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ARRL Special Bulletin ARLX003 (2009)

ARLX003 BSA Updates Radio Merit Badge Requirements

QST de W1AW  
Special Bulletin 3  ARLX003
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  February 25, 2009
To all radio amateurs 

ARLX003 BSA Updates Radio Merit Badge Requirements
The new BSA Radio Merit Badge Pamphlet includes color pictures and
updated charts and text. The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has updated
the requirements needed to earn the Radio merit badge. The new
requirements became effective with the publication of Boy Scout
Requirements 2009. While no new content has been added to the
program, the new merit badge pamphlet features lots of new
information -- including color pictures and updated charts and text
-- that reflects the changes in the Amateur Radio Service since the
last pamphlet update in 2002. Approximately 4000 Radio merit badges
are earned each year.

According to ARRL ad hoc Scouting Committee member Larry Wolfgang,
WR1B, the new Radio Merit Badge pamphlet had been in the works for
some time. "BSA has been replacing all merit badge pamphlets with
new booklets using color graphics and more modern presentations," he
said. "With attractive color photos and clear text explanations of
the requirements, the new merit badge pamphlet is a pleasure for the
Scouts to read. The new text is due in large part to the efforts of
longtime Radio Merit Badge Counselor and K2BSA National Jamboree
Staff member Mike Brown, WB2JWD. I am looking forward to using the
new pamphlet to teach Radio merit badge at our Council's
Merit-Badge-O-Ree this spring, and to having a supply of the new
books available for Scouts during the 2009 summer camp season."

Wolfgang said that the requirements for the badge have been shifted
around: "The old Part 4 of Requirement 7(b) Broadcast Radio was
pulled out and placed in the main body of the requirements as
Requirement 8. In addition, the old Requirement 8 (to visit a radio
installation and discuss what types of equipment, how it was used,
what types of licenses are required to operate and maintain the
equipment, and the purpose of the station) was moved up to
Requirement 7, so that now the three options appear as Requirement
9. The main result is one additional full requirement."

ARRL Rocky Mountain Division Director and Chairman of the League's
ad hoc Scouting Committee Brian Mileshosky, N5ZGT, called the Radio
Merit Badge "a perfect avenue to introduce Scouts and Scouters to
the wonderful world of ham radio. Ham clubs across the nation should
locate a local Boy Scout Troop, secure permission from their
Scoutmaster and/or committee to teach the merit badge and deliver an
exceptional Radio merit badge class. What the boys -- and their
leaders and parents -- will learn in the process is a fair amount of
what is part of the Technician license exam, so the next logical
step after a merit badge class is an all-out recruiting effort to
get that Troop involved in Amateur Radio. They'll meet new friends
and have a great way of communicating while in transit to and from
the field, as well as additional peace of mind through an effective
means of emergency communications while in the backcountry."

Additional information -- which includes the new 2009 requirements
-- can be found on the web at,


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