Boy Scouts of America to Require Sustainability Merit Badge

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Sustainability Merit Badge

Excerpt:  The Boy Scouts of Amer­i­ca said in a state­ment to The Dai­ly Caller News Foun­da­tion: “In an effort to reflect a bet­ter bal­ance of the needs of youth and our nation today and in the future, Sus­tain­abil­i­ty, a new mer­it badge, will join Envi­ron­men­tal Sci­ence as an Eagle Scout option after its debut at the 2013 Jam­boree in July. The total num­ber of mer­it badges required for the Eagle Scout Award will remain at 21.”

…Scouts will be giv­en the option of earn­ing an envi­ron­men­tal sci­ence mer­it badge or a sus­tain­abil­i­ty mer­it badge to sat­is­fy the require­ments to become an Eagle Scout. The require­ments to earn the sus­tain­abil­i­ty badge haven’t been final­ized yet, but Scout­ing Magazine’s Bryan Wen­dell writes:

The Sus­tain­abil­i­ty mer­it badge, in essence, takes con­ser­va­tion and envi­ron­men­tal sci­ence to anoth­er lev­el. The pro­tec­tion, preser­va­tion, and man­age­ment of wildlife and nat­ur­al resources involved in con­ser­va­tion pro­vide a foun­da­tion for what we call envi­ron­men­tal sci­ence. The lat­ter inte­grates phys­i­cal and bio­log­i­cal sci­ences such as ecol­o­gy, biol­o­gy, soil sci­ence, atmos­pher­ic sci­ence, and oth­ers in order to gen­er­ate solu­tions to envi­ron­men­tal issues. Sus­tain­abil­i­ty takes off from there by tak­ing respon­si­bil­i­ty for bal­anc­ing long-term envi­ron­men­tal, social, health, and eco­nom­ic needs with progress and development.”

An impor­tant part of the con­cept, Wen­dell con­tin­ues, is “devel­op­ment, while meet­ing the needs of the present, can­not com­pro­mise the abil­i­ty of future gen­er­a­tions to meet their needs.”

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