Merit badges on a Scouts BSA merit badge sash.

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 100 merit badges. Any Scout may earn any merit badge at any time. You don’t need to have had rank advancement to be eligible.

Scouts BSA Merit Badges Check Off Sheet

Use the links directly below to find help for a specific badge.

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How Do I Earn a Merit Badge?

Choose a Topic

What are you interested in? Do you need an Eagle required merit badge for advancement? Or are you doing an elective? The list below shows you all of the merit badges required and all of the available electives. If you can’t decide, talk to your Scoutmaster. He or she will be able to suggest a few good ones to start with.

Get a Merit Badge Application

Your Scoutmaster will sign this and give it to you. Your Scoutmaster should also be able to give you the names of some approved counselors for the badge or tell you how to obtain that list.

Contact a Counselor

Call an approved counselor and let him or her know that you want to start working on the badge. The counselor might want to meet with you in person to discuss the requirements before you start. Remember, that you must have a buddy with you when you meet with a counselor. This can be another Scout, a parent, another relative, or a friend.

Work on the Requirements

This might involve doing some research or learning some skills. You might have to do a service project or visit a place. If you are not sure about the requirements, call your counselor and ask. It is better to ask a question than to do something and find out you need to redo it.

Show Off What You Have Learned

Call the counselor again and tell him or her that you are ready to demonstrate the requirements. Once again, remember to take a buddy. During this meeting you might discuss the answers or you might have to demonstrate or show something. Each requirement will tell you what is expected to fulfill it. When the counselor determines that you have fulfilled all of the requirements, he or she will sign the merit badge application.

Get the Badge

Give your signed application to your troop advancement chair or anther person designated by your Scoutmaster. That person will obtain the emblem for you. Normally badges are presented at a troop Court of Honor.

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Guide to Advancement

Complete specifications about the merit badge process, including details about what is acceptable for counselors, Scoutmasters, and Scouts, can be found in the Guide to Advancement.

Required Merit Badges for the Rank of Eagle Scout

For some of these Eagle required badges you may choose between two or three option. The video below gives a summary of the Eagle required badges and the options available.

What Merit Badges Are Required for Eagle Scout?

camping merit badge

Camping

Scouts learn how to plan for a safe campout. Camping is one of the Eagle required merit badges. They consider weather hazards, what to pack, and how to select a camping site. Then they put their knowledge to use by participating in multiple camping trips.

Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Helps and Documents

Citizenship in Society

This merit badge is required for the rank of Eagle Scout starting in July 2022.

This is one of the required citizenship merit badges. Scouts learn that we all benefit when everyone is included and has a voice. Scouts learn about diversity, equity, and inclusion. They also explore ethical leadership and how being an upstander helps others feel respected and valued

citizenship in the community merit badge

Citizenship in the Community

This is another of the required citizenship merit badges. Scouts learn how to be active members of their local community . They learn about local government and do service work in their region. They also research the history, culture, and demographics in their area.

citizenship in the nation merit badge

Citizenship in the Nation

Another of the required citizenship merit badge. Scouts learn about the rights, duties, and obligations of United States citizens. They explore important places in our nation and learn to keep up with national events. They also investigate the importance of documents like the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. Scouts also find out about the branches of our federal government and how they compliment and balance each other.

citizenship in the World merit badge

Citizenship in the World

Scouts explore what it means to be a member of the global community. This is another of the required citizenship merit badges. They learn about international law and international organizations such as the United Nations, the World Health Organization, and the European Union. Scouts also find out about relationships between nations and the role of the US State Department and ambassadors.

communication merit badge

Communication

Scouts learn about oral, written, visual, and digital methods of sharing information. They share stories and information, participate in an interview, attend a public meeting, and plan a Court of Honor or campfire program. They also explore careers in the field of communication. This is one of the merit badges required for the rank of Eagle Scout.

Cooking Merit Badge Helps and Documents

Cooking

Scouts learn about food safety, nutrition, and cooking techniques. They also have to plan , prepare, and cook meals at camp, at home, and on the trail. The Cooking merit badge is one of the merit badges required for the rank of Eagle.

cycling merit badge

Cycling

Either the Cycling merit badge OR the Hiking merit badge OR the Swimming merit badge is required for the rank of Eagle Scout. Scouts who earn more than one of these merit badges may count the additional merit badges as electives.

Scouts learn how to enjoy excursions on their bicycles. There is an emphasis on safety and planning in the requirements. There are options for completing the requirements by road biking or by mountain biking. The requirements can be completed by Scouts with any level of experience in cycling.

