U. S. Scouting Service Project at http://usscouts.org

BOY SCOUT
ADVANCEMENT
REQUIREMENT CHANGES

(Effective: January 1, 2005)

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When there is a conflict between two published lists of requirements, such as the Requirements Book and a Merit Badge Pamphlet, the Requirements Book should be considered to be the controlling document, until a newer edition of the Requirements Book is issued, EXCEPT when the pamphlet has a later issue date. 

BSA is in the process of updating ALL 120 merit badge books. Since January 1, 2000, over half of the pamphlets have been reissued. As new pamphlets are issued, when they contain new requirements, Scouts will have the option of starting with the new requirements as soon as the pamphlets are issued, or they may start work using the old requirements until the next edition of Boy Scout Requirements (BSA Publication No. 33215) is issued.

They will NOT be holding the publications up until January each year, just issuing them as they are completed (and old stocks exhausted, probably). Then in January, the Requirements Book will include all revisions to date.

Those Scouts working on any badges using the old requirements and who started before December 31, 2004, may complete the badge using the old requirements  Those starting work on the badge after January 1, 2005, should use the new requirements.

REVISED RANK REQUIREMENTS

Positions of Responsibility for Youth in Venturing Crews and Sea Scout Ships were added to the lists of eligible positions for STAR Requirement 5, and EAGLE requirement 4 in the Boy Scout Requirements Book. These positions had been included in the Eagle Application form for many years, and had already been shown on our pages. No actual change was made.

SPECIAL OPPORTUNITIES

Requirements for the SCUBA BSA patch were added to the Boy Scout Requirements Book.  These requirements are already posted on our site, and have not changed from those listed when the badge was introduced.

REVISED MERIT BADGE REQUIREMENTS

Requirements changes are listed, in whole or in part, for 27 Merit Badges. Some of these changes are purely corrections of typographical errors. Some of the Merit badges had new pamphlets issued in mid-2004. Some of the badges had actually changed when new pamphlets were issued in mid-2003, but the changed requirements had been omitted from the 2004 edition of Boy Scout Requirements due to editorial errors.

 Archery
Astronomy
Camping
Canoeing
Chemistry
Citizenship in the Community
Citizenship in the Nation
Cooking
Cycling
Electricity
Electronics
Emergency Preparedness
Family Life
Fire Safety
First Aid
Fish and Wildlife Management
Medicine
Metalwork
Nuclear Science (formerly Atomic Energy)
Plumbing
Railroading
Scholarship
Small Boat Sailing
Soil and Water Conservation
Space Exploration
Surveying
Theater

In some of the revisions below, the wording changes are shown with added wording in bold underlined text, and deleted wording in red strikeout text.


Archery

Requirements 3b and 3c had minor revisions, shown here:

  1. Do the following:
    1. Explain how to proper care for and store tabs, arm guards, shooting gloves, and quivers.
    2. Explain the following terms:
      cast,
      draw
      bow weight,
      string height (fistmele),
      aiming,
      spine,
      mechanical release,
      freestyle, and
      barebow.
    3. Make a bowstring for the bow you are shooting and use it.

A typographical error in Requirement 5[Option B]f(1) the 2004 Requirements Book was corrected to reflect the wording in the merit badge pamphlet:

  1. Using a compound bow and arrows with a finger release, shoot a single round  of and ONE of the following BSA, NAA, or NFAA rounds:

Astronomy

A new pamphlet for this badge was issued in mid-2004. Scouts could start working on the new requirements as soon as the pamphlet was issued.

NOTE:  The 2005 edition of Boy Scout Requirements omitted requirements 9 & 10 below.  We have confirmed with BSA that this is an editorial error in transferring the information from the pamphlet, and will be corrected in next year's edition. Scouts should use the FULL requirements in the pamphlet, reproduced below.

The requirements were completely rewritten, and now read as follows:

  1. Describe the proper clothing and other precautions for safely making observations at night and in cold weather. Tell how to safely observe the Sun, objects near the Sun, and the Moon. Explain first aid for injuries or illnesses, such as heat and cold reactions, dehydration, bites and stings, and damage to your eyes that could occur during observation.
  2. Explain what light pollution is and how it and air pollution affect astronomy.
  3. With the aid of diagrams (or real telescopes if available), do each of the following:
    1. Explain why binoculars and telescopes are important astronomical tools. Demonstrate or explain how these tools are used.
    2. Describe the similarities and differences of several types of astronomical telescopes.
    3. Explain the purposes of at least three instruments used with astronomical telescopes.
  4. Do the following:
    1. Identify in the sky at least 10 constellations, at least four of which are in the zodiac.
    2. Identify at least eight conspicuous stars, five of which are of magnitude 1 or brighter.
    3. Make two sketches of the Big Dipper. In one sketch, show the Big Dipper's orientation in the early evening sky. In another sketch, show its position several hours later. In both sketches, show the North Star and the horizon. Record the date and time each sketch was made.
    4. Explain what we see when we look at the Milky Way.
  5. Do the following:
    1. list the names of the five most visible planets. Explain which ones can appear inphases similar to lunar phases and which ones cannot, and explain why.
    2. Find out when each of the five most visible planets that you identified in requirement 5a will be observable in the evening sky during the next 12 months, then compile this information in the form of a chart or table. Update your chart monthly to show whether each planet will be visible during the early morning or in the evening sky.
  6. At approximately weekly intervals, sketch the position of Venus, Mars or Jupiter in relation to the stars. Do this for at least four weeks and at the same time of night. On your sketch, record the date and time next to the planet's position. Use your sketch to explain how planets move.
  7. Do the following:
    1. Sketch the face of the moon and indicate at least five seas and five craters. Label these landmarks.
    2. Sketch the phase and  the daily position of the Moon at the same hour and place, for a week. Include landmarks on the horizon such as hills, trees, and buildings.  Explain the changes you observe.
    3. List the factors that keep the Moon in orbit around Earth.
    4. With the aid of diagrams, explain the relative positions of the Sun, Earth, and the Moon at the times of lunar and solar eclipses, and at the times of new, first-quarter, full, and last-quarter phases of the Moon.
  8. Do the following:
    1. Describe the composition of the Sun, its relationship to other stars, and some effects of its radiation on Earth's weather. Define sunspots and describe some of the effects they may have on solar radiation.
    2. Identify at least one red star, one blue star, and one yellow star (other than the Sun). Explain the meaning of these colors.
  9. With your counselor's approval and guidance, do ONE of the following:
    1. Visit a planetarium or astronomical observatory. Submit a written report, a scrapbook, or a video presentation afterward to your counselor that includes the following information:
      1. Activities occurring there
      2. Exhibits and displays you saw
      3. Telescopes and instruments being used
      4. Celestial objects you observed.
    2. Plan and participate in a three-hour observation session that includes using binoculars or a telescope. List the celestial objects you want to observe, and find each on a star chart or in a guidebook. Prepare an observing log or notebook. Show your plan, charts, and log or notebook to your counselor before making your observations. Review your log or notebook with your counselor afterward.
    3. Plan and host a star party for your Scout troop or other group such as your class at school. Use binoculars or a telescope to show and explain celestial objects to the group.
    4. Help an astronomy club in your community hold a star party that is open to the public.
    5. Personally take a series of photographs or digital images of the movement of the Moon, a planet, an asteroid or meteoroid, 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.
  10. List at least three different career opportunities in astronomy. Pick the one you in which are most interested and explain how to prepare for such a career. Discuss with your counselor what courses might be useful for such a career.

