Catholic Scouts of Ireland Merit Badges
The first merit badge scheme used by the Catholic Boy Scouts of Ireland was based on the scheme used by the Boy Scouts of America. Although based on the badges used by the BSA the CBSI badges did differ sometimes in design and colour.
CBSI Personal Health
The Personal health badge used by the BSA had a yellow border while the CBSI had a red border.
The image above, from Catholic Scouting in Ireland published in the 1940s shows the personal health badge on the uniform.
BSA Personal Health
There was also a notable difference in the shad of green used and the shape of the heart.
Another illustration from Catholic Scouting in Ireland published in the 1940s
CBSI Felt Merit Badges from the 1940s
The type of cert awarded with the 1940s badges
As can be seen in this image of a CBSI Scout’s badges taken in 1963 a lot of the merit badges were of a different design to those used in the UK.
CBSI 1970s Nylon Merit Badges
In use from the 1940s up to the 2004. The design and requirements for the badge were similar to the UK version, Catholic Scouts of Ireland badges did not have the Scout logo on them, it was not unusual to see a mixture of Scout logo and non-Scout logo worn by a C.S.I. Scout. The badges measured approximately 45mm by 45mm. The newer version of the badge had rounded corners and a black felt backing, older versions had a white backing.
Athlete (early issue)
Athlete (later issue)
Canoeist (new version)
Computer (new version)
Forester (new version)
Guide (Old Issue)
Life Saver Advanced
Master at Arms
Pet Keeper Old
Pet Keeper New
Sportsman (First Issue)
Scripture and Librarian
The bookbinder, Scripture and Librarian badges are very similar, on the Bookbinder badge the pages are all white.
Scripture and Librarian
The Scripture and Librarian badges are the same design.
C.B.S.I. Merit Badges
The list above from the Catholic Boy Scouts of Ireland book The Scouting Trail (first edition 1964) lists the merit badges a Scout could earn. Some badges had different requirements for different age groups. In order to progress from Second Class Scout to First Class Scout a Scout had to earn a required number of merit badges, at least one from each section A to F.
In the mid-1970s, I think the scheme was proposed in 1975 and introduced in 1978, a new merit badge scheme cane into effect.
Like the previous scheme the badges were grouped and while the groups remained much the same some badges were retired and new ones added. One of the biggest changes was in the religious group which was reduced from 5 to 2 badges and the requirements of the Quest Badge included other religions.
CBSI Air Scouts
CBSI Sea Scouts
The merit badges worn by C.S.I. Scouts were very similar to those worn by Scouts in the U.K., the only difference was C.S.I. badges did not have the Scout symbol. It was common to see a C.S.I. Scout wearing both C.S.I. badges and U.K. badges as can be seen on this Scouts uniform.
Scout Association of Ireland Sea Scouts
Progressive Badge Scheme
In 2002 the S.A.I. introduced a new badge scheme for the Sea Scout section. The new scheme was known as the Progressive Badge Scheme. When the two associations merged in 2004 the scheme was continued by former S.A.I. Sea Scout Troops up until 2010, the scheme was discontinued with the introduction of the One Programme. Sea Scout Troops participating in the Progressive Badge Scheme could also were badges introduced in 2004 when they became part of Scouting Ireland although from what I have seen it appears Sea Scout Troops either adapted the new Scouting Ireland badges or remained with the Progressive Badge Scheme, I did not see any Troops using both schemes at the same time.
Catholic Scouts of Ireland and Scout Association of Ireland
Cub Scout Merit Badges
In use from the 1980s up to the 2004, some Packs did continue using them up to the introduction of the One Programme in 2010. The design and requirements for the badge were similar to the UK version, Catholic Scouts of Ireland badges did not have the Scout logo on them, it was not unusual to see a mixture of Scout logo and non-Scout logo worn by a C.S.I. Cub Scout. The badges measured approximately 40mm by 30mm.
These badges were also used by the Scout Association of Ireland S.A.I. from the late 1980s up to the merger in 2004. Although the badge design was the same in the three stage badges Athlete and Swimmer the colour of the badge was different for S.A.I. Stage 1 Red, Stage 2 Yellow and stage three was Green. The requirements for the S.A.I. badge were different, a Cub had to take part in four different athletic competitions, 50 metre sprint, throwing a cricket ball, high jump and long jump, points were awarded for each event, the number of points gained determined the stage of badge awarded.
Swimmer 2 (SAI 3)
Athlete Stage 1(SAI 2)
Swimmer 3 (SAI 1)
Athlete Stage2 (SAI 3)
Athlete Stage3 (SAI 1)
One on the main sources of fundraising for the Catholic Boy Scouts of Ireland was Bob-a-Job week. Bob-a-Job week and was renamed Scout Job Week in 1971 and was advertised and reported on in the national newspapers. The first Irish Bob-a-Job took place in 1951. Before the Golden Jubilee of the CBSI in 1977 badges were usually undated. The badges for the Jubilee had Jubilee Year on them, after Jubilee Year the year appeared on the squirrel badge and other designs although some badges after Jubilee Year some designs did not contain the year.
The badge depicting two squirrels was given to Scouts who had earned above a certain amount of money, this was replaced by the Super Jobbers badge. The squirrels on the Scout badge were yellow or gold and the Cub badge had a red squirrel. Golden Jubilee Year was 1977.
Undated CSI. This one was issued in 1985 for the release of the Ghost Busters film.
Scouting Ireland Skills Badges 2004 to 2010
Below are the Skills badges used by Scouting Ireland from 2004 until the introduction of the One Programme in 2010. They are similar to the present design although there were only four levels instead of the present nine levels.
Scouting Ireland Skills Badges 2010 Current Issue
A progression of 9 badges numbered 1 to 9 with different borders.
Paddling (Canoe) Skills