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2014 merit badge rankings: Which were the most and least popular?

Step aside, First Aid. There’s a new king of merit badges.

The Cooking merit badge, which joined the Eagle-required list on Jan. 1, 2014, was last year’s most-earned merit badge. First Aid came in second after being No. 1 every year since at least 2009 — the first year for which statistics are available.

A whopping 99,908 Scouts earned the Cooking MB last year. That was nearly 19,000 more than First Aid.

What were Nos. 3 through 136? Find the complete list and tons of analysis after the jump. 

About the Cooking MB’s big leap

Now that Cooking is required for Eagle, we can expect to see it near the top of the merit badge leaderboard for some time. But its rise to No. 1 in 2014 might have been a one-time thing.

A revised Cooking merit badge pamphlet and new requirements were released in 2013. During 2014 (and 2014 only), a Scout could use either the old or the new requirements — his choice. Either version counts toward Eagle, and it looks like a ton of Scouts decided to go ahead and earn Cooking using the old requirements last year.

(By the way, any Scout who begins work on the Cooking merit badge on or after Jan. 1, 2015, must use the new requirements.)

Cooking merit badge’s new spot atop the rankings is the big news for 2014, but it isn’t the only noteworthy statistic.

Where I got these numbers

As with my 2014 analysis of the 2013 data, these figures come from Local Council Charter Applications. That means they’re based on the actual number earned, not on sales of the badges. Some troops purchase extra emblems in anticipation of future badge earnings, so sales numbers can be skewed.

The Top 25

As you’d expect, Nos. 1 to 13 are Eagle-required merit badges. These are the merit badges Scouts must earn on their journey to Eagle, so they’ll always top the list.

Nos. 14 to 22 — Rifle Shooting, Fingerprinting, Archery, Leatherwork, Wilderness Survival, Wood CarvingKayaking, Canoeing and Fishing — are offered at most summer camps, giving Scouts a convenient opportunity to earn them while spending a week at camp with their friends.

Same with No. 25, Lifesaving.

But let’s consider Nos. 23 and 24: Art and Chess. They aren’t summer camp staples, and they’re not exactly stereotypical Scouting topics.

To me, these two show how well-rounded most Boy Scouts are. The Art merit badge taps into a boy’s creativity and artistic spirit, while the Chess MB harnesses his brain’s cognitive abilities.

Chess could be the fastest-growing new merit badge. It debuted in September 2011, and it’s been in the top 25 every full year since (2012, 2013 and 2014).

The Bottom 10

There are no bad merit badges. There are some merit badges, however, that aren’t earned as often as the “big guys.” Scouts who have one (or more) of these merit badges on their sash can feel pretty good knowing they’ve done something few other Scouts have done.

2014’s rarest merit badges were: Gardening, Composite Materials, Landscape Architecture, Drafting, Surveying, American Labor, Journalism, Stamp Collecting, American Business and Bugling.

How rare were these merit badges? Well, consider this: Last year, more Scouts earned the Game Design MB than these 10 merit badges combined.

Does your Scout have more than one of these rare merit badges? Wow! Let me know in the comments section.

By the way, if you’re up for a challenge and are qualified, why not offer to be a merit badge counselor for one of these rare merit badges in your district or council?

Movers and shakers

Which merit badges saw the biggest jumps? Which saw the biggest falls? Here goes …

Top 5 gains:

  • Game Design: 114 to 51 (+63)
  • Sustainability: 131 to 84 (+47)
  • Programming: 133 to 113 (+20)
  • Cooking: 15 to 1 (+14)
  • Search and Rescue: 58 to 49 (+8)

We already discussed Cooking’s big jump. The other four are relatively new merit badges. These often take two or three years to gain their footing as more and more Scouts learn about them. Nice to see these catching on with Scouts so quickly.

Top 5 drops:

  • Cinematography: 67 to 97 (–30)
  • Model Design and Building: 105 to 118 (–13)
  • Dentistry: 98 to 108 (–12)
  • Truck Transportation: 111 to 122 (–11)
  • Sculpture: 50 to 60 (–10)

The Cinematography merit badge dropped so much because it no longer exists. It has been replaced by the Moviemaking merit badge, which debuts at No. 79 on the 2014 list.

As for the other four, the drops are probably a result of normal merit badge fluctuation.

5 merit badge showdowns

Watch as these similar merit badges go head to head. The MB’s 2014 ranking is in parentheses.

  • Kayaking (20) floated by Canoeing (21). I guess two blades are better than one.
  • Snow Sports (65) froze out Water Sports (105). I guess Scouts prefer their H2O of the solid variety.
  • Coin Collecting (87) was collected more than six times more than Stamp Collecting (134). Don’t tell the U.S. Postal Service.
  • Fishing (22) caught on more than Fly-Fishing (92). Just be patient, Fly-Fishing.
  • Orienteering (36) found a way past Geocaching (37). These two were in a tight race last year, too, with Geocaching coming out ahead. Let the debate between GPS devices and map and compass continue.

The 2014 merit badge rankings

OK, enough analysis. Here’s the complete list.

Those marked in blue are Eagle-required. Those marked in orange are new, meaning they debuted in 2010 or later.


* On required list for Eagle Rank

** Required for Eagle (must complete Cycling, Hiking or Swimming)

*** Required for Eagle (must complete Emergency Preparedness or Lifesaving)

**** Required for Eagle (must complete Environmental Science or Sustainability)

Want the complete numbers from 2009 to 2014?

Here you go. Now you can import the data into your favorite number-crunching software. Let me know what you discover while playing with the numbers.

Thanks to the BSA’s Frank Ramirez and Lynn Adcock for getting these numbers for me.

143 Comments on 2014 merit badge rankings: Which were the most and least popular?

  1. nancy oczkewicz // March 25, 2015 at 12:07 pm // Reply

    One of my sons did the Bugling and the Gardening merit badges.

    • Laura Lane // March 26, 2015 at 4:02 pm // Reply

      My son has gardening and stamp collecting. He is Eagle now and earned 75 mb/s. My older one also has both of those and earned 50. And yes, I am a MB Counselor…the Scouts in our Troop earn a lot of badges, yay!

    • My son has Bugling and Journalism. Our troop was just talking about doing gardening too!

    • Andrew Lamis // March 29, 2015 at 11:36 am // Reply

      I have Model Design and Building which is number 118 on the list.

    • Sue Verner // April 1, 2015 at 12:33 pm // Reply

      One of my sons has Surveying, Stamp Collecting, and Bugling; and the other has Composite Materials, Surveying, and Stamp Collecting.

