The very idea of scouting and being recognized for meritorious achievement is set deep in Idaho's DNA. One of its earliest practitioners was Sacagawea, who scouted the uncharted territory of the Mountain West in the early 1800s (yes, Lewis and Clark were along for the walk). American boys and girls have been scouting since the 1910s, and both the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America are currently undergoing more change than at any time in their respective histories.
Earlier this year, in a story we called "A Bigger Tent," Boise Weekly
explored how the local BSA council was preparing to officially accept girls into its program and how the GSA, in spite of what it said was the BSA's infringement, continues to flourish. Throughout the history of what has been affectionately dubbed the "scouting movement," merit badges have signified achievement in all walks of life. Some badges, such as for camping, cooking and personal fitness, are legacies. Others are more contemporary, such as animation, graphic arts and space exploration, which were recently added to an ever-growing list.
So, in that theme, our 2018 Annual Manual has a few merit badges of its own to award—both to the subjects of the stories in these pages, and to you for reading them. For example, our idea of a Citizenship merit badge goes to the dedicated few who help resettle refugees
from war-torn corners of the earth to new homes in Boise. In the fertile category of horticulture, we explore the sprouting popularity of urban gardening
. We've got you covered in urban studies too, where we reveal the most difficult-to-fill jobs
in Idaho, the evolving transportation scene
and the lowdown on Boise's recycling program
. Plus, we have a different twist on culinary arts, checking out some of Boise's dog-friendly restaurants and pubs
, the expanding list of late-night eateries
, and the growing movement of professional chefs spicing up dishes with (gulp) bugs.
Our 2018 Annual Manual also has a comprehensive list of restaurants, bars, galleries and must-attend events.
Along the way, you'll stack up a nice collection of merit badges and end up well prepared to blaze down many of Boise's important, and sometimes imposing, trails.