2024 Scouts BSA Advancement Requirements Changes
US Scouting Service Project, Inc.

Scouts BSA
Advancement
Requirements Changes

Effective January 1, 2024

Please note that the 2024 report is not complete yet. As far as I can tell, I have identified all of the changes to rank advancement requirements, and merit badge requirements, I have prepared and published the usscouts.org web pages showing the revised text for the merit badges and ranks that have changed and the web pages highlighting the details of the changes have been uploaded to the website. As  I've done in the past, the details of the revisions are shown with deleted text shown in red strike-through italics and additions shown in green underlined and slightly larger. The workbooks for rank advancement and merit badges have been revised and are available for download. However, other than the revised requirements for Eagle Palms, and a note that the Cyber Chip has been retired, I have not documented the changes to the other awards and insignia listed in the "Special Opportunities" section of the requirements book. I hope to have the rest of the report done as soon as possible.

Paul


BSA has released information on the 2024 changes to Scouts-BSA advancement requirements on their website at https://www.scouting.org/programs/scouts-bsa/advancement-and-awards/. The 2024 edition of the Scouts BSA Requirements handbook (BSA Publication No. 33216 - SKU No. 660535) should soon be available for purchase on ScoutShop.org and in Scout Shops.

This web page shows the revisions made to requirements for rank advancements, merit badges, and other awards (Special Opportunities) posted on Scouting.org and which have been included in the 2024 edition of Scouts BSA Requirements or on Scouting.org. In a few instances, due to editing errors, the requirements posted on Scouting.org differ from those in the 2024 edition of the Scouts BSA Requirements handbook. In most cases, we have noted those issues in this report.

The 2024 list of advancements which have been revised, which appears on the inside front cover of the Scouts BSA Requirements handbook, includes 3 ranks and 30 of the 138 currently available merit badges. In addition, we have identified changes to other ranks and merit badges with minor changes that are not included in that list, In particular, over 30 other merit badges have had minor changes to allow a Scout's guardian that is not a registered member of BSA to approve or permit some activities such as use of the internet or meetings with individuals. We have listed the merit badges that have had that modification below.

While the list of changes on the inside front cover of the 2024 Scouts BSA Requirements book does not include information on changes to the topics in the Special Opportunities section, there are changes or deletions which we have listed below. Two particular items to note are:

  • The requirements for Eagle Palms have changed and have been moved from the section of the book which deals with rank advancement to the Special Opportunities section, to emphasize that Eagle Palms are awards and not ranks., and
  • The Cyber Chip has been phased out.

General Information

The Guide to Advancement (Publication No. 33088) and information posted on Scouting.org, specify that the Scouts BSA Requirements handbook, and the information on Scouting.org are the official Boy Scouts of America sources on Scouts BSA advancement procedures .However, the current edition of the Guide to Advancement was issued in 2021. Since then, BSA has specified that only the information on Scouting.org will be considered the official requirements. The statement at the top of the inside front cover of Scouts BSA Requirements has been revised accordingly and now reads as follows:

The requirements listed in this Scouts BSA Requirements book for rank advancement and merit badges are effective Jan. 1, 2024. However, the requirements on the following pages might not match those in the Scouts BSA handbooks and the merit badge pamphlets, because this publication is updated only on an annual basis. The most current official merit badge requirements can be found at www.scouting.org/meritbadges.

When there is a conflict between two published lists of requirements, such as those posted on Scouting.org, in the current edition of Scouts BSA Requirements, in a Merit Badge pamphlet, or in the Scouts BSA handbooks, the requirements posted on Scouting.org should normally be considered to be the controlling document.

No council, district, unit, or individual has the authority to add to, or to subtract from, any advancement or merit badge requirements. For more detailed information, see the Guide to Advancement, which is available online at www.scouting.org/resources/guide-to-advancement

The following excerpt from the 2021 edition of the Guide to Advancement explains what to do when merit badge requirements change.

7.0.4.3 What to Do When Requirements Change

Merit badge requirements, along with changes to them, can be found at the Scouting.org Merit Badges web page: www.scouting.org/programs/scouts-bsa/advancementand- awards/merit-badges. Once new or revised requirements appears on that page, any Scout beginning work on a merit badge must use the requirement as stated there.

Changes may also be introduced in a revised merit badge pamphlet, youth handbook, or other official BSA publication or release before appearing on the Merit Badges web page. In this case, unless official communications set forth a different procedure or establish a date by when use of the old requirements must cease, youth members have through December 31 of that year to decide what to do. They may continue - or begin work - using the old requirements, or they may switch to - or begin work - using the new requirements. Scouts who choose to use the old requirements may continue using them until the merit badge is completed. Scouts who have not begun work on a badge by December 31 of the year a change in its requirements is announced must use the new requirements.

Furthermore, the following statement on the inside front cover of the 2024 edition of the Scouts BSA Requirements book explains what to do when merit badge requirements change:

 

When new or revised merit badge requirements appear in this Scouts BSA Requirements book and on www.scouting.org/meritbadges, any Scout beginning work on a merit badge must use the requirements as stated therein. However, if changes to merit badge requirements are introduced in a revised merit badge pamphlet or at www.scouting.org/meritbadges throughout the year, then the Scout has through the end of the current calendar year to decide which set of requirements to use.

