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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.

Ask Scouter Mom a question or share your ideas with others

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.

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

Video Resources

What Merit Badges Are Required for Eagle Scout? For some of these Eagle required badges you may choose between two or three options. This video gives a summary of the Eagle required badges and the options available.

Camping Merit Badge


Scouts learn to live comfortably in the outdoors, mastering skills in shelter building, cooking, and first aid. They are required to participate in numerous camping trips to gain hands-on experience. Through this merit badge, they also understand the principles of Leave No Trace to minimize their impact on the environment. Essential camping gear and how to use it safely is covered. The experience culminates in planning and executing an extended outdoor adventure.

Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Helps and Documents

Citizenship in Society

Scouts explore the concepts of identity, society, and culture and how they impact individual and collective experiences. They engage in activities that promote empathy, understanding, and respect for diversity. Through discussions and reflective exercises, Scouts examine the importance of ethical decision-making and actions. The badge encourages them to consider their roles in creating an inclusive society. It also highlights the significance of advocacy and service in addressing social issues.

Citizenship in the Community Merit Badge

Citizenship in the Community

Understanding local government and community organizations is key for Scouts earning this badge. They participate in service projects that benefit their community, learning the value of civic engagement. By attending meetings and interviewing officials, Scouts gain insight into how communities function. The merit badge process encourages exploration of local history and culture. Scouts are tasked with finding ways to make a lasting contribution to their communities.

citizenship in the nation merit badge

Citizenship in the Nation

Scouts delve into the workings of the U.S. government and the responsibilities of its citizens. They study historical documents, visit national monuments, and learn about national symbols. Discussions on current events and the importance of voting emphasize active citizenship. This badge requires Scouts to communicate with elected officials, fostering an understanding of civic participation. They also explore ways to serve their country beyond the voting booth.

citizenship in the World merit badge

Citizenship in the World

Scouts examine global citizenship and international relations through this merit badge. They learn about different forms of government, international organizations, and global issues. The importance of cultural exchange and international peacekeeping efforts is highlighted. Scouts are encouraged to think about how they can contribute to global understanding and cooperation. They also develop communication skills to interact respectfully with people from different cultures.

communication merit badge


Effective communication techniques, including public speaking, writing, and digital media use, are the focus of this badge. Scouts organize events that require them to apply their communication skills in real-world scenarios. They learn to negotiate, listen actively, and resolve conflicts. Understanding non-verbal communication and its impact is also a key component. The badge emphasizes the role of communication in leadership and community service.

Cooking Merit Badge


Scouts gain practical skills in planning, preparing, and serving meals. They learn about nutrition, dietary needs, and food safety. Cooking methods, kitchen safety, and meal planning for different settings, including camping, are covered. The badge encourages experimenting with recipes and understanding the cultural aspects of food. Scouts also explore budgeting and shopping for ingredients as part of meal preparation.

cycling merit badge


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 badges may count the additional badges as electives.

Safety, maintenance, and bike handling skills are central to the Cycling merit badge. Scouts undertake a series of rides, increasing in distance, to build endurance and proficiency. They learn about the health benefits of cycling and environmental advantages. Road safety education teaches Scouts how to navigate traffic and trail riding responsibly. Completing a long-distance bike hike challenges Scouts to apply all they have learned.

Emergency Preparedness Merit Badge

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 badges may count the second as an elective.

Scouts are trained to respond effectively to emergencies and disasters. They learn first aid, survival skills, and how to create emergency plans for their homes and communities. The badge emphasizes leadership and decision-making in crisis situations. Scouts participate in mock emergency exercises to practice their skills. Understanding the role of emergency services and how to assist them is a critical component.

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 badges may count the second as an elective.

This badge encourages Scouts to explore and protect the natural world. They conduct experiments and projects on ecology, wildlife, and pollution. Understanding environmental issues and solutions is a key focus. Scouts learn about conservation practices and their role in sustaining the planet. Field observations and research projects deepen their appreciation for the environment.

Family Life Merit Badge

Family Life

Scouts examine the dynamics of family life and their roles within the family. They undertake projects that improve their home environment and strengthen family bonds. Communication, financial planning, and conflict resolution skills are developed. The importance of chores, family meetings, and shared activities is emphasized. Scouts learn about the challenges and rewards of family life.

First Aid Merit Badge

First Aid

Learning life-saving skills and how to respond in emergency situations is the essence of this badge. Scouts practice bandaging, CPR, and treating various injuries. They also learn about emergency response planning and the importance of quick, calm action. The badge prepares Scouts to be responsible caretakers and informed citizens. Understanding health and safety precautions is also covered.

hiking merit badge


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.

This merit badge teaches Scouts how to safely and enjoyably undertake long hikes. They learn about navigation, weather safety, and Leave No Trace principles. Planning and executing several hikes of increasing difficulty are requirements. Scouts gain an appreciation for the outdoors and physical fitness. Environmental impact and conservation are also discussed.

lifesaving merit badge


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.

Water rescue techniques and safety are central to the Lifesaving merit badge. Scouts learn about swimming rescues, first aid for drowning victims, and accident prevention. The badge requires rigorous physical training and mental preparation. Understanding the responsibilities of being a lifeguard is emphasized. Scouts also learn about rescue equipment and its proper use.

