COMPLETE REPLACEMENTS FOR EXISTING MERIT BADGE
Effective: January 1, 1998
The requirements have been completely revised and now read as
- 1. Make a timeline of the history of environmental science in
America. Identify the contribution made by the Boy Scouts of America to environmental
science. Include dates, names of people or organizations, and important events.
- 2. Define the following terms and describe the relationships among
them: population, community, ecosystem, biosphere, symbiosis, niche, habitat,
conservation, threatened species, endangered species, extinction.
- 3. Do ONE activity in EACH of the following categories (using the
activities in the merit badge pamphlet as the bases for planning and carrying out your
projects), and record your findings:
- (a) Ecology
- (1) Conduct an experiment to find out how living things respond to
changes in their environments. Discuss your observations with your counselor.
- (2) Conduct an experiment illustrating the greenhouse effect. Keep a
journal of your data and observations. Discuss your conclusions with your counselor.
- (b) Air Pollution
- (1) Perform an experiment to test for particulates that contribute to
air pollution. Discuss your findings with your counselor.
- (2) Conduct a study to test the effects of acid rain on plants.
Discuss your findings with your counselor.
- (c) Water Pollution
- (1) Conduct an experiment to show how living things react to thermal
pollution. Discuss your observations with your counselor.
- (2) Conduct an experiment to identify the methods that could be used
to mediate (reduce) the effects of an oil spill on waterfowl. Discuss your results with
- (d) Land Pollution
- (1) Conduct an experiment to illustrate soil erosion by water. Take
photographs or make a drawing of the soil before and after your experiment, and make a
poster showing your results. Present your poster to your patrol or troop.
- (2) Perform an experiment to determine the effect of an oil spill on
land. Share your journal and discuss your conclusions with your counselor.
- (e) Endangered Species
- (1) Do research on one endangered species found in your state. Find
out what its natural habitat is, why it is endangered, what is being done to preserve it,
and how many individual organisms are left in the wild. Prepare a 100-word report about
the organism, including a drawing. Present your report to your patrol or troop.
- (2) Do research on one species that was endangered or threatened but
which has now recovered. Find out how the organism recovered, and what its new status is.
Write a 100-word report on the species and discuss it with your counselor.
- (f) Resource Recovery
- (1) Perform an experiment on packaging materials to find out which
ones are biodegradable. Discuss your conclusions with your counselor.
- (2) Find out if your local community has a recycling program in
effect. If it does, find out what items are recycled, and who pays for recycling. If your
community does not have a recycling program, write questions for and conduct a survey on
recycling. Include questions about attitudes toward recycling, what should be recycled,
and your community's willingness to support a recycling program. Discuss your findings
with your counselor.
- 4. Build an ecosystem in a bottle. Include soil, plants, fungi, and
small animals found in your local environment. Maintain the ecosystem for one week.
Observe it daily, and keep a record of your observations. Discuss your observations with
- 5. Choose an outdoor area to study. In your study area, do ONE of the
- (a) Mark off three study plots of four square yards each, and count
the number of species found there. Then estimate how much space is occupied by each
species found in the plots. Make a chart, graph, or table to compare the plots. Write a
report that adequately discusses the biodiversity and population density of your study
area. Discuss your report with your counselor.
- (b) Make four visits to the study area, staying for at least 30
minutes each time, to observe the living and nonliving parts of the ecosystem. Keep a
journal of your observations, including a discussion of differences noted during the four
visits. Write a report on your observations and discuss it with your counselor.
- 6. Propose a hypothetical construction project in your community and
prepare a limited environmental impact statement for the project. Study the area to see
what the impact of the project might be upon the living and nonliving parts of the
- 7. Develop a plan that would help solve an environmental problem,
reduce an environmental impact, or affect environmental awareness in your community.
Include plans for a specific project that could be done by your patrol or troop.
- 8. Discuss three possible careers in the field of environmental
science. Identify the education that you would need to pursue ONE of these careers.
This Merit Badge was actually revised effective
September 1, 1993, but not listed on the Inside Front Cover of that book. The requirements
are as follows:
- Complete 14 of the following repairs or installations:
- Install or build equipment for storing tools.
- Build a workbench.
- Maintain or recondition a garden tool.
- Locate a main switch box and know how to replace a fuse or reset a
- Repair an electric cord, plug, or lamp socket.
- Clean a clogged drain or trap.
- Fix a leaky water faucet.
- Repair a flush toilet.
- Repair a leaky hose or connector.
- Clean or replace a sprinkler head.
- Install insulation in an attic, wall or crawl space.
- Caulk cracks or joints open to the weather.
- Paint a wall or ceiling. Clean equipment.
- Waterproof a basement.
- Lay new tile or linoleum, or repair a worn spot.
- Repair a break in a cement or asphalt surface.
- Repair the screen in a window or door.
- Replace a pane of glass.
- Repair or install drapery or curtain rods. Hang drapes or curtains.
- Replace blind cords.
- Repair or replace a window sash cord.
- Repair a picture frame.
- Mend an object made of china, glass, or pottery.
- Solder a broken wire or metal object.
- Repair a piece of furniture.
- Paint or varnish a piece of furniture, a door, or trim on a house.
Clean the brush.
- Repair a sagging door or gate.
- Build or fix stairs or a rail.
- Repair a fence.
The requirements have been completely revised and now read as
- 1. Do the following:
- (a) Lead a discussion with your family to identify one family
financial goal that must be saved for out of family income. Choose a goal that has strong
personal interest for both you and your family (a family trip or vacation, a new VCR, or a
family car, for instance).
- (b) Discuss the goal in detail (where to go on vacation, for example,
or what kind of car to buy), the cost of the goal, and when you want to reach the goal.