Once a Scout begins work, the Scout may continue using the requirements the Scout started with until completion of the badge. Alternatively, the Scout may choose to switch to the revised requirements. Sometimes, however - especially for more significant changes - the Scouts BSA handbooks, the Scouts BSA Requirements book, www.scouting.org/meritbadges. or official communications from the National Council may set forth a different procedure that must be used. The National Council may establish a new date for when use of the existing requirements must cease. When new or revised merit badge requirements appear in this Scouts BSA Requirements book and on www.scouting.org/meritbadges, any Scout beginning work on a merit badge must use the requirements as stated therein. However, if changes to merit badge requirements are introduced in a revised merit badge pamphlet or at www.scouting.org/meritbadges throughout the year, then the Scout has through the end of the current calendar year to decide which set of requirements to use. Once a Scout begins work, the Scout may continue using the requirements the Scout started with until completion of the badge. Alternatively, the Scout may choose to switch to the revised requirements. Sometimes, however - especially for more significant changes - the Scouts BSA handbooks, the Scouts BSA Requirements book, www.scouting.org/meritbadges. or official communications from the National Council may set forth a different procedure that must be used. The National Council may establish a new date for when use of the existing requirements must cease.

 

There is no time limit between starting and completing a badge, although a counselor may determine so much time has passed since any effort took place that the new requirements must be used.


Index of Changes

RANK ADVANCEMENT CHANGES

Please note that, as of January 7, 2024, we have NOT updated the workbooks for these ranks.

Scout
Tenderfoot*
Second Class*
First Class*
Star
Eagle*
Eagle Palms**

* not included in the list on the inside front cover
** requirements now moved to the Special Opportunities listing

MERIT BADGE CHANGES

Please note that, as of January 7, 2024, we have NOT updated the workbooks for these merit badges,
We have NOT revised the listings of the merit badge psmphlet copywrite dates, nor the stock numbers for the printed and digital versions of these pamphlets.

Significant Changes

Automotive Maintenance
Canoeing
Coin Collecting
Fire Safety
First Aid
Golf
Indian Lore
Lifesaving*
Nuclear Science
Skating
Surveying
Sustainability
Swimming

Other Changes

Backpacking
Bird Study
Camping
Chemistry
Cooking
Cycling*
Digital Technology
Engineering
Fly Fishing
Insect Study
Journalism
Law
Mining in Society
Personal Management*
Photography
Plant Science
Programming
Radio
Safety
Scouting Heritage
Snow Sports*
Sports

* not included in the list on the inside front cover

Additional MINOR MERIT BADGE CHANGES

The following merit badges have had one or more minor changes
to allow a Scout's guardian to approve or permit some activities
such as use of the internet or meeting with an individual that is not a registered member of BSA.
In each case parent's has been replaced by parent or guardian's
These are the only changes made in 2024 for these merit badges.
These merit badges are NOT included in the list of changes on the inside front cover,
since the change does not directly affect the actual work by the Scout.

American Labor
Animal Science
Archaeology*
Architecture
Art
Athletics
Aviation
Basketry
Bugling
Composite Materials
Crime Prevention
Drafting
Energy
Environmental Science
Exploration
Fish and Wildlife Management

Forestry
Genealogy
Geocaching
Geology
Graphic Arts
Inventing
Kayaking
Moviemaking
Pottery
Public Health
Pulp and Paper
Railroading
Scholarship
Sculpture
Stamp Collecting
Weather

*See the additional comment below

MERIT BADGES WITH REQUIREMENTS THAT CONFLICT WITH THOSE ON SCOUTING.ORG

Archaeology

A change to requirement 4a and the order of requirements 8, 9, 10, and 11 were revised in 2021, but have not been changed in the 2022-2024 Scouts BSA Requirements books.
The requirements available at https://www.scouting.org/merit-badges/archaeology/ and those available when using the Scoutbook app are correct and should be used.

Health Care Professions

In November, 2021, the Health Care Professions merit badge was introduced and replaced the Medicine merit badge, and the requirements for the new merit badge were included in the new merit badge pamphlet, and in the requirement listings on Scouting.org and Scoutbook. However, the requirements for the former Medicine merit badge was mistakenly inserted in the 2022- 2024 editions of the Scouts BSA Requirements books. The requirements available on this website at https://usscouts.org/mb/mb161.asp, and on Scouting.org, at https://www.scouting.org/merit-badges/health-care-professions/ and those available when using the Scoutbook app are correct and should be used.

We have prepared an insert with the correct requirements. The insert is designed to fit in the book when trimmed, and can be pasted over the incorrect requirements. To download the insert, Click Here.

Cooking

In the 2023 edition of Scouts BSA Requirements, the text of requirement 1d, which covers a Health and Safety issue, was duplicated as requirement 2d (which should cover a "Nutrition" issue. In the 2024 edition 2d was changed back, but the text of requirement 1d was also changed (in error) to duplicate requirement 2d. The correct text is shown below and can be seen by downloading the "Previous" requirements, as they appear in the Cooking merit badge pamphlet, at: https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/Merit_Badge_ReqandRes/2023_Updates/35879(23)_Cooking_REQ.pdf 

Requirement 1d:
Discuss with your counselor food allergies, food intolerance, and food-related illnesses and diseases. Explain why someone who handles or prepares food needs to be aware of these concerns.

