2019 merit badge rankings: Which were the most popular?

I have just three words: Camping. Is. Back.

After staking out a spot in seventh or eighth place in popularity from 2014 to 2018, the Eagle-required Camping merit badge jumped to third place in the 2019 rankings, released this month.

The 52,328 young people who earned Camping in 2019 accounted for a 5% increase over 2018’s total.

Still, that wasn’t enough to unseat the First Aid merit badge, which extended its reign at No. 1 to five years. Camping also couldn’t pass the Swimming merit badge, which picked up the silver medal.

2019 was a big year for the American Business and Backpacking merit badges, too. The pair saw their earn totals skyrocket by 166% and 78%, respectively. The news wasn’t so great for the Plant Science merit badge (down 21%) or Dentistry merit badge (down 22%), however.

Let’s take a deep dive into the complete list — from 2019’s most popular merit badge to its rarest.

The actual top 10

Each merit badge in 2019’s top 10 has something in common: it’s required to earn the Eagle Scout award, Scouts BSA’s highest honor.

The BSA didn’t select its Eagle-required badges at random. Together, they represent a set of essential skills for life.

Rank Merit Badge 2019 earned
1 First Aid 62,352
2 Swimming 59,074
3 Camping 52,328
4 Citizenship in the World 50,700
5 Personal Fitness 49,802
6 Cooking 49,039
7 Personal Management 48,464
8 Citizenship in the Nation 48,182
9 Communication 48,117
10 Family Life 47,788

The alternative top 10

Now let’s grade on a curve. If we eliminate the Eagle-required merit badges from the list, which do Scouts earn most?

You’ll find a common theme in the list below. These are offered at most summer camps, giving Scouts an excellent opportunity to complete them.

Rank Merit Badge 2019 earned
1 Fingerprinting 36,510
2 Rifle Shooting 34,049
3 Archery 31,934
4 Leatherwork 31,397
5 Wood Carving 28,599
6 Kayaking 28,093
7 Chess 25,999
8 Wilderness Survival 25,863
9 Fishing 23,589
10 Art 23,074

The bottom 10

The list excludes Computers (replaced by Digital Technology in 2014), even though 72 Scouts earned the Computers merit badge in 2019.

How is it possible to earn a discontinued merit badge? According to the Guide to Advancement, once a Scout starts working on a merit badge, there’s no time limit for finishing — other than the Scout’s 18th birthday. As long as a Scout began working on the Computers MB by Dec. 31, 2014, and hadn’t turned 18, he could earn the badge in 2019.

Is one of your favorite merit badges in the list below? If so, don’t get sad! Get going. Offer to serve as a merit badge counselor and breathe new life into one of the lesser-earned badges. Then come back to check the 2020 list next year and see how you did.

Rank Merit Badge 2019 earned
128 American Business 1,468
129 Gardening 1,440
130 Landscape Architecture 1,395
131 Composite Materials 1,383
132 Drafting 1,364
133 American Labor 1,298
134 Journalism 1,283
135 Surveying 987
136 Stamp Collecting 919
137 Bugling 453

The ups and downs

One year of numbers can’t tell the whole story. Take American Business as an example. The badge was one of the 10 least-earned badges in 2019, but its popularity actually increased by 166%. Any business would gladly take a year-over-year increase like that, even if they were still the 128th most popular business around.

Here are the top 10 gains and losses from 2018 to 2019.

Top 10 Gains

Merit Badge 2018 2019 Percent change
American Business 551 1,468 166%
Backpacking 2,295 4,079 78%
Scholarship 4,433 5,442 23%
American Cultures 2,519 3,089 23%
Painting 3,709 4,486 21%
Theater 2,294 2,745 20%
American Labor 1,109 1,298 17%
Reading 3,873 4,495 16%
Nature 12,372 14,150 14%
Sculpture 8,212 9,383 14%

Takeaways:

  • Three of the four “American” merit badges are on this list. The one that isn’t, American Heritage, saw a mild drop of 1%.
  • There are some cool pairings on this list: Backpacking and NatureScholarship and ReadingPainting and Sculpture.