Emergency Preparedness Merit Badge Helps and Documents

Emergency Preparedness

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

Scouts learn how to “Be Prepared”. They learn how to deal with situations like fires, automobile crashes, natural disasters, home emergencies, water safety, and more. They learn about community readiness plans for emergencies and explore the many careers related to emergency preparedness.

environmental science merit badge

Environmental Science

Either Sustainability merit badge or Environmental Science merit badge is required for the rank of Eagle. Scouts who earn both merit badges may count the second as an elective.

Scouts learn about ecology, pollution, endangered species, pollination by bees, and other environmental topics. They also study how parts of the ecosystem interact through repeated observation.

family life merit badge

Family Life

Scouts learn about how families work together for the better of themselves and for their community. They do service projects together and have family meetings. Scouts also learn about how parents are responsible for their families. This is one of the merit badges required for the rank of Eagle Scout.

First Aid Merit Badge Helps and Documents

First Aid

Scouts learn how to handle a variety of emergency situations: shock, heart attack, cuts, broken bones, hypothermia, bee stings, heatstroke, convulsions, dehydration, pains, cramps, and more. They learn to “be prepared” for many types of illnesses and injuries. This is one of the Eagle required merit badges.

hiking merit badge

Hiking

Either the Cycling merit badge OR the Hiking merit badge OR the Swimming merit badge is required for the rank of Eagle Scout. Scouts who earn more than one of these merit badges may count the additional badges as electives.

Scouts learn how to plan for a safe hike, considering their route, hazards, equipment needed, the weather conditions, and more. Then they put their knowledge to work by going out on several hikes. Afterwards they reflect on their experience.

lifesaving merit badge

Lifesaving

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

Scouts learn how to help those in trouble in the water. They practice and demonstrate the skills for reaching, throwing , and go rescues. They also find out how to determine which rescue technique to use and how to keep themselves safe while giving assistance to another person.

Personal Fitness Merit Badge Helps and Documents

Personal Fitness

Scouts learn to keep themselves healthy. They explore nutrition and exercise. They develop an exercise plan and carry it out over 12 weeks. They also find out about careers related to personal fitness. This is one of the merit badges required for the rank of Eagle Scout.

personal management merit badge

Personal Management

Scouts learn to manage their time, treasure, and talents. They investigate different aspects of saving money and investing. They learn time management techniques. And they consider how their talents might lead to a future career and explore those possibilities. This is one of the Eagle required merit badges.

Sustainability Merit Badge Helps and Documents

Sustainability

Either Sustainability merit badge or Environmental Science merit badge is required for the rank of Eagle. Scouts who earn both merit badges may count the second badge as an elective.

Scouts learn to conserve energy at home and think about how their food, housing, and consumption choices impact society at large. They make a plan to use the Earth’s resources more wisely. They also learn how the Scout Law and the Scout Oath promote more sustainable communities.

swimming merit badge

Swimming

Either the Cycling merit badge OR the Hiking merit badge OR the Swimming merit badge is required for the rank of Eagle Scout. Scouts who earn more than one of these merit badges may count the additional badges as electives.

Scouts learn to safely enjoy activities in the water. They learn about water rescue methods and swimming strokes. Then they show that they have the skills to safely participate in aquatics activities.

