8 Merit Badges that will help prepare a Scout for an advertising career

Eagle Scouts: Chris Wilkerson (’89) and Casper Yen (’10)

Since there is no Advertising Merit Badge (an oversight in our opinion), the two Eagle Scouts at ChappellRoberts got to talking over lunch about what badges a scout would need to earn to Be Prepared for an advertising career.

For more than 100 years, Merit Badges have helped scouts learn a variety of disciplines to help them learn new skills and even determine which direction their career might take. There are 139 Merit Badges and new badges are added to the list occasionally to keep the program contemporary.

Here are Casper and Chris’ picks for what Merit Badges a scout should earn to get ready for a career in advertising at a full-service agency like ChappellRoberts.

Casper: Salesmanship – you need to be able to present well and there are basic marketing skills in the requirements that I think are a good foundation.

Chris: I would start with Journalism. It is on the list of badges that the fewest scouts earn every year, but the requirements will give a scout a sense of the media landscape that will be valuable in advertising.

Casper: My next choice is Communication. This one is a required Merit Badge, which means you have to have it if you want to reach the rank of Eagle Scout. This is going to be essential in an advertising career for everything from brand building to client communication.

Chris: American Business is my next choice. This is one of the harder Merit Badges to get and that is reflected in its low popularity ranking, but its lessons are critical in advertising. Understanding how big and small businesses operate is how an advertiser helps businesses tell the brand story.

Casper: Don’t forget the creative side of the agency. I’ll start with my passion: Photography. This Merit Badge has all the photo fundamentals and the importance of social media means almost everybody at the agency needs to be able to take great pictures.

Chris: Two of the newer Merit Badges are critical – Animation and Graphic Arts. Both expose Scouts to the art world in a way that shows how you can take that creativity and make a career out of it.

Casper: Programming – websites are an important part of how we help our clients tell their brand story and an understanding of the programming discipline will be a valuable asset.

One of the most important traits an advertising executive needs is one of the skills that Boys Scouts teaches best: Leadership. Tiger Cubs in first grade begin leadership training by meeting community leaders as they learn about everything from municipal services to manufacturing. Later, as a Boy Scout, young men develop those skills as they learn the foundational 12 points of the scout law: A Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent. As simple as they sound, learning the importance of these qualities early can truly set a young person up for success as a leader as they set out into the world.

Casper got an early foundation as a leader from his years in Scouts that led him to become a NYLT (National Youth Leadership Training) staff leader, and later to earn a minor in Leadership Studies at USF before becoming an Assistant Account Executive. Scouts provided Chris a bedrock leadership skillset that prepared him for roles as a Newspaper Editor and later a Senior Account Executive here at ChappellRoberts.

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