Camping

Although the following change was made with the release of a new printing of the Camping merit badge pamphlet in 2003, the change did not appear in the 2004 Boy Scout Requirements Book.

A minor change was made to requirement 9(a), to clarify that the use of pre-erected tents at long term camps is excluded from the requirement to pitch your own tent or sleep under the stars.    The requirement now reads as follows:

  1. a. Camp a total of at least 20 days and 20 nights. You may use a week of long-term camp toward this requirement. Sleep each night under the sky or in a tent you have pitched (long-term camp excluded).

Canoeing

The requirements were completely rewritten, and now read as follows:

  1. Show that you know first aid for injuries or illnesses that co-occur while canoeing, including hypothermia, heat reactions, dehydration, insect stings, tick bites, and blisters.
  2. Do the following:
    1. Identify the conditions that must exist before performing CPR on a person. Explain how such conditions are recognized.
    2. Demonstrate the proper technique for performing CPR using a training device approved by your counselor.
  3. Before doing the following requirements, successfully complete the BSA swimmer test: Jump feetfirst into water over the head in depth. Level off and swim 75 yards in a strong manner using one or more of the following strokes: sidestroke, breaststroke, trudgen, or crawl; then swim 25 yards using an easy, resting backstroke. The 100 yards must be completed in one swim without stops and must include at least one sharp turn. After completing the swim, rest by floating.
  4. Discuss the following:
    1. The BSA Safety Afloat policy. Tell how it applies to canoeing activities.
    2. The most common weather and water-related hazards encountered while canoeing and how to deal safely with each one.
  5. Do the following:
    1. Name and point out the major parts of a canoe.
    2. Describe how the length and shape of a canoe affect its performance.
    3. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the different materials used to make canoes.
    4. Name and point out the parts of a paddle. Explain the difference between a straight and bent-shaft paddle and when each is best used.
    5. Demonstrate how to correctly size a paddle for a paddler in a sitting position and a kneeling position.
    6. Name the different types of personal flotation devices (PFDs), and explain when each type should be used.
    7. Show how to properly fit and test a PFD of correct size.
    8. Discuss the general care and maintenance of canoeing equipment.
    9. Discuss what personal and group equipment would be appropriate for a canoe camping trip. Describe how personal and group equipment can be packed and protected from water.
    10. Demonstrate how to load and secure equipment in a canoe.
    11. Using appropriate knots, demonstrate how to secure a canoe to a rack on land, a vehicle, or a canoe trailer.
  6. With a companion, wearing the proper PFD and appropriately dressed for the weather and water conditions, use a properly equipped canoe to demonstrate the following:
    1. Safely carry and launch the canoe from a dock or shore (both, if possible).
    2. Safely land the canoe on a dock or shore (both, if possible) and return it to its proper storage location.
    3. Demonstrate kneeling and sitting positions in a canoe and explain the proper use for each position.
    4. Change places while afloat in the canoe.
    5. In deep water, exit the canoe and get back in without capsizing.
    6. Capsize the canoe and demonstrate how staying with a capsized canoe will support both paddlers.
    7. Swim, tow, or push a swamped canoe 50 feet to shallow water. In the shallow water, empty the swamped canoe and reenter it. (h) In deep water, rescue a swamped canoe and its paddlers by emptying the swamped canoe and helping the paddlers safely reenter their boat without capsizing.
  7. With a companion, wearing the proper PFD and appropriately dressed for the weather and water conditions, demonstrate the following paddling strokes as both a bow and stern paddler:
    1. Forward stroke
    2. Backstroke
    3. Draw
    4. Pushaway
    5. Forward sweep
    6. Reverse or back sweep
      For stern paddling only:
    7. J-stroke
  8. Using the strokes in requirement 7, demonstrate the following tandem maneuvers while paddling on opposite sides and without changing sides. Repeat after switching positions and paddling sides:
    1. Pivot or spin the canoe in either direction.
    2. Move the canoe sideways or abeam in either direction.
    3. Stop the canoe.
    4. Move the canoe in a straight line for 50 yards.
  9. Wearing the proper PFD and appropriately dressed for the weather and water conditions, demonstrate solo canoe handling:
    1. Launch from shore or a pier (both, if possible).
    2. Using a single-blade paddle and paddling only on one side, demonstrate proper form and use of the forward stroke, backstroke, draw stroke, pushaway stroke, forward sweep, reverse or back sweep, and J-stroke. Repeat while paddling on the other side.
    3. While paddling on one side only, paddle a 50-yard course making at least one turn underway and one reverse of directioi Repeat while paddling on the other side.
    4. Make a proper landing at a dock or shore (both, if possible) Store canoe properly (with assistance, if needed).
    5. In deep water, exit the canoe and then get back in without capsizing.
  10. Discuss the following types of canoeing:
    1. Olympic flatwater
    2. Outrigger
    3. Marathon
    4. Freestyle
    5. Whitewater
    6. Canoe poling

