Official Geocaching merit badge requirements released

You won’t need your GPS unit to find the Geocaching merit badge requirements. We’ve got them right here.

The merit badge pamphlet is not yet available, but the Boy Scouts of America wanted to get the official requirements in the hands of Scouts and Scouters as soon as possible. The BSA knows that troops, districts, and councils will be planning spring and summer activities around this newest merit badge.

Here are a few highlights of what Scouts will learn while earning Geocaching merit badge:

  • Precautions necessary to have a safe time while searching for geocaches
  • Geocaching etiquette and how the principles of Leave No Trace apply
  • Geocaching terms
  • How GPS technology works
  • Steps for finding and logging a cache
  • How to use geocaching.com, the official online home of geocaching

But it isn’t all “classroom work.” The majority of the merit badge involves Scouts searching for geocaches. They’ll also have the opportunity to create and hide their own caches.

Click here for the PDF of the final, official requirements.

The timing of this merit badge’s release in the 100th Anniversary year couldn’t be better. The BSA’s Get in the Game! geocaching program is in full swing. Scouting magazine’s May-June cover story spotlights how one council used Get in the Game! to get boys fired up for Scouting. Look for the newest issue of Scouting in your mailbox by April 22.

41 thoughts on “Official Geocaching merit badge requirements released

  1. When I first started caching I knew geocaching was a perfectly natural fit with scouting; it just wasn’t that well known by the BSA powers. I even used geocaching as the basis of a Wood Badge ticket item. As for UTM, it ties in “old school” map and compass techniques, and mapping methods. I’m just glad BSA now has the merit badge.

  2. Since the first “leaked” version of the requirements for this badge I have been patiently waiting. We have been Geocaching as a troop during hikes and camping for years now. Is there any clear/official information about when this badge will be available?? My boys are chomping at the bit to pass it off.

    • I posted a blog about Geocatching Globally, and had a great response. When I found out it was now a merit badge, I pursued earning it. The digital network of any kind can tend to be scary. Many of my friends and especially leaders do not understand what it is about. Educating and perseverance should help more scouts to understand. Any suggestions or helpful advice are appreciated.

  3. I know that lots of the work for such things is done by volunteers, but we have not seen any movement on the Geocaching Merit Badge for months. We have boys who earned this badge, by what I hope are the real requirements, and have yet to receive recognition for their efforts. They are getting tired of the answer to just wait. And I, as a Geocaching Merit Badge counselor for our Troop, have stopped promoting and teaching it, because of the lack of apparent movement on the issue. If you have any information I would appreciate it.
    Thank you, Stephen ASM & Geocaching Premium Member

  4. Wondering where Dave is from that he find Terracaching or Navicaching websites to be of any value. For someone new it might appear there is nothing to find in their state on either of those sites.

  5. Pingback: Geocaching and Scouting :Paurian Cafe

  6. I came across what looked like an official hunter orange ammo-box BSA geocache this afternoon.

    I am simply *shocked* that an organization that promotes a “Leave No Trace” wilderness ethic would condone and promote leaving these things in the wilderness.

    Why not carve your initials into the trees and spraypaint the rocks while you are at it?

  7. I am a geocacher (shelbyclimber), who is also a parent of a geocacher (my son)! I have read ALL of the previous comments and feel compelled to share some thoughts. Most of our geocaching friends are true examples of ‘ideal’ cachers. Folks who practice appropriate search and finds of placed caches. They are also supportive of getting off the couch, getting out of the house, all while involving their families or close friends. This activity has given our family more chances to see parts of our community in a much larger sense. In addition, we have explored our hometown cities in a deeper way than ever before. As we plan vacations, this is often how we find the most amazing places ever. Sure, we have seen folks who are after the chase, being so competitive that all that matters is getting the cache to increase their personal numbers while leaving chaos in the path. But……what I usually see is the next cacher…..cleaning up, making repairs, being a good ‘cache-citizen’ and usually addressing many of the values we hold near to scouting principles. In closing, this is a great life game and activity that might be tarnished by others…..but will be moved forward others who quietly lead and love the game and many of its ideals.

  8. Hi I just started as the MB leader for Geocaching for my troop. The one area that I find difficult to explain is the section on Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) Grid. Any pointers or tips?

  9. Pingback: Best Scouting apps for iPhone and Android, 2014 edition « Bryan on Scouting

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