Personal Fitness Merit Badge

Personal Fitness

Scouts develop a comprehensive fitness plan that includes physical activity, nutrition, and healthy living. They set and achieve fitness goals over several months. The importance of maintaining an active lifestyle is emphasized. Scouts learn about the body’s response to exercise and how to prevent injuries. The badge also covers mental health and self-esteem.

Personal Management Merit Badge

Personal Management

Financial literacy, time management, and goal setting are the foundations of this merit badge. Scouts learn to create budgets, manage expenses, and understand the value of money. Setting personal goals and developing plans to achieve them is emphasized. The badge teaches essential life skills for responsible adulthood. Scouts also explore career planning and saving for the future.

Sustainability Merit Badge Helps and Documents


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.

Through this badge, Scouts explore sustainable living practices and environmental stewardship. They learn about energy conservation, sustainable agriculture, and waste management. Projects and experiments encourage practical application of sustainability principles. Scouts are challenged to think about their impact on the planet. The badge promotes a lifestyle that supports environmental health.

swimming merit badge


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.

Mastering different swimming strokes and water safety is the goal of this merit badge. Scouts learn about drowning prevention, safe boating, and pool hygiene. They participate in swimming exercises that build strength and endurance. Understanding the physical benefits of swimming is part of the education. The badge also covers lifesaving skills and how to assist in water emergencies.

Elective Merit Badges

Business, Education, and Entrepreneurship Merit Badges

American Business

American Business merit badge offers Scouts an overview of the American economic system and the basics of business operations. They learn about entrepreneurship, the stock market, and the significance of consumer satisfaction. This badge encourages financial literacy and critical thinking about the role of businesses in society.

American Cultures

American Cultures merit badge explores the diverse cultures that make up the United States. Scouts learn about the contributions of different ethnic and cultural groups to American society. This badge promotes understanding and appreciation of diversity, encouraging Scouts to celebrate the nation’s multicultural heritage.

American Heritage

American Heritage merit badge offers Scouts a journey through the history and traditions of the United States. They learn about significant events, historical figures, and the importance of preserving heritage. This badge fosters patriotism and a deep appreciation for the values and struggles that have shaped the nation.

American Labor

American Labor merit badge explores the history and significance of labor movements in the United States. Scouts learn about workers’ rights, the role of unions, and the impact of labor laws on working conditions. This badge fosters an understanding of the balance between labor and management and the importance of fair labor practices.

Animal Science Merit Badge

Animal Science

Scouts explore the fascinating world of animals, focusing on their care, management, and biology. They learn about different livestock species, breeding practices, and animal health. The badge introduces principles of animal nutrition, genetics, and product processing. Ethical considerations and the environmental impact of animal agriculture are discussed. Hands-on experience with animals enriches Scouts’ understanding of the science behind their care.


Animation merit badge allows Scouts to explore the art and science of making images come to life. They learn about different animation techniques, storyboarding, and the history of animation. Scouts create their own animations, discovering the power of storytelling through motion.


Delving into the past, Scouts learn how archaeologists uncover the stories of ancient civilizations. Techniques for finding, excavating, and preserving artifacts are taught. Scouts explore the significance of cultural heritage and the ethics of archaeology. They participate in simulated digs and learn to catalog finds. This badge fosters an appreciation for human history and the importance of conservation.


Scouts master the art and discipline of archery, focusing on safety, technique, and proper equipment use. They learn about different types of bows, their history, and maintenance. Shooting accuracy and consistency are developed through practice. Archery range safety rules are emphasized to ensure a safe environment. Scouts also explore competitive archery as a way to apply their skills.


Architecture merit badge introduces Scouts to the world of building design and construction. They learn about different architectural styles, the process of planning and designing buildings, and the role of architects in shaping our environment. This badge encourages Scouts to observe and appreciate the diverse architectural landscapes around them.

Art Merit Badge


Art merit badge allows Scouts to express themselves creatively through various mediums and techniques. They explore the elements of art, study the work of famous artists, and create their own artworks. This badge emphasizes the importance of creativity and personal expression in developing a well-rounded character. This merit badge focuses on two-dimensional art. There is also a merit badge for Sculpting.

Astronomy Merit Badge


The mysteries of the universe are unlocked as Scouts study stars, planets, and galaxies. They learn to use telescopes, read star charts, and observe celestial events. The badge covers the basics of astrophysics and the history of astronomy. Environmental impacts on stargazing, such as light pollution, are discussed. Scouts develop a lifelong appreciation for the night sky through practical observation sessions.


Scouts challenge themselves physically and mentally, exploring a range of athletic events and training methods. They learn about the benefits of regular physical activity and how to prevent sports-related injuries. Nutrition and hydration’s roles in athletic performance are emphasized. Setting personal fitness goals and achieving them is a key part of the badge requirements. Scouts also explore the history and rules of various sports.

Automotive Maintenance Merit Badge Helps and Documents

Automotive Maintenance

Automotive Maintenance covers the basics of car care and maintenance. Scouts learn how to perform routine checks, understand the vehicle’s operating systems, and handle common maintenance tasks. It’s about gaining confidence in automotive knowledge and skills.