Chemistry

The requirements were completely rewritten, and now read as follows:

  1. Do EACH of the following activities:
    1. Describe three examples of safety equipment used in a chemistry laboratory and the reason each one is used.
    2. Describe what a material safety data sheet (MSDS) is and tell why it is used.
    3. Obtain an MSDS for both a paint and an insecticide. Compare and discuss the toxicity, disposal, and safe-handling sections for these two common household products.
    4. Discuss the safe storage of chemicals. How does the safe storage of chemicals apply to your home, your school, your community, and the environment?
  2. Do EACH of the following activities:
    1. Predict what would happen if you placed an iron nail in a copper sulfate solution. Then, put an iron nail in a copper sulfate solution. Describe your. observations and make a conclusion based on your observations. Compare your prediction and original conclusion with what actually happened. Write the formula for the reaction that you described.
    2. Describe how you would separate sand from water, table salt from water, oil from water, and gasoline from motor oil. Name the practical processes that require these kinds of separations.
    3. Describe the difference between a chemical reaction and a physical change.
  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.
  4. Do EACH of the following activities:
    1. Cut a round onion into small chunks. Separate the onion chunks into three equal portions. Leave the first portion raw. Cook the second portion of onion chunks until the pieces are translucent. Cook the third portion until the onions are caramelized, or brown in color. Taste each type of onion. Describe the taste of raw onion versus partially cooked onion versus caramelized onion. Explain what happens to molecules in the onion during the cooking process.
    2. Describe the chemical similarities and differences between toothpaste and an abrasive household cleanser. Explain how the end use or purpose of a product affects its chemical formulation.
    3. In a clear container, mix a half-cup of water with a tablespoon of oil. Explain why the oil and water do not mix. Find a substance that will help the two combine, and add it to the mixture. Describe what happened, and explain how that substance worked to combine the oil and water.
  5. List the four classical divisions of chemistry. Briefly describe each one, and tell how it applies to your everyday life.
  6. Do EACH of the following activities:
    1. Name two government agencies that are responsible for tracking the use of chemicals for commercial or industrial use. Pick one agency and briefly describe its responsibilities to the public and the environment.
    2. Define pollution. Explain the chemical effects of ozone, global warming, and acid rain. Pick a current environmental problem as an example. Briefly describe what people are doing to resolve this hazard and to increase understanding of the problem.
    3. Using reasons from chemistry, describe the effect on the environment of ONE of the following:
      1. The production of aluminum cans or plastic milk cartons
      2. Sulfur from burning coal
      3. Used, motor oil
      4. Newspaper
    4. Briefly describe the purpose of phosphates in fertilizer and in laundry detergent. Explain how the use of phosphates in fertilizers affects the environment. Also, explain why phosphates have been removed from laundry detergents.
    5. Visit a county farm agency or. similar governmental agency and learn how chemistry is used to meet the needs of agriculture ,in your county.
  7. Do ONE of the following activities:
    1. Visit a laboratory and talk to a practicing chemist. Ask what the chemist does, and what training and education are needed to work as a chemist.
    2. Using resources found at the library and in periodicals, books, and the Internet (with your parent's permission), learn about two different kinds of work done by chemists, chemical engineers, chemical technicians, or industrial chemists. For each of the our jobs, find out the education and training requirements.

Citizenship in the Community

The requirements were completely rewritten, and now read as follows:

  1. Discuss with your counselor what citizenship in the community means and what it takes to be a good citizen in your community. Discuss the rights, duties, and obligations of citizenship, and explain how you can demonstrate good citizenship in your community, Scouting unit, place of worship, or school.
  2. Do the following:
    1. on a map of your community, locate and point out the following:
      1. Chief government buildings such as your city hall, county courthouse, and public works/services facility
      2. Fire station, police station, and hospital nearest your home
      3. Historical or other interesting points
    2. Chart the organization of your local or state government. Show the top offices and tell whether they are elected or appointed.
  3. Do the following:
    1. Attend a city or town council or school board meeting, or a municipal; county, or state court session.
    2. Choose one of the issues discussed at the meeting where a difference of opinions was expressed, and explain to your counselor why you agree with one opinion more than you do another one.
  4. Choose an issue that is important to the citizens of your community; then do the following:
    1. Find out which branch of local government is responsible for this issue.
    2. With your counselor's and a parent's approval, interview one person from the branch of government you identified in requirement 4a. Ask what is being done about this issue and how young people can help.
    3. Share what you have learned with your counselor.
  5. With the approval of your counselor and a parent, watch a movie that shows how the actions of one individual or group of individuals can have a positive effect on a community. Discuss with your counselor what you learned from the movie about what it means to be a valuable and concerned member of the community.
  6. List some of the services (such as the library, recreation center, public transportation, and public safety) your community provides that are funded by taxpayers. Tell your counselor why these services are important to your community.
  7. Do the following:
    1. Choose a charitable organization outside of Scouting that interests you and brings people in your community together to work for the good of your community.
    2. Using a variety of resources (including newspapers, fliers and other literature, the Internet, volunteers, and employees of the organization), find out more about this organization.
    3. With your counselor's and your parent's approval, contact the organization and find out what young people can do to help. While working on this merit badge, volunteer at least eight hours of your time for the organization. After your volunteer experience is over, discuss what you have learned with your counselor.
  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

The requirements were completely rewritten, and now read as follows:

