Scouts send a message with a new merit badge.

Discussion in 'Survival Communications' started by Mindgrinder, Mar 28, 2015.

  1. Mindgrinder

    Mindgrinder Karma Pirate Ninja|RIP 12-25-2017

    Can you read me? Boy Scouts send a message with a new merit badge. - The Washington Post

    One Boy Scout is sending a message by a signaling method called wig-wag and another is taking the reply in this photo from 1956. (Harry Goodwin/The Washington Post)

    By John Kelly Columnist March 23

    Eventually, everything comes back. Young men are wearing beards again, just as they did in Victorian times. Vinyl albums — thought to have been killed by CDs and MP3s — are so trendy that record-pressing plants are working round-the-clock to satisfy hungry hipsters. Coffee used to be bad for you. Now it’s touted for its miracle properties.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if doctors start promoting cigarettes for “lung health.”

    John Kelly writes "John Kelly's Washington," a daily look at Washington's less-famous side. Born in Washington, John started at The Post in 1989 as deputy editor in the Weekend section.View Archive

    The latest golden oldie to make a comeback is the semaphore. The signaling system that employs flags to spell out letters is part of the Boy Scouts’ new “Signs, Signals and Codes” merit badge. So’s another seemingly obsolete communications method: Morse code.

    Link at top.

    stg58, Tully Mars, chelloveck and 2 others like this.
  2. Mindgrinder

    Mindgrinder Karma Pirate Ninja|RIP 12-25-2017

    Signs, Signals and Codes merit badge requirements | Simon Kenton Council Boy Scouts of America | Proudly Serving Central and Southern Ohio & Northern Kentucky

    Signs, Signals and Codes merit badge requirements

    Signs, Signals and Codes merit badge isn’t just about emojis.

    The badge covers a number of nonverbal ways we communicate: emergency signaling, Morse code, American Sign Language, braille, trail signs, sports officiating hand signals, traffic signs, secret codes and more.

    Some of the coolest requirements: Write a six-word braille message. Use trail signs and markers to create a one-mile trail for fellow Scouts to follow. Invent a secret code and send a 25-word message to a friend or fellow Scout for him to decode.

    Sounds pretty awesome. I see just one thing to complain about: Why wasn’t this around when I was a Scout? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Signs, Signals and Codes merit badge requirements
    1. Discuss with your counselor the importance of signs, signals, and codes, and why people need these different methods of communication. Briefly discuss the history and development of signs, signals, and codes.

    2. Explain the importance of signaling in emergency communications. Discuss with your counselor the types of emergency or distress signals one might use to attract airborne search-and-rescue personnel if lost in the outdoors or trying to summon assistance during a disaster. Illustrate these signaling examples by the use of photos or drawings.

    3. Do the following:

    a. Describe what Morse code is and the various means by which it can be sent. Spell your first name using Morse code. Send or receive a message of six to 10 words using Morse code.

    b. Describe what American Sign Language (ASL) is and how it is used today. Spell your first name using American Sign Language. Send or receive a message of six to 10 words using ASL.

    4. Give your counselor a brief explanation about semaphore, why it is used, how it is used, and where it is used. Explain the difference between semaphore flags and nautical flags. Then do the following:

    a. Spell your first name using semaphore. Send or receive a message of six to 10 words using semaphore.

    b. Using illustrations or photographs, identify 10 examples of nautical flags and discuss their importance.

    5. Explain the braille reading technique and how it helps individuals with sight impairment to communicate. Then do the following:

    a. Either by sight or by touch, identify the letters of the braille alphabet that spell your name. By sight or touch, decode a braille message at least six words long.

    b. Create a message in braille at least six words long, and share this with your counselor.

    6. Do the following:

    a. Describe to your counselor six sound-only signals that are in use today. Discuss the pros and cons of using sound signals versus other types of signals.

    b. Demonstrate to your counselor six different silent Scout signals. Use these Scout signals to direct the movements and actions of your patrol or troop.

    7. On a Scout outing, lay out a trail for your patrol or troop to follow. Cover at least one mile in distance and use at least six different trail signs and markers. After the Scouts have completed the trail, follow no-trace principles by replacing or returning trail markers to their original locations.

    8. For THREE of the following activities, demonstrate five signals each. Tell what the signals mean and why they are used:

    a. Sports official’s hand signs/signals

    b. Heavy-equipment operator’s hand signals

    c. Aircraft carrier catapult crew signals

    d. Cyclist’s hand signals

    e. An activity selected by you and your counselor

    9. Share with your counselor 10 examples of symbols used in everyday life. Design your own symbol. Share it with your counselor and explain what it means. Then do the following:

    a. Show examples of 10 traffic signs and explain their meaning.

    b. Using a topographical map, explain what a map legend is and discuss its importance. Point out 10 map symbols and explain the meaning of each.

    c. Discuss text-message symbols and why they are commonly used. Give examples of your favorite 10 text symbols or emoticons. Then see if your counselor or parent can identify the meaning or usage of each symbol.