Aviation merit badge takes Scouts on a journey through the principles of flight and the history of aviation. They learn about different types of aircraft, navigation, and career opportunities in the aviation industry. This badge often includes an exciting opportunity to visit an airport or aviation museum.


Preparing for and undertaking multi-day backpacking trips is the core of this badge. Scouts learn to select appropriate gear, pack efficiently, and plan nutritious meals. Navigation skills and Leave No Trace principles guide their journey. The badge fosters an appreciation for the wilderness and the importance of physical fitness. Scouts are also taught emergency preparedness specific to remote areas.


Basketry merit badge teaches Scouts the ancient craft of creating useful and decorative items from woven fibers. They learn various weaving techniques and complete projects such as baskets and mats. This badge encourages patience, skill, and an appreciation for handmade crafts.

Bird Study Merit Badge for Boy Scouts

Bird Study

Scouts become amateur ornithologists, learning to identify birds by sight and sound. They study bird habitats, behaviors, and conservation issues. Building bird feeders or conducting bird counts are typical activities. The badge emphasizes the ecological importance of birds and their role in ecosystems. Scouts are encouraged to contribute to local bird conservation efforts.


Bugling merit badge introduces Scouts to the musical traditions of the bugle and its role in Scouting and military history. They learn to play several bugle calls that are used in Scouting events and ceremonies. This badge emphasizes discipline, practice, and the importance of clear communication.

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.


Mastering paddling techniques and safety protocols in various water conditions is crucial. Scouts learn about different types of canoes, paddles, and personal flotation devices. Planning and executing canoe trips encourage teamwork and leadership. The importance of water conservation and aquatic ecosystems is highlighted. This badge also covers rescue techniques for canoeing accidents.


Through experiments and projects, Scouts explore the fascinating world of chemical reactions and substances. They learn about safety procedures in handling chemicals. The badge covers the periodic table, chemical bonds, and the principles of green chemistry. Scouts understand the role of chemistry in everyday life, from cooking to manufacturing. Careers in chemistry and their contributions to society are also highlighted.

chess merit badge


Chess merit badge introduces Scouts to the game of chess, teaching strategy, tactics, and the rules of the game. They learn about the history of chess and the benefits of playing, such as improved critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Scouts are encouraged to participate in chess games and tournaments, honing their skills against a variety of opponents.

Climbing Merit Badge


Scouts are introduced to the exciting world of climbing, including bouldering, top-roping, and rappelling. Safety equipment use and proper climbing techniques are thoroughly covered. They learn to tie essential knots and manage ropes effectively. Physical fitness, mental resilience, and risk assessment are key aspects. The badge emphasizes respect for the natural environment and climbing ethics.

Coin Collecting

Coin Collecting merit badge exposes Scouts to the hobby of numismatics, including the collection and study of coins, paper money, and medals. They learn about the history and value of different currencies and are encouraged to start or expand their own collections. This badge fosters an appreciation for history and economics through the lens of coin collecting. There is also a Stamp Collecting merit badge and a general Collections badge.


Collections merit badge allows Scouts to explore the hobby of collecting and organizing items of personal interest. They learn about the value of collecting as a hobby, including organization, preservation, and research. Scouts are encouraged to display and discuss their collections, fostering a sense of pride and achievement. There are also specific merit badges for Stamp Collecting and Coin Collecting.

Composite Materials Merit Badge

Composite Materials

Scouts are introduced to the science and application of composite materials in various industries. They learn about the properties, manufacturing processes, and uses of composites. Projects may include creating simple composite items. The badge explores the advantages of composites over traditional materials. Environmental considerations in the production and disposal of composite materials are discussed.

Crime Prevention

Understanding the causes of crime and how to prevent it engages Scouts in community safety efforts. They learn strategies for personal, home, and community safety, including digital security. Participating in community crime prevention programs helps Scouts apply what they’ve learned. The importance of law enforcement and community partnerships is highlighted. Scouts are encouraged to develop and share a crime prevention project.


Scouts explore the world of dental health, learning about the importance of oral hygiene and preventive care. They study the anatomy of the mouth and teeth, common dental diseases, and treatment options. Careers in dentistry and the education required for various roles in the field are discussed. The badge emphasizes the impact of diet on dental health. Scouts participate in activities that promote oral health awareness in their communities.

Digital Technology

Digital Technology merit badge delves into the world of computers, the internet, and cybersecurity. Scouts learn about responsible use of technology, protecting personal information online, and the basics of programming. This badge prepares them for a future where digital literacy is essential.

Disabilities Awareness Merit Badge

Disabilities Awareness

By learning about different types of disabilities and the challenges faced by individuals with disabilities, Scouts develop empathy and understanding. They explore accessibility issues, adaptive technologies, and advocacy for people with disabilities. The badge encourages Scouts to interact with individuals with disabilities and participate in disability awareness events. Understanding the importance of inclusion and respect for diversity is a key focus. Scouts are tasked with developing a project to improve awareness and accessibility in their community.

Dog Care

Dog Care merit badge teaches Scouts about the responsibilities of owning and caring for a dog. They learn about feeding, exercise, health care, and training. This badge emphasizes compassion, responsibility, and the lifelong commitment required to be a good pet owner. There is also a Pets merit badge.