  1. Explain what citizenship in the nation means and what it takes to be a good citizen of this country. Discuss the rights, duties, and obligations of a responsible and active American citizen.
  2. Do TWO of the following:
    1. Visit a place that is listed as a National Historic Landmark or that is on the National Register of Historic Places. Tell your counselor what you learned about the landmark or site and what you found interesting about it.
    2. Tour your state capitol building or the U.S. Capitol. Tell your counselor what you learned about the capitol, its function, and the history.
    3. 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.
    4. Choose a national monument that interests you. Using books, brochures, the Internet (with your parent's permission), and other resources, find out more about the monument. Tell your counselor what you learned, and explain why the monument is important to this country's citizens.
  3. Watch the national evening news five days in a row OR read the front page of a major daily newspaper five days in a row. Discuss the national issues you learned about with your counselor. Choose one of the issues and explain how it affects you and your family.
  4. Discuss each of the following documents with your counselor. Tell your counselor how you feel life in the United States might be different without each one.
    1. Declaration of Independence
    2. Preamble to the Constitution
    3. The Constitution
    4. Bill of Rights
    5. Amendments to the Constitution
  5. List the six functions of government as noted in the preamble to the Constitution. Discuss with your counselor how these functions affect your family and local community.
  6. With your counselor's approval, choose a speech of national historical importance. Find out about the author, and tell your counselor about the person who gave the speech. Explain the importance of the speech at the time it was given, and tell how it applies to American citizens today. Choose a sentence or two from the speech that has significant meaning to you, and tell your counselor why.
  7. Name the three branches of our federal government and explain to your counselor their functions. Explain how citizens are involved in each branch. For each branch of government, explain the importance of the system of checks and balances.
  8. Name your two senators and the member of Congress from your congressional district. Write a letter about a national issue and send it to one of these elected officials, sharing your view with him or her. Show your letter and any response you receive to your counselor.

Cooking

A typographical error in Requirement 5d was corrected:

  1. Figure the weight of the foods in requirement 5a 4a.

Cycling

The changes listed below were made with the release of a new edition of the Cycling merit badge pamphlet in 2003. However, the changes did not appear in the 2004 Boy Scout Requirements Book.

In requirement 1, the terms "heatstroke", "heat exhaustion", and "sunburn" were replaced with "heat reactions".

In requirement 3c, the term "steering post" was replaced with "steering tube".

In requirement 6a, the phrase "Proper mounting, pedaling, and braking"  was replaced by "Properly mount, pedal, and brake"

The footnote to Requirement 8 now begins, "The bicycle ..."

The list on the inside cover indicates changes were also made to items 6(b) and 7, but the text is unchanged.


Electricity

The requirements were completely rewritten, and now read as follows:

  1. Demonstrate that you know how to respond to electrical emergencies by doing the following:
    1. Show how to rescue a person touching a live wire in the home.
    2. Show how to render first aid to a person who is unconscious from electrical shock.
    3. Show how to treat an electrical burn.
    4. Explain what to do in an electrical storm.
    5. Explain what to do in the event of an electrical fire.
  2. Complete an electrical home safety inspection of your home, using the checklist found in this pamphlet or one approved by your counselor. Discuss what you find with your counselor.
  3. Make a simple electromagnet and use it to show magnetic attraction and repulsion.
  4. Explain the difference between direct current and alternating current.
  5. Make a simple drawing to show how a battery and an electric bell work.
  6. Explain why a fuse blows or a circuit breaker trips. Tell how to find a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker in your home. Show how to safely reset the circuit breaker.
  7. Explain what overloading an electric circuit means. Tell what you have done to make sure your home circuits are not overloaded.
  8. On a floor plan of a room in your home, make a wiring diagram of the lights, switches, and outlets. Show which fuse or circuit breaker protects each one.
  9. Do the following:
    1. Read an electric meter and, using your family's electric bill, determine the energy cost from the meter readings.
    2. Discuss with your counselor five ways in which your family can conserve energy.
  10. Explain the following electrical terms:
    volt ampere watt
    ohm resistance potential difference
    rectifier rheostat conductor
    ground circuit, and short circuit
  11. Do any TWO of the following:
    1. Connect a buzzer, bell, or light with a battery. Have a key or switch in the line.
    2. Make and run a simple electric motor (not from a kit).
    3. Build a simple rheostat. Show that it works.
    4. Build a single-pole, double-throw switch. Show that it works.
    5. Hook a model electric train layout to a house circuit. Tell how it works.

Electronics

The changes listed below were made with the release of a new edition of the Electronics merit badge pamphlet in 2003. However, the changes did not appear in the 2004 Boy Scout Requirements Book, even though the badge had been listed as having been revised. 

A new requirement was added as number 1, old requirements 1 and 2 were renumbered as 2 and 3, and had minor changes made. Old requirements 3 and 4 were rewritten and combined into new requirement 4. Old requirement 5(c) was rewritten as new requirement 6. (Old requirements 5(a) and 5(b) were unchanged)

The requirements now read as follows:

  1. Describe the safety precautions you must exercise when using, building, altering, or repairing electronic devices.
  2. Do the following:
    1. Draw a simple schematic diagram. It must show resistors, capacitors, and transistors or integrated circuits, Use the correct symbols. Label all parts.
    2. Tell the purpose of each part.
  3.  Do the following:
    1. Show the right way to solder and desolder.
    2. Show how to avoid heat damage to electronic components.
    3. Tell about the function of a printed circuit board. Tell what precautions should be observed when soldering printed circuit boards.
  4. Discuss each of the following with your merit badge counselor, and then choose ONE of the following and build a circuit to show the techniques used:
    1. Tell how you can use electronics for a control purpose, and then build a control device circuit.
    2. 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.
    3. Tell about three audio applications of electronics, and then build an audio circuit.

    Show how to read the schematic diagram of the project you choose and, to the best of your ability, explain to your counselor how the circuit you built operates.

  5. Do the following:
    1. Show how to solve a simple problem involving current, voltage, and resistance using Ohm's law.
    2. Tell about the need for and the use of test equipment in electronics.  Name three types of test equipment. Tell how they operate.
  6. Find out about three career opportunities in electronics that interest you. Discuss with and explain to your counselor what training and education are needed for each position.

Emergency Preparedness

A typographical error in Requirement 6b was corrected:

  1. Identify the government or community agencies that normally handle and prepare for the emergency services listed under 6a 4a, and explain to your counselor how a group of Scouts could volunteer to help in the event of these types of emergencies.

