IRVING, TEXAS – The Boy Scouts of America have retired two merit badges the organization has deemed “impossible to obtain.” The badges to be removed from availability are the Talking to Girls and Popular merit badges.
“Let’s be realistic here,” said Boy Scouts of America, Eastern Texas Council Field Director, Wayne Redman. “No one has earned the Popular and Talking ta Girls Merit badges in 50 some-odd years. Now a ways back, when they were first put in the book, those badges were fairly easy ta get. Back in the 50s, all the cool kids went ta Boy Scouts because there weren’t nothin’ else ta do. All the good drugs hadn’t been invented yet, and there weren’t no good TV on. Now ‘days, if you’re in the Boy Scouts, you ain’t popular and so you ain’t gonna be able ta talk to girls. It’s sad, but that’s the reality of today’s world. No matter what we do, kids today would rather make out with girls than go sit in a forest somewhere with thirteen other boys singing songs.”
The decision to remove the badges came after several years of attempts to re-write the requirements to make the badges more attainable.
“We tried a lot of things that would help kids get these badges, but none of them ever worked,” Rick Cronk, Boy Scouts of America President said. “I’m not going to lie to you, we made it as easy as we could to get those badges, but it was still so difficult for most of the kids, they didn’t even try. The kids were actually trying to get the Outhouse Cleaning badge before they would even look at the Talking to Girls badge.
“The problems are nation wide. For the Talking to Girls badge we first changed it to female animals, but it was the description that said ‘a meaningful conversation with a female that is close to your own age’ that really tripped these kids up. We thought of changing the requirement to include mothers and sisters, but that’s just sad.”
Before its recent retirement, the Talking to Girls merit badge required a Scout to have five, 15-minute conversations with girls outside of the Scouts family, talk to 20 girls the Scout did not know and have a single two-hour or longer conversation with the same girl.
Although there are several other badges that are difficult to obtain, only the Popular and Talking to Girls badges have been considered for retirement.
“It’s just really unfair to put this kind of pressure on these kids,” said Oliver Everett, leader of Scout Troop 341 in Irving. “These kids get picked on everyday for being in Scouts, because let’s face it, the Scouts are kinda gay. I mean, not in a literal ‘gay’ way, because we don’t allow the gay into Scouts, but you know what I mean. ‘Gay’ as in stupid. Anyway, these kids are not popular and they never will be. To force them into a situation that they can never accomplish is just flat out mean.”
The Popular merit badge required Scouts to host a party that more that 20 non-Scouts attended, get invited to parties not hosted by Scouts and have more than 10 non-Scout friends.
The last person to obtain the Popular merit badge was Jason Avery in 1957. Avery earned the badge in his first week as a Boy Scout and quit the organization a week later.
“I was in the Scouts? Hmmm, don’t seem to remember that,” Avery said, who is now 65 years old. “There was this one time when my dad made me join some fruity little club, but I don’t remember if it was the Boy Scouts. Must not have made that big of an impression on me. Besides, I was too busy nailing chicks and smoking behind the school to really devote any time to anything else.”
Similarly, the Talking to Girls merit badge was last earned in 1945.
While the Boy Scout leadership says the decision is final, many long time scouts have come out against the idea.
“They really should leave those badges in, because they are the ultimate goal of every Scout,” said Ben Murray, leader of Scout Troop 8734 in Tampa Bay, Florida. “Those badges were the holy grail of all badges. No one knew anybody who had those badges, but we all wanted them. We were all just too lame to actually get them. If even one kid were to get those badges today, he would be a god amongst Scouts. A legend that would give other kids hope, hope of a brighter future.”