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Merit Badge Program
As chartered by the Congress of the United States, the Boy Scouts of America
is a movement dedicated to supplementing and enlarging the education of youth.
The merit badge program, which provides opportunities for youth to explore more
than a hundred fields of skill and knowledge, plays a key role in the fulfillment
of this educational commitment.
A vital part of the BSA's advancement plan, the merit badge program is one of
Scouting's basic character-building tools. Through participation in the program
(which may begin immediately upon registration in a troop or team), a Scout
acquires the kind of self-confidence that comes only from overcoming obstacles
to achieve a goal. Instruction is offered in everything from animal science and
public speaking to swimming and communications, providing a young man with
invaluable career, physical, and interpersonal skills.
Merit Badge Pamphlets
Each merit badge subject is outlined and explained in a pamphlet that contains
short, introductory information written for Boy Scouts/Varsity Scouts by recognized
authorities. More than a million pamphlets are sold yearly, and many are used as
approved reference texts in libraries and school curricula.
People who are knowledgeable of the various merit badge subjects are selected,
approved, and trained by council and district advancement committees to serve as
merit badge counselors. For example, a dentist might be asked to serve as a
counselor for the Dentistry merit badge. A counselor must not only possess the
necessary technical knowledge but have a solid understanding of the needs,
interests, and abilities of Scouts. A counselor must also be a registered
adult with the BSA.
When a Scout has an interest in earning a particular merit badge, he obtains
his Scoutmaster's/Varsity Scout Coach's approval and identifies another Scout with
similar interests to become his partner. They are then directed to the appropriate
merit badge counselor. The counselor reviews the badge requirements with the young
men and decides with them what projects should be undertaken and when they should
be completed. After the counselor has certified that the Scouts have qualified for
the merit badge, it is presented to them at a troop/team meeting and can be applied
toward rank advancement.
Badges for Eagle
To qualify for the Eagle Scout Award, Scouting's highest advancement rank, a
Scout mustalong with meeting five other requirementsearn a total of 21
merit badges, including First Aid, Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in
the Nation, Citizenship in the World, Communications, Personal Fitness, Emergency
Preparedness OR Lifesaving, Environmental Science, Personal Management, Camping,
Hiking OR Cycling OR Swimming and Family Life.
To meet the changing interests of boys, new merit badges are added from time to
time. In addition, all merit badges are reviewed and revised periodically.
|MERIT BADGE||2000||1911 - 2000|
|Citizenship in the Community||65,630||2,657,034|
|Citizenship in the Nation||67,308||2,329,500|
|Citizenship in the World||63,393||1,365,446|
|Fish and Wildlife Management||17,230||439,676|
|Model Design and Building||2,270||183,624|
|Pulp and Paper||3,207||52,077|
|Reptile and Amphibian Study||12,072||502,300|
|Rifle & Shotgun Shooting*||0||314,538|
|Soil and Water Conservation||15,835||921,854|