Indian Lore Merit Badge


So you're interested in earning the Indian Lore Merit Badge... well... first off, you need to be a registered Boy Scout in a Troop, or male Venturer registered in a Crew (sorry ladies), somewhere in Yankee Clipper Council.  Adult members of Crew One are registered and APPROVED merit badge counselors for Indian Lore in Yankee Clipper Council.... If you are from another council, please check with your Troop/Crew Advancement Chairperson as to the procedure for an "Out-of-Council Merit Badge Counselor."


Once you've jumped through all those hoops, please acquire a SIGNED "blue card" (merit badge application) from your Scoutmaster or Advisor.


AFTER you have a signed blue card, please email us, letting us know of your desire to earn this merit badge.  You do NOT need to buy the merit badge book (#33360A), as you will be able to complete the merit badge without it.  However, if you would like  your own reference tool, it is available at your local scout shop.  Just a word of warning though... It comes from the National BSA Headquarters, and therefore, is designed for use by EVERYONE across the country.  It does not have a lot of specifics on the Northeast Woodlands (inspiration for Crew One).  If you would like better "local" resources for the Northeast Woodlands, let us know, and we can recommend a few good titles.


As of September 1st, 1995, the requirements are as follows:

  1. Give the history of one American Indian tribe, group or nation that lives or has lived near you. Visit it, if possible. Tell about dwellings, kind of life, tribal government, religious beliefs, family and clan relationships, language, dress, food preparation, means of getting around, how they played, if they were warlike or peaceful, where descendants of the group now live, and how they live.
  2. Do TWO of the following. Use information about a specific group or tribe to complete the requirements:
    1. Make an item of clothing worn by members of the tribe.
    2. Make and decorate three items approved by your counselor used by the tribe.
    3. Make an authentic model of a dwelling used by any Indian tribe, group, or nation.
    4. Visit a museum to see Indian artifacts. Talk about them with your counselor. Identify at least 10artifacts by tribe or nation, their shape, size, and use.
  3. Do ONE of the following:
    1. Learn three games played by a group or tribe. Teach and lead one game with a Scout group.
    2. Learn and show how a tribe cooked or prepared food. Make three food items.
    3. Give a demonstration showing how a specific Indian group hunted, fished, or trapped.
  4. Do ONE of the following:
    1. Write or briefly describe how life would have been different for the European settlers if there had been no Indians to meet them when they came to this continent.
    2. Sing two songs in an Indian language. Explain their meaning.
    3. Learn in an Indian language at least 25 common terms and their meaning.
    4. Show 25 signs in Indian sign language. Include those that will help you ask for water, food, and where the path or road leads.
    5. Learn in English an Indian story of at least 300 words, or any number of shorter ones adding up to 300 words. Tell the story or stories at a Scout meeting or campfire.
    6. Write or tell about eight things adopted by others from the Indian.
    7. Learn 25 Indian place names. Tell their origins and meanings.
    8. Name five well-known American Indian leaders, either from the past or people who are alive today. Give their tribes or nations. Describe what they did or do now that makes them notable.
    9. Learn about the Iroquois Confederacy, including how and why it was formed. Tell about its governing system, and its importance to the framers of our Constitution.

Here's what we recommend.  These are just ideas to get you going in the right direction...


Requirement 1 - Pick a local or favorite tribe.  Do some online research.  "Google" them.  There's tons of information out there on the world wide web.  This piece of research does not need to be 28 pages long.  Remember, teachers don't grade by rulers.  One page of nicely researched information, organized and written well is MUCH better than 5 pages of slop!


Requirement 2, Part 1 -  We have (or will have) choker and necklace kits available in our gift shop.  If not, visit your local crafts store.  (We recommend Wandering Bull.  They have a great selection, and have been supporting Crew One for years).  Often times they have kits ready to go.  If not, purchase a few packages of "pony" beads, and bone hairpipe (here and here).  Make sure you pick up some spacers and some sinew (Native American sewing thread) too.  Feel free to add some wampum beads as well.  Personalize it.  Make it special to you. 


Requirement 4, Part 5 - We love Native American stories.  We recommend any of these books to finish off this requirement


We have Associate Advisors and Crew Committee Members willing and available to help you complete your Merit Badge.  This should be a fun learning experience, and should NOT be the source of frustration.  If you get stuck, send us an email, and we will gladly help you get un-stuck!


Click here to go back to the main page