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Earn All Merit Badges – A Question

A Question about a Scout Who Wants to Earn All Merit Badges

Heather sent in this question about her son who wants to earn all merit badges:

I have two boys one is almost done with all 137 Merit badge he is 15 and I know most of the merit badge go together. Now my 10 year old is now a boy scout and came to me the other day and said he to would like to get all 137 as will. Would you know were I could a breakdown of the merit badge that correspond with each other. For Exp. fishing,Fly fishing and Fish and wildlife management all go together and Archaeology, geology, mining in society or geocaching , orienteering and search and Rescue. If you know were I could find something like this it would help. please and thank you.

Some Thoughts about Helping Scouts Who Want to Earn All Merit Badges

Wow! It sounds like your sons are really goal oriented. Good for them.

I do not know of any such list for Scouts who want to earn all merit badges. I recommend that you let your 10 year old work on this with the help of his older brother. Since his older brother has already done this, he should be able to help little brother figure out which badges have similar topics.

Is this because he wants to do requirements simultaneously? If so, he really needs to consult with the counselors about this. Keep in mind that many of the requirements specifically don’t allow “double dipping”. So that is where the counselors will help him determine if he can do the same requirement once for two or more different badges.

I know it is difficult, but I recommend that you as a parent try to stay out of this process as much as possible. It will be more meaningful to your son if he works on it with the help of other youth. And this is a big part of how the Scouts BSA program is supposed to run.

Add Your Advice

Readers, what advice do you have for Scouts who want to earn all merit badges? Any insights or resources? Add your comments at the bottom of this post.

Related Resources for Earn All Merit Badges – A Question

Merit Badges

All of the Scouts BSA Merit Badges

You can learn about sports, crafts, science, trades, business, and future careers as you earn merit badges. There are more than 130 merit badges. Any Scout may earn any merit badge at any time. You don’t need to have had rank advancement to be eligible.

Eagle Scout Rank Helps and Ideas

Scouts BSA Eagle Scout Rank Helps and Documents

Eagle Scout is the highest advancement rank in Scouts BSA. Eagle is earned after the rank of Life. ”Once an Eagle, always an Eagle”. A young woman or man who finishes his or her Scouting career at 18 years of age as a Life Scout will say “I WAS a Life Scout.” But a young woman or man who attains the rank of Eagle Scout can proudly declare “I AM an Eagle Scout” even after he or she reaches the age of 18.


4 responses to “Earn All Merit Badges – A Question”

  1. ADC Avatar

    Wow a 15 only missing one merit badge? Why the rush? What do you want to do with scouting from now until you age out? I do not have any particular feelings if a scout wants to attain all badges. It is a nice goal. You still have to do the work. Let’s try to look mathematically for a 10 year old. There are 137 badges, a scout can earn badges until they are 18, that gives them 8 years. That is roughly 17.5 merit badges a year. Granted, there is nothing that says you cannot work on more than one badge at once. The main thing to reach it is that it HAS TO BE scout lead. The scout is the one to pursue the badges, not the scout master or parent. I know of merit badge counselors who will only talk to the scout to get things moving forward. The other big thing they will need to do is have a plan in place. When are you going to do badges? Where, merit badge colleges, summer camp, home troop, How do you plan on completing this goal? THINK SMART!! ALso be realistic. You are about to enter middle and high school. There are a lot of activities there that could take time and energy away from scouts. Sports, fine arts, NHS, clubs etc. Be realistic and plan. With little tweaks along the way you can make it.

  2. Betsy Avatar

    My son aspires to complete all of the merit badges as well. He is working on them in order of interest and opportunity, but isn’t particularly concerned about grouping similar badges together. He is making a point of NOT using the same materials twice. For example, the sites he visited for Citizenship in the Nation happen to be architectural gems, but he is visiting completely separate sites for the Architecture badge.

    As for parent involvement, my approach as a parent is metered. I believe the decision to pursue a merit badge, as well as the completed work itself, needs to be 100% scout led. However, I don’t see anything wrong with discussing a list of possible ideas for a project, or pointing out when a family trip might pair nicely with a badge requirement. I don’t really see this as any different than sending a scout to a badge clinic where a merit badge counselor walks scouts through a list of tasks for a few hours… that isn’t exactly “scout led,” but clearly passes muster. Just food for thought.

  3. JD Avatar

    As a parent of a Scout (almost First Class at the end of his first yr), we are very active in the Troop. I say “we” because it is a team effort. We are also homeschoolers. After my son worked on his first couple of merit badges at summer camp, he asked if we couldn’t ‘do them for school’. And the answer is YES. We go through the MB list to find those he is interested in, those that may correspond with areas already being studied, and he has to start the process from there (finding an MB counselor, getting instructions, requesting a blue card). Then the rest falls into place. He now knows how to search inline for info, and does this with guidance but far less than he would receive at an MB Academy! He asks questions, we discuss MANY aspects of the topic and he occasionally calls people/other Scouts for info, or to ask other questions. He does not double dip but he/we does/do coordinate his activities in order to saturate his brain with knowledge! The more knowledge on a given subject, the more info he will retain about it. He enjoys this and has been successful doing it. He has learned independence from this process and, to me, that is priceless! We refer to is as the Merit Badge Curriculum. It has been so successful that he asked me to become a Merit Badge Counselor. I did, though on a small scale- for our Troop. (For health reasons, I could not commit on a larger scale.)

  4. Phil Morris Avatar
    Phil Morris

    My son just completed all 138 merit badges. When he joined Scouting BSA he told me of this goal. I told him to earn 2 merit badges a month. Technically you need about 16 per year. But this gives them a guideline that they can easily measure. Let them figure out what they can earn and when. It really needs to be their accomplishment and not a parent driving them there.

    Remember that the average number of merit badges Eagle scouts complete is 28. The minimum of course being 21. If your scout shoots for earning all of the merit badges, but doesn’t complete that goal, they have likely far exceeded the minimum and the average.

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