>Physical Development Merit Badge


In an effort to learn something new every day I have been a quest to learn more about some merit badges.  I have a sash that belonged to my Father in Law.  The merit badges are mostly Type D and E merit badges, so they range from 1942 to 1960.  They are interesting merit badges to be sure and fun to compare with the merit badges of today.
Monday night a Scout in my Troop brought in his Dad’s old merit badge sash.  They are all Type C merit badges (1936 to 1946).  He had framed them and on the back identified all the badges except one.  He could not find it.  I told him I would check my collections, literature, and of course the Internet.
My first search was via good ol Google.  Nothing.
Second, I went to eBay and a few other well known websites for Scouting history and historical information.  I saw the badge, but it was never identified.
Then, I went to the place I should have started.  My Boy Scout Handbook collection.  I pulled out my 1942 handbook.. and right there on the XII is the merit badge.  The Personal Development merit badge. 
So here is what I learned about it.
It was a merit badge from 1914 to 1952.  In 1952 it was replaced by the Personal Fitness merit badge.
Here are the requirements for completion of the badge.
1.  Produce satisfactory evidence of habitual good posture.
2.  Have no remediable physical defects uncorrected.
3.  Produce satisfactory evidence of daily practice of hygienic habits and a thorough knowledge of a standard book on hygiene.
4.  Pass three of the tests, according to his weight in the Athletics Merit Badge Schedule.
5.  Demonstrate proper form in running, high jump, hurdle and shot-put.
6.  Make up a daily drill of ten exercises for Scouts, giving proper exercise for the whole body; present evidence of having practiced this daily for six months and having taught the same to two or more boys for a period of three months.
7.  Demonstrate reasonable efficiency in two outdoor games requiring physical development; give evidence of having taught at least ten Scout games to a group of boys, and know ten more.
Habitual good posture?  Well that would be a tough one for a bunch of the guys in my Troop…
Any way it was interesting to learn about a merit badge from the past.
I am a believer in that you can’t move forward without knowing the past.  History is fascinating to me and the history of our Scouting heritage is a subject near and dear to my heart.
So for the rest of the evening…
Do some podcast work.
Study my Wood badge syllabus for a little bit.
Family time.
Well.. I suppose that would be a wrap on day 8 of #100daysofscouting.
Have a Great Scouting day!


  1. Greetings! I am a former Boy Scout! I have found that this Manual is something and the Teaching we should carry them on and have found this a to a Great Foundation to all Physical Development! Is there back editions of this Manual???



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