Requirement 2d:
Discuss your current eating habits with your counselor and what you can do to eat healthier, based on the MyPlate food guide..

In the 2023 and 2024 Scouts BSA Requirements books, and on scouting.org, Scoutbook, and the Cooking merit badge pamphlet, there is an apparent editorial error in the first sentence of requirement 6a.Since the requirement specifies planning for "one breakfast, one lunch, one dinner, and one snack.", the instruction to "plan a meal for trail hiking ..." should read "plan a menu for trail hiking ...".

Photography

In the 2020 through 2024 editions of Scouts BSA Requirements, Photography requirements 1a and 1b are in reverse order from the official listing on Scouting.org. We have adjusted the order of those requirements to show them in the correct order.

Sports

In 2021, revisions were made to the requirements for the Sports merit badge. The revised requirements were posted on Scouting.org, and printed in the Sports merit badge pamphlet ( 2021). BSA did not publish a 2021 edition of Scouts BSA Requirements, and announced that the official text for all merit badge requirements would be the text as it appears on scouting.org/meritbadges/.

When publication of annual editions of Scouts BSA Requirements resumed in 2022, instead of the revised text, the previous version of the requirements for Sports merit badge was included in the printed material., while the revised version was posted on Scouting.org.

In 2023, additional revisions were made, using the pre-2021 text instead of the text as revised in 2021.That version now appears in the 2024 edition of thee Scouts BSA Requirements book, and online on Scouting.org, in the "merit badge HUB" and in the Scoutbook "Resources" listing, and in the excerpt from the 2023 printing of the Safety merit badge pamphlet (#35954).

We had  posted two versions of the requirements for Sports merit badge in 2023; one with the pre-2021 text as revised in 2023, and one with the 2021 text as revised in 2023, until we could obtain a clarification as to which version should be used. We now have that clarification, that the current requirements use the pre-2021 text as revised in 2023.

The version of the requirements using the 2021 text as revised in 2023 can be seen by Clicking Here: 

SPECIAL OPPORTUNITIES CHANGES

Cyber Chip
Eagle Palms

11 other subjects have had changes but we have not completed their analyses yet


Changes to Rank Requirements


Scout Rank Badge Scout

A revision was made to requirement 1e. Requirement 6 and footnote 1 were changed to reflect the phase out of the Cyber Chip. The changes are shown below.

    1. Repeat from memory the Outdoor Code. List the seven principles of Leave No Trace Seven Principles. Explain the difference between the two.
  1. With your parent or guardian, complete the exercises in the pamphlet "How to Protect Your Children from Child Abuse: A Parents Guide" and earn the Cyber Chip Award for your grade or view the Personal Safety Awareness videos (with your parent or guardian's permission). 1

1 If your family does not have internet access at home AND you do not have ready internet access at school or another public place or via a mobile device, the Cyber Chip Personal Safety Awareness videos portion of the requirement may be waived by your Scoutmaster in consultation with your parent or guardian.


Tenderfoot Rank Badge Tenderfoot

In 2022, Requirement 5d was added to the requirements listed on Scouting.org and Scoutbook, as well as in the Scouts BSA Handbooks. However, it did not appear in the 2023 Scouts BSA Requirements book. It was added to the 2024 Scouts BSA Requirements book.

    1. Explain why it is important to hike on trails or other durable surfaces, and give examples of durable surfaces you saw on your outing.

Second Class Rank Badge Second Class

A revision was made to requirement 1b, as shown below.

    1. Recite the seven principles of Leave No Trace Seven Principles from memory. Explain how you follow them on all outings.

First Class Rank Badge First Class

A revision was made to requirement 1b, as shown below.

    1. Explain the potential impacts of camping, both on the environment and on other outdoor users. Explain why the Outdoor Code and Leave No Trace principles Seven Principles are important for protecting the outdoors.

Star Scout Rank Badge Star

Requirement 6 and footnote 7 were changed to reflect the phase out of the Cyber Chip. The changes are shown below.

  1. With your parent or guardian, complete the exercises in the pamphlet "How to Protect Your Children from Child Abuse: A Parents Guide" and earn the Cyber Chip Award for your grade or view the Personal Safety Awareness videos (with your parent or guardian's permission). 7

7 If your family does not have internet access at home AND you do not have ready internet access at school or another public place or via a mobile device, the Cyber Chip view the Personal Safety Awareness videos portion of the requirement may be waived by your Scoutmaster in consultation with your parent or guardian.


Eagle Scout Rank BadgeEagle Scout

Footnote 13 was revised as shown below

13 AGE REQUIREMENT ELIGIBILITY.

Merit badges, and badges of rank, and Eagle Palms may be earned by a registered Scout or a qualified Venturer or Sea Scout. Scouts may earn these awards until their 18th birthday. Any Venturer or Sea Scout who has achieved the First Class rank as a Scout in a troop or as a Lone Scout may continue working up to their 18th birthday toward the Star, Life, and Eagle Scout ranks and Eagle Palms.