    • My son is our bugler and he has the badge.

    • I have 6 of the most rare merit badges! 🙂

  2. Art and Chess are both offered at the Summer Camp our Scouts attend.

    • Bryan Wendell // March 25, 2015 at 12:11 pm // Reply

      Interesting. How do they handle the requirement to visit an art museum for Art?

      • The camp usually lets you know what requirements need to be completed before coming to camp.

      • At our local council’s camp, it’s listed as a pre-req to be completed before getting to camp. Same as with Sculpture and Pottery.

      • We actually have a Scout Museum at camp. Patches are art as well.

      • I’ve also seen two different camps cheat. They hang up drawings the scouts have done on the wall and call their craft lodge a museum. So that’s one way a scout can “earn” art MB at camp – by having the camp ignore requirements and teach the boys how to cut corners and cheat instead of actually doing what is written.

        • VA Scoutmaster // March 25, 2015 at 1:48 pm //

          But then the requirement also provides the option for a Scout to visit an “art exhibit, art gallery, artists’ co-op, or artist’s workshop” in lieu of attending a museum. And so it’s not so much cheating as it is paying attention to the requirement and enabling the Scout to complete the badge in full compliance with the requirements by offering an art exhibit. Also note that while one of the several options in the requirement is to visit “a museum,” it does not specify that it must be an “art museum,” so one could assume that a visit to a Scout museum at the camp could fill the bill.

        • Wow VA scoutmaster. So you’re in support of cheating scouts out of the opportunity to visit an art museum or visiting with an actual artist at their gallery or workshop? In lieu of summer camps giving the merit badge away by weasel wording the requirements? I don’t see how that follows the scout law nor ideals. I don’t see how teaching scouts that weasel wording out of merit badge requirements teaches them good citizenship, self-reliance, and good moral character. I think it is great when parents support their kids and help them to complete the published pre-requisites of MB’s. I think it is shameful when summer camps decide that the requirements aren’t important and we’ll look the other way or explain to the scout how to weasel and lie their way out of completing them as they are written.

        • Not sure how it is cheating – the requirement says visit a museum, ART EXHIBIT, ART GALLERY, artist’s co-op >>OR<< artist's workshop.

          If art is on display, it is an exhibit, and could even be called a gallery and the or means any of these things, not all of them.
          After all, some of the art one sees in certain museums looks like a Scout aged person could have done it (or even someone younger than Scout aged).

      • H. David Pendleton // March 25, 2015 at 1:09 pm // Reply

        Our camp also tells the Scout to do the Museum visit before coming to camp. I took my son to the Nelson-Atkins Art Museum for the requirement. I had him take pictures of his visit to show the Staff Member doing the Merit Badge instead of just me signing off saying it had been done. That’s what I do with a lot of requirements that my son does is that I provide visual proof so there is no doubt he has met the requirement as written, nothing more & nothing less.

        • Carol Grafton // March 25, 2015 at 2:23 pm //

          My Girl Scouts do this for things they complete at home – they take photos of them to bring in to prove what they’ve done – also let’s them have a memory of the project/etc that they did to earn that badge!

          When my nephew was a Boy Scout – we tried to take photos of alot of what he did for Merit Badges, not just for proof, but for a Scrapbook he did, and now he has a photo memory of his Journey in Scouts!

      • Scouts won’t complete every requirement for all the merit badges they take. In our Summer Camp Leader’s Guide we have a table that lists the Merit Badge, any prerequisites, Requirements that will be covered at camp, and requirements for the Scouts to do at home. At the end of camp the Scoutmaster receives a computer generated report of all the Scouts attending and what requirements they completed.

      • Camp Parsons in Chief Seattle Council has a history museum at their camp.

        • I still don’t get it. In the example of the art merit badge – there are still adults who are looking at how to weasel out of the requirements. The art merit badge. An easy enough merit badge to properly earn. Sending kids off to a scout history museum or to an automotive collection or to a see drawings tacked to a wall by their peers? Really? That does nothing to help educate or spur a boy’s interest in Art. That’s what the requirement is about. Education, inspiration. In the field of art. Figuring out some weasel word way to meet the letter of the requirement defeats the whole purpose of the merit badge. So don’t even bother. Just hand the kid the patch and skip all the requirements if you’re not willing to honor the purpose of earning a merit badge in the first place. We’re supposed to be helping young people in bettering themselves, not figuring out the most expedient way to check off a requirement with the least amount of effort.

      • At the summer camp my boys went to they had the art mb. Instead of a museum, they used the art exhibit option at camp. All scouts that made some art item at camp or even brought something made before camp were encouraged to include it in the art exhibit for all campers to come and enjoy.

        • Correct – that’s exactly the weasel method that I see scout camps use to not fulfill the actual merit badge requirement. It’s a shame that scout camps do not appreciate art and work to actually have the scouts visit a museum or a true art exhibition per the MB requirements. Shame on us all.

        • It’s just my opinion that they should either only offer merit badges at summer camp that can be finished at summer camp or they should make sure the boys are set up before leaving summer camp with contact information for a counselor in the boy’s home area to finish it up. It’s a waste of the boy’s time and the counselor’s time at camp and the money the parent’s pay for the boy to go to camp to earn the merit badge and start a merit badge if the boy is unable to finish the badge once camp is over. Especially if the boy attempts to do the badge at summer camp more than once AND it’s a required merit badge. Again, that’s my opinion. My son was only a couple merit badges away from being able to earn his eagle and it was those same eagle required merit badges he started at camp that kept him from earning the rank. It’s something that has bothered him since becoming 18.

        • The only potential issue (with the having a list for following up) is that the camp is likely to be dealing with Scouts from several areas. I know our camp has not only Troops from the Council (which itself covers 7 or 8 districts, each of which covers one to several counties) but this year I see listed 14 Troops from out of the Council (one of which travels to NY from MD for this camp).

          So it could be tough for the camp to gather that information from not only it’s own districts but from several other Councils as well.

          In addition – it seems quite surprising that your own Troop leaders wouldn’t have (or at least couldn’t get) a list of counselors for the badges in your own area. Especially for the required ones we usually have a list of 10 (and quite often far more) for each badge – and that’s just in two fairly lightly populated counties that make up our district, not to mention others in other districts/councils surrounding us that we could probably find if it were necessary.

