There are more than 120 merit badges you can complete as a boy scout. Each one helps you learn about a specific skill, from surviving in the wilderness to being a good citizen. To earn one, you must first have permission from your scoutmaster, then have a merit badge counselor help you complete all the requirements and sign off on your "blue card," certifying that you have completed the badge. One of the easiest ways to earn merit badges is at summer camp, where numerous merit badge classes are offered. Some merit badges are required for the Eagle Scout rank. Sometimes we work on merit badges at troop meetings, but the scout is generally responsible for taking the initiative to earn them.
When you complete a merit badge, you will receive a small patch. These patches can be placed on a sash, available when you complete First Class. (other event patches can be placed on the back of the sash). For more information, see the page at meritbadge.org.
Eagle Required Merit Badges
There are 13 merit badges that all Boy Scouts who wish to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout must complete, along with 8 other non-Eagle-required merit badges. NOTE: Cooking Merit Badge became required for Eagle on January 1, 2014. All Eagle candidates must earn this badge, regardless of when they began work on the Eagle rank. The required ones are listed below:
- First Aid
- Citizenship in the Community
- Citizenship in the Nation
- Citizenship in the World
- Personal Fitness
- Emergency Preparedness OR Lifesaving*
- Environmental Science OR Sustainability*
- Personal Management
- Swimming OR Hiking OR Cycling*
- Family Life
*You must choose only one merit badge listed in items (g), (h), and (j). If you have earned more than one of the badges listed in items (g), (h), and (j), choose one and list the remaining badges to make your total of 21.
Merit Badge Counselors
Scouts should contact the Scoutmaster to find a merit badge counselor for a merit badge they are interested in.