Merit Badges

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Boy Scout Merit Badge resources include the the Merit Badge Worksheets, Online Blue Card, FAQ,
maps, charts, links, checklists, and cross-references for related Merit Badges and Scout Awards.


Merit Badges are the second main area of the Boy Scout advancement program. Unlike ranks, there is a degree of choice in the merit badge program. A sub-group of merit badges are known as Eagle required merit badges. To earn Eagle Scout, most of these badges must be earned although some are "either/or" badges. The remainder of the badges help with earning ranks as well as Eagle Palms after the Eagle Scout award has been earned. The online Merit Badge Application is a Word doc file.

Boy Scouts may work on merit badges from they time they join a Scout troop until they turn 18 years old. There is no time limit for completion of merit badges other than age 18. See the Merit Badge FAQ. Some Merit Badges Require Prior Approval before starting certain requirements. Most do not.


Worksheet Merit Badge Worksheets
Worksheets can help you organize notes, listen actively, find resources, and document your work.


The official source for the information shown in this article or section is:
Boy Scout Requirements, 2018 Edition (BSA Supply SKU #641568)

You can learn about sports, crafts, science, trades, business, and future careers as you earn merit badges. There are more than 100 merit badges, and any Boy Scout or any qualified Venturer or Sea Scout may earn any of these at any time (see Boy Scouting Rank Advancement for Venturers).

Pick a Subject. Talk to your unit leader about your interests. Read the requirements of the merit badges you think might interest you, and pick one to earn. Your leader will give you the name of a person from a list of counselors. These individuals have special knowledge in their merit badge subjects and are interested in helping you.

Scout Buddy System. You must have another person with you at each meeting with the merit badge counselor. This person can be another Scout, your parents or guardian, a brother or sister, a relative, or a friend.

Call the Merit Badge Counselor. Get a signed Application for Merit Badge, No. 34124 (100-pack) or No. 618953 (25-pack), from your unit leader. Get in touch with the merit badge counselor and explain that you want to earn the badge. The counselor may ask to meet you to explain what is expected and to start helping you meet the requirements. You should also discuss work you have already started or possibly completed.

At the first meeting, you and your merit badge counselor will review and may start working on the requirements. In some cases, you may share the work you have already started or completed.

Unless otherwise specified, work on a requirement can be started at any time. Ask your counselor to help you learn the things you need to know or do. You should read the merit badge pamphlet on the subject. Many troops, schools, and public libraries have them. (See the Merit Badge revision dates list).

Show Your Stuff. When you are ready, call the counselor again to make an appointment. When you go, take along the things you have made to meet the requirements. If they are too big to move, take pictures or have an adult tell in writing what you have done. The counselor will test you on each requirement to make sure you know your stuff and have done or can do the things required.

Get the Badge. When the counselor is satisfied you have met each requirement, he or she will sign your application. Give the signed application to your unit leader so your merit badge emblem can be secured for you.

Merit badge requirements are revised as needed to reflect updated information and technology. Refer to the latest Boy Scout Requirements book for merit badge requirement updates. The current Boy Scout Requirements book is available from your local Scouting merchandise distributor. It may also be ordered online at

Requirements. You are expected to meet the requirements as they are stated—no more and no less. You must do exactly what is stated in the requirements. If it says “show or demonstrate,” that is what you must do. Just telling about it isn’t enough. The same thing holds true for such words as “make,” “list,” “in the field,” and “collect,” “identify,” and “label.”

The requirements listed in the Boy Scout Requirements book are the current and official requirements of the Boy Scouts of America. Occasionally, the requirements will not match those in the printed Boy Scout Handbook and the merit badge pamphlets because of the timing of their printing schedules.

Once a Scout begins work, he may continue using the requirements he started with until completion of the badge. Alternatively, he may choose to switch to the revised requirements. Sometimes, however—especially for more significant changes—the Boy Scout Handbook, the Boy Scout Requirements book,, or official communications from the National Council may set forth a different procedure that must be used. The National Council may establish a new date for when use of the existing requirements must cease.

There is no time limit for starting and completing a merit badge, but all work must be completed by the time a Scout turns 18.

Merit Badges – Boy Scouts of America
All Boy Scout awards, merit badges, badges of rank, and Eagle Palms are only for registered Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts, and Lone Boy Scouts; and also for qualified Venturers or Sea Scouts who are not yet 18 years old. Venturers and Sea Scouts qualify by achieving First Class rank as a Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, or Lone Scout. The only exceptions for those older than age 18 are related to Scouts registered beyond the age of eligibility (see “Registering Qualified Members Beyond Age of Eligibility,” and those who have been granted time extensions to complete the Eagle Scout rank (“Time Extensions,”
Guide to Advancement (2017), § Scouting Ranks and Advancement Age Requirements
See:Merit Badges Requiring Prior Approval‎, Merit Badge Policies, and Merit Badge FAQ for more information.

Click here for the Merit Badge Worksheets.

