From MeritBadgeDotOrg

Jump to: navigation, search
Resources include the Surveying 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.
 Prev  -  Next  

Surveying merit badge
Status: Elective
Created: 1911
Discontinued: no
BSA Advancement ID: 109
Requirements revision: 2005
Latest pamphlet revision: 2008


While earning this merit badge, Scouts will discover how land is measured and how it is described so that others can know where boundary lines are. They will have a chance to use some fine measuring instruments, apply advanced mathematics, operate computing equipment, and create a survey map.

Surveying merit badge requirements

  1. Show that you know first aid for the types of injuries that could occur while surveying, including cuts, scratches, snakebite, insect stings, tick bites, heat and cold reactions, and dehydration. Explain to your counselor why a surveyor should be able to identify the poisonous plants and poisonous animals that are found in your area.
  2. Find and mark the corners of a five-sided lot that has been laid out by your counselor to fit the land available. Set an instrument over each of the corners and record the angle turned between each line and the distance measured between each corner, as directed by your counselor. With the assistance of the counselor, compute the error of closure from the recorded notes. The error of closure must not be more than 5 feet. From the corners, take compass readings or turn angles to trees, shrubs, and rocks and measure to them. All measurements should be made using instruments, methods, and accuracies consistent with current technology.
  3. From the field notes gathered for requirement 2, draw to scale a map of your survey. Submit a neatly drawn copy.
  4. Write a metes and bounds description for the five-sided lot in requirement 2.
  5. Use one of the corner markers from requirement 2 as a benchmark with an assumed elevation of 100 feet. Using a level and rod, determine the elevation of the other four corner markers.
  6. Get a copy of the deed to your property, or a piece of property assigned by your counselor, from the local courthouse or title agency.
  7. Tell what GPS is; discuss with your counselor the importance of GPS and how it is changing the field of surveying.
  8. Discuss the importance of surveying with a licensed surveyor. Also discuss the various types of surveying and mapping, and applications of surveying technology to other fields. Discuss career opportunities in surveying and related fields. Discuss qualifications and preparation for such a career.

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

Surveying merit badge requires prior counselor approval for requirement(s) #2 and 6.
The Surveying merit badge is an option for the Designed to Crunch, Harris Bronze Supernova, and Edison Silver Supernova STEM Nova Awards.
  1. Surveying is a rare merit badge with only 1,065 earned in 2018!
  2. The Surveying merit badge was one of the original 57 merit badges issued by the Boy Scouts of America in 1911.

Requirement resources

1. First aid: Cuts - Scratches - Snakebite - Insect Stings - Tick Bites - Heat Reactions - Cold Reactions - Dehydration - Poisonous Plants - Poisonous Animals

4. Writing a Metes & Bounds Description
7. What is GPS?
* GPS & Surveying The official government site for the Global Positioning System.
8. Career Opportunities in Surveying Includes educational and training requirements.

Related awards

Trade-related awards

See also

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


Original Surveying merit badge requirements from 1911

  1. Map correctly from the country itself the main features of a half mile of road, with 440 yards each side to a scale of two feet to the mile, and afterwards draw same map from memory.
  2. Be able to measure the height of a tree, telegraph pole, and church steeple, describing method adopted.
  3. Measure width of a river.
  4. Estimate distance apart of two objects a known distance away and unapproachable.
  5. Be able to measure a gradient.

External links

Personal tools