Family Life

The requirements were completely rewritten, and now read as follows:

  1. Prepare an outline on what a family is and discuss this with your merit badge counselor. Tell why families are important to individuals and to society. Discuss how the actions of one member can affect other members.
  2. List several reasons why you are important to your family and discuss this with your parents or guardians and with your merit badge counselor.
  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.
  4. With the approval of your parents or guardians and your merit badge counselor, decide on and carry out a project that you would do around the home that would benefit your family. Submit a report to your merit badge counselor outlining how the project benefited your family.
  5. Plan and carry out a project that involves the participation of your family. After completing the project, discuss the following with your merit badge. counselor:
    1. The objective or goal of the project
    2. How individual members of your family participated
    3. The results of the project
  6. Do the following:
    1. Discuss with your merit badge counselor how to plan and carry out a family meeting.
    2. After this discussion, plan and carry out a family meeting to include the following subjects:
      1. Avoiding substance abuse
      2. Understanding the growing-up process and how the body changes, and making responsible decisions dealing with sex
      3. Personal and family finances
      4. A crisis situation within your family
      5. The effect of technology on your family
        Discussion of each of these subjects will very likely carry over to more than one family meeting.
  7. Discuss the following with your counselor:
    1. Your understanding of what makes an effective father and why, and your thoughts on the father's role in the family
    2. Your understanding of the responsibilities of a parent.

Fire Safety

A new pamphlet for this badge was issued in mid-2004. Scouts could start working on the new requirements as soon as the pamphlet was issued.

Old requirements 9c and 5 were moved to a new requirement 1a and 1b, and old requirements 1, 2 and 4 were renumbered as 2, 3, and 5. Requirement 1 reads as follows:

  1. Do the following:
    1. Demonstrate the technique of stop, drop, roll, and cool. Explain how burn injuries can be prevented.
    2. List the most frequent causes of burn injuries.

New requirement 4a was added and old requirement 3 was renumbered as 4b.  Requirement 4 now reads:

  1. Do the following:
    1. Explain the role of human behavior in the arson problem in this country
    2. List the actions that cause seasonal fires and explain how these fires can be prevented.

Minor editorial changes were made to requirement 6, and requirement 7c was moved to 6g and new requirement 6h was added.  Requirement 6 now reads:

  1. Conduct a home safety survey with the help of an adult. Then do the following:
    1. Draw a home fire-escape plan, create a home fire-drill schedule, and conduct a home fire drill.
    2. Test a smoke alarm and demonstrate regular maintenance of a smoke alarm.
    3. Explain what to do when you smell gas and when you smell smoke.
    4. Explain how you would report a fire alarm.
    5. Explain what fire safety equipment can be found in public buildings.
    6. Explain who should use fire extinguishers and when these devices can be used.
    7. Explain how to extinguish a grease pan fire.
    8. Explain what fire safety precautions you should take when you are in a public building.

Requirement 7d was renumbered as 7c.

Requirement 9b was rewritten to read as follows:

  1. Demonstrate the safety factors, such as proper ventilation, for auxiliary heating devices and the proper way to fuel those devices.

A new requirement 12 was added, as follows:

  1. Choose a fire safety-related career that interests you and describe the level of education required and responsibilities of a person in that position. Tell why this position interests you.

First Aid

Minor editorial changes were made to requirements 3d and 4a, as follows:

  1. d. Show the steps that need to be taken for someone suffering from a severe cut laceration on the leg and on the wrist. Tell the dangers in the use of a tourniquet and the conditions under which its use is justified.
  2. a. Describe the signs of a broken bone. Show first aid procedures for handling fractures and broken bones, including open (compound) fractures of the forearm, wrist, upper leg, and lower leg using improvised materials.

A typographical error in Requirement 4b was corrected:

  1. b. Describe the symptoms and possible complications and demonstrate proper procedures for treating suspected injuries to the head, neck, and back back, neck, and head. Explain what measures should be taken to reduce the possibility of further complicating these injuries.

Fish and Wildlife Management

A new pamphlet for this badge was issued in mid-2004. Scouts could start working on the new requirements as soon as the pamphlet was issued.

A minor editorial change was made to requirement 5b, as follows:

  1. Construct, erect, and check regularly bird feeders and keep written records of the kinds of birds visiting the feeders in the winter. wintertime.

Requirement 6 was revised as shown below, to add amphibians into the requirement.

  1. Do ONE of the following:
    1. Observe and record 25 species of wildlife. Your list may include mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and or fish. Write down when and where each animal was seen.
    2. List the wildlife species in your state that are classified as endangered, threatened, exotic, game species, furbearers, or migratory game birds.
    3. Start a scrapbook of North American wildlife. Insert markers to divide the book into separate parts for mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish. Collect articles on such subjects as life histories, habitat, behavior, and feeding habits on all of the five four categories and place them in your notebook accordingly. Articles and pictures may be taken cut from old discarded newspapers; or science, nature and outdoor magazines; or can be photocopied from other sources including the Internet (with your parent's permission). Enter at least five 10 articles on mammals, five 10 on birds, five 5 on reptiles, five on amphibians, and five 5 on fish. Put each animal in alphabetical order. Include pictures whenever possible.

The following clause was added to requirement 7c:

It is not necessary to catch any fish for this option. You may visit a cleaning station set up for fishermen or find another, similar alternative.

The following clause was added to requirement 7d:

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.

A new requirement 8 was added, as follows:

  1. Using resources found at the library and in periodicals, books, and the Internet (with your parent's permission), learn about three different kinds of work done by fish and wildlife managers. Find out the education and training requirements for each position.

