

Is rain or snow in the forecast? Here’s a merit badge that’s fun in any weather.

Chess merit badge is more than just seeing who can checkmate their opponent first. It covers a variety of winning tactics, including some I’ve never heard of: clearance sacrifice, decoy, discovered attack, double attack, fork, interposing, overloading, overprotecting, pin, remove the defender, skewer, zwischenzug.

Spring break offers a nice opportunity for Scouts to gather and complete requirement 6C: “Organize and run a chess tournament with at least four players, plus you. Have each competitor play at least two games.” Set up the board, pop some popcorn and get playing.

But be warned, chess-playing parents: Once your Scout earns this one, he’ll be tough to beat.

Model-Design-and-Building-MB1. Model Design and Building

Why spend spring break merely watching sci-fi movies when you could create something that might appear in one?

That’s Model Design and Building merit badge, and requirement 5 is awesome: “Build a special-effects model of a fantasy spacecraft that might appear in a Hollywood science-fiction movie. Determine an appropriate scale for your design—one that makes practical sense. Include a cockpit or control area, living space, storage unit, engineering spaces, and propulsion systems.”

That could be one of the BSA’s greatest — and least-known — merit badge requirements.

What else?

What other merit badges make sense for spring breakers? Let me know in the comments.

Other “top 5 merit badges” posts

Looking for others in my “Top 5 merit badges” series? Click here.

Posted on March 6, 2015 by in Merit Badges, Top 5 merit badges

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