by Suzanne Trigonis
Cupertino Coin Club officers ran a BSA Coin Collecting Merit Badge Workshop at CoinExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, Calif., Sept. 14. This is the fourth such workshop, now offered semi-annually, that the club has made available to Scouts, both boys and girls, ages 11 – 17, who are currently registered with a Scouts BSA Troop. Sixty-six Scouts registered and attended the event! They arrived early, looked around the show to satisfy one of the ten requirements for the merit badge, sat in on an hour-long presentation, and then met with one of nine Merit Badge Counselors to review their numismatic knowledge and the coins and/or currency they collected. Well-prepared Scouts who completed the 10 requirements earned the merit badge by the end of the workshop.
The workshop was run by merit badge counselors from Silicon Valley Monterey Bay Council, Boy Scouts of America (BSA), Emile Mestressat, Treasurer and Immediate Past President of Cupertino Coin Club and Suzanne Trigonis, President of Cupertino Coin Club. Additional merit badge counselors from three councils of the BSA also assisted as a staff of nine (Alexander Trigonis, Granville Goza IV, Granville Goza V, Brian Jones, and Don Pannell from Silicon Valley Monterey Bay Council, Todd Eyring from Pacific Skyline Council, and Kyle Anderson from Mt. Diablo Silverado Council). Alexander Trigonis and Granville Goza V are board members of Cupertino Coin Club. Don Pannell is a life member, and Granville Goza IV is a member of Cupertino Coin Club.
The Boy Scouts of America first offered Coin Collecting as an elective merit badge in 1938. There are currently 137 merit badges offered. According to data published in Bryan on Scouting, the lifetime rankings show Coin Collecting at #64 of 139, with 514,650 Scouts having earned it between 1938 and 2018. Cupertino Coin Club offered its first BSA Coin Collecting Merit Badge Workshop in Fall 2011, which resulted in Alexander Trigonis joining the club and eventually bringing 15 additional members, both peers and their parents to the club. Cupertino Coin Club resumed offering this workshop to Scouts semi-annually in September 2018. Attendance has grown substantially in the last year from about a dozen Scouts, to now more than five times that!
Scouts who attended the workshop were invited to attend Cupertino Coin Club’s October general meeting, which is its Youth Night run by Junior President and Life Scout, Griffin Goza. The guest speaker for that evening’s program will be youth member and Life Scout, Andrew Amey, who will present his talk on Australian currency and coins.
Cupertino Coin Club thanks Scott Griffin of Portsmouth Square Coin & Bourse Company for helping promote the workshop and providing the space to offer the workshop on the bourse floor. The club also thanks Silicon Valley Monterey Bay Council, BSA for promoting this workshop. Without the Council’s support, we would not have had 66 Scouts attending. It has truly been a rewarding experience!