Calendar of New Merit Badges

Last update: April 16, 2014

Wondering which merit badges are the newest? Looking for release info on upcoming merit badges? I’ve got you covered.

This regularly updated page will keep you and your troop in the know!

You’ll find:

  • Merit badges coming soon
  • Merit badges with major updates in the works
  • The newest merit badges that have already been released
  • Chronological list of updates to this page

Newest Merit Badges — Coming Soon

(Next to be released listed first)

Animation

Estimated release: 2014

Requirements: TBD

Description: Computer or traditional animation tasks that will test a Scout’s creativity, artistic skills, and storytelling abilities.

Signs, Signals, and Codes

Estimated release: 2014

Requirements: TBD

Description: American Sign Language (ASL) is the third most used language in the United States. The Signs, Signals, and Codes merit badge will cover Morse code, ASL, Braille, signaling, trail markings, and other nonverbal communications. Did you know that some of these have even saved people’s lives?

Computer-Aided Design

Estimated release: 2015

Requirements: TBD

Description: Teaching boys to use computer systems to assist in the creation, modification, analysis, or optimization of a design.

Advanced Computing

Estimated release: 2015

Requirements: TBD

Description: The next generation of computing.


Major Updates

(Most-recent update listed first)

Cooking-EagleCooking

Update released December 2013

Note: This merit badge will become Eagle-required on Jan. 1, 2014

New requirements: Click here.

Related blog post: More details on the soon-to-be Eagle-required Cooking merit badge

Moviemaking (was Cinematography)

MoviemakingUpdate released October 2013

Note: This merit badge received a name change and a few requirements tweaks. The merit badge formerly called Cinematography is now Moviemaking, which better reflects the requirements.

New requirements and blog post: Click here.

Cycling

Update released at 2013 Jamboree.

New requirements: Click here.

Related blog post: The trail to Cycling merit badge just got a bit rougher


Newest Merit Badges — Available Now

(Newest listed first)

Digital-TechnologyDigital Technology

Released: April 16, 2014

Requirements: Click here.

Note: This merit badge will replace Computers merit badge, but Scouts may earn and wear both merit badges. More details about the phase-out of Computers MB here.

Description: Technology has come a long way since Computers merit badge was first introduced in 1967. This badge will teach Scouts about technology in the digital age.

miningMining in Society

Released: Monday, Feb. 24, 2014 

Requirements: Click here

Description: Mining has been an important part of the United States since the 19th century. Today, the U.S. mining industry employes 3 million people, directly and indirectly, and is a major contributor to the global mining landscape. I expect this merit badge will cover the history of mining, explore the status of mining in the 21st century, and introduce Scouts to modern mining careers.

Related blog posts:
Here’s the Mining in Society MB patch and first two requirements
Scouts preview Mining in Society at 2013 jamboree

Sustainability

sustainabilityReleased: July 15, 2013

Note: This merit badge will be Eagle-required. Scouts must earn either this or Environmental Science.

Requirements: Click here.

Description: A badge to teach Scouts about climate change, species extinction, resource extraction, green chemistry, recycling, and zero-waste manufacturing.

Related Post: Cooking, Sustainability merit badges to become Eagle-required

Programming

programmingReleased: July 15, 2013

Requirements: Click here.

Description: A tech-focused merit badge for the 21st Century.

Game Design

GameDesignReleased on March 6, 2013

Requirements: Click here.

Description: Slated to include both traditional games and video games, this sure-to-be-popular merit badge will test Scouts’ creativity, problem-solving skills, and planning abilities.

Related Post: First look at Game Design merit badge, including details on how to help launch the badge at the 2013 jamboree

Search and Rescue

search-and-rescueReleased on Aug. 20, 2012

Requirements: Click here.

Description: Scouts won’t fly helicopters, but they’ll get practice in finding and rescuing people in case a real emergency ever happens.

More information: In the BSA’s press release

Kayaking

Released on June 13, 2012

Pamphlet cover image: here

Requirements: Click here.

Description: A basic-level merit badge for flat-water kayaking — whitewater kayaking will still fall under Whitewater merit badge.