Top 10 Drops

Merit Badge 2018 2019 Percent change
Rowing 8,377 7,189 -14%
Motor Boating 9,697 8,298 -14%
Environmental Science 54,237 46,202 -15%
Genealogy 4,830 4,096 -15%
Indian Lore 16,003 13,530 -15%
Mining in Society 4,650 3,929 -16%
Composite Materials 1,646 1,383 -16%
Bugling 551 453 -18%
Plant Science 2,569 2,041 -21%
Dentistry 3,110 2,433 -22%

Takeaways:

  • The list doesn’t include the discontinued Computers merit badge. If it did, that one would be at the bottom with a drop of 64%.
  • While the Environmental Science merit badge was down double digits, its sibling, the Sustainability merit badge, saw a 2% increase. Scouts must earn one of these two merit badges to complete all the requirements for Eagle.
  • With 453 merit badges earned, the Bugling merit badge fell to its lowest total since at least 2009 — the first year for which detailed statistics are available. Buglers, that’s your cue.

What’s the source?

The data comes 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 mislead.

Special thanks to the BSA’s Garfield Murden for supplying the numbers.

The raw data

What follows are the complete rankings. I should warn you that this information is only for the geekiest of geeks like me — people unfazed by line after line after line of numbers.

You’ve been warned. Keep scrolling to find:

  • The complete 2019 rankings
  • Merit badge popularity over the last five years
  • Lifetime rankings from 1911 to 2019
  • Every merit badge ranked by its percent change from 2018 to 2019

The complete 2019 rankings

What the colors mean:

  • Blue: merit badge is required for Eagle
  • Red: merit badge is considered “new” — released in 2015 or later
Rank Merit Badge 2019 earned
1 First Aid 62,352
2 Swimming 59,074
3 Camping 52,328
4 Citizenship in the World 50,700
5 Personal Fitness 49,802
6 Cooking 49,039
7 Personal Management 48,464
8 Citizenship in the Nation 48,182
9 Communication 48,117
10 Family Life 47,788
11 Citizenship in the Community 46,750
12 Environmental Science 46,202
13 Emergency Preparedness 39,022
14 Fingerprinting 36,510
15 Rifle Shooting 34,049
16 Archery 31,934
17 Leatherwork 31,397
18 Wood Carving 28,599
19 Kayaking 28,093
20 Chess 25,999
21 Wilderness Survival 25,863
22 Fishing 23,589
23 Art 23,074
24 Canoeing 22,734
25 Lifesaving 19,444
26 Shotgun Shooting 18,576
27 Space Exploration 18,432
28 Mammal Study 17,799
29 Climbing 17,305
30 Astronomy 16,473
31 Geology 16,041
32 Game Design 14,424
33 Aviation 14,227
34 Basketry 14,216
35 Nature 14,150
36 Photography 14,057
37 Robotics 13,827
38 Indian Lore 13,530
39 Small Boat Sailing 13,202
40 Music 12,882
41 Metalwork 12,586
42 Weather 12,311
43 Pioneering 12,282
44 Orienteering 12,249
45 Engineering 12,184
46 Chemistry 11,745
47 Geocaching 11,271
48 Welding 11,129
49 Fire Safety 11,045
50 Fish & Wildlife Management 10,676
51 Automotive Maintenance 10,489
52 Forestry 10,299
53 Search and Rescue 9,764
54 Moviemaking 9,738
55 Horsemanship 9,515
56 Electricity 9,383
57 Sculpture 9,383
58 Pottery 8,566
59 Oceanography 8,460
60 Motor Boating 8,298
61 Soil and Water Conservation 8,242
62 Signs, Signals, and Codes 7,854
63 Snow Sports 7,375
64 Sustainability 7,328
65 Electronics 7,204
66 Animation 7,193
67 Rowing 7,189
68 Digital Technology 7,096
69 Hiking 6,865
70 Railroading 6,818
71 Salesmanship 6,813
72 Public Speaking 6,695
73 Nuclear Science 6,623
74 Crime Prevention 6,517
75 Traffic Safety 6,477
76 Scouting Heritage 6,285
77 Sports 6,133
78 Reptile and Amphibian Study 6,009
79 Pulp and Paper 5,973
80 Disabilities Awareness 5,933
81 Archaeology 5,722
82 Law 5,681
83 Bird Study 5,629
84 Radio 5,519
85 Cycling 5,503
86 American Heritage 5,454
87 Scholarship 5,442
88 Pets 5,130
89 Fly Fishing 5,005
90 Coin Collecting 4,822
91 Plumbing 4,743
92 Programming 4,717
93 Woodwork 4,503
94 Reading 4,495
95 Painting 4,486
96 Animal Science 4,155
97 Genealogy 4,096
98 Backpacking 4,079
99 Collections 4,060
100 Architecture 4,016
101 Mining in Society 3,929
102 Medicine 3,758
103 Entrepreneurship 3,410
104 Inventing 3,259
105 Safety 3,208
106 Home Repairs 3,193
107 Graphic Arts 3,178
108 Dog Care 3,151
109 Exploration 3,107
110 Veterinary Medicine 3,103
111 American Cultures 3,089
112 Golf 2,959
113 Whitewater 2,890
114 Athletics 2,844
115 Model Design and Building 2,770
116 Water Sports 2,762
117 Theater 2,745
118 Energy 2,727
119 Textile 2,523
120 Public Health 2,507
121 Farm Mechanics 2,500
122 Truck Transportation 2,469
123 Dentistry 2,433
124 Insect Study 2,392
125 Plant Science 2,041
126 Skating 1,979
127 Scuba Diving 1,912
128 American Business 1,468
129 Gardening 1,440
130 Landscape Architecture 1,395
131 Composite Materials 1,383
132 Drafting 1,364
133 American Labor 1,298
134 Journalism 1,283
135 Surveying 987
136 Stamp Collecting 919
137 Bugling 453
138 Computers* 72
139 Cinematography** 0

