Are these the toughest requirements for each merit badge?

Updated in 2017 to add the Exploration merit badge.


Not all merit badge requirements are created equal.

Each merit badge has at least one doozy — a sufficiently sized hurdle standing between a Scout and his embroidered circle of pride.

I went through every merit badge requirement for every merit badge to pick out the most difficult one for each. There are 137 currently available merit badges, meaning I found 137 supremely difficult tasks that introduce Scouts to a variety of skills, hobbies and careers.

Two notes before we get started:

  • Some of these are options within a larger requirement, meaning Scouts unable or unwilling to complete the task listed below might have another way to earn the merit badge.
  • Opinions are bound to differ here. If you disagree on the toughest requirement for a certain merit badge, sound off in the comments section below.

This list is more than just a fun exercise. It’s a reminder that the BSA’s unmatched merit badge program offers challenging, life-changing experiences Scouts can’t get anywhere else.

American Business

5. Run a small business involving a product or service for at least three months. First find out the need for it. For example: a newspaper route, lawn mowing, sales of things you have made or grown. Keep records showing the costs, income, and profit or loss.

American Cultures

5. Give a talk to your Scout unit or class at school on how people from different groups have gotten along together. Lead a discussion on what can be done to help various groups understand one another better.

American Heritage

5b. Read a biography (with your counselor’s approval) of someone who has made a contribution to America’s heritage. Tell some things you admire about this individual and some things you do not admire. Explain why you think this person has made a positive or a negative contribution to America’s heritage.

American Labor

5b. Prepare an exhibit, a scrapbook, or a computer presentation, such as a slide show, illustrating three major achievements of the American labor movement and how those achievements affect American workers.

Animal Science

6, avian option, d2. Raise 20 chicks from hatching. Keep records of feed intake, weight gains, medication, vaccination, and mortality. Present your records for review by your counselor.

Animation

3b. With your counselor’s approval, choose two animation techniques and … create the animation.

Archaeology

8a. Under the supervision of a qualified archaeologist, spend at least eight hours helping to excavate an archaeological site.

Archery

5f2. Shooting 30 arrows in five-arrow ends at an 80-centimeter (32-inch) five-color target at 10 yards and using the 10 scoring regions, make a score of 150.

Architecture 

3b. With your parent’s and counselor’s permission and approval, arrange to meet with an architect at a construction site. Ask the architect to bring drawings that the builder uses to construct the building. While at the site, discuss why the different building materials being used were selected. Discuss how the different building materials and components are attached to each other during construction.

Art

5c. Design a logo. Share your design with your counselor and explain the significance of your logo. Then, with your parent’s permission and your counselor’s approval, put your logo on Scout equipment, furniture, ceramics, or fabric.

Astronomy

8e. Personally take a series of photographs or digital images of the movement of the Moon, a planet, an asteroid, meteor, or a comet. In your visual display, label each image and include the date and time it was taken. Show all positions on a star chart or map. Show your display at school or at a troop meeting. Explain the changes you observed.

Athletics

3. Select an athletic activity to participate in for one season (or four months). With guidance from your counselor, establish a personal training program suited to the activity you have chosen.

Automotive Maintenance

11d. Perform an oil filter and oil change on a vehicle. Explain how to properly dispose of the used oil and filter.

Aviation

3a. Build and fly a fuel-driven or battery-powered electric model airplane. Describe safety rules for building and flying model airplanes. Tell safety rules for use of glue, paint, dope, plastics, fuel, and battery pack.

Backpacking

3. Write a plan for a backpacking trek of at least five days using at least three different campsites and covering at least 30 miles. … take the trek you have planned and, while on the trek, complete at least one service project approved by your merit badge counselor.

Basketry

3. Plan and weave EACH of the following projects: A square basket, A round basket, A campstool seat

Bird Study

8c. Build a backyard sanctuary for birds by planting trees and shrubs for food and cover.

Bugling

3. Sound the following bugle calls: “First Call,” “Reveille,” “Assembly,” “Mess,” “Drill,” “Fatigue,” “Officers,” “Recall,” “Church,” “Swimming,” “Fire,” “Retreat,” “To the Colors,” “Call to Quarters,” and “Taps.”

