Merit Badges

Earning merit badges allows you to learn about sports, crafts, science, trades, business, and future careers. There are more than 135 merit badges, and any Scout or Varsity Scout or any qualified Venturer or Sea Scout may earn any of these at any time.

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

Scout Buddy SystemYou must have another person with you at each meeting with the merit badge counselor. This person can be your parent or legal guardian, or another registered adult.

Call the Merit Badge Counselor. Get a signed Application for Merit Badge, No. 34124 or No. 34130, from your unit leader. Contact 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 the requirements. You may then start working on them, and in some cases, you may share the work you have already started or completed.

Unless otherwise specified, work on a requirement can be started anytime. Ask your counselor to help you learn what you need to know or do. You should also read the merit badge pamphlet on the subject. Many troops, schools, and public libraries have them.

Show Your Stuff. Call the counselor again to make an appointment when you are ready. 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 write down what you have done. The counselor will test you on each requirement to ensure you know your stuff and have done or can do the required things.

Get the Badge. When the counselor is satisfied you have met each requirement, he or she will sign your application. Then, give the signed application to your unit leader to complete your merit badge emblem.

Merit badge requirements are revised as needed to reflect updated information and technology. For merit badge requirement updates, refer to the latest Scout Requirements book. The current Scout Requirements book is available from your local Scouting merchandise distributor and 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 below are the current and official requirements of the Boy Scouts of America. Occasionally, the requirements will not match those in the printed Scout Handbook, the annual Scout Requirements book, or some merit badge pamphlets because of the timing of their printing schedules.

If a new edition of a merit badge pamphlet is introduced with updated requirements after the Scout Requirements book has been released, a Scout starting the badge may follow either set of requirements until the end of the year. At the start of the new year, Scouts who are beginning must use only the new requirements.

If a Scout has already started working on a merit badge when a new edition of the pamphlet is introduced, he may continue to use the same pamphlet and fulfill the requirements therein to earn the badge. He need not start over again with the new pamphlet and revised requirements.

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 Badge Requirements

Please see a list of Merit Badges in alphabetical order with up-to-date requirements at

Requirements Updated 2018

Merit badge requirement updates from 2018 Scout Requirements (33216):