*Discontinued in 2014

**Became Moviemaking in 2013

Merit badge numbers over the last five years

Sorted alphabetically.

Merit Badge 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
American Business 587 627 613 551 1,468
American Cultures 2,233 2,218 2,298 2,519 3,089
American Heritage 5,599 4,952 5,496 5,530 5,454
American Labor 1,106 812 901 1,109 1,298
Animal Science 4,414 3,852 3,848 3,769 4,155
Animation 1,099 4,637 5,462 6,981 7,193
Archaeology 7,590 7,388 6,876 6,056 5,722
Archery 41,879 39,419 35,301 34,487 31,934
Architecture 3,362 3,230 3,654 3,881 4,016
Art 24,374 22,990 21,567 21,793 23,074
Astronomy 16,706 16,355 15,702 15,531 16,473
Athletics 3,604 3,125 2,754 2,808 2,844
Automotive Maintenance 9,961 10,748 10,205 10,360 10,489
Aviation 15,170 14,477 14,347 13,745 14,227
Backpacking 3,973 3,963 3,498 2,295 4,079
Basketry 17,158 15,282 15,406 14,546 14,216
Bird Study 5,587 5,199 4,965 5,101 5,629
Bugling 492 479 454 551 453
Camping 54,342 53,534 50,871 49,893 52,328
Canoeing 29,461 28,288 26,052 26,094 22,734
Chemistry 10,560 10,865 10,248 11,140 11,745
Chess 27,235 27,416 26,919 28,260 25,999
Cinematography 1,260 841 231 1 0
Citizenship in the Community 52,071 51,975 48,736 49,863 46,750
Citizenship in the Nation 57,161 57,919 52,949 52,944 48,182
Citizenship in the World 60,171 59,363 55,917 55,843 50,700
Climbing 21,574 21,171 18,356 18,911 17,305
Coin Collecting 4,715 4,135 3,930 4,726 4,822
Collections 4,004 3,753 4,140 4,280 4,060
Communication 55,738 53,367 50,503 51,541 48,117
Composite Materials 2,183 1,597 1,407 1,646 1,383
Computers 1,686 354 207 202 72
Cooking 67,691 55,841 51,004 50,185 49,039
Crime Prevention 6,581 6,178 6,721 6,456 6,517
Cycling 6,626 6,334 5,742 5,671 5,503
Dentistry 3,485 2,910 3,135 3,110 2,433
Digital Technology 9,383 9,344 8,768 7,857 7,096
Disabilities Awareness 6,153 5,833 5,239 5,571 5,933
Dog Care 2,666 2,414 2,661 3,025 3,151
Drafting 1,339 1,168 1,119 1,231 1,364
Electricity 10,035 9,762 9,245 9,979 9,383
Electronics 8,352 7,814 7,524 7,731 7,204
Emergency Preparedness 47,879 47,004 43,351 43,063 39,022
Energy 3,190 2,955 2,749 2,607 2,727
Engineering 11,735 11,429 11,773 12,280 12,184
Entrepreneurship 2,927 3,365 3,473 3,353 3,410
Environmental Science 63,783 60,026 55,703 54,237 46,202
Exploration 0 0 2,090 3,351 3,107
Family Life 51,008 50,177 48,774 48,787 47,788
Farm Mechanics 2,244 2,368 2,307 2,226 2,500
Fingerprinting 43,743 40,700 38,989 38,239 36,510
Fire Safety 12,782 12,257 11,746 11,673 11,045
First Aid 80,716 75,256 69,563 69,565 62,352
Fish & Wildlife Management 13,164 12,647 11,615 11,822 10,676
Fishing 26,050 25,256 24,343 24,688 23,589
Fly Fishing 3,981 4,577 4,597 4,872 5,005
Forestry 12,905 12,519 11,456 11,326 10,299
Game Design 12,313 13,689 13,810 16,020 14,424
Gardening 1,582 1,375 1,450 1,428 1,440
Genealogy 5,316 4,570 5,213 4,830 4,096
Geocaching 15,582 15,210 12,604 12,972 11,271
Geology 22,180 18,516 18,674 17,242 16,041
Golf 3,826 3,605 3,248 3,060 2,959
Graphic Arts 3,356 3,251 3,066 3,343 3,178
Hiking 6,967 7,485 7,084 6,362 6,865
Home Repairs 3,288 3,325 3,432 3,579 3,193
Horsemanship 10,878 9,457 8,641 8,837 9,515
