The Buffalo, N.Y. Numismatic Association donated 175 Coin Collecting Merit Badge books to the Greater Niagara Frontier Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
The donation allows the council to provide every Boy Scout troop in the Buffalo and surrounding suburban areas with a new and updated book.
“The club has been around since 1927 and only recently has begun to reach out to the youth in the Buffalo area,” said Edward Blowers, BNA president. “This started three years ago when the BNA brought in Ms. Patti Finner from the national organization of the American Numismatic Association. She ran a coin collecting merit badge workshop where the Scouts in the area could earn the merit badge in one day. Last year we had over 200 Scouts, leaders, parents and siblings attend the workshop.”
Late in 2008, the Boy Scouts of America revised and republished all of its 130 merit badge books. This was a needed change, but at almost $5 per book, it placed a financial burden on the troops.
Jim Bucki, Scouting and youth programs coordinator for the BNA, came up with the idea to do a community outreach by donating the new merit badge books to the troops in the area.
On March 6 Blowers and Bucki presented Patrick M. Coviello, Scout executive for the Greater Niagara Frontier Council, with the merit badge books.
“It is great to see a service organization like the BNA support Scouting,” Coviello said. “A hobby with a rich history that dates back thousands of years and is part of history itself should be preserved.”
The scouts in the area will have an opportunity to use their new books and earn the Coin Collecting Merit Badge again this year at the club’s annual “Gold and Silver Expo.”
The Scout Workshop will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 18. It will conclude with a game of “Deal or No Deal: Coin Collectors Version.” The Scouts play for various coin and currency prizes, with the top prize being a gold American Eagle coin, according to Bucki.
Pre-registration is required for the Scout Workshop.
The expo runs April 17-19 at the Erie County Fairgrounds in Hamburg, N.Y.
For more information on Scouting and youth activities, send an e-mail to JMBcoins@aol.com.