An Eagle Scout board of review may occur, without special approval, within 24 months after the 18th birthday. Consult the Guide to Advancement, topic 8.0.3.1, if a board of review is to be conducted more than 24 months after a candidate's 18th birthday.

If you have a permanent physical or mental disability, or a disability expected to last more than two years or beyond age 18, you may become an Eagle Scout by qualifying for as many required merit badges as you can and qualifying for alternative merit badges for the rest. If you seek to become an Eagle Scout under this procedure, you must submit a special application to your local council service center. Your application must be approved by your council advancement committee before you can work on alternative merit badges.

A Scout Venturer, or Sea Scout with a disability may also qualify to work toward rank advancement after reaching 18 years of age if the guidelines outlined in section 10 of the Guide to Advancement are met.


REVISED Merit Badges

Automotive Maintenance Merit BadgeAutomotive Maintenance

The note before the requirements and the headings of requirements 1, 2, and 3 have been revised. Requirements 1 & 2 have been rearranged. 1(c) and 1(d) were added, 2(a) was revised and moved to 1(e), 2(g)-2(i) were moved to 1(f)-1(h).  2(b)-2(f) were renumbered as 2(a)-2(e). Requirement 3(c) was added, and requirement 8(a) was revised, with 3 options added as 8(a)(1)-(a)(3), and 8(e) and 8(f) were added. The changes are shown below.

You will need access to a car or truck and its owners manual to meet some requirements for this merit badge.
If you do not have your own vehicle, you should work with your merit badge counselor or
other trusted adult to obtain access to a vehicle and the owner's manual for that vehicle.

  1. Safety and Registration. Do the following:
    1. Explain the different types of motors you may encounter.
    2. Explain the safety considerations when performing maintenance on a vehicle equipped with a high-voltage electrical system.
    3. Review the maintenance chart in the vehicle owner's manual. Explain the requirements and time limits.
    4. Explain the purpose, importance, and limitations of safety belts and passive restraints.
    5. Find out the requirements for your state's emissions and safety inspections (as applicable), including how often a vehicle needs to be inspected.
    6. Explain the importance of registering a vehicle and find out the annual registration fee for renewing your family car's registration.
  2. General Maintenance, Safety and Registration
    Do the following:
    1. Review the maintenance chart in the vehicle owner's manual. Explain the requirements and time limits.
      b.
      Demonstrate how to check the following:
      1. Brake Fluid
      2. Engine Oil
      3. Coolant
      4. Power steering fluid
      5. Windshield washer fluid
      6. Transmission fluid
      7. Battery fluid (if possible) and condition of the battery terminals
    2. c. Locate the fuse boxes; determine the type and size of fuses. Demonstrate the proper replacement of burned-out fuses.
    3. d. Demonstrate how to check the condition and tension of belts and hoses.
    4. d. Check the vehicle for proper operation of its lights, including the interior overhead lights, instrument lights, warning lights, and exterior bulbs.
    5. f. Locate and check the air filter(s).
      g. Explain the purpose, importance, and limitations of safety belts and passive restraints.
      h. Find out the requirements for your state';s emissions and safety inspections (as applicable), including how often a vehicle needs to be inspected.
      i. Explain the importance of registering a vehicle and find out the annual registration fee for renewing your family car's registration.
  3. Dashboard Dashboard/Driver Information Center. Do the following:
    1. Explain the messages and alerts that may be displayed on the dashboard/ driver information center including maintenance-related reminders.
    1. Diagram and explain the parts of the one of the following electrical system. systems:
      1. Starting/charging system
      2. Hybrid or electric vehicle inverter
      3. Lighting system
    2. Discuss with your counselor what factors can affect range on an electrified vehicle. Explain the procedure for recharging an electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle.
    3. Explain what other vehicle systems are dependent on a reliable electrical system.

Backpacking Merit BadgeBackpacking

Requirement 11b was revised as shown below:

    1. Using Leave No Trace principles, take the trek you have planned and, while on the as planned in requirement 11a that is at least five full days, covering at least 30 miles and utilizing at least three different campsites. While on trek, complete at least one service project approved by your merit badge counselor.

Bird Study Merit BadgeBird Study

Requirement 2 was revised and split into 2, 2a, and 2b, Requirement 4g was deleted, and requirement 7 was revised, as shown below.

  1. Show that you are familiar with the terms used to describe birds by sketching or tracing a perched bird and then labeling 15 different parts of the bird. Sketch or trace an extended wing and label types of wing feathers. doing the following:
    1. Sketch or trace a perched bird and then labeling 15 different parts of the bird.
    2. Sketch or trace an extended wing and label types of wing feathers.
    1. Nonnative bird (introduced to North America from a foreign country since 1800)
  2. Explain the function of a bird's song. Be able to identify five of the 20 species in your field notebook by song or call alone. Explain the difference between songs and calls. For each of these five species enter a description of the song or call, and note the behavior of the bird making the sound. Note why you think the bird was making the call or song that you heard.

Camping Merit BadgeCamping

A change was made to requirement 9c, as shown below.