  3. I think you’ll find Art and Chess offered at more camps than you think. Offered at both our last two camps.

  4. Spencer Morasch // March 25, 2015 at 12:11 pm // Reply

    Cooking was Eagle required when I was a youth (earned mine in 1971), so I’m glad to see this one back!

    • I could never understand why this one was ever dropped from the Eagle list when it’s probably one of the most utilitarian everyday skills Scouting teaches.

      (Eagle Class of ’75)

  5. As a scout shop employee, I wish you would stop saying that Troops purchase “extra” badges in anticipation of future awards, when they are not allowed to do that. Merit badges are restricted, and advancement paperwork must be turned in at the time of purchase. I dont’ believe Scoutstuff will even allow that.

    • But there’s always the people who “lose” their badges. Or, as an example with Cooking becoming required, someone who already had the badge wanting to buy a new one with the silver border instead of the green, so not wanting to count that as a newly earned badge.

      • those situations are unavoidable…but that’s different than “pre-buying”

      • It doesn’t matter if someone prebuys badges. They won’t be allowed to advance to Eagle if the blue card is not on file with council.

        • Ron Anderson // March 27, 2015 at 4:27 pm //

          The council that I was involved with for many years does not require the blue card to be submitted – only the Advancement Report. I’ve always felt this to be a bit unusual – but perhaps not (?).

        • Our council does the same (reports only) – we always file the blue cards in case the Scout needs them – they always manage to lose one of the applicant copy portions by the time they get to Eagle.

          Yes, they shouldn’t need them if everything has been filed correctly, but it never hurts to have them for backup (and, it makes the package look nice, showing that the candidate is organized enough to have stored those cards for all the years, or at least most of them).

    • We’ve had units around here who simply go to another Council’s Scout Shop to buy badges and rank advancements in advance. Going “out of Council” apparently does not require you to have paperwork on file to back up your purchases. I’m not debating whether the practice is right or wrong, but just saying that it happens and can be easier than you think to get around. (I know… A Scout is TRUSTWORTHY!) 🙁

  6. My son has the Composite Material merit badge. Helps that mom is the counselor, and he really wanted to earn that one since it is rare, Out of the 5 boys in my Troop that started the MB only 2 have finished. One gave up because he said it was too hard…..I told his mom I would help him work thru it. I am a counselor for the whole council (the only one for this MB) and no-one else has contacted me.

    • If you have the desire (and time) to expose more Scouts to this badge, perhaps you could do some promotions to spark the interest. Do presentations at roundtables, camporees, Scout-O-Ramas, MB clinics, or unit meetings. Ask the council advancement chair to spread the word to district advancement chairs that you’re looking for more boys to earn the badge. Put articles in the district or council newsletters. Here’s an example of the newsletter from Grand Canyon Council listing MB opportunities.

      I don’t want to diminish the commitment you’ve already made with your own troop, but it sounds like you are wishing for more. Many Scouts and Scouters probably don’t even know the badge exists or that there is a counselor available. You may expose a boy to a future career in this or another STEM field.

      One of the eight methods of Boy Scouting (and Venturing) is association with adults. As a Scout in the late 70s and early 80s, I earned the Railroading, First Aid, Pets, Architecture, and Landscape Architecture MBs from people who worked in those fields but weren’t associated with my troop. I would not have met any of them if they hadn’t been on the MB counselor list. One is still a close friend. My experience today is that many Scouts don’t look beyond their own unit for MB opportunities. Give them a reason to do so. Thanks for what you’re doing.

  7. A local plastics company offered Composite Materials merit badge, where my son earned it. If anyone knows of a similar company in their council, maybe they could work with them to offer the program. Perhaps not the most fascinating topic, but I think the boys enjoyed it and they certainly learned a lot.

  8. Roy Woodruff // March 25, 2015 at 12:25 pm // Reply

    I thought that Cinematography and Moviemaking were the same badge – Scouts couldn’t earn both, so why separate rankings on your chart. Wouldn’t it be the same as requirements changes as in the Cooking merit badge? I can see if it is being discontinued like Computers was discontinued and Digital Technology was added. I would think the numbers should be combined.

    • sometimes they just aren’t the same merit badge, computers is gone and is not the same as the new stuff at all. (in a good way)

    • Mark Eschen // March 25, 2015 at 4:53 pm // Reply

      You are correct. They have the same BSA advancement ID number. Scouts can not earn movie-making if they have cinematography. Results should be combined.

    • Bryan Wendell // March 26, 2015 at 7:42 am // Reply

      Good point. Combining the two would put the badge at No. 59 — right after Electricity.

  9. Jeff Clausen // March 25, 2015 at 12:29 pm // Reply

    As a troop, we are offering three of the bottom ten: Gardening, Landscape Architecture and American Labor. Well-rounded, indeed!

  10. In your head-to-head analysis Bryan of the Stamp vs. Coin Collecting merit badges, it looks like general Collections is just slightly less popular than the Coins but still ahead of Stamps.

    I wonder someday if there will be a Patch Collecting merit badge?

    • VA Scoutmaster // March 25, 2015 at 2:00 pm // Reply

      Check out requirement 6 of Scouting Heritage. It turned many of our boys on to patch collecting and trading. And I’ve seen the boys bring in some amazing collections of Scout patches and memorabilia.

      • Agreed, I’m a counselor for that one. Not a lot of interest to work on the Scouting Heritage MB though out my way. I figured that with the decline in popularity of stamp collecting vs. the seemingly perpetual interest in patch collecting (I’ll qualify that to be among Scouts) would warrant a look at giving the cloth collections their own badge.

  11. Don’t know whether to be happy or sad about some of these numbers. In 2014, I taught serveral sessions of Merit Badge Academy and in so doing, accountted for 1% of ALL Railroading merit badges last year. I also had a magazine article published about the experience, in which I am trying to recruit more counselors.

  12. Christine C. // March 25, 2015 at 12:48 pm // Reply

    I’m surprised and saddened about bugling. I think every boy should learn to bugle. My son earned bugling last year. I admit, I promised a reward for earning the badge, but he did have to join band and practice for a year to be able to pass off the calls. It’s a very convenient badge, because it provides the boy with a position of responsibility.

    • Robert Reuscher // June 25, 2015 at 4:29 pm // Reply

      No it doesn’t. Your going to run into trouble with youth that use that position when they go for Eagle Scout. It was “inadvertently” added to the book published in 2010 and is in the iOS app (which is a copy of that book). It has been since removed from one version of the Scout handbook (either the wire bound or the normal one), and it’s not in the 2015 Advancement Guide. Another troop in our district just went through this issue last week on a youth’s Eagle Scout Application, since National doesn’t recognize it as a leadership position. It was worked out somehow, but I know there was a lot of discussion with the troop leaders, and the council about it.