In the Drafting merit badge, Scouts get an introduction to the tools and techniques used in technical drawing. They explore different types of drawings, such as architectural and mechanical, and learn how to create their own. This badge opens up the world of design and engineering through precise drawings.

Electricity Merit Badge


Understanding the basics of electrical circuits, safety, and energy conservation is the focus. Scouts learn to wire a plug, build a circuit, and measure voltage and current. The badge covers the principles of electricity generation and its applications. They also explore careers in the electrical field. Scouts are taught the importance of energy efficiency and sustainable practices.


The Electronics merit badge introduces Scouts to the components and circuits that power our devices. They learn about electricity, soldering, and how to troubleshoot simple electronic devices. It’s a hands-on opportunity to delve into the technology that surrounds us.


Exploring different forms of energy and their impact on the environment is central to this badge. Scouts learn about renewable and non-renewable energy sources. They conduct experiments to understand energy conversion and efficiency. The importance of energy conservation and sustainable living is emphasized. Scouts are encouraged to think critically about future energy solutions.


Engineering challenges Scouts to think like engineers. They engage in activities that involve designing, building, and testing structures or systems. This merit badge encourages critical thinking and problem-solving skills, showing how engineering impacts daily life.


Entrepreneurship merit badge inspires Scouts to turn their ideas into successful ventures. They learn about business planning, financing, and marketing. Scouts are encouraged to think creatively and develop a business plan for a hypothetical or real enterprise, understanding the risks and rewards of entrepreneurship.

Exploration Merit Badge


Exploration merit badge invites Scouts to learn about the history, planning, and execution of exploratory missions, both historical and modern. They delve into the skills necessary for successful exploration, including navigation, survival, and observation techniques. Scouts are encouraged to plan and undertake an actual exploratory expedition, fostering a spirit of adventure and discovery.

Farm Mechanics

Farm Mechanics offers a deep dive into the machinery and tools used in agriculture. Scouts learn about the maintenance and repair of farm equipment, safety procedures, and the mechanical principles behind the machines. This badge blends technical skills with an understanding of agricultural practices.

fingerprinting merit badge


Fingerprinting merit badge introduces Scouts to the fascinating world of identifying individuals by their unique fingerprint patterns. They learn about the history, technique, and application of fingerprinting in law enforcement and beyond. The badge requires Scouts to take their own fingerprints using standard methods, emphasizing the importance of detail and accuracy in the process. Scouts who like these types of merit badges might also want to look into Crime Prevention.

Fire Safety

Scouts learn how to prevent fires and what actions to take if a fire occurs. They study the science of fire, including combustion, fire behavior, and extinguishing methods. Developing a home fire escape plan and understanding the role of firefighters in the community are important components. The badge covers the selection and maintenance of fire extinguishers and smoke detectors. Scouts are encouraged to share fire safety information with others.

Fish and Wildlife Management

Scouts learn about the balance of ecosystems and the importance of conserving fish and wildlife populations. They explore habitat restoration, species monitoring, and management practices. Ethical hunting and fishing are discussed. The badge encourages active participation in conservation projects. Scouts gain insight into careers related to fish and wildlife management.

fishing merit badge


This badge teaches Scouts the joys of fishing, along with the importance of conservation and respect for aquatic environments. They learn different fishing methods, types of bait, and fish species identification. Tackle care, knot tying, and ethical fishing practices are covered. Scouts also explore local fishing laws and regulations. The experience cultivates patience and an appreciation for nature’s tranquility. There is also a merit badge specifically for fly fishing.

Fly Fishing

Specializing in the art and science of fly fishing, Scouts develop skills in casting, fly tying, and identifying aquatic insects. The badge emphasizes the importance of clean waterways and fish conservation. Scouts learn about different fly patterns and their uses. Proper catch and release techniques are taught to minimize harm to fish. The nuanced skills of reading water and understanding fish behavior are also covered. There is also a Fishing merit badge.


The study of forests, their ecosystems, and management practices engages Scouts. They learn about tree identification, forest health, and sustainable forestry practices. Participating in tree planting or forest conservation projects is common. The badge covers the importance of forests in global ecology and the economy. Scouts are introduced to forestry careers and the challenges facing today’s forests.

Game Design

Game Design merit badge encourages Scouts to apply creativity and critical thinking in designing their own games. They learn about game theory, mechanics, and the importance of playtesting. Scouts are tasked with creating a prototype of their game, offering a hands-on approach to understanding how games function and entertain.


Gardening Merit Badge introduces Scouts to the basics of horticulture and the joys of growing their own plants. They learn about soil composition, plant care, and the environmental benefits of gardens. Scouts are required to plan, plant, and care for a garden, teaching them responsibility and the satisfaction of cultivating life.

Genealogy Merit Badge for Boy Scouts


Genealogy merit badge takes Scouts on a journey through their family history, teaching them how to research and document their ancestry. They learn about various sources of historical data and how to preserve family stories for future generations. This badge connects Scouts to their past and helps them understand their place in history.


Scouts engage in the high-tech treasure hunt of geocaching, using GPS devices to find hidden caches. They learn about GPS technology, coordinates, and map reading. The activity encourages exploration and understanding of the natural environment. Scouts are also taught to create and hide their own geocaches responsibly. Respect for property and adherence to geocaching ethics are underscored.


