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About Scouts

Citizenship in the World

Scouts who earn the Citizenship in the World merit badge will discover that they are already a citizen of the world. How good a citizen each person is depends on his willingness to understand and appreciate the values, traditions, and concerns of people in other countries.

Citizenship in the Nation

As Scouts fulfill the requirements for this merit badge, they will learn how to become active citizens are aware of and grateful for their liberties and rights, to participate in their governments and protect their freedom, helping to defend their country and standing up for individual rights on behalf of all its citizens.

Citizenship in the Community

A nation is a patchwork of communities that differ from each other and may be governed differently. But regardless of how local communities differ, they all have one point in common: In the United States, local government means self-government. Good citizens help to make decisions about their community through their elected local officials.

Moviemaking

Moviemaking is a way to tell stories visually through the art and science of motion picture photography.

Bugling

What would summer camp be without the bugle sounding "Reveille" in the morning and "Taps" in the evening? Camp and the bugle go together. The bugle is an ideal instrument for the beginning musician because most of the music uses only four notes. The ability to read music is not necessary, because the tunes are familiar and can be played ear.

Camping

Camping is one of the best-known methods of the Scouting movement. When he founded the Scouting movement in the early 1900s, Robert Baden-Powell encouraged every Scout to learn the art of living out-of-doors. He believed a young person able to take care of himself while camping would have the confidence to meet life's other challenges, too.

Canoeing

For several centuries, the canoe was a primary method of travel for explorers and settlers. Today, it remains an important part of the wilderness experience and an enjoyable leisure activity that teaches communication, teamwork, and physical fitness.

Surveying

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.

Stamp Collecting

The world's most popular hobby, stamp collecting is enjoyed by millions throughout the world. Through this hobby. you can experience history: postage stamps are like tiny windows that introduce the people of the world to the country's leaders, customs, history, products, and environment.

Sports

Millions of people participate in sports every year. For some the appeal is the close friendships that come with being part of a team. Some revel in the joy of victory and lessons of defeat. For some, the personal fitness is so important that exercise becomes a daily need. And still others desire the feeling of achievement, that feeling of measurable improvement that comes with dedication to a sport.

Space Exploration

Space is mysterious. We explore space for many reasons, not least because we don't know what is out there, it is vast, and humans are full of curiosity. Each time we send explorers into space, we learn something we didn't know before. We discover a little more of what is there.

Soil and Water Conservation

Conservation isn't just the responsibility of soil and plant scientists, hydrologists, wildlife managers, landowners, and the forest or mine owner alone. It is the duty of every person to learn more about the natural resources on which our lives depend so that we can help make sure that these resources are used intelligently and cared for properly.

Snow Sports

Skiing and snowboarding are the fastest and most thrilling ways to travel on foot in snow country. These sports also provide the physical benefits of fresh air, rhythmic action, and strenuous exercise. Many games and contests give snow sports variety and added rewards.

Small-Boat Sailing

Sailing is one of the most enjoyable pastimes on the open water. The quiet and peacefulness of the water can provide a pleasant break from everyday life. However, smooth sailing requires paying careful attention to safety.

Skating

This merit badge introduces Scouts to the exciting world of ice skating, roller skating, and in-line skating. In addition to being an enjoyable leisure activity that promotes fitness, there are a variety of athletic careers in skating.

Shotgun Shooting

A shotgun is a precision instrument, designed to shoot a shot charge in a specific pattern to cover a designated area at a certain distance. Unlike a rifle, the bore of the shotgun is not rifled, so the shot emerging from the muzzle is not spinning.

Sculpture

This merit badge introduces Scouts to sculpture, an art form that allows an artist to express what he sees and feels by using these three dimensions by shaping materials such as clay, stone, metal, and wood.

Scholarship

Working on the Scholarship merit badge provides Scouts with a great opportunity to become more successful in school. They will learn how to improve their skills in the classroom, develop good study habits, and master techniques for writing reports and taking tests.

Safety

Knowing about safety helps Scouts to make the right choices and to take the best actions to avoid accidents by making informed choices in their everyday activities and to respond appropriately during an emergency situation.

Rowing

Rowing is the use of oars as a means of propelling boats, has grown from a basic method of transportation to a competitive sport and an enjoyable method of exercising.

Rifle Shooting

Unless a rifle is handled incorrectly or recklessly, it is not dangerous. A rifle, like any other precision instrument, is manufactured to perform a specific task and can do so at no risk to the user or others. By earning this badge, Scouts can develop their shooting skills while learning safe practices.

Reptile and Amphibian Study

Boys always have been interested in snakes, turtles, lizards, and alligators, as well as frogs and salamanders. Developing knowledge about these captivating creatures leads to an appreciation for all native wildlife; understanding the life cycle of a reptile or amphibian and keeping one as a pet can be a good introduction to natural history; and knowing about venomous species can help Scouts to be prepared to help in case of an emergency.

Orienteering

Orienteering, the use of map and compass to find locations and plan a journey, has been a vital skill for humans for thousands of years. Orienteering is also a recognized sport at the Olympic Games, and thousands of people participate in the sport each year in local clubs and competitions.

Oceanography

The oceans cover more than 70 percent of our planet and are the dominant feature of Earth. Wherever you live, the oceans influence the weather, the soil, the air, and the geography of your community. To study the oceans is to study Earth itself.

Nuclear Science

Nuclear science gives us a simple explanation of the natural world. The ultimate goal of nuclear science is to find out if there is one fundamental rule that explains how matter and forces interact. Earning the Nuclear Science merit badge is a chance for Scouts to learn about this exciting field at the cutting edge of science today.