      The troop advancement chair (who also happens to be the district advancement chair) and I had a number of conversations on it as we were working Cub Twilight Camp together. I found it in the iOS app.

  13. It would be nice if the data were presented in a format that the majority of us could use – Microsoft Excel. I don’t have Adobe Acrobat to be able to manipulate the 2009-2014 data and the 2013-2014 chart only lets me copy as a “picture” not a table or spreadsheet. As our district’s merit badge dean, it would be really helpful to have this data in some form that I could manipulate to extract the information I want in the format I want.

  14. Last year, my son finished the bugling merit badge and, with that badge, earned all 135 merit badges that had been available while he has been a Boy Scout (he crossed over in 2011, after the centennial badges). Without having played brass in a school band, he had to work with the counselor to learn this very challenging skill.

    I’m not terribly surprised by the bottom 10. Drafting was taught in middle school when I was a Scout, but has largely been replaced by CAD. I’ve collected stamps most of my life and serve as a counselor for that badge, but few young Scouts have any knowledge of or interest in stamps.

    I would add a thought about American Business and American Labor. Together with another adult in the Troop, we team taught a 6 month merit badge class that covered American Labor, American Business, Entrepreneurship, Inventing and Salesmanship. We took advantage of our location in DC to visit the patent office, went to the local bank, brought in a neighbor who is an intellectual property attorney and had the boys conceive, start and run businesses, thinking about everything from labor to supply chain to sales. Only about half the Scouts that started the class finished the set of merit badges, but several of them actually established profitable businesses. My own son earned enough off his business to fund his Eagle Scout Service Leadership Project, even after paying another Scout a per unit fee for selling woggles he made and sold. This is just one example where integrating several badges together might provide a perspective – and motivation – that you might not find otherwise.

  15. H. David Pendleton // March 25, 2015 at 1:18 pm // Reply

    My son has 5 of the 10 least popular Merit Badges: Gardening, Composite Materials, Surveying, American Labor, & Journalism.

    He began the gardening Merit Badge his 1st summer as a Boy Scout, but it took 16 months to finish it. He didn’t get all the vegetables & flowers to grow that first year (probably because he didn’t do enough weeding) so had to plant some more for a 2nd season. He did better with the weeding that 2nd year. I’m sure the amount of work involved keeps this one from becoming more popular as my son says it was one of the hardest to do because of the regular time commitment required.

    He did Composite Materials at Missouri Western College where he got to make fiberglass. He still has the piece in made in his room.

    Surveying was done at Camp Jayhawk & taught by the Camp Director. American Labor was done by the local chapter of the UAW. I wasn’t impressed, but my son said it was in his top 10 MB list. Journalism was done at a Merit Badge event in the neighboring council. My spouse took him so don’t know much about that one.

  16. download is PDF only. Can we get csv or Excelt?

    • I used an online PDF to XLS converter.

      • Thank you!

  17. Our summer camp offers, Art, but not Chess. However we do have Landscape Architecture and Salesmanship. In the past five years, we’ve started offering Metalwork and now we have Welding as well. Last year we opened our STEM area so we have Engineering, Aviation, Robotics, Electronics, Digital Technology, and we are adding in Automotive Maintenance for this summer. Our Scouts have ample opportunities to earn a variety of merit badges.

  18. Mr. Bubbles // March 25, 2015 at 1:48 pm // Reply

    I’ve taught about 50 different merit badges now, and I have to say that Surveying was probably the one with which the kids had the most fun, (besides Scuba of course).

    By and large, these don’t move a whole lot from year to year unless BSA makes some kind of organizational change, such as with Cooking or Sustainability. The exception to this seems to be Game Design. What is the reasoning for the big jump?

    • Game Design wasn’t released until March 3, 2013. So 2014 was the first full year it was available. Probably also the first year that it was offered at summer camps and merit badge colleges/challenges/whathaveyou. Took some time to get counselors signed up, camps to get the programming set, and for boys to be able to earn it.

      • I know our camp had a special week that offered extra STEM badges, for the first time, and this was one of them.

  19. hugh chase // March 25, 2015 at 2:55 pm // Reply

    I see a lot of boys getting burned out on the length of the Cooking and Camping MB requirements. It takes coaching to get the ones finished that we do get.

  20. On to the number crunching. I was looking at the data in Excel and one thing I noticed is that didn’t get mentioned in the article is the overall quantity earned each year. Of the span of years that Bryan has given us data to compare, 2010 was the leanest year for overall merit badges earned, with 2,056,867. In 2011 and 2012 the number earned increased compared to it’s immediately preceding year to a six-year high in 2012 of 2,175,878 total badges earned. Then 2013 and again in 2014 the number came back down again, with 2014 coming in at 2,077,550 making it the second lowest year of the data available.

    Here’s a link to the excel file I created from Bryan’s PDF:

    • Uploaded the file too soon, had to fix some errors. Correct link is:

      • Ned Darden // March 25, 2015 at 5:10 pm // Reply

        I get a 404 – File Not Found error when trying to open/view this file.

        • Yeah, sorry. It appears WordPress doesn’t let me update the file and each time I fixed a problem I found it changed the number at the end. Link should be:

    • Don Schmidt // March 25, 2015 at 10:14 pm // Reply

      Perhaps with 2012 being the centennial of the Eagle Scout rank, there was a push by Scouts (and parents) to get the centennial Eagle badge.

  21. Scoutmaster Bucky // March 25, 2015 at 3:13 pm // Reply

    This is great information and thank you once again for sharing it this year. I am curious though, I have never seen numbers for the number of Centennial Merit Badges (Carpentry, Pathfinding, Signaling, and Trackin) earned and posted. Any idea on how many of those were earned in 2010?

  22. Both of my boys have earned stamp collecting and gardening and one of the two also has bugling.

  23. The first merit badge my son earned was stamp collecting when he was 11! He has been collecting stamps since he was 5 and my husband and I are not stamp collectors. He enjoys it!

  24. My son earned gardening with his grandfather’s help before he passed away. American Labor was earned as a group in our troop.

  25. Texas Scouter // March 25, 2015 at 9:49 pm // Reply

    Bring back Beekeeping — got it in 1983.

  26. My son earned Composite Materials a couple of years ago. I didn’t realize that it was one of the least earned ones. He’ll get a kick out of knowing that little nugget of trivia.