Elective Merit Badges

American Business Merit Badge

American Cultures Merit Badge

American Heritage Merit Badge

American Labor Merit Badge

Animal Science Merit Badge

Animation Merit Badge

Archaeology Merit Badge

Archery Merit Badge

Architecture Merit Badge

Art Merit Badge

Astronomy Merit Badge

Athletics Merit Badge

Automotive Maintenance Merit Badge

Aviation Merit Badge

Backpacking Merit Badge

Basketry Merit Badge

Bird Study Merit Badge

Bugling Merit Badge

Canoeing Merit Badge

Chemistry Merit Badge

Chess Merit Badge

Climbing Merit Badge

Coin Collecting Merit Badge

Collections Merit Badge

Composite Materials Merit Badge

Crime Prevention Merit Badge

Dentistry Merit Badge

Digital Technology Merit Badge

Disabilities Awareness Merit Badge

Dog Care Merit Badge

Drafting Merit Badge

Electricity Merit Badge

Electronics Merit Badge

Energy Merit Badge

Engineering Merit Badge

Entrepreneurship Merit Badge

Exploration Merit Badge

Farm Mechanics Merit Badge

Fingerprinting Merit Badge

Fire Safety Merit Badge

Fish and Wildlife Management Merit Badge

Fishing Merit Badge

Fly Fishing Merit Badge

Forestry Merit Badge

Game Design Merit Badge

Gardening Merit Badge

Genealogy Merit Badge

Geocaching Merit Badge

Geology Merit Badge

Golf Merit Badge

Graphic Arts Merit Badge

Health Care Professions Merit Badge

Home Repairs Merit Badge

Horsemanship Merit Badge

Indian Lore Merit Badge

Insect Study Merit Badge

Inventing Merit Badge

Journalism Merit Badge

Kayaking Merit Badge

Landscape Architecture Merit Badge

Law Merit Badge

Leatherwork Merit Badge

Mammal Study Merit Badge

Medicine Merit Badge

Metalwork Merit Badge

Mining in Society Merit Badge

Model Design and Building Merit Badge

Motorboating Merit Badge

Moviemaking Merit Badge

Music Merit Badge

Nature Merit Badge

Nuclear Science Merit Badge

Oceanography Merit Badge

Orienteering Merit Badge

Painting Merit Badge

Pets Merit Badge

Photography Merit Badge

Pioneering Merit Badge

Plant Science Merit Badge

Plumbing Merit Badge

Pottery Merit Badge

Programming Merit Badge

Public Health Merit Badge

Public Speaking Merit Badge

Pulp and Paper Merit Badge

Radio Merit Badge

Railroading Merit Badge

Reading Merit Badge

Reptile and Amphibian Study Merit Badge

Rifle Shooting Merit Badge

Robotics Merit Badge

Rowing Merit Badge

Safety Merit Badge

Salesmanship Merit Badge

Scholarship Merit Badge

Scouting Heritage Merit Badge

Scuba Merit Badge

Sculpture Merit Badge

Search and Rescue Merit Badge

Shotgun Shooting Merit Badge

Signs, Signals, and Codes Merit Badge

Skating Merit Badge

Small Boat Sailing Merit Badge

Snow Sports Merit Badge

Soil and Water Conservation Merit Badge

Space Exploration Merit Badge

Sports Merit Badge

Stamp Collecting Merit Badge

Surveying Merit Badge

Textile Merit Badge

Theater Merit Badge

Traffic Safety Merit Badge

Truck Transportation Merit Badge

Veterinary Medicine Merit Badge

Water Sports Merit Badge

Weather Merit Badge

Welding Merit Badge

Whitewater Merit Badge

Wilderness Survival Merit Badge

Wood Carving Merit Badge

Woodwork Merit Badge

American Business

Scouts learn about the free enterprise system, banks, interest rates, profits, labor relations, and more. They explore the challenges and rewards of building a business.

American Cultures

Scouts learn about the many cultures which make up and influence the United States of America. They explore the similarities and differences among different groups of people in our country. They also investigate how people of different cultures can get along better and appreciate each other’s art, culture, and history.

American Heritage

Scouts learn about American history. Topics covered range from the Declaration of Interdependence, to the history of the US flag, to historic places, to their own family history. They also learn about careers related to the study of American heritage.

American Labor

Scouts learn about the rights of workers and the importance of labor relations. They investigate topics such as hours of work, wages, and working conditions.

Animal Science

Scouts understand how to identify and care for various breeds of livestock. The requirements for this badge can be completed by studying beef cattle, dairy animals, horses, sheep, hogs, or avian breeds. Scouts also investigate career opportunities related to animal science.

Animation

Scouts learn how to create the illusion of movement through a series of still images. They learn the techniques which which make a good story and visual effect. Then they demonstrate their skill by creating their own animations. They also explore career opportunities related to animation.

Archaeology

Scouts find out how sites and artifacts from the past help us develop a more accurate picture of how our ancestors lived. They learn about the laws and regulations which protect archaeological sites. They do some hands-on research and explore careers related to archaeology.

Archery

Scouts learn range safety rules. They also familiarize themselves with archery equipment and discover how to maintain it. Then they demonstrate their archery skills using a recurve bow, a longbow, or a compound bow.

Architecture

Scouts learn about how the design of buildings impacts their use and the environment. They also explore careers related to architecture.

art merit badge

Art

There are several merit badges related to fine arts. Scouts working on the Art merit badge learn to express themselves using media such as pen and ink, watercolors, pencils, pastels, oil paints, and more. This merit badge focuses on two-dimensional art. There is also a merit badge for Sculpting.

Astronomy

Scouts learn about telescopes, binoculars, light pollution, planets, stars, and constellations. They visit a planetarium, spend some time observing the sky, or host a star party. They also explore careers related to astronomy.

Athletics

Scouts learn how to stay physically fit. They explore the importance of nutrition, warming up, and cooling down. They test their skills in selected areas such as sprinting, jumping, swimming, push ups, pull ups, basketball shooting, football kicking, soccer kicking, or weight training.

