Boy Scout Archives: Emergency Preparedness Merit Badge

Emergency Preparedness Merit BadgeScouts are often called upon to help because they know first aid and they know about the discipline and planning needed to react to an emergency situation. Earning this merit badge helps a Scout to be prepared by learning the actions that can be helpful and needed before, during, and after an emergency.

Either the Emergency Preparedness merit badge OR the Lifesaving merit badge is required for the rank of Eagle Scout. Scouts who earn both badges may count the second badge as an elective.

Requirements for the Emergency Preparedness Merit Badge

Merit Badge Check Off List

I’ve had several requests lately for a newer version of the merit badge check off list, updated with the newest badges. So I’ve redone the list as a Google spreadsheet. This will make it easier to keep updated.

The spreadsheet could be used by a scribe to keep track of which Scouts have earned which merit badges or could be used by an individual Scout.

Go to the merit badge check off list

You can print the list directly or save it in several formats, including Excel or PDF.  Look under the File menu for these options.

If you distribute your own copy of the list, please leave the links to my site in so others can find the resources here.

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Age Requirements for Merit Badges

Michael sent in this question:

What scout age is too young for Citizenship in the Community? I have a couple “younger scouts” who would like to begin the badge but they are only 7th graders and Second Class? Is it my call or do you have a certain criteria?

This is not an uncommon question. The Guide to Advancement should be the first source of information when you have a question about advancement procedures. From the 2013 Guide to Advancement about who can work on a merit badge

A few merit badges have certain restrictions, but otherwise any registered Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, or qualified Venturer or Sea Scout may work on any of them at any time. 

and concerning the conversation you might have with the Scout when asked to provide a merit badge card

The discussion a Scout is to have with the unit leader is meant to be a growth-oriented and positive conversation. The unit leader should discuss any concerns related to working on the merit badge and provide appropriate counseling. It is then the Scout’s decision whether or not to proceed with the merit badge. The process is intended to inform the Scout about what he may encounter along the way, and perhaps to give him suggestions on how the work might be approached. It also has the purpose of keeping the unit leader up to date with what the members of the unit are doing.

I think this second quote from the guide to advancement really addresses this situation. If you think the Scout is too young, you can discuss your concerns with him. But it does clearly state that the decision to proceed belongs to the Scout.

Note that the Guide to Advancement is updated annually, so when looking something up, check that you are using the current version first.

Scouters, how do you approach this? Add your ideas to the comments below.

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Emergency Preparedness BSA – Boy Scout Requirements

The Emergency Preparedness BSA award for Boy Scouts recognizes young men who are ready to respond when an emergency strikes. Events like the recent Hurricane Sandy drive home the point that we should all be prepared at all times. By developing the knowledge and skills needed in an emergency situation, Boy Scouts will be ready and able to help their communities and families when disaster strikes.

The requirements below are for youth enrolled in the Boy Scout program. There are also variations of this award for Cub Scouts and Venturers. For more information about this award, see the Scouting.org website.

Emergency Preparedness BSA – Boy Scout Requirements

Do the following:

  1. Participate in creating an emergency plan for your home and for your troop or team’s Scouting activities. Be sure you know the details of both emergency plans.
  2. Earn the First Aid or the Emergency Preparedness merit badge.
  3. With your troop or team, including its adult leaders, participate in emergency preparedness training conducted by community emergency preparedness agencies.
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Safety Programs Feature for Boy Scouts

The Boy Scout Roundtable Planning Guide suggests a Safety troop program feature for August 2012.  This program feature offers the opportunity to introduce kids to safety programs in a troop setting. A PLC can use this program feature to plan a month of activities with a focus on safety.

The plans for the Safety troop program feature can be found in  Volume 3  of Troop Program Features from BSA:

Having a good experience on a troop campout requires safety practices that prevent accidents. Safety is actually a prevention tool. Performing a project correctly, using the proper tools and procedures, could protect you from serious injury.