Camping

9a. Camp a total of at least 20 nights at designated Scouting activities or events.* One long-term camping experience of up to six consecutive nights may be applied toward this requirement. Sleep each night under the sky or in a tent you have pitched. If the camp provides a tent that has already been pitched, you need not pitch your own tent. (More on this requirement here.)

Canoeing

12c. Use a properly equipped canoe to demonstrate solo canoe handling: While paddling on one side only, paddle a 50-yard course making at least one turn underway and one reverse of direction. Repeat while paddling on the other side.

Chemistry

3. Construct a Cartesian diver. Describe its function in terms of how gases in general behave under different pressures and different temperatures. Describe how the behavior of gases affects a backpacker at high altitudes and a scuba diver underwater.

Chess

6b. Play in a scholastic (youth) chess tournament and use your score sheets from that tournament to replay your games with your merit badge counselor. Discuss with your counselor how you might have played each game differently.

Citizenship in the Community

8. Develop a public presentation (such as a video, slide show, speech, digital presentation, or photo exhibit) about important and unique aspects of your community. Include information about the history, cultures, and ethnic groups of your community; its best features and popular places where people gather; and the challenges it faces. Stage your presentation in front of your merit badge counselor or a group, such as your patrol or a class at school.

Citizenship in the Nation

2c. Tour a federal facility. Explain to your counselor what you saw there and what you learned about its function in the local community and how it serves this nation.

Citizenship in the World

7. Do TWO of the following (with your parent’s permission) and share with your counselor what you have learned: Attend a world Scout jamboree. Participate in or attend an international event in your area, such as an ethnic festival, concert, or play.

Climbing

10b. Climb at least three different routes on a rock face or climbing wall, demonstrating good technique and using verbal signals with a belayer.

Coin Collecting

9a. Collect and identify 50 foreign coins from at least 10 different countries. (OR: 9b. Collect and identify 20 bank notes from at least five different countries.)

Collections

1. Prepare a short written report or outline for your counselor, giving a detailed description of your collection, including a short history. Be sure to include why you chose that particular type of collecting and what you enjoy and have learned from your collection.

Communication

2b. Choose a concept, product, or service in which you have great confidence. Build a sales plan based on its good points. Try to persuade the counselor to agree with, use, or buy your concept, product, or service. After your sales talk, discuss with your counselor how persuasive you were.

Composite Materials

5a. Use composite materials to complete two projects, at least one of which must come from the Composite Materials merit badge pamphlet. The second project may come from the pamphlet OR may be one you select on your own that has been approved by your counselor in advance.

Cooking

5. Using the MyPlate food guide or the current USDA nutrition model, plan a menu for three full days of meals (three breakfasts, three lunches, and three dinners) plus one dessert. Your menu should include enough to feed yourself and at least one adult, keeping in mind any special needs (such as food allergies) of those to be served. List the equipment and utensils needed to prepare and serve these meals.

Crime Prevention

7b. With your parent’s and counselor’s approval, visit a jail or detention facility or a criminal court hearing. Discuss your experience with your counselor.

Cycling

7a3b. Participate in an organized bike tour of at least 50 miles. Make this ride in eight hours. Afterward, use the tour’s cue sheet to make a map of the ride.

Dentistry

6a. Make a model tooth out of soap, clay, papier-mâché, or wax. Using a string and a large hand brush, show your troop or a school class proper toothbrushing and flossing procedures.

Digital Technology

6g. Create a blog and use it as an online journal of your Scouting activities, including group discussions and meetings, campouts, and other events. Include at least five entries and two photographs or illustrations. Share your blog with your counselor. You need not post the blog to the Internet; however, if you choose to go live with your blog, you must first share it with your parents AND counselor AND get their approval.

Disabilities Awareness

5b. Find out about disability awareness education programs in your school or school system, or contact a disability advocacy agency. Volunteer with a program or agency for eight hours.

