NOTE: Thanks to Neil, the forms are all available here
There has already been a post on this site about the Boy Scouts Beekeeping Merit Badge Project, but I want to give everybody an update and ask for you help.
Christopher Stowell lives nearby, and I know him and his parents through our beekeeping club, Northeast Oklahoma Beekeepers Association. Christopher is a great kid, and he loves being in BSA and keeping bees. a few months ago, he was looking for a merit badge project in an old book and saw references to a beekeeping merit badge. Christopher told his Scout Master that he wanted to earn that badge. His Scout Master explained that the beekeeping merit badge had been discontinued.
Christopher then learned that BSA discontinued the badge in 1995 because there were very few scouts earning it. The basic problem was a lack of beekeepers who would teach the information.
Here is a picture of Christopher: http://www.helpthehoneybees.com/#buzzlove
so you will know that he actually exists.
Christopher has asked me to help with his campaign to reinstate the merit badge. For a lot of reasons, the beekeeping community needs to take a lead on this issue. I think that it is our duty as beekeepers to pass this craft on to a new generation of beekeepers. The best way to accomplish that goal is to expose young people to beekeeping.
Here is what Christopher would like for you to do:
1. If you have not already done so, please go to this website and sign Christopher’s on-line petition: http://www.experienceproject.com/beepetition
. Then, do your best to make this petition drive “go viral.” If you have a list of friends you can contact by email or facebook, please forward the link to the petition to your contacts/friends, aske them to sign the petition and ask your friends to also forward the petition to their contacts/friends.
3. AND HERE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT REQUEST. It is nice that lots of people are willing to support Christopher with words. However, only the beekeeping community can convince BSA that mentors will be available if BSA reinstates the merit badge. There are two ways that you can do this. If you are a member of a beekeeping club or association, please ask your group to pass a resolution pledging to provide training to scouts, if BSA will reinstate the badge.
Here is a form resolution: http://www.beesource.com/files/bsaclubresolution.bsa.pdf
If you are not a member of a beekeeping group but would be willing to mentor on your own, or if you do not want to involve your group, please send a letter to BSA, c/o Christopher, advising BSA that you will be willing to act as a mentor.
Here is a form letter: http://www.beesource.com/files/bsabeekeeperletter.bsa.pdf
FYI, Dr. Dewey Caron has agreed to lead the effort to draft a modern Beekeeping Merit Badge Handbook that would serve as the written materials to be used to teach the scouts. You would not have to make up the teaching materials.
After you take any of these steps, please come back to this link and tell the world. We need to get some momentum behind this grass roots effort.
Thank you for your support!
Neil Van Dalsem
Tulsa, OKNOTE: Thanks to Neil, the forms are all available here