Merit badges give scouts the opportunity to investigate around 120 different areas of knowledge and skills. The merit badge program plays a major role in the scouting advancement program and participation can begin as soon as a scout registers with a troop. Each scout can explore topics from American Business to Woodworking as they have interest. The only limitations are their ambition and availability of adult merit badge counselors to offer instruction.

Read More about the merit badge process.

Merit Badge Pamphlets: An official Boy Scouts of America merit badge pamphlet has been created for the BSA by topic authorities for each merit badge. The pamphlets contain requirements, introductory information and supplemental reference text. A scout can purchase pamphlets from BSA, find them in a troop library, or often-times check them out from a public library. There is also a Requirements Booklet with a merit badge list for quick reference.

Merit Badge Pamphlets Family Life

Merit Badge Counselors: Merit badge counselors are volunteers that have been selected, trained, and approved by council or district committees. They are knowledgeable in the topic and understand the goals of scouting and the Scouting merit badge program. Many districts have a directory of counselors. See this page for more info on becoming a merit badge counselor.

Merit Badge Process: A scout decides they would like to earn a specific merit badge. They obtain approval to begin the merit badge from their Scoutmaster. The Scoutmaster identifies possible merit badge counselors. The scout identifies another scout, buddy, or family member that will be their partner to attend all meetings with the counselor to follow safe scouting guidelines. The scout then contacts the counselor to begin badge work. The counselor reviews the requirements with the scouts and they decide on projects to complete and a completion schedule. The counselor provides expertise, advice, guidance as needed until the scouts have completed the requirements. The merit badge counselor certifies completion of requirements and the merit badge patch is presented at a court of honor or troop meeting.See this page for more info on merit badges.

American Business Merit Badge Pamphlet. This pamphlet covers American businesses, from mom-and-pop shops to large corporations, and allows S. Lot of 16 Vintage Boy Scout Merit Badge Pamphlets Books. 21 VINTAGE BOY SCOUT MERIT BADGE BOOKS. MASONRY merit Badge Book, BSA Boy Scout, 1925 Print. Ending Jan 17 at 4:57PM PST 5d 13h.

Required Merit Badges: A scout can begin taking merit badges as soon as they join a troop, but no merit badges are required for advancement until reaching First Class rank. Advancement to Star, Life, and Eagle all require completion of merit badges, service, and demonstration of responsibility. To reach Eagle rank, a scout must complete a total of at least 21 Boy Scout merit badges, 13 of which come from the Eagle-required badge list.

Free card models buildings

Request New Merit Badge Topics
If you feel another topic or activity should be added, you need to tell the Boy Scouts of America directly.
For new merit badge ideas, send your request to: [email protected]
See section of this page for more info.

Merit Badge Pamphlets Free

More Scouting Information to Use:
Merit Badges - requirements and aids
Scout Activities - great scout activity ideas
Scout Awards - see what awards are available to scouts
Scout Ceremonies - some ceremony ideas
Scout Games - patrol or troop games
Scout Graces - fun meal graces
Scout Jokes - funny, gross, and silly jokes for scouts
Scout Projects - community projects for Scouts BSA patrols or troops
Scout Recipes - tasty food recipes for scout camping
Scout Skits - skits that scouts like to do
Scout Songs - songs for scouts
Scout Stories - stories that scouts will enjoy and understand
Scout Uniform - make sure you put all those badges and patches in the right spots
Scout Tests - online tests for scouts to test their knowledge
Scout Schedule - sample schedule to reach First Class rank in 12-18 months
Eagle Scout Schedule - sample schedule to reach Eagle Scout