- (c) Discuss how your family could accumulate funds to reach this
goal, how the goal will affect the rest of the family budget, and how you could help your
family achieve the goal.
- 2. Do the following:
- (a) Prepare a personal budget or spending plan for three months,
including a "pay yourself first" savings plan. Keep track of everything you buy.
Balance all income with expenses and savings at the end of each month.
- (b) Share your three-month budget with your merit badge counselor.
Explain how you determined discretionary income (income not spent to meet fixed expenses),
how much you saved, and what you spent money on. Did you spend more or less than you
- 3. Do ONE of the following:
- (a) Identify a personal financial goal and make a plan to achieve
- (1) Write down the goal you want to achieve. (This may be a small,
short-term goal such as buying clothes, or it may be a major long-term goal such as saving
- (2) Develop a financial plan to accomplish the goal. Determine how
much the goal will cost, how much time you have to reach the goal, how you will earn money
to pay for the goal, and what adjustments you could make if you cannot reach the goal in
the desired time with the income you can earn.
- (3) Discuss your plan with your counselor.
- (b) Determine a spending/savings plan for living on your own.
- (1) Choose a realistic job based on your age, skills, education, and
experience (working at a fast-food restaurant, movie theater, or college library, for
example). Determine how much you would probably make per hour and how many hours you would
work each week. Determine your spendable income (after taxes and other deductions are
taken out) for a month.
- (2) Make a list of all basic monthly living expenses: rent, food,
transportation, clothing, telephone, etc. Ask family or friends, or call sources to help
- (3) Compare projected income with projected expenses. Would you have
enough income to live on? Would any be left over for fun? For savings?
- (4) If expenses exceed income, determine what options you would have
for bringing the two into balance. Could you reduce or eliminate expenses? Work more hours
a week? Get a higher-paying job?
- (5) Discuss your final plan with your counselor.
- 4. Do the following:
- (a) Choose an item you would like to buy. Be specific. (For example,
identify the brand name of a pair of shoes you want, or the title of a CD.)
- (b) Comparison shop for the item. Find out where you can buy the item
for the best price. Call around; study ads. Look for a sale or discount coupon.
- (c) Consider alternatives. Could you buy the item used? Should you
wait for a sale?
- (d) Discuss you shopping strategy with you counselor.
- 5. Do ONE of the following:
- (a) Visit a bank. Ask a bank representative to explain checking
accounts, savings accounts, loans, and automated teller machines (ATMs). Explain to your
counselor the difference between a checking account and a savings account. Discuss with
your counselor the minimum requirements to open and maintain the accounts or take out a
- (b) Visit another type of financial institution, such as a stock
brokerage firm or an insurance company. Ask a representative what the firm does and how it
works with consumers. Explain to your counselor the differences in services offered by the
following types of financial professionals: financial planner, stockbroker, insurance
agent, accountant, tax preparer, banker, estate planning attorney.
- 6. Do the following:
- (a) Explain the difference between saving for a goal and investing
for a goal.
- (b) Explain the two basic methods of investing: loaned and owned.
- (c) Explain the concepts of simple and compound interest and how
compound interest can be used to increase your savings and investments more rapidly.
- (d) Explain the concepts of yield, profit, and total return, and how
they are used to evaluate investment performance.
- (e) Explain the basic features of the following types of investment,
including risks and rewards and whether they involve lending or owning: bank savings
accounts, certificates of deposit, U.S. Savings Bonds, shares of stock, shares in a mutual
fund, real estate.
- 7. Do the following:
- (a) Explain what a loan is, what interest is, and how the
"annual percentage rate" measures the true cost of a loan.
- (b) Choose something that you want to buy or do, but currently cannot
afford. Set up an imaginary loan so you can "achieve" that goal. Identify the
"principal" amount, interest rate, and repayment schedule. Determine how it
would affect your total cost if you paid back the same amount every two weeks instead of
once a month.
- (c) Explain the differences between a charge card, a debit card, and
a credit card.
- (d) Identify the factors that affect the cost of credit. Tell which
factors can be controlled.
- (e) Explain credit reports and how personal responsibility can affect
your credit record.
- (f) Describe ways to reduce or eliminate debt.
- 8. Do the following:
- (a) Explain the five ways to manage risk.
- (b) Explain the six basic types of insurance and why someday you
might need one or more of them.
- (c) Define the two major types of life insurance (term and permanent)
and compare their advantages and disadvantages.
- 9. Do the following:
- (a) Identify a job or career that interests you and do basic research
about it at your library or through other information sources. Make a presentation to your
troop or counselor about the job or career. Your report should include:
- (1) An explanation of your interest in the job or career (how you
learned of it, what about it interests you, what its job prospects are, and how you think
the job or career will change in the future)
- (2) Any qualifications required (education, skills, experiences) and
how you might become qualified for the job
- (3) The job's functions and responsibilities (the duties of the job
- (4) The organizations, trade associations, professional associations,
governmental regulations, or licenses involved in the career field
- (b) Do ONE of the following:
- (1) Prepare a personal résumé for the job
- (2) Interview someone in the job or career field and prepare a
summary of the interview.
- (c) Discuss with your counselor your personal goals and ambitions in
life. Relate these to your intellectual, physical, spiritual, and moral development. How
has Scouting helped you in accomplishing your goals and ambitions? Share your thoughts
with your family.
This analysis was originally prepared as
a service to Scouts and Scouters nationwide by:
Bruce E. Cobern
Greater New York Councils
Boy Scouts of America
The information was edited, rearranged,
and converted to HTML by:
Paul S. Wolf
Winding Rivers District
Greater Cleveland Council
Boy Scouts of America
Copies may be freely distributed, so long
as the author and editor are acknowledged.