Scouts explore the Earth’s composition, fossils, minerals, and geological processes. They learn about the importance of geology in understanding Earth’s history and future. Field trips to collect specimens or visit geological formations are typical activities. The badge emphasizes the role of geology in natural resources and environmental science. Scouts also explore career paths in geology and related fields.


Golf merit badge challenges Scouts to learn the rules and etiquette of golf, a game of precision and patience. They practice their swing, learn about different types of clubs, and play rounds to understand course management. This badge not only teaches the fundamentals of golf but also promotes integrity and respect for others.

Graphic Arts

Graphic Arts merit badge introduces Scouts to the principles of design and visual communication. They explore various graphic arts techniques and tools, from traditional printmaking to digital design. Scouts create projects that showcase their understanding of effective visual communication. There is also a merit badge for Art.

health care professions merit badge

Health Care Professions

Exploring a wide range of careers in the health care field, Scouts learn about the education, skills, and dedication required. They study the roles of various health care professionals in promoting health, preventing disease, and treating illnesses. The badge emphasizes the importance of empathy, communication, and ethical considerations in health care. Scouts may visit health care facilities or interview professionals to gain insights. The impact of technology on health care is also discussed.

Home Repairs

In the Home Repairs merit badge, Scouts gain practical skills in maintaining and repairing their homes. They tackle tasks such as fixing leaky faucets, patching drywall, and painting, learning the value of do-it-yourself work. This badge teaches them to assess problems, select the right tools, and complete repairs safely and effectively.

horsemanship merit badge


Learning to care for, handle, and ride horses safely is the focus. Scouts gain knowledge in horse anatomy, behavior, and grooming techniques. They learn to saddle and bridle a horse properly and develop riding skills. The badge promotes an understanding of the responsibilities involved in horse ownership. Respect for animals and safety are emphasized throughout.

Indian Lore

Indian Lore merit badge offers Scouts a deep dive into the rich cultures, traditions, and history of Native American peoples. They explore various aspects such as crafts, dwellings, music, and lore. This badge emphasizes respect and appreciation for the diverse cultures that have shaped the history and fabric of North America.

Insect Study Merit Badge for Boy Scouts

Insect Study

The diverse world of insects and their roles in ecosystems is uncovered. Scouts learn to identify common insects, understand their life cycles, and study their habitats. Conservation of beneficial insects and the control of pests are discussed. The badge encourages observation and collection projects. Scouts gain an appreciation for the importance of insects in pollination, decomposition, and as a food source for other species.


Inventing merit badge challenges Scouts to think like inventors, encouraging innovation and problem-solving. They learn about patents, the process of bringing an invention to market, and the impact of inventions on society. Scouts are tasked with creating a prototype of their own invention, fostering creativity and engineering skills.


Journalism merit badge encourages Scouts to discover the world of reporting, writing, and ethics in the media. They learn about different types of journalism, how to conduct interviews, and the importance of accuracy and fairness. This badge inspires Scouts to consider the impact of journalism on society and their role as informed citizens.

Kayaking merit badge


Kayaking techniques and safety are explored, including proper paddling strokes and capsize recovery. Scouts learn about different types of kayaks and kayaking equipment. Planning and safely executing kayaking trips on calm water are key components. The badge also covers environmental stewardship and the importance of water safety. Scouts are encouraged to develop a lifelong appreciation for water sports.

Landscape Architecture

Landscape Architecture merit badge exposes Scouts to designing functional and attractive outdoor spaces. They learn about the principles of landscape design, sustainability, and how to plan projects that enhance the natural environment. Scouts also explore various career opportunities in landscape architecture, broadening their understanding of how spaces impact communities.


Law merit badge introduces Scouts to the complexities of the legal system in the United States. They explore different areas of law, the role of attorneys, and how laws are made and enforced. This badge encourages critical thinking about justice, rights, and the importance of law in society.

Leatherwork Merit Badge 1


Leatherwork merit badge offers Scouts the opportunity to work with leather, crafting items that are both functional and artistic. They learn about the properties of leather, basic tooling techniques, and the care of leather goods. This badge encourages creativity and skill development in a traditional craft.

Mammal Study

Scouts study various mammals, their behaviors, habitats, and conservation status. They learn about mammalian anatomy, physiology, and the importance of mammals in ecosystems. The badge often involves observing mammals in the wild or through research projects. Threats to mammal populations and conservation efforts are discussed. Scouts are encouraged to participate in mammal conservation activities.


Metalwork Merit Badge offers Scouts the opportunity to learn about working with metals through projects that involve forging, casting, and metal fabrication. They gain an understanding of the properties of different metals and the tools and techniques used to shape them. Safety and precision are emphasized throughout the badge requirements.

Mining in Society

Mining in Society merit badge offers insight into the mining industry’s role in society, covering the extraction process, safety measures, and environmental considerations. Scouts investigate different types of mining and their impact on the economy and environment. They are encouraged to consider ethical questions related to resource extraction and its long-term sustainability.

Model Design and Building

Model Design and Building merit badge challenges Scouts to design and build scale models. They learn about different types of models, materials, and tools, as well as the importance of following detailed plans. This badge fosters creativity, patience, and attention to detail.