Dog Care

4. For two months, keep and care for your dog.* Maintain a log of your activities during this period that includes these items: feeding schedule, types of food used, amount fed, exercise periods, training schedule, a weekly body weight record, grooming and bathing schedules, veterinary care, if necessary, and costs. Also include a brief description of the type of housing/shelter arrangements you have for your dog.

Drafting

2a. Make a scale drawing of an architectural project. The architectural drawing may be a floor plan; electrical, plumbing, or mechanical service plan; elevation plan; or landscaping plan. Use an architect’s scale and show dimensions to communicate the actual size of features. Include any important sectional drawings, notes, and considerations necessary for construction.

Electricity

8. Make a floor plan wiring diagram of the lights, switches, and outlets for a room in your home. Show which fuse or circuit breaker protects each one.

Electronics

4b. Tell about the basic principles of digital techniques, and then build a digital circuit. Show how to change three decimal numbers into binary numbers and three binary numbers into decimal numbers.

Emergency Preparedness

8b. Take part in at least one troop mobilization. Before the exercise, describe your part to your counselor. Afterward, conduct an “after-action” lesson, discussing what you learned during the exercise that required changes or adjustments to the plan.

Energy

4. Conduct an energy audit of your home. Keep a 14-day log that records what you and your family did to reduce energy use. Include the following in your report and, after the 14-day period, discuss what you have learned with your counselor.

Engineering

6g. Building an engineering project. Enter a project in a science or engineering fair or similar competition. (This requirement may be met by participation on an engineering competition project team.) Discuss with your counselor what your project demonstrates, the kinds of questions visitors to the fair asked, and how well you were able to answer their questions.

Entrepreneurship

5. Create a written business plan for your idea that includes all of the following: Product or Service, Market Analysis, Financial, Personnel, Promotion and Marketing

Environmental Science

1. Make a time line of the history of environmental science in America. Identify the contribution made by the Boy Scouts of America to environmental science. Include dates, names of people or organizations, and important events.

Exploration

8a. With your parent’s permission and under the supervision of your merit badge counselor or a counselor-approved qualified person, use the planning steps you learned in requirement 6 and the preparations you completed in requirement 7 to personally undertake an actual expedition to an area you have not previously explored.

Family Life

3. Prepare a list of your regular home duties or chores (at least five) and do them for 90 days. Keep a record of how often you do each of them. Discuss with your counselor the effect your chores had on your family.

Farm Mechanics

4a. On an engine-powered machine: Grease all fittings, change the oil and oil filter, clean the air filter, clean the radiator fins, and replace the fuel filters.

Fingerprinting

4b. Using clear adhesive tape, a pencil, and plain paper, record your own fingerprints or those of another person.

Fire Safety

6a. Conduct a home safety survey with the help of an adult. Then do the following: Draw a home fire-escape plan, create a home fire-drill schedule, and conduct a home fire drill.

First Aid

3b. Identify the conditions that must exist before performing CPR on a person. Then demonstrate proper technique in performing CPR using a training device approved by your counselor.

Fish and Wildlife Management

7d. Make a freshwater aquarium. Include at least four species of native plants and four species of animal life, such as whirligig beetles, freshwater shrimp, tadpoles, water snails, and golden shiners. After 60 days of observation, discuss with your counselor the life cycles, food chains, and management needs you have recognized. After completing requirement 7d to your counselor’s satisfaction, with your counselor’s assistance, check local laws to determine what you should do with the specimens you have collected.

Fishing

9. Catch at least one fish and identify it. If regulations and health concerns permit, clean and cook a fish you have caught. Otherwise, acquire a fish and cook it.

Fly-Fishing

10. Catch at least one fish and identify it. If local fishing and health regulations allow, clean and cook a fish you have caught. Otherwise, acquire a fish and cook it.

Forestry

1. Prepare a field notebook, make a collection, and identify 15 species of trees, wild shrubs, or vines in a local forested area.

Game Design

5. Design a new game. Any game medium or combination of mediums is acceptable. Record your work in a game design notebook.

Gardening

6c. Build a hydroponic garden containing three vegetables or herbs, or three ornamental plants. Maintain this garden through harvest or flowering, or for 90 days.