Welding

Released on Feb. 24, 2012

Requirements

Bryan on Scouting post: “Requirements, launch info, video”

Robotics

Released on April 11, 2011

Requirements

Bryan on Scouting post: “Robotics merit badge launch includes all-new interactive resource center”

Chess

Released in September 2011

Requirements

Bryan on Scouting post: “Human chess match will celebrate the new Chess merit badge”

Geocaching

Released in December 2010

Requirements

Bryan on Scouting post: “Smartphones: The modern-day camper’s Swiss Army knife?”

Scouting magazine story: “The Real Game Boys”

Inventing

Released in June 2010

Requirements

Bryan on Scouting post: “Boy Scouts and Lemelson-MIT Program introduce Inventing merit badge”

Scouting Heritage

Released in May 2010

Requirements

Bryan on Scouting post: “Boy Scouts of America releases Scouting Heritage merit badge”

Scuba Diving

Released on Dec. 1, 2009

Requirements

Bryan on Scouting post: “Scuba diving merit badge released”


Chronological list of page updates

Page updates (newest first):

April 16, 2014 — Added Digital Technology requirements link, moved Digital Technology to “Newly Released” section.

April 11, 2014 — Removed Multi-Media from coming soon list. Updated estimated dates on Advanced Computing and Computer-Aided Design

Feb. 24, 2014 — Added Mining in Society requirements link, moved Mining in Society to “Newly Released” section.

Feb. 3, 2014 — Added Mining in Society badge image and blog link.

Jan. 31, 2014 — Added more specific launch info for Mining in Society and Digital Technology merit badges. Added Moviemaking merit badge (formerly Cinematography).

Dec. 17, 2013 — Added new Cooking MB requirements and silver-border patch image. Added more specific release timetable for Digital Technology.

June 25, 2013 — Added patch image for Programming.

April 30, 2013 — Details on release for Sustainability, Cycling update, and Programming. Added patch image for Sustainability.

March 7, 2013 — Added Game Design MB requirements link.

Feb. 27, 2013 — Added Mining in Society MB to list of merit badges coming soon.

Feb. 14, 2013 — Added launch date for Game Design MB

Oct. 18, 2012 — Lots of updates. Added Sustainability, Digital Technology, Computer-Aided Design, Multi-Media, Advanced Computing, and more info on updates to Cycling and Cooking.

Aug. 27, 2012 — Added link to Search and Rescue MB requirements

June 21, 2012 — Added Signs, Signals, and Codes MB preview

June 13, 2012 — Added link to Kayaking MB requirements

June 6, 2012 — Added Search and Rescue merit badge image and link to BSA press release.

June 5, 2012 — Added Cycling merit badge to the “Major Updates” section.

May 25, 2012 — Added Kayaking release date, patch design, and pamphlet cover image.

May 10, 2012 — Added link to Game Design first look (see below).

April 16, 2012 — Added Programming, Animation (details below).

April 4, 2012 — Page created.

Looking for requirements for all the current merit badges? Click here.

408 thoughts on “Calendar of New Merit Badges

  1. Pingback: Earn the newest Eagle-required merit badge in Big Spring | buffalotrailbsa.org

  2. Any word on the updated Cooking Merit Badge requirements, your blog states “Update expected after 2013 Jamboree”. I have Scouts that are wondering what the changes will be. (I am wondering also)

    • I just saw on scoutstuff(dot)org that the Cooking MB pamphlet is “on back order until 11/05/13″ so I’m guessing that will be the release date. I think I read on this blog that it was supposed to be before Thanksgiving, for what it’s worth.

  3. The name change of Cinematography to Moviemaking is NOT noted on this page yet?? Not much was changed to the requirements but the name change seems a major one in my opinion.

    • I think it’s funny that they changed the name to “Moviemaking” and the one requirement that they eliminated from “Cinematography” was the requirement to make a movie! So “Cinematography” required making a movie but “Moviemaking” does not require making a movie. I also think that since they changed the name, they should have changed the picture on the merit badge.