    Our summer camp offers Chess and it’s one of the first merit badges that my son earned at his first summer camp.

  27. Patty VanArsdale // March 26, 2015 at 11:38 am // Reply

    My grandson earned 60 merit badges. Drafting, gardening and stamp collecting made his list and they were not the last ones he chose.

  28. Both my boys have the Composite Materials….my oldest was the first one to get it in his troop. He was also bummed that the Robotics MB came out 4 months after he turned 18….so instead he took the MB training so he could be a MB counselor for it. It’s actually interesting to compare my sons’ sashes and see the similarities and differences. My oldest actually earned his cooking mb before it became eagle required. My younger son earned the journalism and tried to do bugling but aged out before he could accomplish it.

  29. I recall seeing these statistic before 2009, so even if they were “skewed” if based on sales they probably were close to accurate, considering the large amount of each particular badge earned.

  30. My son has earned Drafting, Surveying, American Labor, and Journalism.

    • Bryan Wendell // March 26, 2015 at 12:10 pm // Reply

      Whoa, nice!

  31. “why not offer to be a merit badge counselor for one of these rare merit badges in your district or council?”

    Because, unfortunately, Scouting has made it so difficult to volunteer to be a merit badge counselor unless you happen to already be a registered Scouter that it’s questionable if it’s really worth the effort. Even for registered Scouters the annual extra paperwork is a significant disincentive to stay on the approved merit badge counselor list. 🙁

    • What would it be besides registering (application form to fill out) and doing YPT (which is a few minutes on a computer)? We have a few counselors in the Troop and I haven’t heard any complaints about paperwork.

      • There’s an additional form to list which merit badges one wants to be a counselor for and their qualifications. Annually there is a coordinator at our district level who sends a message to all counselors asking if they would like to stay counselors and to confirm if they want to change which badges they can counsel. Perhaps the process is more convoluted at other councils.

        It would be nice if the merit badge counselor orientation course was switched to the e-learning system. That would be beneficial all around.

        • That still doesn’t sound like a lot of work – filling out a form when you start (which makes sense – you really don’t want someone that knows nothing about a topic teaching that) and double checking once a year (probably also a time for them to be sure that the YPT is up to date). But, as you said probably some councils manage to stick in more annoying steps than others, just like some Troops try to add in rules for other things.

        • H. David Pendleton // March 27, 2015 at 7:49 am //

          Our council has made the process fairly easy paperwork wise, but does require the MB Counselor to obtain a 30-minute class on how to be one along with the YPT. Most of our districts offer this class on a regular basis at Round Table or at other times. The MB Counselor want-to-be sends in the form that lists the Merit Badges (council recommends 6) the Counselor wants to counsel along with listing his/her qualifications to do so. The counsel, usually a month or so later, sends back notification that the counselor has been accepted. Their name & phone number go up on the council’s website, if the counselor said it was ok for other Scouts outside the troop to contact them.

          In about early November of each year, the council sends out a letter to each MB Counselor asking if they want to remain a counselor & to update/change the MBs they want to council. If the council does not hear back by the end of the year, the MB Counselor is dropped from the rolls. If the Counselor’s YPT is expired or will expire soon, the MB Counselor must redo their YPT & send that in with the renewal form.

          In other words to become a MB Counselor, it takes 5 minutes to fill out the form, less than 60 minutes to do YPT (if already a Scouter, then this is done every 2 years anyway), & a 30-minute class. Renewal takes another 5 minutes unless YPT needs updated & then it is an hour. That is not asking for a lot from anyone.

  32. My son, who Eagled in 2013, got his Bugling MB when he was the troop bugler. He has been playing trumpet for 8 years so he said it wasn’t oo hard.

  33. My older son earned 4 of the bottom 10: Landscape Architecture, Surveying, American Labor, and Journalism.
    The younger son has only one – Journalism, and it looks like he will age out without doing any of the others.

  34. Robert Gast // March 26, 2015 at 2:31 pm // Reply

    I got Landscape Architecture and American Business as a Scout. Now I teach the American Business badge, in fact, I’m doing that with my Troop this year!

  35. Both my boys earned Drafting and Stamp Collecting this year. I would not have thought either would be so low on the list, but then they have Public Health, too, which just barely missed being one of the bottom 10!

  36. My son’s troop just hosted a Dentistry merit badge class at our local community college. The kids got to take x-rays, make molds of impressions, and learn how to take care of their teeth. It was a win-win for the school that had their dental assistant students work with the kids so we had almost a one-to-one ratio with the boys and students. Boys had a great time. We got great feedback and we have someone working on getting an article in the newspaper.

  37. Back in the “old days” when I earned my Eagle (late 60s), Cooking was required, along with Camping, Swimming, Lifesaving, First Aid, and others.

  38. My son has all 10 of the bottom 10.

  39. Bryan: You say that 2009 was the first year that records of the number of merit badges earned appeared. I don’t have a copy in front of me but it seems to me that the Annual Report of the BSA (or whatever is the official title) has been listing the number of M.B.s earned since even before I was born (1930.) Ernest Doclar, one-time editor of Scouting mag.

    • Bryan Wendell // March 27, 2015 at 5:01 pm // Reply

      You’re right. I think I explained it wrong. Statistics are available from before then, but using a different reporting method.

      • Scoutmaster Bucky // March 27, 2015 at 6:52 pm // Reply

        I am posting this again as I feel it may have got lost or overlooked.

        This is great information and thank you once again for sharing it this year. I am curious though, I have never seen numbers for the Centennial Merit Badges (Carpentry, Pathfinding, Signaling, and Tracking) earned and posted. Any idea on how many of those were earned in 2010?

  40. I earned Bugling and Public Health as a Scout in the 60’s. I am a Bugling MB counselor (among others) today. I believe we should re-emphasize the need for Public Health awareness. It remains to be an important issue for our society. Bugling is just cool.

  41. My scout has 2 of the bottom 10…American Labor & Composite Materials…he is almost done with Stamp Collecting, just needs to show his councilor his last requirement, and is working on Bugling and Gardening…he is 13 and has set a goal for himself to earn all of the available merit badges…almost halfway done and is working on his Eagle Project.