    1. Perform On any of these camping experiences, perform a conservation project approved by the landowner or land managing agency. This can be done alone or with others.

Canoeing Merit BadgeCanoeing

Requirements 3c, 7, 7a, 7b, 7c, 10, 11 and 12 were deleted. Requirements 8 and 9 were renumbered as 7 and 8. Requirements 8, 8a, and 8d were revised, and 8e and 8f were added. Requirements 10-12 were replaced with a new requirement 9. The changes are shown below:

    1. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the different materials used to make canoes.
  1. Do the following:
    1. 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.
    2. Using the containers and packs from requirement 7a, demonstrate how to load and seure the containers and other equipment in the canoe.
    3.   Using appropriate knots, including a trucker's hitch, tautline hitch, and bowline, demonstrate how to secure a canoe to a vehicle or a trailer, or if these are not available, a rack on land.
  2. 8. With a companion, use a properly equipped canoe to demonstrate the following:
  3. 9. With a companion, use a properly equipped canoe to demonstrate the following:
    1. In deep water, exit the canoe and get back in without capsizing.
      Safely exit the canoe in deep water without losing contact with the canoe. Reenter the canoe with the assistance of the other paddler without capsizing the boat.
    2. In deep water, rescue a swamped canoe and its paddlers. After checking that those in the water do not need immediate assistance, by emptying empty the swamped canoe and helpng help the paddlers safely reenter their boat without capsizing.
    3. Perform a canoe rescue of a conscious swimmer.
    4. Using a rescue (throw) bag from shore, lay the line within 3 feet of a conscious swimmer 30 feet away. Show how to repack the bag when done.
  4. With a companion, using a properly equipped canoe to demonstrate the following tandem maneuvers while paddling in unison on opposite sides and without changing sides. Each paddler must demonstrate these maneuvers in both the bow and stern and on both sides of the canoe while maintaining trim and balance of the canoe.
    1. Pivot (spin) the canoe 180 (half circle) to the right from a stationary position, stop, and return to the starting position by pivoting to the left using draw and pushaway strokes or using forward and reverse sweeps staying within 2 boat lengths of the starting position.
    2. Move a canoe sideways (abeam) in one direction for 10 feet and then return to the starting position using the draw and pushaway strokes.
    3. While in forward motion, stop the canoe within two boat lengths using the backstroke.
    4. While in the stern position and without assistance from the bow paddler, paddle in a straight line 15-20 boat lengths using an appropriate steering stroke, e.g., the J-stroke or thumb-down rudder stroke with or without a stern pry.
    5. Move the canoe in a straight line 15-20 boat lengths with the bow paddler using as necessary the forward stroke, draw stroke or forward sweep and the stern paddler using an appropriate steering stroke, e.g., the J-stroke or thumb-down rudder stroke with or without a stern pry.
    6. While maintaining forward motion, turn the canoe 90 in an arc to the right in 5-10 boat lengths with the bow paddler using as necessary either the draw stroke or forward sweep and the stern paddler using only the forward stroke. Repeat the maneuver turning the canoe 90 to the left.
    7. Move the canoe backwards in a straight line 3-4 boat lengths using as necessary the back stroke, reverse sweep or draw stroke in the bow or the stern.
    8. Complete a figure of 8 course around markers 3-4 boat lengths apart using appropriate strokes including the draw stroke, and the forward and reverse sweeps.
  5. With a companion, use a properly equipped canoe to demonstrate the following paddling strokes as both a bow and stern paddler:
    1. Forward stroke
    2. Backstroke
    3. Draw
      For stern paddling only:
    4. J-stroke
    5. Pushaway
    6. Forward sweep
    7. Reverse sweep
    8. Rudder stroke
    9. Stern pry
  6. Using the strokes in requirement 10, and in an order determined by your counselor, use a properly equipped canoe to demonstrate the following tandem maneuvers while paddling on opposite sides and without changing sides. Each paddler must demonstrate these maneuvers in both the bow and stern and on opposite 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.
    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 sweep, J-stroke, and rudder stroke. Repeat while paddling on the other side.
    3. Using a single-blade paddle and paddling only on one side, demonstrate proper form and use of a combination of a forward stroke, rudder stroke, and stern pry by canoeing to a target 50 yards away. 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).

Chemistry Merit BadgeChemistry

Changes were made to requirements 2c, 5, and 7b, and items 5a-5j were added, as shown below.

    1. Demonstrate how you would separate sand (or gravel) from water. Describe how you would separate table salt from water, oil from water, and gasoline from motor oil. Name the practical processes that require these kinds of separations and how the processes may differ. Observe one of each and share your observations with your counselor.
  1. List the five classical divisions of chemistry. Briefly describe each one, and tell how it applies to your everyday life.
    Discuss with your counselor the 5 classical areas of chemistry (organic, inorganic, physical, analytical and biological), and two others from the following list. Explain what they are, and how they impact your daily life.
    1. Agricultural chemistry
    2. Atmospheric chemistry
    3. Computational chemistry
    4. Electrochemistry
    5. Environmental chemistry and green chemistry
    6. Flavor chemistry, fragrance chemistry, and food chemistry
    7. Medicinal and natural products chemistry
    8. Photochemistry
    9. Polymer chemistry
    10. Or another area of chemistry of your choosing
    1. Using resources found at the library and in periodicals, books, and the Internet (with your parent's parent or guardian's permission), learn about two different kinds of work done by chemists, chemical engineers, chemical technicians, or industrial chemists. For each of the four positions, find out the education and training requirements.