      • Boy Scouts were some of the first environmentalist, and have always been concerned about reducing pollution and preserving the environment. I think the point “Scouter” rightfully makes is that the way that the book is written with a slant that makes it political. From my perspective it seems that modern Democrats think that they invented the concept of being an environmentalist and they seem to think that a Republican has no concern for the environment. While global warming and global cooling are naturally occurring cycles that have been occurring for most of Earth’s history, the theory that man-made global warming is destroying the Earth is just that, a theory that is unproven. Most modern Democrats accept this theory as scientific fact as does the merit badge pamphlet. Whereas most Republicans acknowledge global warming, but as a naturally occurring phenomena, not as human-kinds fault. And in this way, it does seem to me that the merit badge takes a political position when it could have been written in a more apolitical way. Just my opinion.

      • I found out that they added a “or” to Environmental Science. I noticed they added more since I was in. Our District Director mentioned that when Cooking gets added, they may drop one (or I guess add an “or”) to keep the required total down.

      • Our District Director mentioned it to us, but after seeing Sustainability get an “or” in the required part, I guess that’s how they keep the required in there. When he mentioned that Cooking was being added as a required, he also thought one might get removed to keep the number required smaller. I had noticed that there are a lot more requireds since I was in Scouts in the late 80s/early 90s.

  4. WAY too much emphasis on computers, media, and technology with these forthcoming badges. Kids can learn all of this in school (high school, technical school, college, etc.) Scouting should be about learning those ‘lost arts’ with the outdoors and things they cannot learn in school. I don’t mind a badge or two to give them a little insight as to what’s out there, but now we’ll be up to SIX! WAY too many.

    • Thanks goodness we have around 116 others that aren’t related.

      I see where you’re coming from but not every Scout has the resources in junior high/high school to learn this. And, having these available at least gives them a taste of what they can and maybe want to do as their career in the future. If it wasn’t for the Computers merit badge I earned in the early 90s, I wouldn’t have been a Systems Administrator today.

      These merit badges are optional. If you look at the requireds, they provide the ‘lost arts’ skills. Going by your logic, we should also remove merit badges like Public Health and American Business which could also be learned in school but have been a part of Scouting since 1911 and 1967, respectively.

      • I think that the more merit badges that are available the better. I really don’t understand why National removes merit badges even if some are not earned a lot. What does it hurt if, let’s say, “Beekeeping” was still available? The cost of printing a pamphlet and the physical badge which would be minimal, keep a few on hand for special order.

  5. A lot of the MB’s are earned at school through the teachers as MBC’s. Every year the teachers knew that they would be approached by a new group of boys wanting them to teach the MB’s. The MB listing in in flux anyways. Un-pursued MB’s removed and new one’s being developed as time goes forward.

    We had a polar bear campout a while back. We intentionally had GPS use as a station as well as map and compass. The troops that replied on batteries could not navigate since the electronics did not work. Those who relied on a map and compass, were able to complete the station.

    I am waiting for the “Dooms Day Bunker MB” to come out. Be Prepared! you prepers out there.

  6. Pingback: Rocket-powered backpacks and 10 other wild predictions of Scouting in 2000 « Bryan on Scouting

  7. I think the Signs, Signals, and Codes MB is a wonderful idea. It seems like it will give Scouts an appreciation for ergonomics (my field of study).

  8. Is there any additional information out on changes for Eagle MBs? My son was told at a Thanksgiving 2013 camp ran by the Council next to ours that the Cit in Comm will no longer be an Eagle MB since Cooking is ‘replacing’ it. I have not found anything to support what my son was told….but he (and some of his friends) no longer want to take the Cit in Comm badge that is being offered during the holidays because it no longer is one of the ‘Eagle MB’s for rank requirement. Before I call hogwash on what they were told by another Council I want to make sure I am correct. I have only found supporting information that Cooking (as of 1/1/2014) is an additional MB required for Eagle (and for the period of 1/1/2014 through 12/31/2014 either the new or old MB requirements can be used). I have NOT found documentation that any of the current Eagle MBs are being ‘downgraded’. Thank you!

  9. Pingback: Here are the three big changes in the BSA happening on Jan. 1, 2014 « Bryan on Scouting

  10. Pingback: New Boy Scout Handbook, other Boy Scout program tweaks due in 2016 « Bryan on Scouting

  11. Any detail on when Computers will be replaced? Can it be earned all year (2014) or does Computers phase out 12/31/13 ?

    Thanks !

