When I was in elementary school we had a speaker come in telling us about this incredible group we could join. All we had to do was convince our parents to bring us to another school across the town on a weeknight and ours would become lives of adventure, intrigue, and various animal names. And so I became a Cub Scout (Wolf, Bear, & two years of Webelos). I missed out on Tiger cubs apparently, though I lack any memory of their mention until I was already a Wolf scout.
As a child of the 80s and 90s I cut my teeth on the scouting idea from the prominent media of my time: cartoons. DuckTales stars Huey, Dewey, and Louie were members of the Junior Woodchucks, holders of the Junior Woodchucks Guidebook(a magical book of ingenious inventions and wisdom – almost as powerful as Penny’s computer book) and collectors of merit badges. Unfortunately there were more belt loops to be earned than merit badges in Cub Scouts, those were held out for Boy Scouts, where I never made it past First Class (maybe I was still in coach?).
However, in the way many of my problems have been solved recently, the Internet provided the solution. Enter Nerd Merit Badges. In addition to badges of their own creation, Nerd Merit Badges has partnered with FourSquare to bring your virtual loot to life. Each badge is sold (on the honor system) when you have completed or mastered a certain task or skill. Visit 50 places on FourSquare? Buy the merit badge! Practice Inbox Zero? Again, merit badge available. You can even buy a sash for your laptop to take you back to those glory days of Boy (or Girl) Scouts.