Operating motorboats safely and responsibly is the primary focus. Scouts learn about different types of motorboats, engines, and navigational aids. They are taught the rules of the waterway, including right-of-way, signaling, and docking. Environmental impacts and fuel efficiency are discussed. The badge prepares Scouts for safe and enjoyable boating experiences.


Exploring the art and science of film, the Moviemaking merit badge offers Scouts a chance to dive into scriptwriting, shooting, and editing their own projects. They learn about the different roles in film production and the importance of storytelling in visual media. This badge encourages creativity and teamwork, as Scouts bring their cinematic visions to life.

Music Merit Badge 1


Music merit badge explores the world of musical expression, inviting Scouts to perform and appreciate music. They study different genres, learn about the history of music, and explore the role of music in cultures around the world. Scouts are encouraged to share their musical talents, fostering a love of music and community engagement.


The interconnections between plants, animals, and their environment are the focus. Scouts engage in activities that enhance their observation and identification skills. They learn about ecosystems, biodiversity, and the impact of human activities on nature. Conservation practices and sustainable living are emphasized. The badge fosters a deeper respect for the natural world and the importance of protecting it.

Nuclear Science

Exploring the principles of atomic energy and radiation, Scouts learn about nuclear reactors, medicine, and industry applications. They study the benefits and risks associated with nuclear science. The badge covers radiation safety and the principles of nuclear fission and fusion. Scouts also explore careers in nuclear science and its role in modern technology.


The study of oceans, their ecosystems, and marine life is the heart of this badge. Scouts learn about oceanic processes, currents, and the impact of human activities on marine environments. They explore the importance of oceans in global climate systems. The badge encourages water conservation and responsible ocean stewardship. Scouts may participate in activities like beach cleanups or marine life observation.

Orienteering Merit Badge


Navigational skills using a map and compass are developed through practical exercises. Scouts learn to plan routes, estimate distances, and find their way in diverse terrains. The sport of orienteering introduces them to competitive navigation challenges. They also explore the history and technology behind navigation. Safety and preparedness for outdoor adventures are emphasized. Scouts who are interested in navigation merit badges might also want to look at Geocaching.


Painting Merit Badge focuses on the techniques and tools necessary for painting different surfaces. Scouts learn about preparing surfaces, choosing appropriate paints, and the steps involved in completing a painting project. This badge emphasizes the importance of safety and environmental considerations when painting.


Pets merit badge teaches Scouts about the responsibilities involved in caring for animals. They learn about different types of pets, their needs, and how to provide a safe and healthy environment for them. This badge emphasizes compassion, commitment, and the bond between humans and animals. There is also a Dog Care merit badge for youth who are interested in merit badges related to their furry friends.

photography merit badge


The Photography Merit Badge introduces Scouts to the fundamentals of taking great photos, including composition, lighting, and the use of digital and film cameras. They delve into the history of photography and how it has influenced society. Scouts are tasked with creating a portfolio that showcases their skills and perspectives through the lens.

Pioneering Merit Badge


Building structures using ropes and wooden spars teaches Scouts engineering principles and teamwork. They learn knot tying, lashing techniques, and project planning. Projects may include bridges, towers, and camp gadgets. The badge fosters creativity and problem-solving skills. Safety guidelines and proper use of tools are strictly followed.

Plant Science

Delving into botany, Scouts study plant anatomy, physiology, and classification. They learn about photosynthesis, plant reproduction, and the role of plants in ecosystems. The badge covers gardening, crop production, and the importance of plants in the environment. Conservation of plant species and habitats is emphasized. Scouts are encouraged to participate in plant-related projects or research.


Plumbing merit badge teaches Scouts how water systems work in homes and communities. They learn to handle basic plumbing repairs, such as fixing a clogged drain and repairing a faucet. The badge emphasizes water conservation and the importance of maintaining a clean water supply.

pottery merit badge


Pottery merit badge immerses Scouts in the art and science of making pottery. They learn about different types of clay, pottery techniques, and the firing process. Scouts create their own pottery pieces, developing an appreciation for this ancient art form.


Programming merit badge demystifies the world of coding for Scouts. They learn various programming languages and the logic behind developing software. This badge emphasizes problem-solving and creativity, encouraging Scouts to develop their own programs and understand the impact of technology in the world.

public health merit badge

Public Health

Scouts learn about the importance of public health in preventing disease and promoting community well-being. They study the history of public health, significant diseases, and the impact of vaccines. The badge covers the basics of epidemiology, disease prevention, and global health issues. Scouts participate in projects that promote public health practices, such as handwashing campaigns. Understanding the role of public health agencies and policies is emphasized.

Public Speaking

Public Speaking merit badge teaches Scouts the art of effective communication in front of an audience. They learn about speech preparation, delivery techniques, and how to handle nervousness. This badge boosts confidence and equips Scouts with skills essential for leadership and everyday interactions.

Pulp and Paper

Pulp and Paper merit badge explores the processes involved in making paper and the importance of recycling. Scouts learn about the history of papermaking, the environmental impact of paper production, and innovative recycling techniques. This badge encourages environmental stewardship and creativity in using paper products.