Coin Collecting Merit BadgeCoin Collecting

Requirements 3-10 were replaced, and renumbered as 3-7, and completely rewritten. to see the old requirements 3-10, click here. The new requirements 3-7 are as follows:

  1. Describe three different ways to store a collection, and the benefits, drawbacks, and cost of each method.
  2. Do each of the following and explain to your counselor the design features, designer name, designer initials, and where to find them for each item:
    1. Collect a one-cent coin from the year group: 1959-2008 (that is, dated between 1959 and 2008) and a one-cent coin from the year group 2010-present. Explain how and why the one-cent coins issued in 2009 were different from either of the other two year groups.
    2. Collect two five-cent coins, one from each of these year groups: 1959- 2003 and 2006-present. Explain how and why the five-cent coins issued in 2004-2005 were different from either of the other two year groups.
    3. Collect a ten-cent coin from 1965-present.
    4. Collect a twenty-five-cent coin from 1965-1998, two examples from the 50-State Quarter/territories Program 1999-2009, two designs from the America the Beautiful program 2012-2021 and two designs from the American Woman Quarter program (2022-2024). Explain the purpose of each of those programs.
    5. Collect a half dollar coin from 1965-present.
    6. Collect a dollar coin from each of these design groups: Susan B. Anthony 1979-81, Sacagawea 1990-2005, U.S. Presidents 2000-2014.
  3. Describe and discuss with your counselor the special reverse designs of the quarters, half dollar and dollar coin struck in 1975-1976 to honor the U.S. Bicentennial.
  4. Identify for your counselor the people depicted on current currency: $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100 notes. Explain where United States currency is printed.
  5. Do ONE of the following:
    1. Collect and identify for your counselor 20 different world coins from at least 7 different countries. Identify the country, major design elements, and denomination of each.
    2. Collect and identify for your counselor 20 different world paper money from at least 7 different countries. Identify the country, major design elements, and denomination of each.
    3. Collect and identify for your counselor 20 different tokens and/or medals. Identify the issuer and use of each.
    4. Complete one of the following and report to your counselor what you experienced:
      1. Attend a coin show
      2. Attend a coin club meeting
      3. Tour a U.S. Mint facility or museum
      4. Tour a virtual exhibit (with your parent or guardian's permission) approved by your counselor.

Cooking Merit BadgeCooking

In the 2023 edition of Scouts BSA Requirements, the text of requirement 1d, which covers a Health and Safety issue, was duplicated as requirement 2d (which should cover a "Nutrition" issue. In the 2024 edition 2d was changed back, but the text of requirement 1d was also changed (in error) to duplicate requirement 2d.  The correct text is shown below and can be seen by downloading the "Previous" requirements, as they appear in the Cooking merit badge pamphlet, at: https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/Merit_Badge_ReqandRes/2023_Updates/35879(23)_Cooking_REQ.pdf 

In the 2023 and 2024 Scouts BSA Requirements books, and on scouting.org, Scoutbook, and the Cooking merit badge pamphlet, there is an apparent editorial error in the first sentence of requirement 6a.Since the requirement specifies planning for "one breakfast, one lunch, one dinner, and one snack.", the instruction to "plan a meal for trail hiking ..." should read "plan a menu for trail hiking ...".

Changes were also made to requirements 5a, 5b, 5c, 5d and 5e as shown below.

    1. Discuss with your counselor food allergies, food intolerance, and food- related illnesses and diseases. Explain why someone who handles or prepares food needs to he aware of these concerns. (Unchanged)
    1. Discuss your current eating habits with your counselor food allergies, food intolerance, and food- related illnesses and diseases. Explain why someone who handles or prepares food needs to he aware of these concerns. and what you can do to eat healthier, based on the MyPlate food guide.
    1. Using the MyPlate food guide or the current USDA nutrition model, plan five meals a menu that includes four meals, one snack, and one dessert for your patrol (or a similar size group of up to eight youth, including you) for on a camping trip. These four meals must include two breakfasts, one lunch, and one dinner. Additionally, you must plan one snack and one dessert. your menus should include enough food for each person, keeping in mind any special needs (such as food allergies) and how you keep your foods safe and free from cross-contamination. List the equipment and utensils needed to prepare and serve these meals.
    2. Find or create recipes for at least three meals, a dessert and a snack. the four meals, the snack, and the dessert you have planned. Adjust menu items in the recipes for the number to be served. Create a shopping list and budget to determine the per-person cost.
    3. Share and discuss your meal plan menu plans and shopping list with your counselor.
    4. In the outdoors, using your menu plans and recipes for this requirement, cook three of the five two of the four meals you planned using either a camp stove OR backpack stove. Use a skillet over campfire coals OR a Dutch oven for the third a fourth meal, and cook the fifth fourth meal in a foil pack OR on a skewer. Serve all of these meals to your patrol or a group of youth.**
    5. In the outdoors, using your menu plans and recipes for this requirement, prepare a dessert OR snack and serve it one snack and one dessert. Serve both of these to your patrol or a group of youth.**

Cycling Merit BadgeCycling

A change was made to requirement 1a (correcting a spelling error) and requirement 1c was deleted (since it was a duplicate of requirement 3). These changes are shown below.