Genealogy

6. Begin your family tree by listing yourself and include at least two additional generations. You may complete this requirement by using the chart provided in this pamphlet or the genealogy software program of your choice.

Geocaching

8c. Set up and hide a public geocache, following the guidelines in the Geocaching merit badge pamphlet. Before doing so, share with your counselor a six-month maintenance plan for the geocache where you are personally responsible for the first three months. After setting up the geocache, with your parent’s permission, follow the logs online for 30 days and share them with your counselor.

Geology

5d4. Collect 10 different fossil plants or animals OR (with your counselor’s assistance) identify 15 different fossil plants or animals. Record in a notebook where you obtained (found, bought, traded) each one. Classify each specimen to the best of your ability, and explain how each one might have survived and obtained food. Tell what else you can learn from these fossils.

Golf

8. Play a minimum of two nine-hole rounds or one 18-hole round of golf with another golfer about your age and with your counselor, or an adult approved by your counselor.

Graphic Arts

3. Design a printed piece (flier, T-shirt, program, form, etc.) and produce it. Explain your decisions for the typeface or typefaces you use and the way you arrange the elements in your design. Explain which printing process is best suited for printing your design. If desktop publishing is available, identify what hardware and software would be appropriate for outputting your design.

Hiking

6. Take a hike of 20 continuous miles in one day following a hike plan you have prepared. You may stop for as many short rest periods as needed, as well as one meal, but not for an extended period (example: overnight).

Home Repairs

2d. Under the supervision of your merit badge counselor, do FOUR of the following: … Waterproof a basement.

Horsemanship

11a. On level ground, continuously do the following movements after safely mounting the horse. Do them correctly, at ease, and in harmony with the horse: Walk the horse in a straight line for 60 feet.

Indian Lore

4c. Do ONE of the following: Learn in an Indian language at least 25 common terms and their meanings.

Insect Study

10b. Study a hive of bees. Remove the combs and find the queen. Estimate the amount of brood and count the number of queen cells. Explain how to determine the amount of honey in the hive.

Inventing

7. Build a working prototype of the item you invented for requirement 6. Test and evaluate the invention. Among the aspects to consider in your evaluation are cost, usefulness, marketability, appearance, and function. Describe how your original vision and expectations for your invention are similar or dissimilar to the prototype you built. Have your counselor evaluate and critique your prototype.

Journalism

4a. Attend a public event and do ONE of the following: … Write two newspaper articles about the event, one using the inverted pyramid style and one using the chronological style.

Kayaking

8a. As a solo paddler, use a properly equipped kayak to demonstrate the following: … Paddle a straight line for 25 yards, make a sharp turn, and return 25 yards in a straight line.

Landscape Architecture

4a. Look at and study a place of worship or school grounds to find the place where most people arrive by bus or car. Show you can do the following: …  Using a measuring tape, measure and draw the entry and its nearby area using a scale of 1/8 inch equals 1 foot on an 11-by-17-inch piece of paper. Be sure to include the driveway and the wall and door where people enter the school or place of worship. Indicate any sidewalks, structures, trees, and plants within the study area. Make two copies of this plan to save the original, then do 4b and 4c using the copies.

Law

6b. Plan and conduct a mock trial with your troop or school class. After the trial is over, discuss it with the group.

Leatherwork

5b. Tan the skin of a small animal. Describe the safety precautions you will take and the tanning method that you used.

Lifesaving

12a. Describe how to respond if a victim submerges before being reached by a rescuer, and do the following: Recover a 10-pound weight in 8 to 10 feet of water using a feetfirst surface dive.

Mammal Study

4d. Make and bait a tracking pit. Report what mammals and other animals came to the bait.

Medicine

7a. Visit a physician’s office, preferably one who delivers “primary care.” (This may be that of your counselor.) Discuss the components of a medical history and physical examination (an official BSA health form may be used to guide this discussion), and become familiar with the instruments used.

Metalwork

5d4. Using low-carbon steel at least 1⁄4 inch thick, make the two objects you sketched that require hot-forging. Be sure you have your counselor’s approval before you begin.