    10. Briefly discuss the history of secret code writing (cryptography). Make up your own secret code and write a message of up to 25 words using this code. Share the message with a friend or fellow Scout. Then share the message and code key with your counselor and discuss the effectiveness of your code.
  3. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    That's great. I like that they're teaching them Morse code too - maybe they should up it a bit and have them all get Ham tickets?
    chelloveck, Yard Dart and Mindgrinder like this.
  4. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    I remember when my Mom used to let my pant hems out as I grew.

    stg58, Tully Mars, chelloveck and 5 others like this.
  5. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    I was a boy scout (actually cub scout, boy scout, and explorer) in the 50s and 60s. That merit badge existed at that time. I had it, as did my best friend at the time.
    chelloveck and Mindgrinder like this.
  6. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    Okay, okay, I just read the entire article. This "new Merit Badge" is either a resurrection of or an updated version of an existing Merit Badge. That happens all the time. What I find truly amazing is that the Washington Post is even taking notice of this and not smearing the scouts like the media usually does.
  7. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Mainstream media notices (usually) just the scandal type stuff, like girls being forced into the boy scouts, sexual misconduct of scoutmasters, or surplus guns going to scouts to train them in gun safety and shooting skills.
    They are long overdue for a feel good piece of news copy.
    Tully Mars, Mindgrinder and Yard Dart like this.
  8. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    I was a Cub and a Boy Scout & dad was an Eagle Scout. I applaud the Boy Scouts efforts to train boys and young men in the task that, so many will never get to learn. Scouting makes kids into capable adults with leadership abilities, well honed skills & respect to others, which is so sadly missing in our youth today.

    I pray that as a nation, we never loose our Boy & Girl Scouts to the history books!! If so, we as a nation, become just that much weaker as a society!!
  9. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    If anyone needs to teach the Encrypted Message Technology for the above Badge, I would suggest that MonkeyNet Technology is a very good example, using the ONEPAD Technology. Easy, Simple to Learn, and requires only a Paper and Pencil.
  10. vonslob

    vonslob Monkey++

    Imo the boy scouts has been diluted for years. It is good to see some of the older badges coming back. Leave no trace, liability concerns, and political correctness have sucked some of the fun out of scouting, once again imo.
  11. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    "Leave no trace" Right, after all how can you truly trench an older canvas tent without leaving a trace?
    Tully Mars and vonslob like this.
  12. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    I found that 40 years ago, many ScoutMasters were good Woodsmen.... I find today that most City ScoutMasters, do NOT have the First CLUE, about what a WoodsMan is....
    Tully Mars and Mindgrinder like this.
  13. Mindgrinder

    Mindgrinder Karma Pirate Ninja|RIP 12-25-2017

    What can you possibly know aboot the bush when you live 90+% of your time in a city "sky-box"?
    You either LIVE in/around the real BUSH - or you don't.
    I called in late for work last yet once cuz my neighbors put the garbage out the night before pickup...(big no-no where I live) and a bear had grabbed a bag and dragged it down the road in front of my driveway to root through/eat....he didn't back off when I bulled up and yelled at him...Had to go in the house, grab the paintaball gun and let the dog out before he ran off....I missed my train...had a video of it for my supervisor though....his first reaction was "I can't believe you tried to scare it off!!!" - I replied something like "F'r neighbors....he's lucky we're in town limits or he woulda got the .308."
    What's sad.....Sup was SHOCKED that I wanted to shoot a garbage climatized bear.

    City folk just don't know no better.
    Tully Mars likes this.
  14. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    It's nice to see a comeback of some "old school" communication skills being taught and recognised with a merit badge,

    I was afraid that the Scouts would start issuing merit badges for

    Navigating by GPS,
    Googling information on the internet,
    Communicating by cell 'phone texting,
    Minecraft shelter building techniques.......

    oldawg, Tully Mars and vonslob like this.
  15. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Naw, that's girl scouts....
  16. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    Was scout, SM, ASM, Comm., MB advisors, OA, Cornerstone(remember that), and Woodbadge (3). Was always impressed with the caliber of all my scouters and scouter friends. Have never regretted one moment of the time spent working with the lads. There is a new group of "scouts" started that does not allow homosexuals. Wish them the very best.
  17. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

    Like many above I was a Boy Scout, Fort Simcoe Council Troop 260.After reading this thread I did a bit of a search and sadly the above no longer exists having been merged with another to form an entirely different council. Some of my best childhood memories are from those meetings, camp outs and jamborees. Life Scout was as far as I got. A neighbor kid here got his Eagle a couple years back and I was VERY proud to be asked to help him with his projects. I also got roped into helping herd his fellow scouts on a trip to Mobile to spend a night aboard the USS Alabama Battleship.

    Like @BTPost said, years ago we learned from Men who knew their business, nowadays not so much I fear.
    stg58, Mindgrinder and kellory like this.
  18. Mindgrinder

    Mindgrinder Karma Pirate Ninja|RIP 12-25-2017

    It's not their fault. For a generation the incentive is to move OUT of rural/bush and IN to the city for higher wages. Younger gen are ENCOURAGED to hate living in the sticks..."it's boring..." "the internet is slow...". Parents aren't helping here. Both work, they have little "stress free" time to spend with their kids after commuting and stressful office work. Incentive to homeschool should be = tax deduction of a teachers salary. Example, if hubby has a city job for $100k/year and mom stays at home to school their 2 children....hubby should pay $0 income tax.
    THAT would promote the family values that this society desperately needs....
    Values that Scouts/Awanas/etc should be self-funded to help reinforce a "tradition" of personal accountability and self-reliability.

    Sapper John, DarkLight and Tully Mars like this.
  19. Sapper John

    Sapper John Analog Monkey in a Digital World

    Who are you? What have you done with@Mindgrinder ? Great post!
  20. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    Careful, keep that up and he'll have to admit to being a grad of a US High School.
    kellory and Sapper John like this.
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