Merit badges give scouts the opportunity to investigate around 130 different areas of knowledge and skills. The merit badge program plays a major role in the scouting advancement program and participation can begin as soon as a scout registers with a troop. Each scout can explore topics from American Business to Woodworking as they have interest. The only limitations are their ambition and availability of adult merit badge counselors to offer instruction.Read More about the merit badge process.
Merit Badge Pamphlets: An official Boy Scouts of America merit badge pamphlet has been created for the BSA by topic authorities for each merit badge. The pamphlets contain requirements, introductory information and supplemental reference text. A scout can purchase pamphlets from BSA, find them in a troop library, or often-times check them out from a public library. There is also a Requirements Booklet with a merit badge list for quick reference.
Merit Badge Counselors: Merit badge counselors are volunteers that have been selected, trained, and approved by council or district committees. They are knowledgeable in the topic and understand the goals of scouting and the Scouting merit badge program. Many districts have a directory of counselors. See this page for more info on becoming a merit badge counselor.
Merit Badge Process: A scout decides they would like to earn a specific merit badge. They obtain approval to begin the merit badge from their Scoutmaster. The Scoutmaster identifies possible merit badge counselors. The scout identifies another scout, buddy, or family member that will be their partner to attend all meetings with the counselor to follow safe scouting guidelines. The scout then contacts the counselor to begin badge work. The counselor reviews the requirements with the scouts and they decide on projects to complete and a completion schedule. The counselor provides expertise, advice, guidance as needed until the scouts have completed the requirements. The merit badge counselor certifies completion of requirements and the merit badge patch is presented at a court of honor or troop meeting. See this page for more info on merit badges.
Required Merit Badges: A scout can begin taking merit badges as soon as they join a troop, but no merit badges are required for advancement until reaching First Class rank. Advancement to Star, Life, and Eagle all require completion of merit badges, service, and demonstration of responsibility. To reach Eagle rank, a scout must complete a total of at least 21 Boy Scout merit badges, 13 of which come from the Eagle-required merit badge list.
Request New Merit Badge Topics
If you feel another topic or activity should be added, you need to tell the Boy Scouts of America directly.
For new merit badge ideas, send your request to: firstname.lastname@example.org
See section 188.8.131.52 of this page for more info.
More Scouting Information to Use:
Merit Badges - requirements and aids
Scout Activities - great scout activity ideas
Scout Awards - see what awards are available to scouts
Scout Ceremonies - some ceremony ideas
Scout Games - patrol or troop games
Scout Graces - fun meal graces
Scout Jokes - funny, gross, and silly jokes for scouts
Scout Projects - community projects for Scouts BSA patrols or troops
Scout Recipes - tasty food recipes for scout camping
Scout Skits - skits that scouts like to do
Scout Songs - songs for scouts
Scout Stories - stories that scouts will enjoy and understand
Scout Uniform - make sure you put all those badges and patches in the right spots
Scout Tests - online tests for scouts to test their knowledge
Scout Schedule - sample schedule to reach First Class rank in 12-18 months
Eagle Scout Schedule - sample schedule to reach Eagle Scout
Jan 04, 2016 - Kipp Irland
Jan 30, 2016 - Scouter Paul
@Kipp - A merit badge counselor usually accepts work completed under the guidance of a previous counselor - it happens all the time. See Section 184.108.40.206 of the Guide to Advancement.
Apr 07, 2016 - Trav's Mom
May 04, 2016 - WILLIAM CLARK
Jul 30, 2016 - Michael Lane
Aug 06, 2016 - Mel Koford
I am a Vertean Scout Leader and am having fun with the program!
Sep 28, 2016 - Gavin Myers
Scout ranked Gavin
Sep 28, 2016 - Scouter Paul
Jan 17, 2017 - scouter R
Jan 17, 2017 - Scouter Paul
That's kind of like having a policeman release a prisoner after the judge says he's guilty, or a vice-president signing a bill after the president vetos it.
The blue card has a spot for the signature of the "Unit Leader", not the assistant leader.
Feb 14, 2017 - DT
Feb 14, 2017 - Scouter Paul
Apr 12, 2017 - Jeff Moulton
For instance, on Tybee Island, Georgia (outside of Savannah), is the Tybee Island Marine Science Center, and in a two hour class, a boy can fulfill some of the requirements for the Oceanography Merit Badge - something that is a bit more difficult (though not impossible) to earn in the middle of Illinois farmland.
I'm hoping someone out there has created a list of places like this that can be sorted or searched by location and/or merit badge, so that we can plan our adventure around him working towards a merit badge in an environment different from what we can provide here in central Illinois.
Mar 28, 2019 - Jackie
Mar 28, 2019 - Scouter Paul
@Jackie - There is no "Faith" merit badge but there is a Youth Religious Emblem award.
Jul 06, 2019 - Giuliane Belt
Jul 06, 2019 - Scouter Paul
@Giuliane - Please see this.
Aug 25, 2020 - Tony Taylor
Aug 26, 2020 - Scouter Paul
@Tony - The BSA has an complete program for individuals living where there are no scouting units. It is Lone Scouts.
Jan 04, 2021 - Mary
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Just for Fun: Socializing merit badge
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