This article was originally printed in the latest issue of Numismatic News.
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A first-time Boy and Girl Scout Coin Collecting Merit Badge Workshop sponsored and underwritten by the Numismatic Association of Southern California was the most popular attraction of the Golden State Coin Show held Aug. 28-29 in Arcadia, Calif.
Ninety Scouts from some 16 Boy Scouts of America Districts in and around the San Gabriel Valley and from as far away as the Riverside Inland Empire, Central Orange County, San Fernando Valley and Agoura Hills-Thousand Oaks in Ventura County got their first major welcome and historical introduction to the world of coins and the coin collecting hobby during the four-hour interactive session.
The BSA workshop was facilitated by Walt Ostromecki, American Numismatic Association governor and certified Coin Collecting Merit Badge counselor, the scoutmaster with Troop 93, and YN Cole Schenewerk. The audience of 154 including leaders and parents were presented with numismatic stories, coin collecting basics and spot Q&A’s for prizes.
National Park Quarters Deluxe Collector's Coin Folder
The activities netted the Scouts “earned numismatic credits.” Troop team winners were able to redeem their credits for a special lot of donated coins and currency. Among the lots were Indian cents, Buffalo nickels, 1943 steel cents, Israel coins, Mercury dimes, and U.S. territory and national park quarters.
“I am amazed at the turnout for this first time Scout youth, leader and family outreach event,” said Jerry Yahalom, NASC president. “We not only attracted a lot of the non-collectors, both young and adult to this year’s GSCS coin show, but introduced them to the wonderful world of the coin collecting hobby as well. I have every confidence that we will again host another BSA Coin Collecting Merit Badge clinic in 2011!”
At the conclusion of the BSA workshop, each Scout was given a free “Continue the Numismatic Experience” goodie bag that contained hobby literature, coin holders and coins supplied by the U.S. Mint, Bureau of Engraving and Printing, ANA, and number of other companies, clubs and individuals.
NASC and ANA extended special one-year BSA dues membership rates for all Scouts, leaders and parents. Harold Katzman, NASC corresponding secretary, agreed to provide any Scout who joined with five Liberty V nickels. Seven took him up on the offer.