    1. Explain to your counselor the most likely hazards you may encounter
      while participating in cycling activities and what you should do to anticipate, help prevent, mitigate, and respond to these hazards. Explain to your counselor how to ride predictability predictably, be conspicuous, think ahead, and ride ready.
    2. Explain the importance of wearing a properly sized and fitted helmet while cycling, and of wearing the right clothing for the weather. Know the BSA Bike Safety Guidelines.

Digital Technology Merit BadgeDigital Technology

Requirement 1 was replaced, and  requirements 5b and 5c were changed, as shown below.

  1. Show your counselor your current, up-to-dnte Cyber Chip.
    View the Personal Safety Awareness "Digital Safety" video (with your parent or guardian's permission).
    1. Using an internet search engine (with your parent's parent or guardian's permission), find ideas from at least three different websites about how to conduct a troop court of honor or campfire program. Present the ideas to your counselor, and explain how you used a search engine to find this information.
    2. Use a web browser to connect to an HTTPS (secure) website (with your parent's parent or guardian's permission). Explain to your counselor how to tell whether the site's security certificate can be trusted, and what it means to use this kind of connection.

Engineering Merit BadgeEngineering

Changes were made to requirements 2 and 6c, and requirements 5, 5a, and 5b were replaced with a new requirement 5, as shown below.

  1. Select an engineering achievement that has had a major impact on society. Using resources such as the internet (with your parent&39;s parent or guardian&39;s permission), books, and magazines, find out about the engineers who made this engineering feat possible, the special obstacles they had to overcome, and how this achievement has influenced the world today. Tell your counselor what you learned.
  2. Do ONE of the following:
    Use the systems engineering approach to design an original piece of patrol equipment, a toy or a useful device for the home, office or garage.
    1. Use the systems engineering approach to make step-by-step plans for your next campout. List alternative ideas for such items as program schedule, campsites, transportation, and costs. Tell why you made the choices you did and what improvements were made.
    2. Make an original design for a piece of patrol equipment. Use the systems engineering approach to help you decide how it should work and look. Draw plans for it. Show the plans to your counselor, explain why you designed it the way you did, and explain how you would make it.
    1. Understanding electronics. Using an electronic device such as a mobile telephone or portable digital media player smartphone or tablet computer, find out how sound travels sound, video, text or images travel from one location to another. Explain how the device was designed for ease of use, function, and durability.

Fire Safety Merit BadgeFire Safety

 Changes were made to requirements 1c, 2, 4,  (4a, 4b,  and 4c addded), 6b, 6c, 6d, 6g, 7a, 9a, 10a and 11. The changes are shown below.

    1. Explain how to safely discard and store flammable liquids. and combustible liquids. Describe the options available for safely disposing of unwanted hazardous substances in your community.
  1. Explain the chemistry and physics of fire. Name concept of fire and name the parts of the fire tetrahedron. Explain why vapors are important to the burning process. Name the products of combustion. Give an example of how fire grows and what happens. Describe the life cycle of a fire.
  2. Explain the role of human behavior in the arson problem in this country.
    Do the following:
    1. Explain the four classifications of fire origin (accidental, natural, incendiary, or undetermined) and give an example of each.
    2. Describe how a fire classified as incendiary might lead to criminal prosecution of a person charged with arson.
    3. Explain some of the social, economic and environmental consequences that result from incendiary fires that damage or destroy structures and wildlands.
    1. Identify the location of all smoke alarms in your home and confirm that none are more than 10 years old. Test each smoke alarm and demonstrate regular maintenance of a smoke alarm.
    2. Explain what to do when you smell natural gas and when you smell smoke.
    3. Explain how you would report a fire alarm. to have the fire department respond.
    4. Explain how to extinguish a grease stovetop pan fire.
    1. Demonstrate lighting a match safely, the proper way to extinguish it and to dispose of it.
    1. Describe for your counselor the safe way to refuel a liquid fuel fueled engine, such as a lawn mower, weed eater, an outboard motor, farm machine, or an automobile with gas fuel from an approved gas can. gasoline container.
    1. Explain the cost of costs associated with outdoor and wildland fires and how to prevent them. they can be prevented.
  3. Visit a fire station. Identify the various types of fire trucks and describe the functions of each. Find out about the fire prevention activities in your community during your visit.

First Aid Merit BadgeFirst Aid

Changes were made to requirements 2c, 4, 7a-e, 8d, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16. Some requirements were deleted and some were added, resulting in some changes to requirement numbering. All of the changes are shown below.

