As I child I began collecting stamps. It is something my father still enjoys. I was a little disheartened to see that AHG was discontinuing the Special Delivery Merit Badge. I realize that the times have changed and society no longer uses snail mail. Writing letters is a lost art form.
Personally, my family has been relying on the US Postal System more in the last 6 months then we have in a very long time. With my son in the Army now, snail mail has been the only way we can communicate with him during his initial training. I find myself waiting for the mailman to come each day, in hopes of a letter from my son. Enough rambling and on to today’s merit badge help – Special Delivery requirement #1…
To complete the badge you must collect 50 stamps and it is important to learn how to remove them from the envelope. This is a rather simple process, it just takes a little time and patience.
Step 1: Using a pair of scissors, cut around each stamp leaving about a 1/2 inch of envelope around the stamp. The goal is to remove the excess envelope but not damage the stamp and cut it.
Step 2: Fill a shallow bowl about 1/2 way with warm water. Place the stamps into the water and allow to soak. This can take from 30 minutes for older stamps to several hours for newer stamps.
Step 3: The water will cause the glue to loosen and the stamps will easily separate.
Step 4: Place the stamps on a paper towel and allow to dry flat.
This is the method I used as a child. Having little patience, I found that you can “help” them along and separate them before the glue has completely loosened. A quick search for other methods did include microwaving them – I have not tried this and cannot recommend it. The method described above is the method recommended on the US Postal System website (here).
This process is also needed to complete requirement #9 and #15. If you are trying to complete the badge before it is discontinued, check out these other resources:
- Requirement #7
- Requirement #8
- Requirement #12
- Requirement #16
- Requirement #18
- Requirement #20
- Requirement #21
NOTE: The requirements have been simplified here. Please be sure to read the full text in the Girl Handbook to make sure you fully understand the requirements.