Radio merit badge introduces Scouts to the magic of radio communication. They explore how radio waves travel, the operation of radio stations, and the basics of broadcasting. This badge includes hands-on experience with amateur radio, highlighting the importance of this technology in emergencies and global communication.


Railroading merit badge takes Scouts on an exploration of the railway industry and model railroading. They learn about the history of railroads, safety measures, and the operation of trains. This badge encourages a fascination with the engineering and logistics that keep railroads running.

reading merit badge


Reading merit badge fosters a love for reading and literature among Scouts. They are encouraged to explore different genres, authors, and cultural stories. This badge emphasizes the importance of literacy, critical thinking, and the joy of escaping into a good book.

Reptile and Amphibian Study

Scouts learn to identify and care for various reptiles and amphibians. They study the life cycles, habitats, and conservation concerns of these animals. The badge promotes understanding and respect for often misunderstood creatures. Safety and ethical treatment of reptiles and amphibians are emphasized. Scouts may participate in habitat restoration or species monitoring projects.

rifle shooting merit badge

Rifle Shooting

Safe handling, operation, and storage of rifles are taught, with a focus on marksmanship. Scouts practice shooting at targets to improve accuracy and control. They learn about the mechanics of rifles and ammunition types. The history and sport of shooting are explored. Emphasis is placed on ethical responsibilities and personal discipline.

Robotics Merit Badge Helps and Documents


Robotics Merit Badge introduces Scouts to the exciting field of robotics, where they learn about robot design, construction, and programming. They explore how robots are used in various industries and the impact of robotics on society. This badge encourages innovation and critical thinking, preparing Scouts for a future with technology.


Developing proficiency in rowing techniques and maneuvers in various water conditions is essential. Scouts learn about different types of rowboats and rowing equipment. Teamwork and synchronization in rowing are highlighted. Safety practices, including capsize recovery, are thoroughly covered. The badge promotes physical fitness and an appreciation for water sports.

Safety Merit Badge


Safety Merit Badge participants learn how to create a safer environment for themselves and others. They delve into various aspects of safety, including first aid, home, and internet safety, and how to prepare for emergencies. Scouts are encouraged to conduct a safety inspection of their homes, identifying and addressing potential hazards. Discussions on cyberbullying and the importance of digital safety are also included. Emphasis is placed on using safety gear correctly and following safety protocols in diverse activities.


Salesmanship merit badge teaches Scouts the principles of selling products, services, and ideas. They learn about the selling process, customer service, and the ethics of salesmanship. This badge equips Scouts with communication skills and the confidence to persuade and inform others effectively. Scouts who are interested in business related merit badges can also look into Entrepreneurship.


Scholarship merit badge recognizes the importance of academic achievement and effective study habits. Scouts are encouraged to set educational goals, explore different learning techniques, and understand the value of lifelong learning. This badge celebrates the dedication and hard work required to succeed in school and beyond.

Scouting Heritage

Scouting Heritage merit badge provides Scouts with an understanding of the origins and development of the Scouting movement. They learn about the life of Scouting’s founder, Lord Baden-Powell, and the evolution of Scouting in America. This badge fosters a sense of pride and belonging among Scouts, encouraging them to contribute to their troops and communities.


Earning this badge introduces Scouts to underwater exploration and scuba diving techniques. They must complete a certification course from a recognized agency. The badge covers diving physics, physiology, and the environment. Scouts learn about the equipment and its maintenance. Emphasis is placed on safety, conservation, and respect for marine life.


Sculpture merit badge allows Scouts to explore three-dimensional art through various materials and techniques. They learn about the history of sculpture, study notable works, and create their own sculptures. This badge emphasizes artistic expression and the development of manual skills. 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

Search and Rescue merit badge introduces Scouts to the principles of conducting search and rescue missions. They learn about the psychology of survival, search techniques, and how to operate safely in various environments. This badge emphasizes teamwork, problem-solving, and the importance of preparation in emergency situations.

Shotgun Shooting

This badge focuses on the safe handling and responsible use of shotguns. Scouts practice shooting clay pigeons to develop their skills. They learn about shotgun types, maintenance, and ammunition. The principles of marksmanship and shooting ethics are discussed. Safety protocols and the importance of hearing and eye protection are emphasized. Scouts who are interested in merit badges related to field sports should also check out Archery and Rifle Shooting.

Signs, Signals, and Codes

Signs, Signals, and Codes merit badge delves into the many ways humans communicate without spoken words. Scouts learn about semaphore, Morse code, and the use of symbols and signals throughout history. This badge emphasizes the importance of clear communication and the role of codes in modern technology and security.


Skating merit badge challenges Scouts to learn and demonstrate their skills in ice or roller skating. They learn about safety equipment, techniques, and the different styles of skating. This badge promotes physical fitness, balance, and the fun of gliding on wheels or blades.

Small Boat Sailing

Scouts learn to sail small boats safely, understanding wind patterns and water dynamics. They are taught rigging, signaling, and capsize recovery techniques. Navigation rules of the water and proper communication are covered. The badge encourages respect for the marine environment. Scouts gain confidence and leadership skills through sailing.

