Merit badges




In order to encourage boys and girls into hobbies and crafts, Baden Powell initiated the possibility to earn merit badges. The kids learned to discover their skills and on top of that they could develop their choice of profession.


The First 35 pictures of these badges, developed in 1911 by the NPO (the Dutch Scouting Organisation) are copies of the badges of English scouts and were designed by B.P. himself.


The NPB (the Dutch Scouting Union) had metal merit badges. After merging in 1915 with the NPO, the NPV (Dutch Scouts) started and these metal badges were replaced by the original badges.






Initially the badges were made of felt with a paper or cloth backside. Later they became fabric badges, both lined and unlined. In the course of time alterations and modifications were added to the original merit badges. These badges were worn on the right sleeve, between shoulder and elbow in parallel rows.




The Cubs had triangle badges, divided in four colours: Green (body skills and sports), blue (intelligence), red (helpfulness) and yellow (crafts). Later these badges were also worn by the KV, just like the scout-badges. In 1968 this division in colours was abolished.



The Scouts had round khaki-coloured badges with usually a red picture in a green circle. Later the Sea-scouts started wearing dark blue badges and the Air-scouts light blue.







Boat Manager A


Just like the Sea-scouts, the Sea Girl-scouts have a supplemental set of merit-badges, the M.B.L (Authorisation Boat Management). In the badges for the boys was a lily and a trefoil in those of the girls. The colour of the lily and trefoil indicated the category of the badge.


The Air-scouts also had a couple of badges of their own: Brevet Badge Engine Model and Glider Pilot.




Engine model





The Brownies wore brown triangle badges with a golden border and gold coloured pictures.



The Girl Scouts and Guides used round badges, just as the Scouts, dark blue with a light blue border and light blue picture.

The Guides and Brownies from the NGB used the same badges as their “colleagues” from the NPG, supplemented with some designs of their own.








The Pioneers of the NPG wore dark blue round badges with a red border and red picture, except for the badge Nursing. This one was a complete embroidered white picture. In 1955 earning merit badges by Pioneers was cancelled.


In 1967 the NPG started with Junior and Senior Girl-scouts and then the package of merit badges was altered. There were new badges for Juniors, the Express-badges. There were four routes in total, to be recognized by the colour of the tent.



 First route





The Seniors got new merit badges, round dark blue badges with a red border and a red picture, measuring only 20 mm in diameter.


In 1969 new fully embroidered badges were introduced by the K.V., both for the Cubs and Scouts. These badges were square and had stylized pictures.







After the merge of the four movements in 1973 all the old merit badges were casted aside and new round stylized badges were introduced, both for the age from 7 to 10 years and 10 to 15 years. They were white with a white border and pictures in different colours.


Midst 90’s the Esta’s (a mixed group of boys and girls, aged 7 to 10 years) got new triangle badges with a red border, a black background and coloured pictures.








The Scouts (boys and girls from 10 to 15 years) got pentagonal badges with a red border, blue background and also coloured pictures.


Merit badges are also considered to be badges which are not mentioned so, but surely show that the bearer has a certain skill.


The Cubs had stars that were worn on the cap and the badge Wolf indicated that you had earned a certain amount of merit badges. This badge was worn on the left side of the sweater or blouse.








Brownies had the badges Finger and Hand, which also required several skills. These badges were worn on the right side of the uniform.


Brownies of the NPG had fabric badges, while the Brownies of the NGB wore metal badges.




 Crown Scout


Even the class-badges and the crown scout badge of the scouts indicate certain skills. These class-badges were worn on the left sleeve between shoulder and elbow, except for the crown scout badge, which was worn on the right sleeve, including the associating badges around it. In the early days of Scouting in Holland a crown scout was called a “Kings’ Scout” and the badge was worn above the right pocket.


The NPO had the silver wolf badge for a certain amount of earned merit badges. Later this badges was replaced by the yellow-green, red-white, golden and Bushranger cords.  These cords also indicated that a certain specific amount of badges was earned. These cords were worn over the right shoulder.



