Stamp Collecting

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Stamp Collecting Merit Badge requirement resources include the Merit Badge Worksheet,
links, and cross-references to related Merit Badges and Boy Scout Awards.
Stamp Collecting is one of the rareest Merit Badges with only 1,057 earned in 2007!

Stamp Collecting merit badge
Status: Elective
Created: 1932
Discontinued: no
BSA Advancement ID: 108
Requirements revision: 2007
Latest pamphlet revision: 2007


Stamp Collecting requirements

  1. Do the following:
    a. Discuss how you can better understand people, places, institutions, history, and geography as a result of collecting stamps.
    b. Briefly describe some aspects of the history, growth, and development of the United States postal system. Tell how it is different from postal systems in other countries.
  2. Define topical stamp collecting. Name and describe three other types of stamp collections.
  3. Show at least ONE example of each of the following:
    a. Perforated and imperforate stamps
    b. Mint and used stamps
    c. Sheet, booklet, and coil stamps
    d. Numbers on plate block, booklet, or coil, or marginal markings
    e. Overprint and surcharge
    f. Metered mail
    g. Definitive, commemorative, semipostal, and airmail stamps
    h. Cancellation and postmark
    i. First day cover
    j. Postal stationery (aerogramme, stamped envelope, and postal card)
  4. Do the following:
    a. Demonstrate the use of ONE standard catalog for several different stamp issues. Explain why catalog value can vary from the corresponding purchase price.
    b. Explain the meaning of the term condition as used to describe a stamp. Show examples that illustrate the different factors that affect a stamp's value.
  5. Demonstrate the use of at least THREE of the following stamp collector's tools:
    a. Stamp tongs
    b. Water and tray
    c. Magnifiers
    d. Hinges and stamp mounts
    e. Perforation gauge
    f. Glassine envelopes and cover sleeves
    g. Watermark fluid
  6. Do the following:
    a. Show a stamp album and how to mount stamps with or without hinges. Show at least ONE page that displays several stamps.
    b. Discuss at least THREE ways you can help to preserve stamps, covers, and albums in first-class condition.
  7. Do at least TWO of the following:
    a. Design a stamp, cancellation, or cachet.
    b. Visit a post office, stamp club, or stamp show with an experienced collector. Explain what you saw and learned.
    c. Write a review of an interesting article from a stamp newspaper, magazine, book, or Web site (with your parent's permission).
    d. Research and report on a famous stamp-related personality or the history behind a particular stamp.
    e. Describe the steps taken to produce a stamp. Include the methods of printing, types of paper, perforation styles, and how they are gummed.
    f. Prepare a two- to three-page display involving stamps. Using ingenuity, as well as clippings, drawings, etc., tell a story about the stamps and how they relate to history, geography, or a favorite topic of yours.
  8. Mount and show, in a purchased or homemade album, ONE of the following:
    a. A collection of 250 or more different stamps from at least 15 countries.
    b. A collection of a stamp from each of 50 different countries, mounted on maps to show the location of each.
    c. A collection of 100 or more different stamps from either one country or a group of closely related countries.
    d. A collection of 75 or more different stamps on a single topic. (Some interesting topics are Scouting, birds, insects, the Olympics, sports, flowers, animals, ships, holidays, trains, famous people, space, and medicine). Stamps may be from different countries.
    e. A collection of postal items discovered in your mail by monitoring it over a period of 30 days. Include at least five different types listed in requirement 3.

The official source for the information shown in this is:
Boy Scout Requirements, 2018 Edition (BSA Supply SKU #641568)

View the change list (history) of these requirements. The text of these requirements may be locked. In that case, they can only be edited
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Please note any errors found in the above requirements on this article's Talk Page.


Worksheet A FREE workbook for Stamp Collecting is available here! (PDF or Word) with the maps, charts, links, diagrams, and checklists you need! Or click here to print just the Stamp Collecting requirements. has PDF and Word versions of workbooks for Scouts BSA ranks and merit badges, Cub Scouting ranks and adventures, and STEM Nova awards.

Requirement resources

1. 1a, 4a, 7d, 8 Provides a detailed description of all stamps issued by the United States. Extremely useful as a catalogue and for identifying individual stamps. Also describes the differences between stamps of certain issues/manufacturing techniques.
1b. The History of Stamp Collecting in America- Amer. Philatelic Society - Museum of Postal History
2. Topical Stamp Collecting - - Amer. Topical Assn
3. Philatelic Terms - Amer. Air Mail Society - Amer. First Day Cover Society - Int. Machine Cancel Society
4, 8. World Stamp Catalogue - Philatelic Terms
5, 6, 7. Amer. Philatelic Society has information on tools and preservation.
7a. Design a Postage Stamp Intended as a lesson plan for Black History Month, but the information is useful for all designs. Includes criteria for USPS selection.

Related awards

Hobby Awards
Hobby-related awards

See also

Scouts BSA portal
Venturing portal
Sea Scout portal
General Merit Badge information

External links

Personal tools