Jan 04, 2016 - Kipp Irland
Problem: Military family. Moved from overseas back to the US. Scout has completed portions of the Swimming Merit badge. The scouts new Scout Master stated that he must get in touch with his former Counselor (me) to complete the badge. He only has the actual swim portion remaining. The SM stated that if he is unable to complete the MB with his former counselor, he would need to start over. Is there some written text that states that he would and should get credit for his partial work on the badge before moving due his family's military service. Appreciate any input. Thanks!
Jan 30, 2016 - Scouter Paul
@Kipp - A merit badge counselor usually accepts work completed under the guidance of a previous counselor - it happens all the time. See Section of the Guide to Advancement.
Apr 07, 2016 - Trav's Mom
Our troop will allow you to do work on MB's outside of scouts, but the counselors require proof that it was done. We take lots of photos and if it required him to do a speech or read, we get a letter from whomever was over it. We have never had to question anyone's integrity on MB requirements. our troop is also very boy-led. They boys decide what ones they are doing at meetings, and they can opt out to work on something else. We have a great balance of MB and advancements. We have some more motivated than others. My son started as a Tiger and just crossed over, and he is excelling more than expected. (I think I have a future SPL on my hands. I am a leader/counselor, but I do not sign my own sons stuff, I have him take it with proof to another counselor.
May 04, 2016 - WILLIAM CLARK
Where can I find the pre-work requirements for the merit badge classes?
Merit Badge PamphletsJul 30, 2016 - Michael Lane
I have lived in the Alaskan bush for several years, I am a hunting and fishing guide. I am VERY familiar with wilderness survival, hiking, camping, boating, horsemanship, trapping, fishing, hunting, archery. I am a licensed Skipper and I am logging solo time for my commercial fixed wing and helicopter licenses, I am an avid bow hunter, I am a certified wild fire hotshot and have participated in several search and rescue operations in the bush. I was wondering if my unique skills would be useful to the BSA and if I should apply to be a MB Counselor.
Aug 06, 2016 - Mel Koford
Your BSA procedures on this page are great. One thing I am suggesting to the 11yr old Patrol I lead, the Scouts are very eager and I suggest a MB to get them started. I have these Scouts until they are 12. They are ready to work on my suggestion. They also attend a Merit Bage Midway and work on what they want.
I am a Vertean Scout Leader and am having fun with the program!
Sep 28, 2016 - Gavin Myers
What is the yellow ring around a merit badge mean? I know that the white is Eagle required and green is normal. Thank you
Scout ranked Gavin
Sep 28, 2016 - Scouter Paul
@Gavin - There are only green or silver borders. The 4 historic merit badges available in 2010 had gold borders. If you see an image online of what appears to be a yellow border, it's just poor color display.
Jan 17, 2017 - scouter R
can a assistant master scout sign the blue card? if the scout master refuses to?
Jan 17, 2017 - Scouter Paul
@scouter R - No.
That's kind of like having a policeman release a prisoner after the judge says he's guilty, or a vice-president signing a bill after the president vetos it.
The blue card has a spot for the signature of the 'Unit Leader', not the assistant leader.
Feb 14, 2017 - DT
Can a scout (with counselor permission) take a hike with his family and have it count toward his hiking merit badge?
Feb 14, 2017 - Scouter Paul
@DT - Yes, as long as he creates a hike plan and shares it with his scoutmaster beforehand as the requirement states. And, checking with his counselor beforehand to make sure any activity or effort will be counted is always a good idea.
Apr 12, 2017 - Jeff Moulton
Later this summer my son and I are going somewhere. We don't know where yet, but someplace he and I have never been. But we would like for him to work on a merit badge while we're gone. So what I'm looking for is a list of places that offer merit badge classes, or hard to obtain requirements for merit badges.
For instance, on Tybee Island, Georgia (outside of Savannah), is the Tybee Island Marine Science Center, and in a two hour class, a boy can fulfill some of the requirements for the Oceanography Merit Badge - something that is a bit more difficult (though not impossible) to earn in the middle of Illinois farmland.
I'm hoping someone out there has created a list of places like this that can be sorted or searched by location and/or merit badge, so that we can plan our adventure around him working towards a merit badge in an environment different from what we can provide here in central Illinois.
Mar 28, 2019 - Jackie
Is there a merit badge for faith? my boys just finished their confirmation through our church and they were wondering about a faith merit badge. If someone can let me know since I didn't see it in the above pg.
Mar 28, 2019 - Scouter Paul
@Jackie - There is no 'Faith' merit badge but there is a Youth Religious Emblem award.
Jul 06, 2019 - Giuliane Belt
I would like to send a letter with some ideas for new Merit Badge. I would like to know what address I should send⁰ it?
Jul 06, 2019 - Scouter PaulAug 25, 2020 - Tony Taylor
We are missionaries. There are no boy scout troops here. How can my kids earn badges even though there is no troop here?
Aug 26, 2020 - Scouter Paul
@Tony - The BSA has an complete program for individuals living where there are no scouting units. It is Lone Scouts.
Jan 04, 2021 - Mary
Good info. And easier to use than the normal BSA website.

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For the first time ever, it’s now possible for a Scout to earn every Eagle-required merit badge using nothing but the new interactive digital merit badge pamphlets.

Or, put simply: The future is officially here.

As first reported on Scouting Wire, interactive digital merit badge pamphlets are now available for all Eagle-required merit badges.

That includes those badges that allow Scouts to choose from two or three options. For example, to become an Eagle Scout, a young man must earn the Swimming or Hiking or Cycling merit badges. But whichever he chooses, he’ll have the interactive digital merit badge pamphlet available for download right now. Same for the Emergency Preparedness and Lifesaving merit badges and the Environmental Science and Sustainability merit badges.

I’ve been updating you as the number of interactive digital merit badge pamphlets has grown. First there were four. Then eight. Then 13. Now that number is at 20.

That’s 17 Eagle-required and three elective merit badges. The electives are three logical candidates for what I’m calling “early digitization”: Animation, Digital Technology and Robotics.

So why go interactive digital instead of the ink-and-paper merit badge pamphlet? These advantages are what sold me:

  • Exclusive videos, including how-to clips, career bios, virtual tours and multimedia experiences
  • Search, so you can find what you need quickly
  • Simulations, animations, photo slideshows and graphics
  • Interactive Q&A’s

Like all things digital, these don’t take up any extra space in your backpack. And you get it all for the same cost as the print pamphlets: $4.99.


You’re getting the best value by going with the interactive digital edition. But don’t take my word for it; check one out for yourself.

Which merit badges are digital?

Click each merit badge title to be taken to the appropriate page. (Or see the full set here.)

What’s inside?

Take a look:

Is this the same as what’s on Amazon?

No. These interactive digital merit badge pamphlets aren’t the same as the digital merit badge pamphlets sold on

The big difference? Interactivity.

The ones on Amazon are searchable and available on any device with a Kindle app, but they don’t include the BSA’s custom-designed interactive elements.

Merit Badge Pamphlets Download

The interactive digital merit badge pamphlets, on the other hand, are available on iPad, iPhone, Android and Web browsers and include all of the BSA’s resources for that merit badge.

No matter which version you choose — print, Amazon Kindle edition, interactive digital edition — you’ll spend $4.99 apiece.

Where can I learn more?

You can consider Boys’ Life to be your hub for all things related to these interactive digital merit badges pamphlets. Bookmark this page to find FAQs, links to buy the interactive digital merit badge pamphlets, sample videos and more.

Digital Merit Badge Pamphlets

How do I buy these awesome things?

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