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Milwaukee Scouts learn about coins

Fifty-four boy scouts earned their coin collecting merit badge at the 33rd annual Milwaukee Boy Scout Coin Collecting merit badge clinic held on April 13.
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By Leon A. Saryan


Fifty-four boy scouts earned their coin collecting merit badge at the 33rd annual Milwaukee Boy Scout Coin Collecting merit badge clinic held on April 13.

During the four-hour Saturday morning program, boys aged 12 to 16 are given a comprehensive overview of numismatics. Topics covered include coin and paper money manufacture, coin basics and terminology, gathering and storing a coin collection, coin identification, mints and mintmarks, designer’s initials, the state quarter program, coin grading, paper currency basics, and an introduction to federal banking system.

The clinic, sponsored and organized by the Milwaukee Numismatic Society since 1980, was held at the Clarion Hotel Conference Center near the Milwaukee Airport, in conjunction with the three-day South Shore Coin Club annual show. At the conclusion of the program, all scouts attend the coin show bourse and have a chance to view coins and currency offered for sale by dealers.

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Each scout was presented with a bag full of collectible coins and paper currency donated to MNS by dealers and various organizations. This year, may of the prizes were provided by the local Boy Scout council. MNS is grateful to all those who supported the program with their donations.

This year’s program was well-received by the boys, their troop leaders, and several parents who attended. The MNS clinic was inaugurated more than three decades ago by veteran members Lee Hartz and Tom Casper, and substantially enhanced by Bruce Benoit. Principal speaker and clinic coordinator this year was MNS past-president Leon Saryan.

The success of this clinic is the result of a team effort by MNS members. Stu Caddell drove the PowerPoint program with integrated video clips. He edited and updated the PowerPoint program and integrated the “Money Story” video. Volunteers packed up prize bags for the scouts and also checked them in, examined their collections, and graded their quizzes. Speakers included Roger Lick, who discussed coin grading; Dave Hunsicker, who spoke about mintmarks, and Lee Hartz, who presented paper money and the Federal Reserve system.

Other key volunteers included MNS YN members Peter Caddell and Jason Paonessa, who helped speakers pass out the quizzes, and several test graders – Gary Bieringer, Howard Thorpe, Henry Jaworsky, Betty Petrovick, Justin Perrault, Dave Herrewig, Joe Paonessa, Gary Bieringer and Bruce Bartelt.

MNS is grateful for the cooperation of the South Shore Coin Club, which made it possible for us to host the program in conjunction with its show that ran from April 11-13.
For more information about the Milwaukee Numismatic Society, visit the society’s website at

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