Indian Lore 22,241 18,234 17,003 16,003 13,530
Insect Study 3,550 2,341 2,644 2,716 2,392
Inventing 3,369 2,834 3,296 3,494 3,259
Journalism 1,037 970 1,127 1,153 1,283
Kayaking 34,054 33,137 30,466 31,362 28,093
Landscape Architecture 1,434 1,494 1,483 1,495 1,395
Law 5,633 5,226 5,402 5,656 5,681
Leatherwork 40,805 37,920 35,490 33,740 31,397
Lifesaving 23,983 22,382 20,748 20,952 19,444
Mammal Study 23,427 21,303 18,715 17,982 17,799
Medicine 3,807 3,767 3,561 3,878 3,758
Metalwork 12,340 12,639 12,990 12,768 12,586
Mining in Society 4,613 4,224 4,673 4,650 3,929
Model Design and Building 2,795 2,770 2,564 2,674 2,770
Motor Boating 9,880 9,515 9,517 9,697 8,298
Moviemaking 10,064 10,851 9,262 9,416 9,738
Music 12,369 11,689 10,592 11,860 12,882
Nature 14,679 13,635 11,586 12,372 14,150
Nuclear Science 6,728 7,005 6,702 6,678 6,623
Oceanography 9,892 8,499 7,763 9,021 8,460
Orienteering 15,642 13,753 11,742 12,538 12,249
Painting 4,245 3,829 3,222 3,709 4,486
Personal Fitness 52,499 52,079 50,428 49,600 49,802
Personal Management 51,105 50,251 49,287 48,393 48,464
Pets 4,645 4,278 4,289 4,890 5,130
Photography 16,931 15,142 13,550 14,161 14,057
Pioneering 17,341 15,959 13,870 14,099 12,282
Plant Science 2,922 2,363 2,107 2,569 2,041
Plumbing 4,960 4,510 4,398 4,862 4,743
Pottery 8,384 8,230 7,940 7,890 8,566
Programming 3,577 4,085 4,138 4,723 4,717
Public Health 1,780 1,837 1,798 2,382 2,507
Public Speaking 7,793 7,497 7,035 7,250 6,695
Pulp and Paper 7,379 6,081 6,879 5,911 5,973
Radio 6,709 6,442 5,840 5,205 5,519
Railroading 7,651 6,599 6,663 6,728 6,818
Reading 4,179 3,574 3,524 3,873 4,495
Reptile and Amphibian Study 6,700 6,411 6,053 5,786 6,009
Rifle Shooting 43,196 41,444 37,796 37,695 34,049
Robotics 13,700 14,264 15,031 15,285 13,827
Rowing 9,995 9,408 8,239 8,377 7,189
Safety 3,937 4,267 3,280 3,322 3,208
Salesmanship 6,412 6,031 5,908 6,936 6,813
Scholarship 4,911 4,316 4,171 4,433 5,442
Scouting Heritage 5,558 5,266 5,916 5,901 6,285
Scuba Diving 2,135 1,792 1,842 2,036 1,912
Sculpture 10,042 8,900 8,715 8,212 9,383
Search and Rescue 11,725 10,361 10,107 10,107 9,764
Shotgun Shooting 21,895 20,912 19,703 20,241 18,576
Signs, Signals, and Codes 3,453 8,025 7,364 7,178 7,854
Skating 1,972 1,953 1,785 1,898 1,979
Small Boat Sailing 15,092 14,108 14,182 13,886 13,202
Snow Sports 7,251 7,177 7,267 6,961 7,375
Soil and Water Conservation 10,437 10,341 9,484 8,199 8,242
Space Exploration 21,607 20,137 18,994 19,574 18,432
Sports 8,272 7,626 6,556 6,594 6,133
Stamp Collecting 996 793 954 836 919
Surveying 879 1,028 863 1,065 987
Sustainability 6,625 6,813 7,295 7,192 7,328
Swimming 71,821 67,446 62,057 62,796 59,074
Textile 3,225 2,480 2,205 2,530 2,523
Theater 2,665 2,543 2,332 2,294 2,745
Traffic Safety 5,604 6,072 5,689 7,100 6,477
Truck Transportation 2,157 2,391 2,466 2,313 2,469
Veterinary Medicine 2,764 2,580 2,451 2,716 3,103
Water Sports 3,389 3,123 2,966 2,937 2,762
Weather 14,622 12,665 12,690 12,430 12,311
Welding 11,019 10,737 10,656 11,981 11,129
Whitewater 2,888 3,476 2,832 3,199 2,890
Wilderness Survival 37,581 35,221 30,814 29,392 25,863
Wood Carving 36,890 34,938 32,943 31,910 28,599
Woodwork 5,242 4,975 5,212 4,939 4,503