Automotive Maintenance

This is one of several merit badges which gives vocational experience. Scouts learn to maintain automobiles. Scouts specifically learn about the tires, engine, cooling system, fuel system, ignition, electrical systems, drive train, brakes, and dashboard. They also learn to read the various gauges and meters. Scouts explore career opportunities related to maintaining cars.

Aviation

Scouts learn about aircraft and the forces which act on them. They learn about maintaining aircraft and planning for a flight. They build and fly a model airplane and explore careers related to aviation.

Backpacking

Scouts learn to plan and execute a safe trek in the back-country. Treating water, Leave No Trace, map and compass skills, GPS, stoves, and sanitary concerns are all covered by this badge. After preparation, Scouts demonstrate their skills by participating in several backpacking treks.

Basketry

Scouts learn how to safely weave items from natural materials. They make a square basket, a round basket, and a camp stool seat. This is one of the merit badges which is often done in the Scoutcraft area at summer camp.

Bird Study

Scouts learn about, identify, and observe a wide variety of bird. They also listen for birds’ songs and learn how to provide a healthy habitat for birds.

Bugling

Scouts who are doing the requirements for the Bugling merit badge will learn 10 different bugle calls. They will also learn to care for a bugle and serve as troop bugler for at least 3 months. In 2010, BSA announced that it was going to discontinue the Bugling merit badge and merge it into the Music because these merit badges both focus on instruments. The response to this announcement was so overwhelming that BSA reversed this decision and Bugling remains a separate badge.

Canoeing

Scouts prepare for a safe trip on the water in a canoe. They demonstrate that they have the skills to control the canoe. They learn how to maintain canoes, paddles, and PFDs. Then they demonstrate their knowledge by taking a trip on the water.

Chemistry

Scouts learn about substances and how they interact. They learn about lab safety and investigate by doing experiments. Scouts also learn about careers in fields related to chemistry.

chess merit badge

Chess

Scouts develop their critical thinking and strategy skills. They learn the history of chess, and chess notation. Scouts familiarize themselves with the tactics, board, pieces, and moves. Then they demonstrate their skills by playing some games of chess.

Climbing

Scouts learn to safely reach new heights. They learn the verbal signals for climbing and how to care for rope and equipment. Then they demonstrate their skills by climbing and rappelling. This is one of the merit badges which is often offered at summer camp.

Coin Collecting

Scouts learn about how coins are made and what the identifying marks on coins mean. They also learn how to collect and store coins. They learn about special coins and series of coins, such as the State Quarters program and the America the Beautiful Quarters. There is also a Stamp Collecting merit badge and a general Collections badge.

Collections

Scouts learn to collect, categorize, and preserve items they appreciate. They also learn about career opportunities related to collecting. There are also specific merit badges for Stamp Collecting and Coin Collecting.

Composite Materials

Scouts learn about the properties and uses of composite materials. They also learn how to safely work with resins and other components. And they investigate careers related to composite materials.

Crime Prevention

Scouts stay safe in their homes and in the community. Scouts learn to identify and be alert to situations which may lead to crime. They learn about the dangers of substance abuse. Scouts also explore careers opportunities in the field of crime prevention.

Dentistry

There are several merit badges related to careers. In Dentistry, Scouts learn about how to keep teeth and gums healthy. They investigate the equipment and techniques used by dentists. Scouts explore careers related to oral health.

Digital Technology

Scouts learn how digital information is stored and transmitted. They explore how digital technology has changed over the years. They also investigate the practical aspects of digital technology and explore careers in the field.

Disabilities Awareness

Scouts learn to understand and appreciate our differences. They explore the experiences of people with differing abilities and how providing accessibility can help improve fairness. They also investigate careers which support people with disabilities.

Dog Care

Scouts learn about pet ownership and training. They explore the history of dogs and learn about their physiology and health. They also explore careers related to dogs. There is also a Pets merit badge.

Drafting

Scouts will learn how to make drawings which convey the visions of engineers and architects. They will do manual drawings, computer aided design (CAD), and lettering. Scouts also explore career opportunities related to drafting. The requirements for this badge can be fulfilled by doing architectural, mechanical, or electrical drawings.

Electricity

Scouts learn about the many uses of electricity, including electromagnets, batteries, home lighting, motors, and more. They find out how to safely use electricity and avoid hazards. Scouts get some hands on experience with some simple electric circuits and devices.

Electronics

Scouts learn to safely repair, change, or build electronic devices. They find out about controllers, audio circuits, and digital circuits. Scouts also explore career opportunities related to electronics.