Mining in Society

5c. With your parent’s permission and counselor’s approval, visit an active mine. Find out about the tasks required to explore, plan, permit, mine, and process the resource mined at that site. Take photographs if allowed, and request brochures from your visit. Share photos, brochures, and what you have learned with your counselor.

Model Design and Building

4b. Build a structural model. Construct a model showing corner construction of a wood-frame building to a scale of 11⁄2″ = 1’0″ (8:1 metric). All structures shown must be to scale. Cardboard or flat sheet wood stock may be used for sheeting or flooring on the model. Review with your counselor the problems you encountered in gathering the materials and supporting the structure. Be able to name the parts of the floor and wall frames, such as intermediate girder, joist, bridging, subfloor, sill, sole plate, stud, and rafter.

Motorboating

5d. Run a course for at least a mile, showing procedures for overtaking and passing slower craft, yielding right-of-way, passing oncoming traffic, making turns, reversing direction, and using navigation aids.

Moviemaking

2d2. Using motion picture shooting techniques, plan ONE of the following programs. Start with a treatment and complete the requirement by presenting this program to a pack or your troop, patrol, or class. … Create a short feature of your own design, using the techniques you learned.

Music

4b. Compose and write the score for a piece of music of 12 measures or more, and play this music on an instrument.
OR
4c. Do ONE of the following: Make a traditional instrument and learn to play it.

Nature

4d2. Hatch an insect from the pupa or cocoon; OR hatch adults from nymphs; OR keep larvae until they form pupae or cocoons; OR keep a colony of ants or bees through one season.

Nuclear Science

6b. Build a model of a nuclear reactor. Show the fuel, control rods, shielding, moderator, and cooling material. Explain how a reactor could be used to change nuclear energy into electrical energy or make things radioactive.

Oceanography

7e. Make a wave generator. Show reflection and refraction of waves. Show how groins, jetties, and breakwaters affect these patterns.

Orienteering

8a. Set up a cross-country course that is at least 2,000 meters long with at least five control markers. Prepare the master map and control description sheet.

Painting

3. Prepare and paint two different surfaces using patching material, caulking, and the proper primers and topcoats. Suggested projects include an interior or exterior wall, a door, a piece of furniture, a concrete wall or floor, a porch rail, or a fence. Your counselor must preapprove the projects.

Personal Fitness

8. Complete the [12-week] physical fitness program you outlined in requirement 7. Keep a log of your fitness program activity (how long you exercised; how far you ran, swam, or biked; how many exercise repetitions you completed; your exercise heart rate; etc.).

Personal Management

2a. Prepare a budget reflecting your expected income (allowance, gifts, wages), expenses, and savings. Track your actual income, expenses, and savings for 13 consecutive weeks.

Pets

1. Present evidence that you have cared for a pet for four months. Get approval before you start.

Photography

4b. Choose a topic that interests you to photograph for an exhibit or display. Get your counselor’s approval, then photograph (digital or film) your topic. Process your images. Choose 20 of your favorite images and mount them on poster board. Share your display with your counselor. If you are using digital images, you may create a slide show on your computer or produce printouts for your poster board.

Pioneering

7. Build a scale model of a signal tower or a monkey bridge. Correctly anchor the model using either the 1-1-1 anchoring system or the log and stake anchoring method. Describe the design of your project and explain how the anchoring system works.

Plant Science

8e1a. Grow a plot of corn and have your plot inspected by your counselor. Record seed variety or experimental code number.

Plumbing

7. Under the supervision of a knowledgeable adult, solder three copper tube connections using a gas torch. Include one tee, two straight pieces, and one coupling.

Pottery

5a. Do the following. Each piece is to be painted, glazed, or otherwise decorated by you: … Make a slab pot, a coil pot, and a pinch pot.

Programming

5a. With your counselor’s approval, choose a sample program. Then, as a minimum, modify the code or add a function or subprogram to it. Debug and demonstrate the modified program to your counselor.

Public Health

5a. Visit a municipal wastewater treatment facility or a solid-waste management operation in your community. Describe how the facility safely treats and disposes of sewage or solid waste. Describe how sewage and solid waste should be disposed of under wilderness camping conditions OR visit the mosquito abatement district facility in your community. Tell how your community attempts to control the mosquito population and why.