Lifetime rankings from 1911 to 2019

Two notes:

  1. This list includes only merit badges that could be earned in 2019. Sorry, but that means the Taxidermy merit badge (and these other discontinued merit badges) didn’t make the cut.
  2. The rankings are interesting but don’t tell the whole story. A merit badge released more recently will rank lower than one of the original 1911 merit badges. My favorite example of this is the Home Repairs merit badge. It’s No. 18 lifetime but was released in 1943. The Chess merit badge was more than eight times more popular in 2019, but it’s only been around since 2011.
Rank Merit Badge Lifetime Total
1 First Aid 7,339,352
2 Swimming 6,637,961
3 Camping 4,923,680
4 Cooking 4,612,121
5 Citizenship in the Community 3,711,151
6 Citizenship in the Nation 3,473,892
7 Canoeing 3,156,263
8 Lifesaving 3,144,917
9 Environmental Science 2,992,538
10 Safety 2,953,028
11 Personal Fitness 2,753,635
12 Fire Safety 2,667,155
13 Leatherwork 2,626,431
14 Citizenship in the World 2,550,753
15 Basketry 2,516,483
16 Pioneering 2,486,759
17 Wood Carving 2,452,938
18 Home Repairs 2,431,987
19 Communication 2,315,394
20 Fishing 2,112,875
21 Personal Management 2,059,486
22 Emergency Preparedness 2,057,648
23 Fingerprinting 1,872,579
24 Wilderness Survival 1,794,199
25 Archery 1,786,864
26 Rowing 1,761,046
27 Nature 1,731,864
28 Public Health 1,527,949
29 Rifle Shooting 1,522,159
30 Reading 1,502,689
31 Art 1,422,608
32 Family Life 1,406,879
33 Music 1,378,149
34 Hiking 1,364,980
35 Scholarship 1,299,987
36 Mammal Study 1,294,574
37 Indian Lore 1,284,879
38 Forestry 1,209,450
39 Metalwork 1,197,962
40 Sports 1,180,570
41 Soil and Water Conservation 1,168,948
42 Athletics 1,080,140
43 Woodwork 996,797
44 Orienteering 883,065
45 Electricity 853,209
46 Geology 739,775
47 Small Boat Sailing 722,779
48 Astronomy 720,021
49 Fish & Wildlife Management 713,132
50 Horsemanship 689,047
51 Pets 681,895
52 Reptile and Amphibian Study 679,061
53 Public Speaking 678,773
54 Aviation 676,463
55 Space Exploration 658,615
56 Weather 642,676
57 Motor Boating 633,245
58 Shotgun Shooting 621,607
59 Bird Study 608,666
60 Cycling 605,054
61 Painting 581,615
62 Photography 579,350
63 Computers 521,329
64 Coin Collecting 519,472
65 Climbing 513,827
66 Snow Sports 487,249
67 Dog Care 445,379
68 Pottery 424,961
69 Plumbing 414,851
70 Chemistry 405,021
71 Gardening 394,788
72 Stamp Collecting 394,005
73 Salesmanship 356,930
74 Sculpture 347,660
75 Oceanography 331,981
76 Railroading 271,814
77 Water Sports 265,231
78 Genealogy 255,663
79 Electronics 255,130
80 Kayaking 250,627
81 Architecture 234,588
82 Model Design and Building 233,749
83 Farm Mechanics 232,447
84 Backpacking 232,084
85 Drafting 230,879
86 Chess 223,710
87 Automotive Maintenance 218,848
88 Law 212,363
89 Nuclear Science 207,472
90 Engineering 205,937
91 Radio 202,197
92 Archaeology 189,622
93 Traffic Safety 188,513
94 American Heritage 185,852
95 Golf 183,468
96 Skating 182,947
97 Insect Study 178,726
98 Bugling 172,503
99 Crime Prevention 169,121
100 Collections 162,095
101 Surveying 156,470
102 Textile 155,973
103 Dentistry 150,457
104 Disabilities Awareness 150,205
105 Truck Transportation 149,373
106 Pulp and Paper 146,830
107 Geocaching 144,118
108 Robotics 117,885
109 Journalism 111,952
110 Cinematography 106,448
111 Whitewater 103,737
112 Theater 96,241
113 Energy 94,621
114 Medicine 91,319
115 Veterinary Medicine 89,699
116 Landscape Architecture 89,012
117 Game Design 84,766
118 Welding 81,524
119 Animal Science 81,115
120 American Cultures 80,126
121 Search and Rescue 75,700
122 Graphic Arts 67,137
123 American Business 56,986
124 Plant Science 56,803
125 Scouting Heritage 55,773
126 Moviemaking 55,526
127 Fly Fishing 50,211
128 Digital Technology 45,462
129 Sustainability 41,271
130 Entrepreneurship 38,970
131 Signs, Signals, and Codes 33,874
132 American Labor 28,034
133 Inventing 27,345
134 Mining in Society 25,608
135 Animation 25,372
136 Programming 24,690
137 Scuba Diving 22,777
138 Composite Materials 21,461
139 Exploration 8,548

