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BSA Introduces SAR Merit Badge

The Boy Scouts of America recently announced the creation of a Search and Rescue merit badge. Appropriately enough, they made the announcement during the 2012 National Search and Rescue Conference hosted by the National Association for Search and Rescue (NASAR) and the Mountain Rescue Association (MRA) in Lake Tahoe, Nevada.

“The Boy Scouts of America’s motto is ‘Be Prepared’—which sometimes translates to knowing how to respond in an emergency,” said Bob Mazzuca, Chief Scout Executive of the Boy Scouts of America. “While we are not encouraging our Scouts to practice these new skills independently, we do want them to be ready to lend a hand to the community, and to each other.”

To meet the requirements of the Search and Rescue merit badge, Scouts must complete a series of nine requirements relating to SAR fundamentals such as:
- The process and safety methods of working around specialized teams such as aircraft, canine, and aquatic rescue teams
-Identifying differences between search and rescue environments, such as coastal, wilderness, rural, and urban landscapes
-Determining when Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) and latitude and longitude (Lat/Lon) should be used

Scouting officials have stated that earning the badge will not qualify a Scout as a trained searcher. In a press release, Bob Mazzuca, Chief Scout Executive of the Boy Scouts of America related, “The Boy Scouts of America’s motto is ‘Be Prepared’—which sometimes translates to knowing how to respond in an emergency. While we are not encouraging our Scouts to practice these new skills independently, we do want them to be ready to lend a hand to the community, and to each other.” Regardless, those skills will serve Scouts well in their lives.

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6 Responses to “BSA Introduces SAR Merit Badge”

  1. Fish says:

    Sounds like this would have made for an even more exciting summer camp had it been around when I was in Scouts.

  2. Aaron says:

    Wasn’t a member of CAP but they have what is considered the best civillian SAR school in the world at Hawk Mountain.

    • Deadeye says:

      ….there is also the National Emergency Services Academy at Camp Atterbury.

  3. Ian says:

    Wish they would have had that when I was in. I tought several badges and would have loved to have gotten that MB and helped teach it.

  4. Scot Hill says:

    It is good to see BSA turning back the page. This is the kind of thing Baden-Powell founded BS for.

  5. straps says:

    This is awesome. The Scouts contribute significant manpower to SAR efforts in my AO.

    I know for a fact that they train on this (safety, efficiency, effectiveness–and sadly, evidence integrity), so it’s good to see the effort recognized.