Stamp Collecting Merit Badge
Current Scouts BSA Requirements
as of May 24, 2023
Discuss how you can better understand people, places, institutions, history, and geography as a result of collecting stamps.
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.
Define topical stamp collecting. Name and describe three other types of stamp collections.
Show at least ONE example of each of the following:
Perforated and imperforate stamps
Sheet, booklet, and coil stamps
Numbers on plate block, booklet, or coil, or marginal markings
Overprint and surcharge
Definitive, commemorative, semipostal, and airmail stamps
Cancellation and postmark
Postal stationery (aerogramme, stamped envelope, and postal card)
Demonstrate the use of ONE standard catalog for several different stamp issues. Explain why catalog value can vary from the corresponding purchase price.
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.
Demonstrate the use of at least THREE of the following stamp collector’s tools:
Hinges and stamp mounts
Glassine envelopes and cover sleeves
Show a stamp album and how to mount stamps with or without hinges. Show at least ONE page that displays several stamps.
Discuss at least THREE ways you can help to preserve stamps, covers, and albums in first-class condition.
Do at least TWO of the following:
Design a stamp, cancellation, or cachet.
Visit a post office, stamp club, or stamp show with an experienced collector. Explain what you saw and learned.
Write a review of an interesting article from a stamp newspaper, magazine, book, or website (with your parent’s permission).
Research and report on a famous stamp-related personality or the history behind a particular stamp.
Describe the steps taken to produce a stamp. Include the methods of printing, types of paper, perforation styles, and how they are gummed.
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.
Mount and show, in a purchased or homemade album, ONE of the following:
A collection of 250 or more different stamps from at least 15 countries.
A collection of a stamp from each of 50 different countries, mounted on maps to show the location of each.
A collection of 100 or more different stamps from either one country or a group of closely related countries.
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.
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.