Merit Badges Overview
What are Merit Badges?
Following the First Class rank, the Scouting program shifts emphasis from Scouting Skills to Leadership and Merit Badges. Merit Badges offer Scouts opportunities to learn about various areas of interest, gain confidence, improve social skill and develop self-reliance.
There are 131 merit badges, and the list is frequently grows. Scouts can earn any number of these. However, to accomplish the Eagle Scout rank, 21 specific merit badges need to be obtained which includes the 13 Eagle required Merit Badges. These 13 Eagle Merit Badges which have a silver stitching around the border. Those 13 Badges are listed at the bottom of this page.
To find the list of Merit Badges and their requirements, login to Scoutbook and navigate to References > Boy Scouting > Merit Badges
A list of available merit badges can also be found in the Boy Scout Requirements Handbook.
Earning Merit Badges
Boys can start earning merit badges at any time, usually after they earn their first rank, Scout. There are several ways to open, complete requirements for and complete a merit badge. Not every method will work for every badge, and sometimes a Scout will need to use multiple methods to complete the requirements:
- Open a Blue Card: The first way is to meet with the Scoutmaster and obtain a Blue Card, research the requirements, obtain the merit badge book, talk with an assigned merit badge counselor, and complete the requirement on your own
- Go to a Merit Badge Clinic: The second way is to attend a merit badge class/clinic. Available clinics will occasionally be offered through the Area Council or nearby Troops and will be posted on the Troop Calendar in Scoutbook.
- Go to Summer Camp: The third way is to earn the badge at Boy Scout Summer Camp. Summer Camp is the quickest and easiest way to earn Merit Badges. Many of the required badges required for Advancement, all the way to Eagle Scout, can be earned simply by attending Summer Camp each year.
Merit Badge Counselors:
- When completing a Merit Badge on your own, you will be assigned a Merit Badge Counselor. They will be the only person who signs off on the completion of the requirements and the badge. Scouts may choose to meet with their Counselor early in the process to discuss the requirements and share expectations.
- In accordance with the BSA Youth Protection Policy and for the protection of all, at no time will a Scout work one-on-one with a Counselor in a private location or in the Counselor’s home. Scouts are encouraged to work on Merit Badges together for both support and encouragement.
- All registered leaders, including "Uniformed" Leaders, Committee Members, and Merit Badge Counselores are required to be Youth Protection Training (YPT).
Resources for Merit Badge completion:
Your Merit Badge Counselor: your assigned Merit Badge Counselor is there to help guide you through the process
Scoutbook: To find the list of Merit Badges and their requirements, login to Scoutbook and navigate to References > Boy Scouting > Merit Badges.
Merit Badge Library: The Troop has a merit badge book library to borrow merit badge books. Also, ask other scouts/parents to borrow merit badge books. Merit Badge books can be purchased at the scout shop.
Merit badge books/pamphlets can also be downloaded online for interactive digital copy at http://www.scoutstuff.org/bsa/literature-media/merit-badge-pamphelts.html
The Merit Badge Research Center - The Merit Badge Research Center
USScouts.org has updated requirements for Merit Badges
USScouts.org Worksheets (On the Right of the listed MB) (Tip: MB Worksheets also list the MB Requirements)
MeritBadge.org is another helpful website with MB Requirements and Worksheet
13 Specific Eagle Required Merit Badges:
- Citizenship in the Community
- Citizenship in the Nation
- Citizenship in the World
- Family Life
- First Aid
- Personal Fitness
- Personal Management
- Lifesaving or Emergency Preparedness (Group 1)
- Environmental Science or Sustainability (Group 2)
- Swimming, Hiking, or Cycling (Group 3)