Nature

There is a very close connection between the soil, the plants, and all animal life, including people. Understanding this connection, and the impact we have upon it, is important to preserving the wilderness, as well as to our own well-being as members of the web of nature.

Music

The history of music is rich and exciting. Through the ages, new music has been created by people who learned from tradition, then explored and innovated. All the great music has not yet been written. Today, the possibilities for creating new music are limitless.

Motorboating

With the fun of operating a motor boat boat comes the responsibility for keeping that boat in first-class condition, knowing and obeying the nautical "rules of the road," and gaining the general knowledge and skills to operate a boat safely.

Model Design and Building

Model making, the art of creating copies of objects that are either smaller or larger than the objects they represent, is not only an enjoyable and educational hobby: it is widely used in the professional world for such things as creating special effects for movies, developing plans for buildings, and designing automobiles and airplanes.

Medicine

The practice of medicine has a rich history that spans several centuries. Since the first use of plants and other items as simple medicines and balms, many men and women have contributed to the advancement of the "healing arts."

Mammal Study

A mammal may weigh as little as 1/12 ounce, as do some shrews, or as much as 150 tons, like the blue whale. It may spring, waddle, swim, or even fly. But if it has milk for its young, has hair of some kind, is relatively intelligent, and has warm blood, then it is a mammal.

Lifesaving

No Boy Scout will ignore a plea for help. However, the desire to help is of little use unless one knows how to give the proper aid. The main purpose of the Lifesaving merit badge is to prepare Scouts to assist those involved in water accidents, teaching them the basic knowledge of rescue techniques, the skills to perform them, and the judgment to know when and how to act so that they can be prepared for emergencies.

Leatherwork

Scouts who complete the requirements to earn the Leatherwork merit badge will explore leather's history and its endless uses. They will learn to make a useful leather item using the same types of raw materials that our ancestors used; be challenged to master skills like hand-stitching, lacing, and braiding.; and learn how to preserve and protect leather items so they will last a lifetime and beyond.

Law

Earning this merit badge enables a Scout to learn about the history and kinds of laws, the purpose and methods of law enforcement, consumer protection agencies, emerging law, and careers in the legal profession.

Landscape Architecture

Landscape architects design and plan the various outdoor spaces in modern communities - neighborhood parks, soccer fields, school grounds, places of worship, office parks, shopping malls, cemeteries, and lakes - creating outdoor places that people will care about and want to visit.

Journalism

One thing is for sure about journalism: It is never boring. For a reporter, almost every day is different from the last. One day you might interview the mayor of the city, the next day report on a car accident, and the day after that preview a new movie.

Insect Study

In earning the Insect Study merit badge, Scouts will glance into the strange and fascinating world of the insect. There, they will meet tiny creatures with tremendous strength and speed, see insects that undergo startling changes in habits and form as they grow, and learn how insects see, hear, taste, smell, and feel the world around them.

Animal Science

Cattle, horses, sheep, goats, hogs, poultry, and other domesticated animals are important to people for many reasons. They supply us with food and clothing, we use them for recreational purposes, they work with and for us.

Backpacking

Earning the Backpacking merit badge will be demanding but rewarding. Scouts will learn what equipment to carry on their backs and what knowledge to have in their heads. In addition. Scouts will discover how to protect the environment by traveling and camping without leaving a trace. By mastering the basics of backpacking, Scouts will develop an even deeper respect for the outdoors.

Aviation

For most of history, people have dreamed of flying, imagining how it would feel to soar through the sky like an eagle or hover in midair like a hummingbird, to float on unseen currents, free of Earth's constant tug, able to travel great distances and to rise above any obstacle. Today, through aviation, we can not only join the birds but also fly farther, faster, and higher than they ever could.

Automotive Maintenance

Modern automobiles are important to many aspects of American life. Those who service automobiles must understand each principle, and how these principles interact to provide smooth, efficient performance. Owners of cars also benefit by understanding how their vehicles operate. This enables them to understand why certain periodic maintenance is required to keep their vehicles in tip-top shape.

Athletics

Being involved in an athletic endeavor is not only a way to have fun, but it also is one of the best ways for a person to maintain a healthy and strong body, living up to the promise each Scout makes "to keep myself physically strong."

Art

This merit badge concentrates on two-dimensional art, specifically drawing and painting in various media, including an introduction to design applications in the fields of graphic arts and industrial design, history and design principles, and how these fields relate to fine art.

Astronomy

In learning about astronomy, Scouts study how activities in space affect our own planet and bear witness to the wonders of the night sky: the nebulae, or giant clouds of gas and dust where new stars are born; old stars dying and exploding; meteor showers and shooting stars; the moon, planets, and a dazzling array of stars.

Archaeology

Archaeologists are detectives who study how people lived in the past. They figure out what happened, when, how, and why. Using the clues that people left behind, they try to understand how and why human culture has changed through time.

American Labor

The labor movement in America seeks to ensure that the civil rights of laborers are protected in the workplace, especially in regard to wages, hours, and working conditions.

American Heritage

Every Scout swears to an oath that includes duty to his country. A better understanding of American heritage, the ways in which the past has lead to our present nation, is key to truly knowing what it means to be an American.

American Cultures

The United States is a nation of immigrants. Every person came to America from somewhere else—or their ancestors did—and understanding these various cultural backgrounds can help Scouts to live in harmony with others in our varied and increasingly multicultural society.

Chemistry

Chemistry explores how substances react with each other, how they change, how certain forces connect molecules, and how molecules are made are all parts of chemistry. Stretch your imagination to envision molecules that cannot be seen—but can be proven to exist—and you become a chemist.