Energy

Scouts learn about energy and conservation. One practical aspect of the requirements is to conduct an energy audit at home and try to reduce energy over a two week period. Scouts also learn about renewable energy while working on this badge.

Engineering

This is one of the STEM merit badges. Scouts learn about the process of building and creating products and structures. They investigate the variety of careers available in engineering. Scouts explore how engineers use a step-by-step approach to make improvements for society.

Entrepreneurship

Scouts learn about starting their own business. They investigate the demand for and possible compensation for a product or service. Then they come up with ways to promote their business. Finally, they get their business up and running.

Exploration

Scouts go beyond their ordinary surroundings and way of thinking. They discover new places and ideas. They learn the importance and history of exploration. Scouts put their knowledge to use by becoming familiar with an organization which encourages field exploration or scientific exploration.

Farm Mechanics

Scouts learn to safely maintain and repair farm equipment. They tighten hydraulic fittings, check air filters, and clean equipment used for farm work. Scouts also explore career opportunities related to farm mechanics.

fingerprinting merit badge

Fingerprinting

Scouts learn about the history and uses of fingerprinting. They learn to take a set of prints and explore identification methods and patterns. Scouts who like these types of merit badges might also want to look into Crime Prevention.

Fire Safety

Scouts learn about the best ways to prevent fires in their homes and while outdoors. Scouts will also find out what to do if there is an uncontrolled fire. They visit a fire station and explore fire-safety related careers.

Fish and Wildlife Management

Scouts learn about the populations of fish, birds, mammals, and other wildlife. They study the habitats of wildlife and learn about careers in this area. Merit badges like this help youth understand how to be good stewards of the environment.

fishing merit badge

Fishing

Scouts learn to safely catch, clean, and cook fish. They familiarize themselves with a variety of fishing equipment and the knots needed to use it. They also learn about different species of fish and types of baits. There is also a merit badge specifically for fly fishing.

Fly Fishing

Scouts come to appreciate and enjoy catching fish with a fly rod. They learn how to prepare for a safe fishing outing and to observe local regulations. Scouts become familiar with the knots needed for fly fishing. Then they put their knowledge to use by catching some fish. There is also a Fishing merit badge.

Forestry

Scouts learn to identify trees. They find out why forests are important to our economy, climate, wildlife habitats, and endangered species. Scouts investigate how forests are managed and how trees are harvested. They also identify trees which are unhealthy or hazardous.

Game Design

Scouts learn about the different components of games. They investigate thematic elements, game play elements, and game analysis. They analyze an existing game and design a new game. Finally, Scouts explore careers related to game design. This is one of the newer merit badges.

Gardening

Scouts plant flowers and vegetables. They also learn how to garden safely. Seed germination experiments and the study of pollination help Scouts understand the science of gardening. They also learn about different methods such as composting, vermiposting, and hydroponics.

Genealogy

This is one of the merit badges which delves into history and culture. Scouts learn about their family heritage. They explore the many ways to research information about their ancestors and where they came from. Scouts will appreciate their family history and learn how this can lead them to delve deeper into their cultural roots.

Geocaching

Scouts learn to safely find and record geocaches. A geocache is a place you can find using a GPS (Global Positioning System) unit. Usually there is a place to log your find and sometimes leave or take a small trinket. It is a fun way to learn to navigate using GPS.

Geology

This is one of the merit badges related to natural science. Scouts learn about rocks and resources. They can focus on sedimentary processes, energy resources, mineral resources, or earth history while working on this merit badge. Scouts also research career opportunities related to geology.

Golf

Encourage Scouts to learn and play the game of golf. Scouts find out about proper grip and stance, which clubs to use, and how to chip and putt. Then they play at least 18 holes of golf. They also learn about golf etiquette and rules.

Graphic Arts

Scouts learn about producing printed communications. They learn about different media and design a piece for printing. They visit a location which produces graphic arts and find out about career opportunities. This merit badge focuses on printed art. There is also a merit badge for Art.

Health Care Professions

Youth explore the different types of the healthcare fields. They will learn how professionals in these fields word together to keep people healthy. This merit badge replaced the Medicine merit badge in November 2021.

Home Repairs

Scouts learn to identify and fix various issues in their homes. They learn why maintaining a home is important and how making repairs in a timely manner can eliminate problems in their homes and improve safety and save money. This is one of the very practical life skills merit badges.

Horsemanship

Scouts learn to safely enjoy riding a horse. They find out about the care and anatomy of horses. They show that they can groom a horse and care for the saddle and bridle. Scouts demonstrate their knowledge by riding a horse and using a variety of skills.

