Letter: What Skills to Have

Dear Editor,

I find myself often not knowing what skills I should have. As a former Boy Scout, I have thought about getting a stack of the merit badge pamphlets, but which ones should I get? I think this website may be of interest to some of your readers, especially those interested in the Newbie section. It is a list of all the requirements for each Boy Scout merit badge, and each one includes a bibliography for those requirements. Sincerely, – S.K.

HJL Replies: The Boy Scout merit badge pamphlets are a good place to start, but you should be careful. The point of merit badges is to introduce the boys to possible careers and/or skills that are traditional to Boy Scouts. They are not designed to be used alone as a comprehensive guide. Rather, they are designed to give the boy a general idea about that particular skill in concert with a person who is supposed to be an expert in the skill. The teaching comes from the expert. The guide merely helps the expert teach the skills as well as list the requirements necessary for the badge. However, your idea of using the bibliography may lead you to excellent material.