Medicine

A minor editorial change was made to requirement 1, as follows:

  1. Discuss with your counselor the influence that EIGHT of the following people or events had on the history of medicine:
    1. Hippocrates
      b. The invention of Gunpowder
    2. c. William Harvey
    3. d. Antoine van Leeuwenhoek
    4. e. Edward Jenner
    5. f. Florence Nightingale
    6. g. Louis Pasteur
    7. h. Gregor Mendel
    8. i. Joseph Lister
    9. j. Robert Koch
    10. k. Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen
    11. l. Marie and Pierre Curie
    12. m. Walter Reed
    13. n. Karl Landsteiner
    14. o. Alexander Fleming
    15. p. Jonas Salk
    16. q. James Watson and Francis Crick

Metalwork

A minor change was made to the introduction to requirement 5, as follows:

  1. After completing the first three four requirements, complete at least ONE of the options listed below.

Nuclear Science

This badge replaces the Atomic Energy Merit Badge (i.e. the badge was renamed)  A new pamphlet for this badge was issued with completely new requirements, as follows:

Update (9/12/2006):  A typo appeared in requirement 6c when the requirements were published.  The first sentence should not have been included as it is almost identical to the second sentence. The typo was removed in the 2006 printing of the merit badge pamphlet, and is shown as deleted below.)

  1. Do the following:
    1. Describe the biological effects and hazards of radiation to humankind, the environment, and wildlife. Explain the difference between deterministic and stochastic effects. In your explanation, discuss the nature and magnitude of radiation risks to humans from nuclear power, medical radiation, and background radiation. Explain the measures required by law to minimize these risks.
    2. Describe the radiation hazard symbol and explain where it should be used. Tell why and how people must use radiation or radioactive materials carefully.
  2. Tell the meaning of the following: ALARA, alpha particle, atom, background radiation, beta particle, contamination, curie and becquerel, gamma ray, half-life, ionization, quark, isotope, neutron, nuclear energy, nuclear reactor, particle accelerator, rad and gray, radiation, radioactivity, radon, rem and sievert, and X-ray.
  3. Choose five individuals important to the field of atomic energy and nuclear science and explain each person's contribution.
  4. Choose an element from the periodic table. Construct 3-D models for the atoms of three isotopes of this element, showing neutrons, protons, and electrons. Use the three models to explain the difference between atomic number and mass number. Then do the following:
    1. Make a drawing showing how nuclear fission happens, labeling all details. Draw another picture showing how a chain reaction could be started and how it could be stopped.
    2. Explain what is meant by a "critical mass."
  5. Do any THREE of the following:
    1. Build an electroscope. Show how it works. Place a radiation source inside and explain any difference seen.
    2. Build a model of a reactor. Show the fuel, control rods, shielding, moderator, and any cooling material. Explain how a reactor could be used to change nuclear energy into electrical energy or make things radioactive.
    3. Using a radiation survey meter and a radioactive source, show how the measurements per minute change as the source gets closer to or farther from the radiation detector. Place three different kinds of materials between the source and the detector, then explain any differences in the measurements per minute. Explain how time, distance, and shielding can reduce the radiation dose.
    4. Obtain a sample of irradiated and non-irradiated foods. Prepare the two foods and compare their taste and texture. Store the leftovers in separate containers and under the same conditions. For a period of 14 days, observe their rate of decomposition or spoilage, and describe the differences you see on days 5, 10, and 14.
    5. Describe how radon is detected in homes. Discuss the steps taken for the long-term and short-term test methods, how to interpret the results, and explain when each type of test should be used. Explain the health concern related to radon gas and tell what steps can be taken to reduce radon in buildings.
    6. Visit a place where X-ray is used. Draw a floor plan of the room in which it is used. Show where the unit, the unit operator, and the patient would be when X-ray is used. Explain the precautions taken when X-ray is used and the importance of those precautions.
    7. Make a cloud chamber. Show how it can be used to see the tracks caused by radiation. Explain what is happening.
    8. Visit a place where radioisotopes are being used. Using a drawing, explain how and why they are used.
    9. Obtain samples of irradiated seeds. Plant them. Plant a group of non-irradiated seeds of the same kind. Grow both groups. List any differences you observe during a 30-day period. Discuss with your counselor what irradiation does to seeds.
    10. Visit an accelerator (research lab) or university where people study the properties of the nucleus. After your visit, discuss what you have learned with your counselor.
  6. Do ONE of the following:
    1. Give an example of each of the following in relation to how energy from an atom can be used: nuclear medicine, environmental applications, industrial applications, space exploration, and radiation therapy. For each example, explain the application and its significance to nuclear science.
    2. Find out how many nuclear power plants exist in the United States. Locate the one nearest your home. Find out what percentage of electricity in the United States is generated by nuclear power plants, by coal, and by gas.
    3. Identify three particle accelerators in the United States. For each accelerator, describe three experiments that have been done or are in progress. Name three particle accelerators in the United States and describe the type of experiments each accelerator is designed to perform.'
  7. Find out about three career opportunities in nuclear science that interest you. Pick one and find out the education, training, and experience required for this profession and discuss this with your counselor. Tell why this profession interests you.

Plumbing

A new pamphlet for this badge was issued in mid-2004. Scouts could start working on the new requirements as soon as the pamphlet was issued.

A new requirement 1 was added, Old requirements 1-7 were renumbered as 2-8, with minor editorial changes to requirements 2a, and 4-7 (old 1a and 3-6) and old requirement 8 was dropped.

The new and revised requirements 1, 2a, 4, 5, 6, & 7 read as follows:

  1. Do the following:
    1. Describe how a properly working plumbing system protects our family's health and safety.
    2. List five important local health regulations related to plumbing and tell how they protect health and safety.
    3. Describe the safety precautions you must take when making home plumbing repairs.
  2. a. Make a drawing and explain how a home hot- and cold- water supply system works. Tell how you would make it safe from freezing.
  3. Identify and describe the use of each of the following: washer,  retaining nut, plunger (rubber force cup), solder, flux, elbow, tee, nipple, coupling, plug, union, trap, drainpipe, and water meter.
  4. Name the kinds of pipe that are used most often in a plumbing system. Explain why these pipes are used.
  5. Cut, thread, and connect two pieces of steel pipe.
  6. 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.