List of current Merit Badges

The following are all the Merit Badges currently offered by the Boy Scouts of America:

  1. American Business
  2. American Cultures
  3. American Heritage
  4. American Labor
  5. Animal Science
  6. Animation
  7. Archaeology
  8. Archery
  9. Architecture
  10. Art
  11. Astronomy
  12. Athletics
  13. Automotive Maintenance
  14. Aviation
  15. Backpacking
  16. Basketry
  17. Bird Study
  18. Bugling
  19. Camping
  20. Canoeing
  21. Chemistry
  22. Chess
  23. Citizenship in the Community
  24. Citizenship in the Nation
  25. Citizenship in the World
  26. Climbing
  27. Coin Collecting
  28. Collections
  29. Communication
  30. Composite Materials
  31. Cooking
  32. Crime Prevention
  33. Cycling
  34. Dentistry
  35. Digital Technology
  36. Disabilities Awareness
  37. Dog Care
  38. Drafting
  39. Electricity
  40. Electronics
  41. Emergency Preparedness
  42. Energy
  43. Engineering
  44. Entrepreneurship
  45. Environmental Science
  46. Exploration
  47. Family Life
  48. Farm Mechanics
  49. Fingerprinting
  50. Fire Safety
  51. First Aid
  52. Fish and Wildlife Management
  53. Fishing
  54. Fly-Fishing
  55. Forestry
  56. Game Design
  57. Gardening
  58. Genealogy
  59. Geocaching
  60. Geology
  61. Golf
  62. Graphic Arts
  63. Hiking
  64. Home Repairs
  65. Horsemanship
  66. Indian Lore
  67. Insect Study
  68. Inventing
  69. Journalism
  70. Kayaking
  71. Landscape Architecture
  72. Law
  73. Leatherwork
  74. Lifesaving
  75. Mammal Study
  76. Medicine
  77. Metalwork
  78. Mining in Society
  79. Model Design and Building
  80. Motorboating
  81. Moviemaking
  82. Music
  83. Nature
  84. Nuclear Science
  85. Oceanography
  86. Orienteering
  87. Painting
  88. Personal Fitness
  89. Personal Management
  90. Pets
  91. Photography
  92. Pioneering
  93. Plant Science
  94. Plumbing
  95. Pottery
  96. Programming
  97. Public Health
  98. Public Speaking
  99. Pulp and Paper
  100. Radio
  101. Railroading
  102. Reading
  103. Reptile and Amphibian Study
  104. Rifle Shooting
  105. Robotics
  106. Rowing
  107. Safety
  108. Salesmanship
  109. Scholarship
  110. Scouting Heritage
  111. Scuba Diving
  112. Sculpture
  113. Search & Rescue
  114. Shotgun Shooting
  115. Signs, Signals, and Codes
  116. Skating
  117. Small-Boat Sailing
  118. Snow Sports
  119. Soil and Water Conservation
  120. Space Exploration
  121. Sports
  122. Stamp Collecting
  123. Surveying
  124. Sustainability
  125. Swimming
  126. Textile
  127. Theater
  128. Traffic Safety
  129. Truck Transportation
  130. Veterinary Medicine
  131. Water Sports
  132. Weather
  133. Welding
  134. Whitewater
  135. Wilderness Survival
  136. Wood Carving
  137. Woodwork

Note: Merit badges shown in bold italics are Eagle-required merit badges.

Discontinued merit badges

"Scouts are not allowed to begin work on discontinued merit badges. If actual and purposeful effort that is more than simply incidental to participation in Scouting activities has already begun by the time discontinuation becomes effective, and work actively continues, then the badge may be completed and can count toward rank advancement. However, presentation of the badge itself will be subject to availability. It is a misconception that discontinued merit badges may be earned as long as the patch and requirements can be found."
— Source: BSA Guide To Advancement (2017), Section Discontinued Merit Badges

Agribusiness, Farm Arrangement, Farm Arrangements, Farm Home and Its Planning, Farm Layout and Building Arrangement, Farm Records, Farm Records and Bookkeeping, Farm and Ranch Management
Animal husbandry 
Animal Industry, Beefarming, Bee Keeping, Beekeeping, First Aid to Animals, Poultry Farming, Poultry Keeping, Pigeon Raising, Beef Production, Hog Production, Hog and Pork Production, Sheep Farming, Rabbit Raising, Dairying
Plant cultivation 
Agriculture, Landscape Gardening, Food Systems, Forage Crops, Fruit Culture, Fruit and Nut Growing, Citrus Fruit Culture, Nut Culture, Corn Farming, Small Grains, Small Grains and Cereal Foods, Cotton Farming, Grasses, Legumes, and Forage Crops, Landscape Gardening, Landscaping
Arts and crafts 
Leathercraft, Leatherworking
Blacksmithing, Carpentry, Cement Work, Craftsmanship, Foundry Practice, Handicraft, Machinery, Metallurgy, Masonry, Mechanical Drawing, Wood Turning, Electrician
Business and industry 
Bookbinding, Business, Cinematography, Computers, Consumer Buying, Invention, Textiles
Civics, Citizenship, Citizenship in the Home, Interpreting, World Brotherhood
Dramatics, Printing, Printing/Communication, Signaling, Wireless
Conservation, Conservation of Natural Resources, Soil Management, Wildlife Management
Outdoor sports 
Angling, Marksmanship, Rifle and Shotgun Shooting, Skiing, Waterskiing
Personal development 
Personal Finances, Personal Health, Physical Development, Handicapped Awareness, Handicap Awareness
Firemanship, Safety First
Atomic Energy, Botany, First Aid to Animals, General Science, Insect Life, Mammals, Mining, Ornithology, Reptile Study, Reptiles, Rocks and Minerals, Taxidermy, Veterinary Science, Zoology
Automobiling, Automotive Safety, Auto Mechanics
Aviation (original), Aerodynamics, Aeronautics, Airplane Design, Airplane Structure

2010 Historic merit badges reissues

The following 2010 Historic (a.k.a. "Centennial") merit badges could be earned through December 31, 2010:


See also

Boy Scout portal
Venturing portal
Sea Scout portal
General Merit Badge information

External links

Advancement Policies
Advancement (Report) Boy Scouts (Resources) Service Projects
Rules and Regulations First Class-First Year Eagle Scout Project
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When is a Scout in Uniform? Boards of Review - Appeals Merit Badges, Events & FAQ
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Books & References  12 Steps From Life to Eagle  Venturing & Sea Scouts  
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