Aviation Merit Badge
Presentation Guide for Scout Leaders
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    Aviation Merit Badge Aviation Merit Badge is one of the coolest programs available in scouting - So make the most of it!

    A core element of this program is an aviation themed field trip (several exciting options available). Your unit should have a study unit ahead of time and another afterwards. You may need extra funds depending on the nature of the field trip. Suitable for either a) Family Vacation, b) Troop Overnighter or c) Scout Camp Program.

    A) Program Teaser
    Special audio visual presentation for the start of program or even one week in advance.

    Why Do Aviation Merit Badge
    What makes this a really cool subject?

    • Fastest form of travel
    • Critical element of our modern military
    • Popular for tourism & recreatopm
    • Fascinating application of science and engineering
    • Big and noisy machines
    • New this decade is the huge surge in popularity of drones and other unmanned aerial vehicles.

    For most of history, people have dreamed of flying, imagining how it would feel to soar through the sky like an eagle or hover in midair like a hummingbird, to float on unseen currents, free of Earth's constant tug, able to travel great distances and to rise above any obstacle. Today, through Aviation, we can not only join the birds but also fly farther, faster, and higher than they ever could.

    Aviation Merit Badge

    2nd VIDEO CLIP:
    USAF Recruitment Video [1:59]
    Show on Laptop or portable TV & crank up the sound!

    Aviation Merit Badge B) Prerequisites - Leaders
    Work to be delegated and completed prior to program start:

      Official Requirements - Easy Printable Version
      Select Field Trip Plan - Meet with Patrol & Troop Leaders to select and plan Field Trip.
      File Tour Plan - required for all BSA Field Trips.
      Purchase 9" Foam Plates for Activity Req #3b and print related instructions.
      Special Permission Forms - May be required for some air flight services.
      Field Trip Group RSVP -

      10 Tips for Merit Badge Counselors
      Get the most from your Merit Badge Adventure.
      Check your Field Trip destination. Many aviation museums will have a certified counselor on staff.

    C) Prerequisites - Scouts
    Start working your Merit Badge here:

    Art Merit Badge D) Study Hall

    The purpose of this section is to facilitate an opportunity for scouts to research and learn about key concepts relevant to this subject. They need to be prepared to explain these to the counselor.

    While some scouts may be adept at self-study, others may do better in a small group setting and taking notes on worksheets. You can facilitate discussion by asking them why each of the principles intruduced here would be relevant.

      Req #X: Patrol Planning Meeting:
      Patrol leaders meet to plan details for Patrol Activity and Field Trip suggested below.

      Req #1 : How do Aircraft Fly?
      Project Articulate has a great presentation for studying basic principles of Art.

        Aviation M.B. Resource - Great Power Point guide created by J.H. Welsch. Great for explaining how planes fly.

      Req #2c & 2e : Aircraft Operations
      Optional: Skip this section if your Field Trip will otherwise cover Requirement #2.

    E) Patrol Activity
    For Requirement #3, scouts must choose either to operate a remote control aircraft or build their own aircraft. This would make for another cool patrol activity night. Optional: include competition and prizes for best design and longest flight, acrobatic tricks, etc. This may be combined with your overnight field trip below.

      Req #3a: Operate a Remote Control Aircraft: Many R.C. Aircraft are available from our sponsor.
      Req #3b: Build & Fly a FPG-9: 9" Foam Plate Gliders!!! Certainly a more frugal option. Complete instructions found here.

    F) Field Trip
    Certainly the highlight of this adventure, each of the suggested options can be done as an daytrip or camping overnighter:

    USS Midway F1) Aircraft Carrier Museum Tour
    Several large carriers have been converted into floating museums and most hold regular scouting events including Aviation Merit Badge Seminars, Tours and Overnight Camping onboard. Check out the following USS Midway (San Diego CA), USS Lexington (Corpus Christi TX), USS Yorktown (Charleston SC), USS Intrepid (New York City NY), USS Hornet (Alameda CA). Look for the following tour activities:

      Reg #4a - Airport Tour
      Reg #4c - Aviation Museum Tour
      Reg #4c - Air Show
      Overnight Camping
      Req #2d - Flight Simulator
      Req #5 - Aviation Professional Career Interview
      Citizenship in the Nation - National Landmark Field Trip - Req #2

    National Aerospace Museum F2) Aviation Museum Tour
    Aerospace museums are very popular and located in several major cities. They also sometimes feature special programs for scouts. The biggest one is the National Aerospace Museum (located in Washington DC). The last time I was there we stayed two whole days.

    Noteworthy Museum merit badge programs are found at Redwood City CA, Pearl Harbor HI, Garden City NJ, Santa Rosa CA, Ashland NE Birmingham AL, however, there are many more similar programs!

    Look for the following tour activities:

      Reg #4a - Airport Tour - Many aviation museums are located next to an airport
      Reg #4c - Aviation Museum Tour
      Overnight Camping - ? Some maybe in close proximity to a camping facility.
      Req #2d - Flight Simulator
      Req #5 - Aviation Professional Career Interview

    National Aerospace Museum F3) Glider School Airborne Tour
    Many Glider and Flight Schools feature 30+ minute aircraft rides for scouts. In one great example, Aviation is the most popular merit badge offered at Camp Mataguay, (San Diego-Imperial Council BSA) which has successfully teamed up with a nearby glider school as part of their summer camp program. Look for the following tour activities:

      Req #2a - Aircraft Flight
      Req #2b - Preflight Inspection
      Reg #4a - Airport Tour -
      Overnight Camping - ? Some maybe in close proximity to a camping facility.
      Req #5 - Aviation Professional Career Interview

    Charter Flight F4) Remote Charter Tour
    Some troops have successfully chartered medium size air transport / cargo planes to fly them and their gear out to a remote camping destination and then a return flight the next day.

      Req #2a - Aircraft Flight
      Req #2b - Preflight Inspection
      Reg #4a - Airport Tour -
      Overnight Camping - Something near a remote wilderness airstrip? Maybe on a island even?
      Cooking MB - Outdoor Meal - Call it a rugged-O.
      Req #5 - Aviation Professional Career Interview

    Aviation Merit Badge G) Program Debriefing

    After completion of the above activities you may need a work session to finish completion of the merit badge worksheet to document the results of your visits, activities and the people you interviewed about potential career opportunities in this field.


    H) Extra Credit:

    Utah Scout Camp Fun Bear Lake Aquatics Base

    Located on the eastern shore of Utah's Bear Lake, this camp features many watersport scouting activities not available anywhere else in Utah: large boat sailing, water skiing, catamarans, snorkeling or the ever popular canoe outpost!

    This boy scout camp also features helicopter rides and the opportunity for scouts to earn the Aviation Merit Badge. New programs also include Robotics and Search & Rescue.

    I) Aviation Famous Quotes:

      That's not flying, that's just falling with style. Woody, from the 1996 movie Toy Story, regarding Buzz Lightyear.
      There is an art to flying. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss. Douglas Adams, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galax
      Lady, you want me to answer you if this old airplane is safe to fly? Just how in the world do you think it got to be this old? Anon
      The scientific theory I like best is that the rings of Saturn are composed entirely of lost airline luggage. Mark Russel

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