Snow Sports Merit Badge

Snow Sports

Engaging in skiing, snowboarding, or cross-country skiing teaches Scouts about winter sports safety and technique. They learn about equipment selection, maintenance, and fitting. The badge covers the importance of physical conditioning and cold-weather safety. Respect for the mountain environment and etiquette on the slopes are emphasized. Scouts are encouraged to develop skills and confidence in snow sports.

Soil and Water Conservation

The importance of conserving soil and water resources is the focus of this badge. Scouts learn about erosion control, water quality, and sustainable land use practices. They participate in projects that contribute to soil and water conservation. The badge encourages an understanding of the impact of human activities on these critical resources. Scouts explore careers related to conservation and environmental protection.

Space Exploration

Scouts delve into the history, technology, and science of space travel. They learn about rockets, satellites, and the physics of space flight. The badge covers the exploration of the solar system and beyond. Scouts may build and launch model rockets as part of the requirements. The importance of future space exploration and potential careers in the field is discussed.


In the Sports Merit Badge, scouts explore the wide world of sports, gaining insights into the rules, strategies, and teamwork required in different games. They have the opportunity to participate in individual and team sports, learning about the benefits of physical fitness and healthy competition. The merit badge encourages scouts to understand the importance of sportsmanship and the value of setting personal fitness goals. Through active participation, scouts not only improve their skills in various sports but also develop a lifelong appreciation for physical activity and teamwork. Scouts who enjoy merit badges related to fitness can also look into the Athletics badge.

Stamp Collecting

Stamp Collecting merit badge opens the world of philately to Scouts, teaching them about the history and art of stamps. They learn how to start and maintain a stamp collection, including the identification and preservation of stamps. This badge encourages curiosity and a deeper appreciation for the stories stamps can tell. There are also merit badges for Collections and Coin Collecting.

Surveying Merit Badge


Surveying merit badge gives Scouts a foundational understanding of measuring land and plotting maps. They learn to use surveying tools and techniques to determine land boundaries and topography. The badge encourages precision and attention to detail, skills valuable in many engineering and construction fields.


Textile merit badge introduces Scouts to the world of fibers and fabrics. They learn about the processes involved in making textiles, including spinning, weaving, and dyeing. Scouts explore the global impact of textile production and are encouraged to try their hand at creating textile projects. Scouts who enjoy merit badges like this might also want to check out Pulp and Paper.

Theater Merit Badge


Theater merit badge offers Scouts a comprehensive look into the world of theatrical production. They learn about acting, directing, set design, and makeup. This badge encourages participation in a theatrical performance, fostering teamwork and creativity.

Traffic Safety

Learning about traffic safety helps Scouts understand the importance of being responsible on the road. They delve into the rules of the road, ways to prevent accidents, and how to be a safe pedestrian, cyclist, and driver. This merit badge encourages Scouts to promote safety within their communities.

Truck Transportation Merit Badge

Truck Transportation

Truck Transportation merit badge explores the world of freight and logistics. Scouts learn about the importance of trucking in the economy, the operation of large vehicles, and safety regulations. They also understand the environmental impact of truck transportation and explore careers in the field.

Veterinary Medicine

Veterinary Medicine merit badge offers Scouts a glimpse into the care of animals. They learn about animal health, basic veterinary practices, and the responsibilities of a veterinarian. This badge encourages respect for all living beings and highlights the importance of preventive care.

Water Sports Merit Badge

Water Sports

This badge explores various water sports, including water skiing, wakeboarding, and stand-up paddleboarding. Scouts learn about safety equipment, signals, and spotting techniques. They develop skills in their chosen water sport, emphasizing balance, strength, and technique. The importance of a buddy system and water safety rules are highlighted. Scouts gain an appreciation for water activities and fitness.


Understanding atmospheric phenomena and weather forecasting is key. Scouts learn to identify cloud types, weather patterns, and the factors influencing weather. They study the impact of weather on the environment and human activities. The badge promotes awareness of severe weather safety and preparedness. Scouts are encouraged to observe and record weather conditions as part of their study.


Welding merit badge introduces Scouts to the science and craft of joining metals. They learn about different welding techniques, safety practices, and the application of welding in various industries. This badge not only teaches practical skills but also emphasizes the importance of precision and safety.


Navigating rapids and understanding river dynamics are key skills developed. Scouts learn about whitewater equipment, safety gear, and rescue techniques. They are taught to read water and plan safe routes through rapids. The badge emphasizes teamwork, leadership, and environmental respect. Scouts experience the thrill and challenge of whitewater activities.

wilderness survival merit badge

Wilderness Survival

Scouts acquire skills to survive in the wilderness with minimal gear. They learn about emergency shelters, fire building, and signaling for help. Water procurement and purification are covered. The badge emphasizes preparedness, adaptability, and resourcefulness. Scouts are taught the psychology of survival and the importance of a positive attitude.

Wood Carving

Wood Carving merit badge teaches Scouts the skill of shaping wood into artistic or functional items. They learn about different carving techniques, tools, and safety measures. Scouts complete projects that showcase their carving skills, fostering a sense of achievement and artistic expression. Scouts who like merit badges like this might also like the Woodwork badge.


Woodwork merit badge provides Scouts with the opportunity to work with wood and hand tools. They learn about different types of wood, how to safely use tools, and complete several projects. This badge fosters creativity and craftsmanship, teaching Scouts the satisfaction of building something with their own hands.


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