Safety Programs

Younger scouts can work on their early rank requirements, including first aid.  Older scouts can earn the Safety merit badge and Fire Safety merit badge. Some other related merit badges include First Aid, Emergency Preparedness, and Lifesaving. All scouts can help develop safety programs for their campouts.

The feature event for this program is a campout where safety programs are developed and practices. As an alternative, youth can arrange a visit to a hotel to learn about safety in public buildings or set up a display about safety programs in a mall.

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Emergency Preparedness Troop Program Feature for Boy Scouts

The Boy Scout Roundtable Planning Guide suggests an Emergency Preparedness troop program feature for Boy Scouts for May 2012. BSA provides the troop program feature guides as a resource for Boy Scout troops. A PLC can use these guides to plan a series of meetings and outings around a single theme. My post Troop Program Features for Meetings and Outings has  more information about these guides.

The plans for the Emergency Preparedness troop program feature can be found in  Volume 1  of Troop Program Features from BSA:

Our Scout motto, “Be Prepared,” is never more important than in dealing with emergency situations. The ability to make correct decisions under pressure really tests a Scout. As Scouts progress through the program, they perfect their skills in leadership, the outdoors, and working with people. Emergency preparedness means being prepared in all of these areas.

The focus of this program feature is on first aid and being ready in emergency situations. Younger Scouts will work on first aid requirements, along with a few other requirements. Experienced Scouts will work on First Aid and Emergency Preparedness merit badges.

The big feature for the program theme is a campout where Scouts encounter simulations of emergency situations and respond to them using the skills they have been practicing.

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First Aid Merit Badge for Boy Scouts

Knowing first aid is a basic Boy Scout skill. Even if a Boy Scout doesn’t use his first aid knowledge to save a life someday, at least he will have the skills he needs to take care of common injuries. And that will help him develop independence.

The First Aid merit badge is required for the rank of Eagle. Earning the First Aid merit badge is also one of the requirements for the Emergency Preparedness merit badge.

First Aid Merit Badge Requirements

  1.  Satisfy your counselor that you have current knowledge of all first-aid requirements for Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class ranks.
  2. Do the following:
    1. Explain how you would obtain emergency medical assistance from your home, on a wilderness camping trip, and during an activity on open water.
    2. Explain the term triage.
    3. Explain the standard precautions as applied to bloodborne pathogens.
    4. Prepare a first-aid kit for your home. Display and discuss its contents with your counselor.
  3. Do the following:
    1.  Explain what action you should take for someone who shows signals of shock, for someone who shows signals of a heart attack, and for someone who shows signals of stroke.
    2. Identify the conditions that must exist before performing CPR on a person. Then demonstrate proper technique in performing CPR using a training device approved by your counselor.
    3. Explain the use of an automated extrenal defibrillator (AED).
    4. Show the steps that need to be taken for someone suffering from a severe cut on the leg and on the wrist. Tell the dangers in the use of a tourniquet and the conditions under which its use is justified.
    5. Explain when a bee sting could be life threatening and what action should be taken for prevention and for first aid.
    6. Explain the symptoms of heatstroke and what action should be taken for first aid and for prevention.
  4. Do the following:
    1. Describe the signals of a broken bone. Show first-aid procedures for handling fractures (broken bones), including open (compound) fractures of the forearm, wrist, upper leg, and lower leg using improvised materials.
    2. Describe the symptoms and possible complications and demonstrate proper procedures for treating suspected injuries to the head, neck , and back. Explain what measures should be taken to reduce the possibility of further complicating these injuries.
  5. Describe the symptoms, proper first-aid procedures, and possible prevention measures for the following conditions:
    1. Hypothermia
    2. Convulsions/seizures
    3. Frostbite
    4. Dehydration
    5. Bruises, strains, sprains
    6. Burns
    7. Abdominal pain
    8. Broken, chipped, or loosened tooth
    9. Knocked out tooth
    10. Muscle cramps
  6. Do TWO of the following:
    1. If a sick or injured person must be moved, tell how you would determine the best method. Demonstrate this method.
    2. With helpers under your supervision, improvise a stretcher and move a presumably unconscious person.
    3. With your counselor’s approval, arrange a visit with your patrol or troop to an emergency medical facility or through an American Red Cross chapter for a demonstration of how an AED is used.
  7. Teach another Scout a first-aid skill selected by your counselor.
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Emergency Preparedness Merit Badge for Boy Scouts

The Emergency Preparedness merit badge is one of the most useful badges a Boy Scout can earn. You hope you will never need to use the information you learn, but if you do find yourself in an emergency situation, you can make a difference.  This badge is all about being prepared for the unexpected.

