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What’s New Mother of Inventing


Three years ago, Sam Estabrooks attended National Youth Leadership Training, where he learned that once upon a time in the early 20th century, Scouting offered an Invention merit badge. The badge had the dubious distinction of being the least-awarded badge in BSA history—only 10 Scouts earned it—and it was scrapped in 1915. “So he came home with a wonderful problem for his mother


to solve,” says Leigh Estabrooks. “He said, ‘Mom, you can fix this.’” Like any mom, Estabrooks said she’d give it a try—and, being the Invention


Education Officer at the Lemelson-MIT Program in Cambridge, Mass., which aims to “inspire a new generation of inventors” through educational outreach and rewards, she was in a pretty good position to do just that. Over the next year, Estabrooks worked with Scouting to develop the


Inventing merit badge, which debuted this past June. Unlike the old badge, Scouts earning the Inventing badge won’t be required to apply for and receive a U.S. patent on an invention. “That was maybe a little unrealistic,” she says. “We want them to focus


on the process of inventing. We want them to have confidence that they can help others through inventing and be part of the solution to some of today’s big problems.” For Inventing badge requirements, go to scouting.org/scoutsource/ boyscouts/advancementandawards/meritbadges.aspx.


NOW HEAR THIS The Chat Heard Round The World


On Oct. 16-17, the 53rd Annual Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) will take place. Each year during this worldwide Scouting and amateur radio event, more than 500,000 Scouts in 100 countries reach out to their peers via the airwaves. Many districts and councils hold events that coincide with JOTA; often, amateur radio


operators set up stations for the Scouts to use. It’s a great chance to start a friendship with someone who may live half a world away but shares the bonds of Scouting. A related event, Jamboree on


the Internet, occurs the same weekend. For detailed instruc- tions on how to participate in these events, see the PDF files at scouting.org/scoutsource/ international/program enrichment/jota_joti.aspx.


A Cub Scout handles a radio micro- phone at the 2009 Jamboree-on-the- Air and Jamboree-on-the-Internet Extravaganza at the National Scouting Museum in Irving, Tex.


10 S COUTING ¿ SEPTEMBER•OCTOBER 2010


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