Railroading

A minor editorial change was made to requirement 8(a)(7), as follows:

  1. Participate in a National Model Railroad Association switching contest on a timesaver layout and record your time.

Scholarship

NOTE: Even though this badge is included in the list of changed merit badges in Boy Scout Requirements 2005 (33215A), the OLD requirements appear in that book, rather than the new ones shown below, which are found in the new edition of the Scholarship merit badge pamphlet (33384A).  We have confirmed with BSA that this is an editorial error, and will be corrected in next year's edition. Scouts should use the requirements in the pamphlet, reproduced below.

The requirements were completely rewritten, and now read as follows:

  1. Do ONE of the following:
    1. Show that you have had an average grade of B or higher (80 percent or higher) for one term or semester.
    2. Show that for one term or semester you have improved your school grades over the previous period.
  2. Do TWO of the following:
    1. Make a list of educational places located where you live (other than schools). Visit one, and report on how you used the place for self-education.
    2. With your counselor's and your parent's approval, interview two professionals (other than teachers or other professionals at your school) with established careers. Find out where they were educated, what training they received, and how their education and training have helped prepare them for the career they have chosen. Find out how they continue to educate themselves. Discuss what you find out with your counselor.
    3. Using a daily planner, show your counselor how you keep track of assignments and activities, and discuss how you manage your time.
    4. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the different methods of research available to you for school assignments, such as the library, books and periodicals, and the Internet.
  3. Get a note from the principal* of your school (or another school official named by the principal) that states that during the past year your behavior, leadership, and service have been satisfactory.
  4. Do ONE of the following:
    1. Show that you have taken part in an extracurricular school activity, and discuss with your counselor the benefits of participation and what you learned about the importance of teamwork.
    2. Discuss your participation in a school project during the past semester where you were a part of a team. Tell about the positive contributions you made to the team and the project.
  5. Do ONE of the following:
    1. Write a report of 250 to 300 words about how the education you receive in school will be of value to you in the future and how you will continue to educate yourself in the future.
    2. Write a report of 250 to 300 words about two careers that interest you and how specific classes and good scholarship in general will help you achieve your career goals.

*If you are home-schooled or your school environment does not include a principal, you may obtain a note from a counterpart such as your parent.


Small Boat Sailing

The requirements were completely rewritten, and now read as follows:

  1. Do the following:
    1. Explain first aid for injuries or illnesses that could occur while small-boat sailing, including hypothermia, dehydration, heat reactions, motion sickness, cuts, scratches, abrasions, contusions, puncture wounds, and blisters.
    2. Identify the conditions that must exist before performing CPR on a person, and explain how to recognize such conditions. Demonstrate proper technique for performing CPR using a training device approved by your counselor.
  2. Before doing the following requirements, successfully complete the BSA swimmer test.
  3. Describe the boat you will be using for the sailing requirement, naming all of the major parts and the function of those parts.*
  4. Before going afloat, do the following:
    1. Discuss the nine points of the BSA Safety Afloat plan.
    2. Explain the rules of the road in general and any specific rules or laws that apply to your area or state.
    3. Explain how water conditions, the hazards of weather, and heavy winds can affect both- safety and performance in sailing.
    4. Discuss the warning signs of inclement weather and what to do should heavy winds develop or a storm approach.
    5. Prepare a typical float plan.
    6. Discuss the proper clothing, footwear, and personal gear required for small-boat sailing in warm weather and in cool weather. Explain how choosing the proper clothing, footwear, and personal gear will .help keep you comfortable and safe while sailing.
  5. Discuss with your counselor how to identify the wind direction and wind indicators. Explain the importance of this task before setting sail.
  6. Following the BSA Safety Afloat plan, show that you and a buddy can sail a boat properly. Do the following:
    1. Prepare a boat for sailing, including a safety inspection.
    2. Get underway from a dock,. mooring, or beach.
    3. 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.
    4. Change direction by tacking; change direction by jibing.
    5. Demonstrate getting out of irons.
    6. Demonstrate the safety position.
    7. Demonstrate capsize procedures and. the rescue of a person overboard.§
    8. Demonstrate the procedure to take after running aground.
    9. Upon returning to the dock, mooring, or beach, properly secure all equipment, furl or stow sails, and prepare the craft for unattended docking or beaching overnight or longer.
  7. Demonstrate a working knowledge of marlinespike seamanship. Do the following:
    1. Show how to tie a square (reef) knot, clove hitch, two half hitches, bowline, cleat hitch, and figure-eight knot. Demonstrate the use of each.
    2. Show how to heave a line, coil a line, and fake down a line.
    3. Discuss the kinds of lines used on sailboats and the types of fibers used in their manufacture. Explain the advantages and disadvantages of each.
  8. Describe how you would care for and maintain a sailboat and its gear throughout the year.
  9. With your counselor, review sailing terminology and the points of sail. Discuss various types of sailboats in use today and explain their differences.

*The skill demonstrated on any boat available to the Scout; sailboards are not acceptable. While ho specific sail plan is recommended, it is suggested that the craft be smaller than 20 feet. The boat must be capsizable and have the capability of sailing to windward.

§ Capsize procedures should be conducted under the close supervision of the counselor. A rescue boat should be standing by to assist, if necessary, and to tow the capsized craft to shore. Self-bailing boats are acceptable for this requirement. Extreme care should be taken to avoid personal injury and damage to the boat or equipment.


Soil and Water Conservation

A new pamphlet for this badge was issued in mid-2004. Scouts could start working on the new requirements as soon as the pamphlet was issued.

Minor editorial changes were made to requirements 2b, 2d, 4c, 4d, 5a, 5b, 5d, 6b, 7c, 7d, and 7f as follows:

2b. Tell why it soil conservation is important. Tell how it affects you.

2d. Take pictures of or draw two kinds of soil erosion.

4c. Outline, as far as the map will allow Then outline on your map, as far as possible, the next larger watershed which also has the smaller one smallest in it.

4d. Explain what a river basin is. Tell why all people living in a river basin it should be concerned about land and water use in the basin it.

5a. Make a drawing to show the hydrologic water cycle.

