Chances are good that if an elementary to high school student is in your life, you have at least a passing familiarity with the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts of America. In fact, you may be very involved with a troop, looking for new activities and ways to fulfill badge requirements.
Did you know there are three family history based badges for scouts? Family history badges are a great way for students to get acquainted with their culture and background - and can serve as an excellent jumping off point for whole families to research genealogy! Here at the Denver Public Library Western History and Genealogy Department, we can make earning those family history badges a fun and rewarding experience.
Cub Scouts – Family Stories
The Cub Scouts Family Stories Badge helps scouts understand the history of their family. Requirements include interviewing a grandparent or older family member, designing a family crest, and visiting a library's genealogy collection. We are happy to give tours of our genealogy collection - including books of families from around the world as well as state-of-the-art databases. We have an extensive collection of family crest books (also called Heraldry Books) to help scouts get inspiration - or even find their own family crest between the pages!
Brownie Scouts – My Family Story
The My Family Story Badge encourages Brownie Scouts to understand where their families came from. Requirements include sharing special family food and traditions, creating a family tree, and learning how to tell family stories. We have the tools to help scouts build and understand a family tree, and help Brownies learn where in the world their family is from! We also have a range of family story books to inspire Brownies to tell their own family stories.
Boy Scouts – Genealogy Merit Badge
The Genealogy Merit Badge is one of the rarer merit badges Boy Scouts earn - likely because all those steps can seem intimidating! But our team of librarians is here to make the process much easier. For instance, finding a primary source to verify a piece of family history (such as an immigration date or marriage) is actually fairly simple, thanks to the technology available today.
If terms like 'family record group,' 'microfilm,' or 'lineage society' make a troop's head swim, we are here to help change those unfamiliar words into the very real and exciting stories of each scout's family.