Bushranger cords



Crown badge


The Venture Scouts of the KV had the opportunity to earn the crown badges and also the Saint George badge, a round ribbon with “Sint Joristocht” in white overprint. This last badge could also be earned by first class scouts and Rover-scouts.


Girl-scouts / Guides had one or two small blue ribbons as class-badge, worn at the right side of the uniform, above the wing which indicated that Girl-scout had been a Brownie earlier.




 Class ribbon



Orange-blue cords


When a Girl-scout had fulfilled all the requirements and had earned the number of mandatory badges, she could wear the blue cords over her left shoulder. After 1967 Junior Girl-scouts got the orange-blue cords, and the requirements were easier than for the blue cords.


Rover-scouts could wear the badge for Rover instructor above the right pocket and the Wanderers’ badge on the left shoulder. The Wanderers’ badge was also a metal one for a short while.  






Rover instructor


At the KV both the badges Rover instructor and Wanderer were worn on the left sleeve after 1964.


From 1932 to 1941, when the oppressors had forbidden Scouting in Holland, the Pioneers had the “Groote Vlam-insigne” (the Great Flame Badge). Before that period, the requirements for this badge were also requirements for the initiation. This badge had a diameter of ca. 48 mm.


“De Berkenblokken” (the Birch Blocks), “De Vlam” (the Flame) and “De Rookpluim” (the Plume) replaced those badges after the war. Those three badges were worn on top of each other, therefore covering each other with the last earned badge on top. Pioneers were not expected to exhibit badges and that is the reason earning merit badges was cancelled in 1955.

In the fifties these three badges disappeared. The requirements of the Birch Blocks were added to the requirements for initiation and the requirements for the Flame and Plume Badges were abolished. Instead new Flame requirements arose. When the Pioneers had fulfilled them they were allowed to embroider a silver grey border around the initiation badges for Pioneers.  



 Great flame badge






After the modernisation of the Scouting Program in 2010 new merit badges were launched for all sections.




The beavers get their own merit badges. There are no specific skills needed to achieve such a badge, but the beavers can earn a badge by participating in activities connected to the a Hotsjietonian theme-character for about 3 or 4 weeks. It is not the skills that count, but it is the level of participation that counts.

The activities are invented by the staff and adapted to the level of the beaver-colony. As a completion of the theme-meetings, the badge is presented to each member of the colony.


There are 11 badges, with the picture of Hotsjietonian theme-characters:

Bas Bos, Fleur Kleur, Keet Kleur, Noa, Professor Plof, Rebbel, Rozemarijn, Stanley Stekker, Sterre Stroom, Steven Stroom en Stuiter.


Besides that there are 10 funbadges created for the staff to wear with pictures of the first 10 of the above mentioned theme-characters.

Bas Bos






Cub scouts:






The Cub scouts now have 23 new merit badges.


The Cub scout staff can wear one of the 15 badges with pictures of characters from the Jungle stories.

















There are 11 merit badges: Outdoor activities, expression, identity, international, collaboration, games and sports, woodwork and stoke, camping techniques, safe and healthy, tracking and sailing. These badges come in the qualifications 1 (orange) and 2 (red).

Besides that there is a badge for rowing in red.

Outdoor activities 1

Expression 2

There are also 30 specialisation badges for the scouts.

Route techniques
















The explorers have 8 merit badges and besides that 3 year badges.

For every year there are certain activities planned which have to be completed before the explorer can wear the badge.

Outdoor activities



Year badge 1

Year badge 2

Yearbadge 3






Rover scouts:










The rover scouts do not have merit badges like the other sections, but they have a badge in three parts. The three parts represent the three challenges, which are formulated by the rover scout. For each completed challenge the rover scout earns one part of the badge.

After successfully completing the three challenges and meeting some other conditions, the rover scout is entitled  to wear the special woggle, the Partenza.

The partenza


The museum is always interested in "old" Dutch scouting stuff.
Are you considering removing your old stuff, please contact us.