Reading Merit Badge

If each of 101’s Scouts read just six books over the summer (along with a few other easy requirements as listed below) everyone will be awarded the reading merit badge at the fall Court of Honor. What a great way to start the new school year.

Here’s how the program works. When you read a book let me know and I’ll add it to a list that will track everyone’s progress. (Adults can participate too – sets a good example for the Scouts!)

Attached is the worksheet scouts can complete to keep track of the requirements and logging. Here are the requirements for the Reading Merit Badge:

1. Do EACH of the following:
a. Learn how to search your library’s card catalog or computerized catalog by author, title, and subject.
b. With the assistance of your merit badge counselor or a librarian, select six books of four different types (such as poetry, drama/plays, fiction, nonfiction, biographies, etc.). Ask your librarian or counselor about award-winning books that are recommended for readers your age and include at least one of those titles.
c. Find the books in the library catalog. With your counselor’s or a librarian’s assistance, locate the books on the shelves.
d. Read each book. Keep a log of your reading that includes the title of the book, the pages or chapters read, the date you completed them, and your thoughts about what you have read so far. Discuss your reading with your counselor. Using your log as a reference, explain why you chose each book and tell whether you enjoyed it and what it meant to you.

2. Read about the world around you from any two sources: books, magazines, newspapers, the Internet (with your parent’s permission), field manuals, etc. Topics may include sports, environmental problems, politics, social issues, current events, nature, religion, etc. Discuss what you have learned with your counselor.

3. Do ONE of the following:
a. From a catalog of your choice, fill out an order form for merchandise as if you intended to place an order. Share the completed form with your counselor and discuss it.
b. With your parent’s permission, locate at least five Web sites that are helpful for your scouting or other activities. Write the Internet addresses of these sites in your log. Talk with your counselor or a librarian about safety rules for using the Internet.

4. With your counselor’s and parent’s permission, choose ONE of the following activities and devote at least four hours of service to that activity. Discuss your participation with your counselor.
a. Read to a sick, blind, or homebound person in a hospital or in an extended-care facility.
b. Perform volunteer work at your school library or a public library.
c. Read stories to younger children, in a group or individually.
Note that if you’re going to be awarded the badge you’ll need to keep a reading log as you go along (requirement 1d), so make sure you do that as you’ll have to turn that in to your MB counselor later on.

With so many wonderful books to choose from it shouldn’t be difficult to find plenty of choices. The Timberland Regional Library has this great website with all sorts of books that have got to peak your interest:

Requirement 1b specifies that at least one of your books should be an award winner. I recommend that you choose from those that received the Newbery Medal or Newbery Honors. For a listing see:

Older Scouts might also want to consider books that have been awarded the Pulitzer Prize (the six categories of letters and fiction are toward the bottom of the page, with a link to each separate list of award winners):

A copy of the workbook is here: Reading_Workbook

Whatever your motivation, let’s start reading!