Public Speaking

3. Give an impromptu talk of at least two minutes eitheras part of a group discussion or before your counselor. Use a subject selected by your counselor that is interesting to you but that is not known to you in advance and for which you do not have time to prepare.

Pulp and Paper

4. Describe how paper is made. Discuss how paper is recycled. Make a sheet of paper by hand.

Radio

9a2. Using proper call signs, Q signals, and abbreviations, carry on a 10-minute real or simulated amateur radio contact using voice, Morse code, or digital mode. (Licensed amateur radio operators may substitute five QSL cards as evidence of contacts with amateur radio operators from at least three different call districts.) Properly log the real or simulated ham radio contact and record the signal report.

Railroading

8a5. Build one railroad structure (from scratch or using a kit), paint and weather the structure, mount it on your layout or diorama, and make the surrounding area on the diorama scenic.

Reading

1b and 1d. With the assistance of your merit badge counselor or a librarian, select six books of four different types (such as poetry, drama/plays, fiction, nonfiction, biographies, etc.). Ask your librarian or counselor about award-winning books that are recommended for readers your age and include at least one of those titles. … Read each book.

Reptile and Amphibian Study

8a. Maintain one or more reptiles or amphibians for at least a month. Record food accepted, eating methods, changes in coloration, shedding of skins, and general habits; or keep the eggs of a reptile from the time of laying until hatching; or keep the eggs of an amphibian from the time of laying until their transformation into tadpoles (frogs) or larvae (salamanders).

Rifle Shooting

2k. Using a .22 caliber rimfire rifle and shooting from a benchrest or supported prone position at 50 feet, fire five groups (three shots per group) that can be covered by a quarter. Using these targets, explain how to adjust sights to zero a rifle.

Robotics

4c. Build a robot or robotic subsystem of your original design to accomplish the task you chose for requirement 4a.

Rowing

6. Participate in a swamped boat drill including righting and stabilizing the craft, reboarding in deep water, and making headway. Tell why you should stay with a swamped boat.

Safety

6. Plan and complete a safety project approved by your counselor for your home, school, place of worship, place of employment, or community.

Salesmanship

5b. Sell your services such as lawn raking or mowing, pet watching, dog walking, snow shoveling, and car washing to your neighbors. Follow up after the service has been completed and determine the customer’s satisfaction.

Scholarship

1a. Show that you have had an average grade of B or higher (80 percent or higher) for one term or semester.

Scouting Heritage

4a. Attend either a BSA national jamboree, OR world Scout jamboree, OR a national BSA high-adventure base. While there, keep a journal documenting your day-to-day experiences. Upon your return, report to your counselor what you did, saw, and learned. You may include photos, brochures, and other documents in your report.

Scuba Diving

4. Earn an Open Water Diver Certification from a scuba organization recognized by the Boy Scouts of America scuba policy.

Sculpture

2a. Model in clay a life-size human head. Then sculpt in modeling clay (such as Plasteline or Sculpey) or carve/rasp in wood or soft stone a small-scale model of an animal or person. Explain to your counselor the method and tools you used to sculpt the figure.

Search and Rescue

6a. dentify four types of search and rescue teams and discuss their use or role with your counselor. Then do the following: Interview a member of one of the teams you have identified above, and learn how this team contributes to a search and rescue operation. Discuss what you learned with your counselor.

Shotgun Shooting

2k. Hit at least 12 (48 percent) out of 25 targets in two 25-target groups. The two groups need not be shot in consecutive order. A minimum of 50 shots must be fired.

Signs, Signals, and Codes

4a. Spell your first name using semaphore. Send or receive a message of six to 10 words using semaphore.

Skating

2d. Perform a forward shoot-the-duck until you are nearly stopped. Rise while still on one foot. Perform forward crossovers in a figure-eight pattern. Take part in a relay race. Perform a hockey stop.

Small-Boat Sailing

6c. Properly set sails for a round-trip course approved by your counselor that will include running, beating, and reaching—the basic points of sail. While sailing, demonstrate good helmsmanship skills.