  42. Somehow, I have stats from 2008. Or was that based on sales data and you dropped it on purpose?
    Bryan’s top and bottom 5 are based on ranking. Mine are based on the total earned
    Here are some of my findings via my spreadsheet …

    The largest percentage rise in terms of quantity of badges earned was Sustainability at 920% (from 590 to 5,428). However, this was introduced last year and is a partial requirement of Eagle now.
    Taking away new merit badges and cooking (outliers), Entrepreneurship had a 131% increase over last year from 1,900 to 2,496.
    Next 4 are
    2. 118% Bugling
    3. 117% Search and Rescue
    4. 111% Engineering
    5. 110% Whitewater

    The bottom 5 based on qty earned (besides Cinematography)
    79% Textile
    79% Law
    77% Truck Transportation
    76% Stamp Collecting
    72% Model Design and Building

    And since 2008
    1. 928% Fly Fishing (from 489 to 4,537)
    2. 415% Cooking (outlier)
    3. 233% Plant Science
    4. 205% Insect Study
    5. 200% Entrepreneurship

    70% Reptile and Amphibian Study
    66% Rowing
    65% Skating
    65% Basketry
    55% Golf

    2,077,550 badges were earned in 2014 which is a 2% drop from last year, the 2nd year in a row it has fallen. BUT still an increase of 9% over 2008.

    Question: If Cinematography was REPLACED by Moviemaking, shouldn’t we merge the two going forward.

  43. I am surprised stamp collecting is one of the least popular. There is only one counselor in my council but it was an easy merit badge.

  44. I have Surveying.

    • pegenwaukegan // July 27, 2015 at 8:45 pm // Reply

      Going to get American Labor too!

  45. None of the boys in our troop have managed to do the gardening merit badge because of the paperwork. I was the counselor at one point and even the Scoutmaster wouldn’t encourage the boys to do it. One boy actually made it about 3/4 of the way through but stalled out when it came to the book work. I didn’t sign up to be the counselor again because it seemed silly to sign up for a merit badge that no one would take. The thing too is that many of the boys in the troop live in rural areas.

    My son wanted to do bugling but has yet to find a counselor. We have been told there is one but haven’t been able to get the name from Council yet. If you have no counselor you can’t do the badge.

  46. I’m sorry, but to me there needs to be a requirement for the counselors to follow up with boys who start a merit badge with them, to make sure the boys are able to finish up the badges they start IF they wish to complete the badge. One of my sons was just two or three merit badges away from earning his Eagle. The biggest reason he didn’t finish those merit badges, especially the Environmental Science MB was because he wasn’t able to make contact with the counselor after scout camp, where he signed up for the badge two or three summers in a row!! It was frustrating to both of us that he wasn’t able to finish the badge, especially since it’s required for Eagle. We tried to find another counselor to help finish the badge but couldn’t find anyone else eligible. If the boys aren’t interested in finishing up the merit badge, that’s a different story but if the boy wants to finish a badge, shouldn’t the counselor make an effort to make sure he’s available to finish it with the boy or put the boy in contact with another counselor?
    One merit badge I’m a counselor for is genealogy, which is an easy and fairly fast badge to earn if the boy follows through. I’ve been a registered counselor for years, but have only been asked to do it once at a merit badge roundup years ago. I’m surprised more boys don’t follow up with me when I explain to them how easy and fast it is to earn it!

    • The only issue might be where the counselors are – for example, our council covers a fairly large area now (probably close to 4 hrs. if one drove from the N to S ends). So, while a counselor at camp might come from anywhere in that area (driving a couple hours 1x/week for a few weeks isn’t that much) it might not be practical for that person to get to all the Scouts that they worked with at the camp, if the Scout is on the opposite end of the territory.

      The SM should have a listing of those in the area that do a particular badge, and especially with a required one there should be someone around within a reasonable area – just unfortunate that you couldn’t connect.

    • Hi Edwina: In scouting, the onus is on the scout. So it is not the responsibility of the counselor to track down the youth and nag them to finish up, it is up to the scout to take ownership and figure it out. We travel to summer camps 6 hours away. Scouts are not going to go back to summer camp to finish a merit badge. They find a new merit badge counselor, show what has already been accomplished, and work with the new counselor to figure out how to complete the remaining requirements. (Also – if you get down to it, most summer camp MB counselors are not qualified to be merit badge counselors, so as soon as they stop their summer job as camp staff, they can’t work as a counselor anyway because they are too young and unqualified.)

  47. If First Aid is the number one or number two merit badge earned, could BSA update the merit badge pamphlet with the 2010 AHA CPR protocols. They have been wrong for five years now.

    • AHA are not the only protocols. The merit badge pamphlet has always been a closer match to the Red Cross protocols. As long as AHA and RC can’t agree, the pamphlet can’t publish protocols that will make everyone happy.

  48. I would disregard any merit badges required for Eagle from the survey. I think badges that were picked by choice of the scout are more meaningful..I am not a big fan of merit badge workshops where the scout sits thru a lecture or executes a kit provided by the organizers and then gets a sign off without really demonstrating an understanding to the counselor..I’ve observed Robotics MB workshops where the kids walked away with badges but had never even looked at the MB pamphlet and done the prework..very discouraging. Then these same workshops brag about how they awarded 15 or 20 MB’s. That would never happen with an MB I proctor. so I dont get calls

    • There are some bad MB workshops offered, and it looks like you’ve found at least one of them. I’ve seen some as well.
      However, there are also good MB workshops offered. I’ve seen several. I run some of them. When I offer a MB workshop, it runs in two sessions, with time in between for boys to do some of the work outside of the workshop hours. I don’t give away merit badges. They are earned. I make sure every requirement is completed by every boy. If the requirement says to discuss, the I make sure everyone participates in discussion. I tell them ahead of time, “Discuss is not the same as listen to me lecture. You are expected to participate.” If the requirement says demonstrate, then I make sure every boy demonstrates competence in the skill. Things that can’t be done in the group setting are assigned as ‘homework’. Those who don’t do the homework, don’t get the badge. After completing discussion and skills in the workshop setting, I meet individually with each boy to go over what they have done and learned. I only sign cards for the boys who have completed everything.