Every merit badge ranked by its percent change from 2018 to 2019

Alternate title: Sometimes you’re up, sometimes you’re down.

Merit Badge 2018 2019 Percent change
American Business 551 1,468 166%
Backpacking 2,295 4,079 78%
Scholarship 4,433 5,442 23%
American Cultures 2,519 3,089 23%
Painting 3,709 4,486 21%
Theater 2,294 2,745 20%
American Labor 1,109 1,298 17%
Reading 3,873 4,495 16%
Nature 12,372 14,150 14%
Sculpture 8,212 9,383 14%
Veterinary Medicine 2,716 3,103 14%
Farm Mechanics 2,226 2,500 12%
Journalism 1,153 1,283 11%
Drafting 1,231 1,364 11%
Bird Study 5,101 5,629 10%
Animal Science 3,769 4,155 10%
Stamp Collecting 836 919 10%
Signs, Signals, and Codes 7,178 7,854 9%
Music 11,860 12,882 9%
Pottery 7,890 8,566 9%
Hiking 6,362 6,865 8%
Horsemanship 8,837 9,515 8%
Truck Transportation 2,313 2,469 7%
Scouting Heritage 5,901 6,285 7%
Disabilities Awareness 5,571 5,933 6%
Astronomy 15,531 16,473 6%
Radio 5,205 5,519 6%
Snow Sports 6,961 7,375 6%
Art 21,793 23,074 6%
Chemistry 11,140 11,745 5%
Public Health 2,382 2,507 5%
Pets 4,890 5,130 5%
Camping 49,893 52,328 5%
Energy 2,607 2,727 5%
Skating 1,898 1,979 4%
Dog Care 3,025 3,151 4%
Reptile and Amphibian Study 5,786 6,009 4%
Model Design and Building 2,674 2,770 4%
Aviation 13,745 14,227 4%
Architecture 3,881 4,016 3%
Moviemaking 9,416 9,738 3%
Animation 6,981 7,193 3%
Fly Fishing 4,872 5,005 3%
Coin Collecting 4,726 4,822 2%
Sustainability 7,192 7,328 2%
Entrepreneurship 3,353 3,410 2%
Railroading 6,728 6,818 1%
Athletics 2,808 2,844 1%
Automotive Maintenance 10,360 10,489 1%
Pulp and Paper 5,911 5,973 1%
Crime Prevention 6,456 6,517 1%
Gardening 1,428 1,440 1%
Soil and Water Conservation 8,199 8,242 1%
Law 5,656 5,681 0%
Personal Fitness 49,600 49,802 0%
Personal Management 48,393 48,464 0%
Programming 4,723 4,717 0%
Textile 2,530 2,523 0%
Photography 14,161 14,057 -1%
Engineering 12,280 12,184 -1%
Nuclear Science 6,678 6,623 -1%
Weather 12,430 12,311 -1%
Mammal Study 17,982 17,799 -1%
American Heritage 5,530 5,454 -1%
Metalwork 12,768 12,586 -1%
Salesmanship 6,936 6,813 -2%
Family Life 48,787 47,788 -2%
Basketry 14,546 14,216 -2%
Cooking 50,185 49,039 -2%
Orienteering 12,538 12,249 -2%
Plumbing 4,862 4,743 -2%
