(Photo: Rob Hainer/Shutterstock.com)
(Photo: Rob Hainer/Shutterstock.com)

Who needs to build a campfire or tie a knot when you can learn to do squash and stretch instead? This week the Boy Scouts of America launched their 136th (and most important ever) merit badge: Animation.

The program, created in conjunction with animators and educators at Savannah College of Art and Design, will require Scouts to demonstrate knowledge of animation and its history. In addition to learning the principles of animation, Scouts will have to complete hands-on design projects, participate in virtual or in-person tours of animation studios, and meet with animation professionals.

The badge will introduce Scouts to how animation is used across a broad range of media, including video games, film, and for business purposes, such as factory simulations, satellite tracking, medical procedures and weather prediction.

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“Boy Scouts of America programs are designed to reflect the changing interests of our youth members and the new merit badge is just one way the BSA continues to evolve its programs to give Scouts unique experiences they can’t get anywhere else,” said Wayne Brock, the Boy Scouts’ chief scout executive. “As Scouts become more interested in STEM-related topics, we’re excited to expand our merit badge offerings to continue to show youth the exciting careers possible in these fields.”

The badge design shows shows an animator’s disk with a bouncing ball on it. It is the first Boy Scout badge that can be earned digitally, allowing Scouts to use their mobile devices to participate in the program. More details about the program can be found at the Boys’ Life website.

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