      • About MB Colleges. I have taught at some and have seen things that are discussed here. But none of you have stated what you would, should, or could do different. Here is one option that I started this year with out Troop. We had a Merit Badge College Camp Out. The boys really seemed to enjoy this new idea. We had 3 Sessions on Saturday and 1 longer Session on Sunday. (Friday night was used to set up white houses, tents, stove, and other item by the adults.) The boys did not show up to the campsite until Saturday morning. Here the boys were required to read the MB book, have their answers for the the explain, discuss, or demonstrate parts ready. If the scout did not have everything done then the open times were where he could go to the MB leader and try to finish the MB. One great thing was the Scouts doing the Cooking MB got to cook the whole time and get a lot of the items signed off. The cooking on a trial did not happen. One MB leader even bought a used small boat in order to do Small Boat Sailing. $350. We were hoping to have 12 Scouts, but instead we ended up having 27 Scouts. The MB that we did were Sports, Athletics, Family Life, Hiking, Backing, Crime Prevention, Finger Printing, Movie Making, Public Speaking, Camping, Reptile Study, Bird Study, Leatherwork, Painting, Geocaching, Cooking, Astronomy, Personal Fitness, Small Boat Sailing, Safety and Weather. I think that this will become one of our outings each year. At this MB College, we told each Scout that unless they finish all of the pre-requites that were sent to them, then they would not complete that MB at this outing. Some did, and some did not. But even the ones that did not, had meet the MB leaders in our troop. We had 10 MB leaders and 3 volunteers to help.

        So if you do not like the way MB colleges work then do something about it. Try your own. If you have questions about this outing, leave a message here.

        Now about the rare MB’s, my son has now completed 120 or the 136 MB’s, he is an Eagle Scout and continues to stay in Scouts to help the others. He has all of the last 10 except the gardening one. (This Summer) My one big thing that I believe in for making the MB’s educational for the Scouts, is that you should never just work with your Son. In our Troop a parent even though he/she is a particular MB leader, he/she is NOT allowed to teach a MB to their son alone. There must be at least 3 scouts to take a class when one of the Scouts is your son.

        Lastly, thanks to all that are in scouting. Your time will always help the boys.

  49. Some merit badge colleges and our Scout Base do not use the blue cards so I’ve learned to have some on hand when we take the Boy Scouts to events to earn merit badges. I just bought a package of 100 for about $8 at the scout shop. It helps to have them on hand so the Troop leaders will have something to go by and know if the Scout has completed all the requirements or needs to do anything else to earn the badge.

  50. Hey Bryan and group… can anyone point me to a website that lists all of the merit badges and shows them by when they were started and ended and most importantly the variations. I am working on a project to replace my fire damaged sash from the late 70’s and early 80’s but I for example I earned cooking which was a green border merit badge not white like today since it was not an eagle required. Also I looking to find out how many merit badges and which ones were required back when I was a youth. Then I can set out to replace the damaged parts. I look forward to anyone and everyones help.

    • Jim McElhenney ASM // May 11, 2015 at 1:38 am // Reply

      Don……I feel your pain of having a damaged sash. I may be able to help. My 13 yr old Star scout son just put a collection of discontinued merit badges together for COLLECTIONS MB. He has accumulated well over 50 discontinued and redesigned merit badges for his collection but has also amassed a few hundred additional merit badges. I’d be willing to bet he has some that could help you replace your damaged ones. One of the most useful sites we used was Mr. Henning has used ALL editions of the BSA handbook to accumulate a listing of all merit badges ever offered with dates and pictures. Depending when you started scouting, you may have used the eighth edition (1972-1978) or certainly the 9th edition (1979-1990). I just looked and we have a green border cooking mb from that time period. Reach out to us and we’ll try to help you get your sash back in order! Jim and Jack Mc

  51. its ironic that the Radio Merit badge is 73

    • Mike Brown // June 26, 2015 at 4:31 pm // Reply

      Even more ironic that it’s been number 73 for several years. How likely is that? For non-ham operators in the group, “73” is radio slang (and a standard message text) meaining “good bye and best wishes”.

      On the other hand, Radio Merit Badge was dead last back in ’81 when I first got involved in rewriting the requirements, and not much better in ’85 when I rewrote the book for the first time. It’s taken a long time and a lot of work by a lot of folks to promote radio, so it’s nice to see how well it’s doing. Considering it’s an involved and technical badge (intentionally so), that’s a really good showing. “Well done” to all.

      73 de WB2JWD

    • Texas Bullets // September 29, 2015 at 5:45 pm // Reply

      I think you mean to say that it is very coincidental, and I agree! Very coincidental indeed! (irony is when the the literal definition is contrary of the circumstances)

  52. I have drafting and landscape architecture

  53. Cooking Merit Badge sailed into 1st place as many Scouts opted to complete (or finish) with the old requirements before they became obsolete. The new Cooking Merit Badge is a little more involved.

  54. Shelley Peters // June 25, 2015 at 7:11 pm // Reply

    My aged out Eagle Scout earned the top 17, all but 5 of the top 31 and in the bottom 10 drafting (that he did at a camp) and stamp collecting the 2nd merit badge he started at a religious retreat. I shouldn’t be surprised he had a wide range of interests, since I am a MB councillor for 1, 8, 12, 23, 78, 91, 101 and 108.

  55. Mike Freeman Assistant SM Troop 6069 // June 26, 2015 at 10:47 am // Reply

    We just had a scout turn in 34 blue cards for MBs dated between November 1, 2014 and June 6, 2015. Among them was Landscape Architecture, Sustainability and Truck Transportation.

  56. My son works hard completing the requirements for his MB but the most challenging part is finding a MB counselor to work with him to get them signed off. I a new MB counselor anyone know any one that will help. Ideas also help

    • Have you asked at your scout counsel office? Also, the counsel person over your district might be able to help with a list of merit badge counselors. I was recently asked to be the advancement chair for our troop and got a list from our district representative or whatever his position is.

  57. My son has stamp collecting and is interested in American Labor… He’s finished his Silver Palm and is working on his (second) Bronze Palm.

    • Yes, I have a list but a lot of counselors no longer counsel or don’t return phone calls especially for the less common badges like genealogy, landscape, reading & others

      • I’ve been a counselor for the genealogy merit badge since my 32 yr old became a boy scout when he was 11, but no one has contacted me to earn it since we moved to Arkansas in 1998. I just recently found out the council had not added my name and information to the list for boys to contact me recently and got it fixed. If you live in my area, I would love to help boys earn it and it’s a fairly easy badge to earn too. I usually have the boys do a couple of the requirements, if they can before meeting with them, then do the remainder of the requirements with them in less than a couple hours. If you don’t live in Arkansas, you might try contacting an LDS troop in your area and see if they have anyone willing to sign up to be a counselor for it, if they don’t already have one that is! The church has a strong genealogy interest among it’s members.

        • Bryan Wendell // July 21, 2015 at 8:51 am //

          Great, Edwina! Geneology is a merit badge that could really open a Scout’s eyes.

  58. In our small, overseas, military community, it has been possible to coordinate programs for Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Medicine and Nuclear Science. Next up is Public Health! Thank you Navy Medicine!