My husband is an Emergency Preparedness merit badge counselor. Right now he is working with our local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program to set up a CERT training session for some of the Boy Scout troops in our immediate area. There will be a good amount of overlap between the CERT training and the requirements for this badge.

Either the Emergency Preparedness merit badge OR the Lifesaving merit badge is required for the rank of Eagle Scout. Scouts who earn both badges may count the second badge as an elective.

Emergency Preparedness Merit Badge Requirements

  1. Earn the First Aid merit badge.
  2. Do the following:
    1. Discuss with your counselor the aspects of emergency preparedness:
      1. Prepare for emergency situations.
      2. Respond to emergency situations.
      3. Recover from emergency situations.
      4. Mitigate and prevent emergency situations.
    2. Make a chart that demonstrates your understanding of each of the aspects of emergency preparedness in requirement 2a (prepare, respond, recover, mitigate) with regard to 10 of the situations listed below. You must use situations 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, shown below in boldface, but you may choose any other five listed here for a total of 10 situations. Discuss this chart with your counselor.
      1. Home kitchen fire
      2. Home basement/storage room/garage fire
      3. Explosion in the home
      4. Automobile crash
      5. Food-borne disease (food poisoning)
      6. Fire or explosion in a public place
      7. Vehicle stalled in the desert
      8. Vehicle trapped in a blizzard
      9. Flash flooding in town or in the country
      10. Mountain/backcountry accident
      11. Boating or water accident
      12. Gas leak in a home or a building
      13. Tornado or hurricane
      14. Major flood
      15. Nuclear power plant emergency
      16. Avalanche (snowslide or rockslide)
      17. Violence in a public place
    3. Meet with and teach your family how to get or build a kit, make a plan, and be informed for the situations on the chart you created for requirement 2b. Complete a family plan. Then meet with your counselor and report on your family meeting, discuss their responses, and share your family plan.
  3. Show how you could safely save a person from the following:
    1. Touching a live household electric wire
    2. A room filled with carbon monoxide
    3. Clothes on fire
    4. Drowning, using nonswimming rescues (including accidents on ice)
  4. Show three ways of attracting and communicating with rescue planes/aircraft.
  5. With another person, show a good way to transport an injured person out of a remote and/or rugged area, conserving the energy of rescuers while ensuring the well-being and protection of the injured person.
  6. Do the following:
    1. Tell the things a group of Scouts should be prepared to do, the training they need, and the safety precautions they should take for the following emergency services:
      1. Crowd and traffic control
      2. Messenger service and communication
      3. Collection and distribution services
      4. Group feeding, shelter, and sanitation
    2. Identify the government or community agencies that normally handle and prepare for the emergency services listed under 6a, and explain to your counselor how a group of Scouts could volunteer to help in the event of these types of emergencies.
    3. Find out who is your community’s emergency management director and learn what this person does to prepare, respond to, recover from, and mitigate and prevent emergency situations in your community. Discuss this information with your counselor, and apply what you discover to the chart you created for requirement 2b.
  7. Take part in an emergency service project, either a real one or a practice drill, with a Scouting unit or a community agency.
  8. Do the following:
    1. Prepare a written plan for mobilizing your troop when needed to do emergency service. If there is already a plan, explain it. Tell your part in making it work.
    2. Take part in at least one troop mobilization. Before the exercise, describe your part to your counselor. Afterward, conduct an “after-action” lesson, discussing what you learned during the exercise that required changes or adjustments to the plan.
    3. Prepare a personal emergency service pack for a mobilization call. Prepare a family emergency kit (suitcase or waterproof box) for use by your family in case an emergency evacuation is needed. Explain the needs and uses of the contents.
  9. Do ONE of the following:
    1. Using a safety checklist approved by your counselor, inspect your home for potential hazards. Explain the hazards you find and how they can be corrected.
    2. Review or develop a plan of escape for your family in case of fire in your home.
    3. Develop an accident prevention program for five family activities outside the home (such as taking a picnic or seeing a movie) that includes an analysis of possible hazards, a proposed plan to correct those hazards, and the reasons for the corrections youpropose.
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National Outdoor Badges – Adventure

