Computer Merit Badge Circa 1969
00.00.00 - Mark
The Boy Scouts of America have had Computers Merit Badge since 1967, and the old book is pretty amazing. Beautiful fonts, weird photos, even some really neat looking projects. Not everything is horribly inaccurate (considering it predates the Altair 8800 and the personal computer revolution by over 5 years) Even some of the original requirements are still in the modern version! I'm going to have to look for some other old requirement books for merit badges, I'm sure there's some neat stuff to dig up. Here's a PDF of the book (mirrored copy from Dave's Old Computers)
A BSA the BSA would be proud of
00.46.19 - Mark
I'm going to preface this with the fact that I am a Scout. Eagle rank and I've spent three wonderful summers working at a nearby Boy Scout camp.
I'm also an avid computer user and proudly release works under creative commons because I feel that copyright law in this country and around the world is very horribly corrupted by groups like the MPAA, RIAA, and Business Software Alliance. I regularly use what thouse groups would consider "Piracy Tools" like bittorrent and other peer to peer networks.
The idea of the Boy Scouts of America being used to combat piracy by the MPAA and RIAA absolutely disgusts me.
On the local levels scouting is a wonderful thing. It teaches valuable life skills, helps youth find subjects and hobbies that can lead to careers, and in some areas does a better job of educating kids than public schools. Not to mention giving back to the community.
While I severly disagree with the national scouting organization on matters like allowing "gays" and atheists to participate in scouting I'll live with the fact that it is a private club (by some definitions at least). But allowing industry associations to exploit it for commercial gain is far beyond reason. What's next product endorsements in Salesmanship merit badge and partisan politics in Citizenship in the Nation?
Sometimes scouting actually deserves the bad reputation it has developed in today's culture.