Indian Lore

Scouts learn about the rich cultural history of Native Americans. They learn about the history of the interactions between native people and European settlers and later the US government. They also explore how Native Americans continue to express their cultural history today.

Insect Study

This is one of the merit badges which help youth learn about nature. Scouts learn about the identifying characteristics of insects. They find out which insects are hazardous and how to avoid and respond to them, with first aid if necessary. Scouts observe a number of insects. They also explore career opportunities in fields related to insects.

Inventing

Scouts learn about the process of creating a new invention. They also find out about intellectual property rights. They put their knowledge to work by dreaming up something new and making a prototype.

Journalism

Scouts learn about freedom of the press and ethics issues for reporters. They investigate print and live journalism. They also conduct an interview and explore careers related to this field.

Kayaking merit badge

Kayaking

There are several merit badges related to paddlecraft. In Kayaking, Scouts learn to safely glide across the water. They familiarize themselves with kayaking equipment and techniques. Then they put their paddling knowledge to use by demonstrating their skills on the water.

Landscape Architecture

Scouts learn to consider the importance of utility and beauty in planning outdoor spaces. They explore how plants should be chosen and how paths and other spaces should be arranged to meet the intended use of the area. They also investigate careers related to landscape architecture.

Law

Scouts learn about the history of law and the difference between civil law and criminal law. They investigate the different areas of law and find out about careers which are related to legal matters.

Leatherwork

Scouts learn to safely handle tools. They explore different leatherwork techniques by making their own project. They also compare different types of leather and synthetic materials. This is one of the Scoutcraft merit badges which is often done at summer camp.

Mammal Study

Scouts learn about the physical characteristics of mammals and about their habitats. They learn how a mammal’s environment influences its population and carry out a project related to this.

Metalwork

Scouts learn how to safely work with a variety of types of metal. They explore different types of metalwork and the various career opportunities for people who enjoy using metal.

Mining in Society

This is one of the career focused merit badges. Scouts learn about different aspects of the mining industry. They consider how to mine minerals and how to transport materials. They also explore careers related to mining.

Model Design and Building

Scouts have the opportunity to learn about different types of models such as architectural, structural, process, mechanical, and industrial models. They make an original model and explore career opportunities related to model design.

Motorboating

Scouts learn to safely operate a motorized water craft. They learn about the different types of motors and how to maintain them. Then they demonstrate their skills by operating a motor boat.

Moviemaking

Scouts capture live action memories. They learn how to create a visual story and use motion picture equipment such as a camcorder or a smartphone to record it. Scouts create their own short film and explore careers in moviemaking.

Music

Scouts explore vocal and instrumental music while doing the requirements for the Music merit badge. They learn about different musical instruments and the history of American music. They teach songs to others or compose their own piece of music.

Nature

Scouts learn about plants and wildlife and the connection of all living things. They identify different types of wildlife and consider their importance in ecosystems. This is one of the merit badges which is often offered at summer camp.

Nuclear Science

Scouts learn about the uses and hazards of radiation. They explore how matter and forces interact and also learn about different careers in fields related to radiation safety and nuclear science. This is one of many STEM focused merit badges.

Oceanography

Scouts find out about life in the sea. Topics include the properties of seawater, waves, underwater topography, and the importance of the oceans. Scouts will also do a hands-on activity and will learn how marine scientists study the oceans.

Orienteering

Scouts learn to navigate with a map and compass. They investigate what the various symbols and markings on a map represent. And they get to participate in orienteering events. Scouts who are interested in navigation merit badges might also want to look at Geocaching.

Painting

Scouts explore different painting techniques such as applying coatings, patching materials, caulking, priming, and applying a topcoat. They learn how to use a ladder and consider other safety concerns. Scouts will paint two different surfaces while working on this merit badge. They also investigate careers related to painting.

Pets

Scouts learn about their pet and care for it. They also show the pet, help a friend start to raise a pet, or teach the pet some tricks or skills. There is also a Dog Care merit badge for youth who are interested in merit badges related to their furry friends.

photography merit badge

Photography

Scouts learn to safely and effectively record their experiences in pictures. They explore the impact of lighting, exposure, depth of field, composition, angle, and other aspects of taking photos. Then Scouts put their knowledge to use by taking a number of photographs. They also find out about career opportunities related to photography.

Pioneering

Scouts learn how to build structures with ropes and spars. They explore the uses of various knots and splices. They learn how to care for ropes. Finally they build a structure such as a bridge, tower, chair, or table. This is one of the merit badges which is often offered at summer camp.