Cycling 5,671 5,503 -3%
Medicine 3,878 3,758 -3%
Golf 3,060 2,959 -3%
Search and Rescue 10,107 9,764 -3%
Safety 3,322 3,208 -3%
Fishing 24,688 23,589 -4%
Fingerprinting 38,239 36,510 -5%
Small Boat Sailing 13,886 13,202 -5%
Graphic Arts 3,343 3,178 -5%
Collections 4,280 4,060 -5%
Fire Safety 11,673 11,045 -5%
Archaeology 6,056 5,722 -6%
Space Exploration 19,574 18,432 -6%
Swimming 62,796 59,074 -6%
Water Sports 2,937 2,762 -6%
Electricity 9,979 9,383 -6%
Scuba Diving 2,036 1,912 -6%
Oceanography 9,021 8,460 -6%
Citizenship in the Community 49,863 46,750 -6%
Communication 51,541 48,117 -7%
Landscape Architecture 1,495 1,395 -7%
Inventing 3,494 3,259 -7%
Electronics 7,731 7,204 -7%
Leatherwork 33,740 31,397 -7%
Geology 17,242 16,041 -7%
Sports 6,594 6,133 -7%
Welding 11,981 11,129 -7%
Lifesaving 20,952 19,444 -7%
Exploration 3,351 3,107 -7%
Surveying 1,065 987 -7%
Archery 34,487 31,934 -7%
Public Speaking 7,250 6,695 -8%
Chess 28,260 25,999 -8%
Shotgun Shooting 20,241 18,576 -8%
Climbing 18,911 17,305 -8%
Traffic Safety 7,100 6,477 -9%
Woodwork 4,939 4,503 -9%
Citizenship in the Nation 52,944 48,182 -9%
Forestry 11,326 10,299 -9%
Citizenship in the World 55,843 50,700 -9%
Emergency Preparedness 43,063 39,022 -9%
Robotics 15,285 13,827 -10%
Whitewater 3,199 2,890 -10%
Rifle Shooting 37,695 34,049 -10%
Digital Technology 7,857 7,096 -10%
Fish & Wildlife Management 11,822 10,676 -10%
Game Design 16,020 14,424 -10%
First Aid 69,565 62,352 -10%
Wood Carving 31,910 28,599 -10%
Kayaking 31,362 28,093 -10%
Home Repairs 3,579 3,193 -11%
Insect Study 2,716 2,392 -12%
Wilderness Survival 29,392 25,863 -12%
Canoeing 26,094 22,734 -13%
Pioneering 14,099 12,282 -13%
Geocaching 12,972 11,271 -13%
Rowing 8,377 7,189 -14%
Motor Boating 9,697 8,298 -14%
Environmental Science 54,237 46,202 -15%
Genealogy 4,830 4,096 -15%
Indian Lore 16,003 13,530 -15%
Mining in Society 4,650 3,929 -16%
Composite Materials 1,646 1,383 -16%
Bugling 551 453 -18%
Plant Science 2,569 2,041 -21%
Dentistry 3,110 2,433 -22%
Computers 202 72 -64%

That’s it. That’s the end. You made it to the end of the list and definitely deserve a s’more.

About Bryan Wendell 3041 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.