Tracking is one of the original 57 Merit Badges issued by the Boy Scouts of America in 1910/1911. Tracking is one of four Historic Merit Badges to be reintroduced during 2010 for the BSA Centennial celebration.
Some additional restrictions include:
- Scouts must start and complete all merit badge work after April 1, 2010 and before Dec. 31, 2010.
Wynken and I have been working together to knock out this Historical Merit badge before the end of the year. We've been out in the woods several times tracking the various wildlife that lives out here. Fortunately, for us we live on the border of a preserve and a watershed.
We successfully tracked or located deer, black squirrels, gray squirrels, red-shouldered hawks, Canadian geese, green mallard ducks, bats, a fox, and several varieties of smaller birds. Wynken even discovered some bones from an unfortunate goose who failed to escape its predator.
Animal tracks are impossible to find once the leaves have fallen, even if you are staring at your quarry. We should have cast the perfect deer track we found on our second outing, but failed to do so. Wynken finally bagged his final requirement of making a plaster cast of wild animal tracks this past week from a raccoon who --ahem-- volunteered to hold very still for us.
We had a blast traipsing through the woods together. I'm very proud of the boy for persevering through these requirements; he's going to be one of the only Scouts in his Troop to have earned this badge, which won't be offered again for another 50 years.