Plant Science

Scouts learn to propagate and grow plants . They investigate the importance and uses of crops, trees, and flowers. Scouts have many options to choose from for the types of plants they will study in depth while doing this badge.

Plumbing

Scouts learn many aspects of plumbing and pipe fitting. They find out how to use tools. They explore the many uses of plumbing including faucets and drains. Then they use their knowledge by doing some maintenance on a faucet or trap.

Pottery

Scouts learn to safely create items from clay. They familiarize themselves with pottery terminology and methods, including using a wheel and a kiln. Then they create several items of their own. They also explore career opportunities related to pottery.

Programming

Scouts learn about the history of programming and programming languages. They explore the applications of programming and how to modify code. They also investigate careers related to programming.

public health merit badge

Public Health

There are several health related merit badges. For Public Health, Scouts learn about how to prevent the spread of disease. They explore how pandemics happen and what steps can be taken to prevent outbreaks. They also learn about careers related to public health.

Public Speaking

This is one of the merit badges which helps youth develop skills they will find useful beyond Scouting. Scouts learn to present themselves and their ideas with confidence. They give talks to introduce themselves and on topics of their choosing. They also learn how to give an impromptu talk and to lead a discussion.

Pulp and Paper

Scouts learn how paper products are manufactured and used. They also find out more about recycling and forest management. They even make a piece of paper themselves. Scouts explore career opportunities related to paper making.

Radio

Scouts discover the world of broadcast radio and hobby radio. They learn how radio waves make it possible for people around the world to communicate. Scouts learn about the different components in a radio. The en they put their knowledge to use The requirements for this badge can be fulfilled by exploring amateur radio, radio broadcasting, or shortwave radio.

Railroading

Scouts find out how trains are used to move freight and passengers. They learn about the history of railroading and consider the safety aspects of trains. The requirements for this badge can be fulfilled by model railroading or railfanning. Scouts can either use model railroads to investigate the topic further or they can learn more about scenic and historic railways.

Reading

Scouts BSA learn about books, libraries, and card catalogs. They read some books. They also perform service related to reading, such as reading to children or people with disabilities.

Reptile and Amphibian Study

Scouts learn about the identifying characteristics of alligators, crocodiles, toads, frogs, salamanders, lizards, snakes and more. They also maintain their own reptiles or amphibians or observe them at a zoo. Scouts investigate which species are dangerous and which make good pets.

Rifle Shooting

This is one of the merit badges which teaches Scouts to safely handle firearms. Youth must also demonstrate their skill. The requirements for this badge may be completed using modern rifles, BB or pellet air rifles, or muzzleloaders.

Robotics

This badge helps Scouts understand the many uses of robots. They learn how to design and test robots to perform simple tasks. Scouts also find out about competitive robotics and explore career opportunities related to robotics.

Rowing

Scouts learn to safely enjoy an excursion on the water in a rowboat. They demonstrate that they can control the rowboat. The requirements for this badge can be fulfilled with a fixed-seat rowboat or a sliding-seat rowboat.

Safety

Scouts explore how they can prevent accidents and crime. Scouts inspect their home for hazards. They also learn how to be aware of things like fire exits and alert to dangerous situations when they are doing activities elsewhere. Scouts also investigate careers related to safety.

Salesmanship

Scouts will learn about different types of sales and effective communications skills. They learn about presentations and put their skills into action by selling a product or service. Scouts who are interested in business related merit badges can also look into Entrepreneurship.

Scholarship

Scouts learn about the skills they need to succeed at school. They explore different types of study skills and the importance of extracurricular activities. Scouts also investigate how their current education can impact their future career.

Scouting Heritage

This is one of the merit badges related to history and culture. Scouts explore the origins of Scouting and how it has evolved over the years. They explore a location which is important to the history of Scouting and learn about their local Scouting units.

Scuba

Scouts safely explore the underwater world. They learn about aquatic ecosystems and earn their Open Water Diver Certification. Scouts also investigate career opportunities related to the scuba industry.

Sculpture

Scouts create 3D objects using media such as clay or wood. They visit a museum or studio and explore career opportunities related to sculpting. The Sculpture merit badge focuses on three dimensional art. There is also an Art merit badge which concentrates on two dimensional art.

Search and Rescue

Scouts learn to safely participate in a SAR mission. They familiarize themselves with the terminology involved and the command structure. Scouts explore the differences between wilderness, urban, and water search and rescue missions.

Shotgun Shooting

Scouts learn to safely care for shotguns and identify their parts. Then Scouts demonstrate their skills. The requirements for this merit badge can be completed using modern shotguns or muzzleloaders. Scouts who are interested in merit badges related to field sports should also check out Archery and Rifle Shooting.

