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Revision as of 00:19, February 7, 2018

Resources include the Reading merit badge worksheet in PDF format Adobe Acrobat PDF and Word format Microsoft Word DOC document, links, and cross-references to related badges and awards.
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Reading merit badge
Status: Elective
Created: 1925
Discontinued: no
BSA Advancement ID: 095
Requirements revision: 2004
Latest pamphlet revision: 2013


If you have ever wanted to go back in time or wished you could visit the future, if you are curious about the world, or if you are interested in how things work or like to learn new things, these are all reasons why you should want to read. Reading is fascinating. It's full of surprises. And it will take you places you can't get to in any other way.

Reading merit badge requirements

  1. Do EACH of the following:
    a. Learn how to search your library's card catalog or computerized catalog by author, title, and subject.
    b. With the assistance of your merit badge counselor or a librarian, select six books of four different types (such as poetry, drama/plays, fiction, nonfiction, biographies, etc.). Ask your librarian or counselor about award-winning books that are recommended for readers your age and include at least one of those titles.
    c. Find the books in the library catalog. With your counselor's or a librarian's assistance, locate the books on the shelves.
    d. Read each book. Keep a log of your reading that includes the title of the book, the pages or chapters read, the date you completed them, and your thoughts about what you have read so far. Discuss your reading with your counselor. Using your log as a reference, explain why you chose each book and tell whether you enjoyed it and what it meant to you.
  2. Read about the world around you from any two sources: books, magazines, newspapers, the Internet (with your parent's permission), field manuals, etc. Topics may include sports, environmental problems, politics, social issues, current events, nature, religion, etc. Discuss what you have learned with your counselor.
  3. Do ONE of the following:
    a. From a catalog of your choice, fill out an order form for merchandise as if you intended to place an order. Share the completed form with your counselor and discuss it.
    b. With your parent's permission, locate at least five Web sites that are helpful for your scouting or other activities. Write the Internet addresses of these sites in your log. Talk with your counselor or a librarian about safety rules for using the Internet.
  4. With your counselor's and parent's permission, choose ONE of the following activities and devote at least four hours of service to that activity. Discuss your participation with your counselor.
    a. Read to a sick, blind, or homebound person in a hospital or in an extended-care facility.
    b. Perform volunteer work at your school library or a public library.
    c. Read stories to younger children, in a group or individually.

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

View the change list (history) of these requirements. The text of these requirements may be locked. In that case, they can only be edited
by an administrator.
Please note any errors found in the above requirements on this article's Talk Page.


Worksheet A FREE workbook for Reading is available here! (PDF or Word) with the maps, charts, links, diagrams, and checklists you need! Or click here to print just the Reading requirements. has PDF and Word versions of workbooks for Scouts BSA ranks and merit badges, Cub Scouting ranks and adventures, and STEM Nova awards.

Requirement resources

Requirement 1b There are numerous literary awards. The books that have won the following awards can be found in school libraries:

  • Coretta Scott King Award and Honor - Awarded annually by a branch of the American Library Association to outstanding children's or young adult books written by an African-American author (grades 5-12)
  • Pura Belpré Medal and Honor - Awarded annually by a branch of the American Library Association to oustanding children's or young adult books by a Hispanic-American author (grades 5-12)
  • Batchelder Award and Honor - Awarded annually by a branch of the American Library Association to an outstanding children's book translated into English from a foreign language (grades 5-8)
  • Sibert Medal and Honor - Awarded annually by a branch of the American Library Association to an outstanding children's or young adult nonfiction informational book (grades 5-12)
  • Boston Globe-Horn Book Award - Awarded annually by the Horn Book Magazine to outstanding children's or young adult fiction and nonfiction books (grades 5-12)
  • Golden Kite Award - Awarded annually by the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators to outstanding children's fiction and nonfiction books (grades 5-8).
  • Golden Duck Award - Awarded for excellence in children's science fiction (grades K-12)
  • Edgar Award - Awarded by the Mystery Writers of America to the best mystery, this prize includes categories for Best Juvenile and Best Young Adult mysteries (grades 5 and up)
  • Mythopoeic Fantasy Award - Awarded by the Mythopoeic Society to outstanding fantasy books, this prize includes a Children's category (grades 5 and up)
  • State book awards - A list of the various state awards for children's and young adult books (grades K-12)
  • Carnegie Medal - Awarded annually by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (UK) to an outstanding children's or young adult book from Great Britain. Although this is an award from Great Britain, many of these titles are available in the US and can be found in school libraries (grades 5-12)

Related awards

Personal development-related awards
Hobby-related awards

See also

Scouts BSA portal
Venturing portal
Sea Scout portal
General Merit Badge information

External links

Personal tools