Boy Scouts Radio Merit badge add direction finding for 2017 requirements

N4ESS n4ess at
Thu Jan 5 10:04:52 PST 2017

Boy Scouts' Radio Merit Badge Requirements to Include Amateur Radio
Direction Finding Option


The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) have
<> updated
the requirements for the Radio Merit Badge for 2017, although a formal
announcement is pending the publication of the 2017 Boy Scouts Requirements
pamphlet. A new option for the Radio Merit Badge is Amateur Radio Direction
Finding (ARDF). ARRL ARDF Coordinator Joe Moell, K0OV, said he's "really
excited" about the move, and he credited Jamboree on the Air Coordinator
(JOTA) and K2BSA trustee Jim Wilson, K5ND, with being the "spark plug"
behind the ARDF addition.

"Jim visited a training session at the USA ARDF Championships in Texas last
April and realized what an excellent activity that on-foot hidden
transmitter hunting can be for Scouts," Moell recounted. "Working with Brian
Coleman, KB0MAP, Jim authored the new ARDF Radio Merit Badge syllabus, which
was then reviewed by several leaders of US ARDF community."

A first draft of the new merit badge pamphlet is anticipated later this
month or in early February. Moell said the new merit badge requirements
should become effective just in time for the July 2017 National Scout
Jamboree in West Virginia, where an ARDF course and equipment will be
available to Scouts of all ages. He also hopes there could be a role for

The Radio Merit Badge ARDF option combines orienteering and foxhunting and
opens a new interactive component to this program. Other new Radio Merit
Badge options include cellular telephones and different types of radio

Key requirement being dropped from the Radio Merit Badge include open,
closed, and short circuits, as well as schematic symbols and components,
because these are covered in the Electricity and Electronics Merit Badges.

The BSA also made some minor editorial changes and reordered requirements
for the Amateur Radio option. The radio broadcasting option now includes
Internet streaming, regulations and power levels. A medium-wave and
shortwave listening option includes both types of listening, as well as
listening via streaming services on a smart phone.

The BSA has posted a  <> list of
frequently asked questions (FAQs). Scouts are encouraged to follow the new
requirements, although the guidelines may allow use of the previous
requirements in some cases.


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