  59. The first merit badge my son earned was landscape architecture. And he will be working on the bugling merit badge soon.

  60. I earned the stamp collecting merit badge 4 months ago. It is a interesting badge. Our council offered it in a stamp show. I am working on drafting and landscape architecture. I’m surprised that landscape architecture is in the bottom 10. It is offered at a Frank Lloyd Wright building in our council. It’s up once a year and is always full when I want to sign up. It is a easy badge (says people who earned it). It takes about 2 hours with pre-reqs.

  61. Made an inforgraphic sizing the badge by popularity. You can find it here:

  62. My son earned Gardening and Stamp Collecting. He is working on Public Health, which is the eleventh least popular.

  63. My father was a civil engineer and did surveying for a living . Most every scout in the 70’s got Surveying MB, in Troop 120 North Riverside, IL now part of the new Pathways to Adventure council

  64. Tricia Clarkson // September 13, 2015 at 6:26 pm // Reply

    I can’t believe that today’s “Boy Scout Merit Badges” are based on “Doing Things” rather than “Being Something”. In my son’s day (he is 35 now) his Boy Scout merit badges on his that I lovingly sewed on his scout shirt consisted of badges such as: Valour, Considerate, Giving, Generous, Kind, Courageous, Dedicated. It is so sad that The Boy Scouts Association is now more affiliated with “productivity” instead of admirable personality traits. Obviously, the Consumerism and to be as productive as possible has taken over admirable personality traits…how sad. I wish I had kept my son’s boy scout shirt from 1990 with all of his wonderful admirable personality traits on it. . I didn’t realize how valuable and obsolete it would become.

    • I was a boy scout in the 80’s and a leader in the 90’s.
      Those badges you mention were not Merit Badges offered by the Boy Scouts of America. What scouting organization was your son affiliated with?

      • Steven Hite // April 1, 2017 at 6:49 am // Reply

        I think what you are referring to are the Scout Law, Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.

  65. Jessica Stoner // September 22, 2015 at 12:18 pm // Reply

    My son did the composite materials at a university of scouting event.

  66. As a STEM instructor, I do many of the rare badges. It can be tough to find materials and community folks to help. Look to your high schools. On a reversal of that train, I would like to see one environmental badge brought back. The resent surge of this form of farming/ranching has grown exponentially since 2009. Bring back beekeeping!

  67. Starting in 1997, started keeping track of merit badges earned, but only has 1993, 1996, 2005, 2006, and 2007, but that gives a few more years of data that you had. It’s all at

    I noticed some interesting things.

    The top three, for the past 20 years or so, have been First Aid, Swimming, and Environmental Science, with a very strong uptic for Cooking recently (it’s now #1).

    The next few have varied but comprise Camping, Citizenship in the World, Citizenship in the Nation, Communication, Leatherworking, Family Life, Rifle Shooting, Emergency Preparedness, Wood Carving, and a recent uptick in the new Personal Fitness.

    Wilderness Survival had a good uptick in 2006, which is also when Bear Gryll’s Man vs Wild first aired, but otherwise remains about the same. Canoeing has been steadily declining, with Kayaking picking up (Kayaking is now above Canoeing).

    Safety has really fallen off, and Basketry is declining, although Art is picking up.

  68. Every year the company I work for opens it’s doors and offers many merit badges that directly relate to various jobs within the company. I am an Engineering Designer and “teach” the Drafting Merit Badge at this event for the last 3 years. I’ve been a Drafter/Designer for more than 25 years and have been a Drafting Merit Badge councilor for the last 5+ years.

    • About MB Colleges. I have taught at some and have seen things that are discussed here. But none of you have stated what you would, should, or could do different. Here is one option that I started this year with out Troop. We had a Merit Badge College Camp Out. The boys really seemed to enjoy this new idea. We had 3 Sessions on Saturday and 1 longer Session on Sunday. (Friday night was used to set up white houses, tents, stove, and other item by the adults.) The boys did not show up to the campsite until Saturday morning. Here the boys were required to read the MB book, have their answers for the the explain, discuss, or demonstrate parts ready. If the scout did not have everything done then the open times were where he could go to the MB leader and try to finish the MB. One great thing was the Scouts doing the Cooking MB got to cook the whole time and get a lot of the items signed off. The cooking on a trial did not happen. One MB leader even bought a used small boat in order to do Small Boat Sailing. $350. We were hoping to have 12 Scouts, but instead we ended up having 27 Scouts. The MB that we did were Sports, Athletics, Family Life, Hiking, Backing, Crime Prevention, Finger Printing, Movie Making, Public Speaking, Camping, Reptile Study, Bird Study, Leatherwork, Painting, Geocaching, Cooking, Astronomy, Personal Fitness, Small Boat Sailing, Safety and Weather. I think that this will become one of our outings each year. At this MB College, we told each Scout that unless they finish all of the pre-requites that were sent to them, then they would not complete that MB at this outing. Some did, and some did not. But even the ones that did not, had meet the MB leaders in our troop. We had 10 MB leaders and 3 volunteers to help.

      So if you do not like the way MB colleges work then do something about it. Try your own. If you have questions about this outing, leave a message here.

      Now about the rare MB’s, my son has now completed 120 or the 136 MB’s, he is an Eagle Scout and continues to stay in Scouts to help the others. He has all of the last 10 except the gardening one. (This Summer) My one big thing that I believe in for making the MB’s educational for the Scouts, is that you should never just work with your Son. In our Troop a parent even though he/she is a particular MB leader, he/she is NOT allowed to teach a MB to their son alone. There must be at least 3 scouts to take a class when one of the Scouts is your son.

      Lastly, thanks to all that are in scouting. Your time will always help the boys.

  69. How does one become a Merit Badge Counselor?

  70. you have to submit a form to the council not clear on the details though

  71. I love this list. I look forward to it every year, but today I’m looking for a list of merit badges by year of introduction. Does anyone know of any such list?

  72. Bobby Johnson Carl Flemming von Lichtenstien // March 13, 2017 at 11:48 am // Reply

    As a current scout that joined really late, my goal for merit badges is to get all the eagle required ones, and at least a few of the rarer ones.

  73. Steven Hite // April 1, 2017 at 6:40 am // Reply

    My son Nathan Hite has only Bugling and the new Exploration merit badges left to earn and he will have all of the merit badges including the retired for a total of 141.

  74. Steven Hite // April 1, 2017 at 6:44 am // Reply

    I don’t understand why there isn’t a Masonry merit badge.

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