Last August, BSA released its new Outdoor awards. These awards recognize Boy Scouts and Varsity Scouts who really get into outdoor activities. The five badges are for camping, hiking, aquatics, riding, and adventure. There is a center badge which is earned when the first badge is earned also. There are also gold and silver devices which can be attached to the badges for additional achievements.

I wrote previous  posts about the camping award, the hiking award, the riding award, and the aquatics award. Today I am promoting the adventure award – the last in the series.

Like the other awards in this series, there are not a lot of requirements, but they will take some time to achieve. Our troop is sending a contingent to Philmont this summer, so between the trip itself and all of the training hikes, along with regular troop activities, some might meet the requirements.

You can learn more about this program at the BSA website.

National Outdoor Badges – Adventure

  1. Earn the First Class rank.
  2. Complete either the Wilderness Survival or the Emergency Preparedness merit badge.
  3. Complete 10 of any combination or repetition of the following adventure activities under the auspices of the Boy Scouts of America:
    1. A backpacking trip lasting three or more days and covering more than 20 miles without food resupply
    2. A canoeing, rowing, or sailing trip lasting three or more days and covering more than 50 miles without food resupply
    3. A whitewater trip lasting two or more days and covering more than 20 miles without food resupply
    4. A climbing activity on open rock, following Climb On Safely principles, that includes camping overnight
    5. Earn the National Historic Trails Award
    6. Earn the 50-Miler Award
    7. Attend any national high-adventure base or any nationally recognized local high-adventure or specialty-adventure program

Items 3a-g may be repeated as desired. A single activity that satisfies multiple items in 3a-g may be counted as separate activities at the discretion of the unit leader. Similarly, a single activity that doubles an item in 3a-d may be counted as two activities at the discretion of the unit leader. A gold device may be earned for each additional five activities. A silver device is earned for each additional 20 activities. The Scout may wear any combination of devices totaling his current number of activities.

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Requirements and Helps for Boy Scout Merit Badges

You can learn about sports, crafts, science, trades, business, and future careers as you earn merit badges. There are more than 100 merit badges.

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Emergency Phone Number List

Emergency preparedness is part of every level of Scouting program. For younger Scouts, that primarily means knowing how to get help. Making a list of emergency numbers and keeping it near the phone is a good way to make sure they always have the information they need.

This printable phone list can be used with

  • Tiger Elective 27 – Emergency!
  • Wolf Achievement 4 – Know Your Home and Community
  • Bear Achievement 7 – Law Enforcement Is a Big Job
  • Bear Achievement 11 – Be Ready
  • Webelos Readyman Activity Badge

Printable copy of Emergency Phone Number List (Worksheet)

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Fire Drill Time!

Hopefully everyone remembered to change the batteries in their fire detectors when daylight savings time began a couple of weeks ago. This is a good time to conduct a fire drill with your family also. Fire drills are encouraged throughout scouting programs, from the Tigers to Boy Scouts.

When this requirement comes up in the Cub Scout program, it must be done by the family at home. One way to help promote this is to send a handout home with your Cubs. It serves as a reminder that the family needs to do the requirement together and also gives them a starting point. So the printable handout below, while not an all-encompassing document, does lay out a basic plan for conducting a home fire drill.

Printable copy of   Tips for Conducting a Fire Drill in your Home

This handout can be used with

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