  12. Pingback: New Boy Scout Handbook, other Boy Scout program tweaks due in 2016 » Washington District Scouting News

  13. Pingback: New Boy Scout Handbook, other Boy Scout program tweaks due in 2016 | The David Thuis Blog

  14. Pingback: Here are the three big changes in the BSA happening on Jan. 1, 2014 | The David Thuis Blog

  15. First let me say that by no means am I anti-technology. My paid job requires the use of computers and such to a great extent; and a lot of my free time is also spent utilizing such.
    However, after looking at the list of upcoming MB’s we see that 5 out of 7 are totally computer based. Are we striving to take the Outing out of Scouting after all? Are we just running out of new ideas? How about bringing back some old ideas?
    Masonry? Ever have an Eagle Scout candidate want to put in a sidewalk or some other project involving concrete?
    Beekeeping? The honeybee population is suffering decimating uknown illnesses that is jeopardizing worldwide food production. What are future generations to do?
    Food preservation? My kids look at me funny when they see me pickling cucumbers and making blackberry jelly. After all, you can get this at any store, right.
    I’m quite the semi-professional handyman on the side and as such my son asked me one day, “How do you know how to do all that?”. It occurred to me that there were still large gaps in what the MB program had to offer and what life skills would actually be needed one day, especially in a head of the household type of situation.

  16. Pingback: One-stop shopping for news on what’s changing in the BSA and when « Bryan on Scouting

  17. I know there are a lot of beekeepers out there who are very vocal in their willingness to be MBCs for that MB, and without a doubt, the loss of the bee population is an ecological disaster. Is the worry about litigation the only thing keeping this from coming back?

  18. Royal Rangers did the same thing by removing the camping requirements. Every merit badge had its own power point presentation and a work book to fill out. After 6 months of that I threw out the “writing” and inserted the “Doing”. I guess I had the “Scouter” in my more than the “ranger”.
    We used to frequent a pond nearby the church and do rafting, canoeing, fishing and such. Hikes, wilderness survival, kayaking and other physical activities makes the meetings better. Boys do enough sitting in school or in Sunday School….keep them outside running around. If you don’t, it kills the program.
    But Royal Rangers does beat the BSA in regards to campfires and Shooting sports.

      • Why??? We have rifle shooting, shoot gun shooting , archery , climbing , wilderness survival , and the list goes on

      • It already did happen. In the first official handbook, the 1910 BSA Handbook, Master-at-Arms was one of the original 14 merit badges which were called Badges of Merit. Master-at-Arms involved mastering 3 of the following combat skills: single stick, boxing, ju jitsu, wrestling, quarterstaff, and fencing. The 1911 Handbook dropped this merit badge.
        The Guide to Safe Scouting says:
        “2. Boxing, karate, and related martial arts—except judo, aikido, and Tai Chi—are not authorized activities.”
        “6. Varsity football teams and interscholastic or club football competition and activities are unauthorized activities.”
        The reason is Risk Management. These are risks a boy can do outside of Scouting.

  19. I’m wondering, how come there isn’t any martial arts merit badges, belt loops, or pins? The BSA has them for ranged weaponry but nothing for hand to hand even though martial arts are now a recognized sport too?

  20. Pingback: One-stop shopping for news on what’s changing in the BSA and when » Washington District Scouting News

  21. I appreicate the hard, relentless work the merit badge team has been doing. I reviewed the list of badges that have been introduced in the last five years and those on the front burner, and I see a lot of sold improvements and introductions. After years of minimal change, I welcome the effort to make the program more attractive and relevent to Scouts’ interests. My one concern is that merit badges that require more sedentary work don’t overshadow active outdoor ones. That said, I think the introduction of Kayaking and the revision (and Eagle requirement ) of Cooking are major accomplishments. One major oversight I see is the lack of promotion of the National Outdoor Badges, which I hope get some ink in the next handbook. These awards are the greatest addition to the advancement program since Eagle.

    • I agree completely on the National Outdoor Awards. Another thing that I would like to see is the promotion of the SCOUTStrong Fitness Program (which leverages the President’s Challenge from the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition) as an option to meet the physical fitness requirements for Tenderfoot rank advancement. These would be great ways to combat our tendency towards the sedentary lifestyle.

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