Snow Sports

5i (cross-country). Show a degree of stamina that will enable you to keep up with an average ski-touring group your age.

Soil and Water Conservation

7. Do TWO of the following: Plant 100 trees, bushes, and/or vines for a good purpose.

Space Exploration

7. Design an inhabited base located within our solar system, such as Titan, asteroids, or other locations that humans might want to explore in person. Make drawings or a model of your base.

Sports

4. Take part for one season (or four months) as a competitive individual or as a member of an organized team in TWO of the following sports: baseball, basketball, bowling, crosscountry, field hockey, football, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, table tennis, tennis, volleyball, water polo.

Stamp Collecting

8a. Mount and show, in a purchased or homemade album, ONE of the following: A collection of 250 or more different stamps from at least 15 countries.

Surveying

2. Find and mark the corners of a five-sided lot that has been laid out by your counselor to fit the land available. Set an instrument over each of the corners and record the angle turned between each line and the distance measured between each corner.

Sustainability

2 (food) a. Develop and implement a plan that attempts to reduce your household food waste. Establish a baseline and then track and record your results for two weeks. Report your results to your family and counselor.

Swimming

3. Swim continuously for 150 yards using the following strokes in good form and in a strong manner: front crawl or trudgen for 25 yards, back crawl for 25 yards, sidestroke for 25 yards, breaststroke for 25 yards, and elementary backstroke for 50 yards.

Textile

3b. Weave a belt, headband, place mat, or wall hanging. Use a simple loom that you have made yourself.

Theater

2. Write a one-act play that will take at least eight minutes to perform. The play must have a main character, conflict, and a climax.

Traffic Safety

5a. Interview a traffic law enforcement officer in your community to identify what three traffic safety problems the officer is most concerned about. Discuss with your merit badge counselor possible ways to solve one of those problems.

Truck Transportation

4a. Visit a truck terminal and complete items 4a through 4e. After your visit, share what you have learned with your counselor. Find out what kind of maintenance program the company follows to help keep its fleet, drivers, and the roadway safe.

Veterinary Medicine

6a. Visit a veterinary clinic, hospital, or veterinary referral teaching hospital that does work in one of the practices listed in requirement 1. Spend as much time as you can observing the veterinarians and their staff. Write a report on what you observed and learned at the facility. Share your report with your counselor.

Water Sports

6c. Showing reasonable control while using two skis, one ski, or a wakeboard, do EACH of the following: … Show you can cross both wakes four times and return to the center of the wake each time, without falling.

Weather

9a. Make one of the following instruments: wind vane, anemometer, rain gauge, hygrometer. Keep a daily weather log for one week using information from this instrument as well as from other sources such as local radio and television stations, NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards, and Internet sources (with your parent’s permission).

Welding

6a. After successfully completing requirements 1 through 5, use the equipment you prepared for the welding process in 5b to do the following: … Using a metal scribe or soapstone, sketch your initial onto a metal plate, and weld a bead on the plate following the pattern of your initial.

Whitewater

12. Participate in a whitewater trip using either a canoe or kayak on a Class I or Class II river. Help to prepare a written plan, specifying the route, schedule, equipment, safety precautions, and emergency procedures. Determine local rules and obtain permission from landowners and land managers in advance. Explain what steps you have taken to comply with BSA Safety Afloat and the American Whitewater safety guidelines. Execute the plan with others.

Wilderness Survival

8. Improvise a natural shelter. For the purpose of this demonstration, use techniques that have little negative impact on the environment. Spend a night in your shelter.

Wood Carving

4. Using a piece of scrap wood or a project on which you are working, show your merit badge counselor that you know how to do the following: Paring cut, Basic cut and push cut, “V” cut, Score line or stop cut.

Woodwork

6c. Help make and repair wooden toys for underprivileged children OR help carry out a carpentry service project approved by your counselor for a charitable organization.

All the merit badge requirements

See them all here. Note: The site lists 137, because Computers, discontinued Dec. 31, 2014, is still listed. Scouts who started work on Computers before Dec. 31, 2014, may still finish it.

About Bryan Wendell 2893 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.