Signs, Signals, and Codes

Scouts learn about various methods of communications, including distress signals, Morse code, sign language, braille, and semaphore. They also explore maps, text message symbols, and emojis.

Skating

Scouts learn to safely move on wheels or blades. The requirements for this merit badge can be completed by doing ice skating, roller skating, or in-line skating.

Small Boat Sailing

Scouts learn to answer questions like “How do you sail against the wind?” They also find out about sailing equipment and how to prepare for a safe adventure on the water. Then they demonstrate their skills by going sailing.

Snow Sports

This is one of the merit badges which encourages physical activity. Scouts learn to plan and execute winter sports activities safely. The requirements for this merit badge can be completed by doing alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, snow boarding, or snowshoeing.

Soil and Water Conservation

Scouts learn about things like erosion, watersheds, aquifers, water pollution, and water treatment. They also learn about the importance of plants in soil and water conservation.

Space Exploration

Scouts learn about spacecraft and the history of their use. They investigate the many aspects of venturing into space and consider how mankind might continue to explore the universe beyond our planet. They also find out about career opportunities related to space exploration.

Sports

Scouts learn how playing sports can keep them physically fit. They find out about the importance of training and how to do it safely. Then they demonstrate what they have learned by playing competitive individual sports or team sports. Scouts who enjoy merit badges related to fitness can also look into the Athletics badge.

Stamp Collecting

Scouts come to understand the history, purpose, and meaning of various stamp designs. Scouts learn about different types of stamps, stationary, and marks. They also learn how to handle and preserve stamps. There are also merit badges for Collections and Coin Collecting.

Surveying

Scouts mark and record land boundaries. They learn how distance is measured with traditional equipment and with GPS. Scouts also explore career opportunities related to surveying.

Textile

Scouts learn about the many uses of fabrics and fibers. They investigate how textiles are manufactured and the properties of different materials. They also explore careers related to the production of textiles. Scouts who enjoy merit badges like this might also want to check out Pulp and Paper.

Theater

Scouts get a taste of life on the stage. They read several plays and write one of their own. Scouts explore skills such as acting, directing, set design, costume design, hair and makeup design, lighting, sound and more. They also perform a pantomime and entertain their troops.

Traffic Safety

Scouts find out how to be safe as drivers, passengers, and cyclists. They learn about the importance of being alert and unimpaired while driving. Scouts investigate how to maintain an automobile and know about its operating parameters. They explore factors which cause car accidents. This is one of several merit badges which focus on staying safe.

Truck Transportation

Scouts learn about all of the aspects of moving goods from one location to another. They find out about safety aspects such as truck maintenance and driver’s logs. They also investigate different types of trucks, insurance, and the logistics required to move products. Finally, they explore the different career opportunities in the field of truck transportation.

Veterinary Medicine

Scouts find out about the many different specialties in veterinary science. They learn how the work of veterinarians contributes to public health, food safety, research, and society. They also explore career opportunities related to veterinary medicine.

Water Sports

Scouts learn to safely enjoy sports such as water skiing or wakeboarding. They learn about the equipment needed to enjoy these sports and demonstrate their skills. This is one of the aquatics merit badges.

Weather

Scouts learn about meteorology. They learn about weather hazards, high and low pressure systems, the science of weather, and the water cycle. They explore climates and the way humans alter their environment. They make a weather instrument and find out about careers related to weather.

Welding

There are several merit badges related to vocations. For Welding, Scouts learn to sketch, tack, and weld metal. They become familiar with the safety procedures for welding and also become alert to possible hazards. Scouts also explore career opportunities related to the field of welding.

Whitewater

Scouts learn to safely travel on fast flowing water by canoe or by kayak. They learn how to read the flow of water and to understand the difficulty level. They also familiarize themselves with verbal commands. Then they demonstrate their skills. This is one of several boating merit badges available.

wilderness survival merit badge

Wilderness Survival

Scouts learn to anticipate and avoid the hazards involved in backcountry adventures. They put together a first aid kit and build a natural shelter. They also learn how to treat water, be aware of weather conditions, and light a fire without matches.

Wood Carving

Scouts discover how to express themselves by making items out of wood. They learn how to safely use and care for wood carving tools. Then they demonstrate their knowledge by creating a couple of wooden projects. Scouts who like merit badges like this might also like the Woodwork badge.

Woodwork

Scouts learn how to safely handle, store, and maintain tools. They also get some hands on experience by doing woodworking projects. Scouts investigate careers in cabinet making and carpentry.

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