5b. Show by demonstration Demonstrate at least two of the following actions of water in relation to the soil: percolation, capillary action, precipitation, evaporation, transpiration.

5d. Tell how uses of forest, range, and farm land farmland affect usable water supply.

6b. Describe the common sources of water pollution and explain the effects of each.

7c. Seed an area of at least 1/5 one-fifth acre for some worthwhile conservation purposes, using suitable grasses or legumes alone or in a mixture.

7d. Study a soil survey report. Describe the things in it. Using On tracing paper and pen, trace over any of the soil maps, and outline an area with three or more different kinds of soil. List each kind of soil by full name and map symbol.

7f. Carry out any other soil and water conservation project approved in advance by your merit badge counselor.


Space Exploration

A new pamphlet for this badge was issued in mid-2004. Scouts could start working on the new requirements as soon as the pamphlet was issued.

Editorial changes were made to requirements 1, 3, and 4d. Requirements 2, 5, 6, 7, and 8 were rewritten.

The revised requirements  read as follows:

  1. Tell the purpose of space exploration and include the following:
    1. Historical reasons,
    2. Immediate goals in terms of specific knowledge,
    3. Benefits related to Earth resources, technology, and new products.
  2. Design a collector's card, with a picture on the front and information on the back, about your favorite space pioneer. Share your card and discuss four other space pioneers with your counselor.
  3. Build, launch, and recover a model rocket.* Make a second launch to accomplish a specific objective. (Rocket must be built to meet the safety code of the National Association of Rocketry. See the "Model Rocketry" chapter) Identify and explain the following rocket parts:
    1. Body tube
    2. Engine mount
    3. Fins
    4. Igniter
    5. Launch lug
    6. Nose cone
    7. Payload
    8. Recovery system
    9. Rocket engine
  4. Discuss and demonstrate each of the following:
    1. The law of action-reaction.
    2. How rocket engines work
    3. How satellites stay in orbit
    4. How satellite pictures of Earth and pictures of other planets are made and transmitted.
  5. Do TWO of the following:
    1. Discuss with your counselor an unmanned space exploration mission and an early manned mission. Tell about each mission's major discoveries, its importance, and what we learned from it about the planets, moons, or regions of space explored.
    2. Using magazine photographs, news clippings, and electronic articles (such as from the Internet), make a scrapbook about a current planetary mission.
    3. Design an unmanned mission to another planet or moon that will return samples of its surface to Earth. Name the planet or moon your spacecraft will visit. Show how your design will cope with the conditions of the planet's or moon's environment.
  6. Describe the purpose and operation of ONE of the following:
    1. Space shuttle
    2. International Space Station
  7. Design an inhabited base located on the Moon or Mars. Make drawings or a model of your base. In your design, consider and plan for the following:
    1. Source of energy
    2. How it will be constructed
    3. Life-support system
    4. Purpose and function
  8. Discuss with your counselor two possible careers in space exploration that interest you. Find out the qualifications, education, and preparation required and discuss the major responsibilities of those positions.

    * If local laws prohibit the launching of model rockets, do the following activity: Make a model of a NASA rocket. Explain the functions of the parts. Give the history of the rocket.


Surveying

A new pamphlet for this badge was issued in mid-2004. Scouts could start working on the new requirements as soon as the pamphlet was issued.

A new requirement 1 was added, Old requirement 1a was dropped, Old requirement 1b,  2, 3, and 6 were renumbered as 2, 3, 5, and 8 with minor editorial changes to each.  New requirements 4, 6 and 7 were added.

The revised requirements  read as follows:

  1. Show that you know first aid for the types of injuries that could occur while surveying, including cuts, scratches, snakebite, insect stings, tick bites, heat and cold reactions, and dehydration. Explain to your counselor why a surveyor should be able to identify the poisonous plants and poisonous animals that are found in your area.
  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, as directed by your counselor. With the assistance of the counselor, compute the error of closure from the recorded notes. The error of closure must not be more than 5 feet. From the corners, take compass readings or turn angles to trees, shrubs, and rocks and measure to them. All measurements should be made using instruments, methods, and accuracies consistent with current technology.
  3. From the field notes gathered for requirement 2, draw to scale a map of your survey. Submit a neatly drawn copy.
  4. Write a metes and bounds description for the five-sided lot in requirement 2.
  5. Use one of the corner markers from requirement 2 as a benchmark with an assumed elevation of 100 feet. Using a level and rod, determine the elevation of the other four corner markers.
  6. Get a copy of the deed to your property, or a piece of property assigned by your counselor, from the local courthouse or title agency.
  7. Tell what GPS is; discuss with your counselor the importance of GPS and how iti s changing the field of surveying.
  8. Discuss the importance of surveying with a licensed surveyor. Also discuss the various types of surveying and mapping, and applications of surveying technology to other fields. Discuss career opportunities in surveying and related fields. Discuss qualifications and preparation for such a career.

Theater

Minor editorial changes were made to requirements 1, 2, 3c, 4, 4c, 4f (new), and 5 as follows:

  1. See or read three full-length plays or scripts. These can be from the stage, movies,   television, or video. Write a review of each. Comment on the story, acting, and staging.
  2. Write a one-act play that will take at least eight minutes to performIt must take 8 minutes or more to put on. It The play must have a main character, conflict, and a climax.
  3. (c) Design the set setting for a play or a production of a circus. Make a model of it.
  4. Mime or pantomime any ONE of the following chosen by you and your counselor.
    1. You have failed a school test. You are talking with your teacher. He who does not buy your story.
    2. You are a circus performer such as a juggler, high-wire artist, or lion tamer doing a routine.
  5. Explain the following: proscenium arch, central or arena staging, spotlight, floodlight, flies, center stage, stage right, stage left, stage brace, stage crew, stage brace ,batten , cyclorama, portal, sound board.

This analysis was prepared as a service to Scouts and Scouters nationwide
Paul S. Wolf
Advancement Webmaster
US Scouting Service Project, Inc.

Printed copies may be freely distributed, so long as the source is acknowledged,
but copying the information to another web site is NOT authorized.


Page updated on: May 02, 2013

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