    1. An activity on open water
  1. Explain the standard precautions as applied to the transmission of infections. Discuss the ways you should protect yourself precautions you must take to reduce the risk of transmitting an infection between you and the victim while administering first aid.
    1. Describe the conditions that must exist before performing CPR on a person. Then demonstrate proper CPR technique using a training device approved by your counselor.
    2. Explain the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED). Identify the location of the AED at your school, place of worship, and troop meeting place, if one is present.
      Demonstrate proper CPR technique using a training device approved by your counselor.
    3. Explain the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED).
    4. Demonstrate or simulate the proper use of an automated external defibrillator (AED), using an AED training device if available.
    5. Identify the location of the AED at your school, place of worship, and troop meeting place, if one is present.
    1. Describe the proper Demonstrate the application of a tourniquet without tightening it..
  2. Do the following:
    a. Describe the signs and symptoms of an open or closed fracture or dislocation.
    b. Explain what measures should be taken to reduce the likelihood of further complications of fractures and dislocations.

    Describe the signs, symptoms, and potential complications of a fracture and dislocation.
    1. Fingers
    2. a. Forearm
    3. b. Wrist
      c. Hand and Fingers
  3. Describe the signs, symptoms, and possible complications and demonstrate care for someone with a suspected injury to the neck or back.
  4. 12. Describe signs and Describe symptoms, proper first-aid procedures, and possible prevention measures for the following conditions:
    1. Concussion
    2. a. Anaphylaxis/allergic reactions
    3. b. Asthma attack
    4. c. Bruises
    5. d. Sprains or strains
    6. e. Hypothermia
    7. f. Frostbite
    8. g. Burns—first, second, and third degree
      Concussion
    9. Convulsions/seizures
    10. Someone who is unconscious
      k. Dehydration
    11. l. Muscle cramps
    12. m. Heat exhaustion
    13. n. Heat stroke
    14. o. Abdominal pain
    15. p. Broken, chipped, or loosened tooth
  5. 13. Do the following:
    1. Describe the conditions under which an injured person should be moved.
    2. If a sick or an injured person must be moved, tell how you would determine the best method. Demonstrate this method.
    3. With helpers under your supervision, improvise a stretcher and move a presumably unconscious person.
  6. Describe the following:
    1. The indications that someone might be a danger to themselves or others.
    2. vWhat action you should take if you suspect that someone might be a danger to themselves or others.
  7. 14.Teach another Scout a first-aid skill selected by your counselor.

Fly Fishing Merit BadgeFly Fishing

Changes were made to requirements 3b, 3c and 10, as shown below.

    1. Tie backing to the fly line using a nail (tube) knot.
    2. Attach a leader to the fly line using a nail (tube) knot or a loop-to-loop connection.
  1. Catch at least one fish using on a fly rod and a fly. Identify and identify it and quickly release it live back into the water. Discuss this experience with your counselor.

Golf Merit BadgeGolf

Requirement 1 was revised. A new requirement 2 was added, with two options for earning the badge using either traditional golf or disc golf. Old requirements 2-4, and 6-8 were renumbered as Option 1 requirements A-F. Old requirement 5 was deleted, and a new requirement G was added to Option 1. Option 2 with requirements A-G was added to requirement 2. The changes to requirements 1 and 2, the deleted requirement 5, and the new Option 1 requirement G are shown below. For the rest of the requirements, see the full text by Clicking Here or Click Here to see the details of all the changes, including the renumbering .

  1. Discuss safety on the golf course. Show that you know first aid for injuries or illnesses that could occur while golfing, including lightning, heat reactions, sunburn, dehydration, blisters, animal or bug bites, poison ivy exposure, sprains, and strains
  2. Study the USGA "Rules of Golf" now in use.
    Complete ONE of the following options:
    • Option 1: Traditional Golf
      1. 2. Study the USGA "Rules of Golf" now in use.
        5. Discuss with your counselor vocational opportunities related to golf.
      2. Find out about three careers related to traditional golf. Pick one and identify the education, training, and experience required for this profession. Discuss this with your counselor, and explain why this interests you.

Indian Lore Merit BadgeIndian Lore

The requirements were almost completely rewritten. Please click on the merit badge or badge name above to see the new requirements, To see the previous requirements, Click Here.


Insect Study Merit BadgeInsect Study

Changes were made to requirements 2, 4, 6a, 6b and 12, as shown below.

  1. Tell how insects are different from all other animals. Show how insects are different from centipedes millipedes and spiders.
  2. Describe the characteristics that distinguish the principal families and major orders of insects.
    1. From your scrapbook collection, identify three select eight species of insects helpful to humans and five species of insects harmful to humans. and identify what role they play in the ecosystem.
    2. Discuss the use of integrated pest management vs. chemical methods of insect control. What are Describe three alternatives to insecticides as a way of preventing crop injury and subsequent yield loss. Explain the advantages and disadvantages of each? these alternatives.
  3. Tell how insects fit in the food chains web of other insects, fish, birds, and mammals.

Journalism Merit BadgeJournalism

Changes were made to requirements 2a, 2a1, 2b1, 3b and 3c, as shown below.

    1. Newspaper, magazine, and online journalism (with your parent or guardian’s permission).
      1. All on On the same day, read a local news source or newspaper, a national news source or newspaper, a newsmagazine,and (with your parent's permission) an online news source. news magazine (online or printed) and a social media news feed. From each source, clip, read, and compare a story about the same event. Tell your counselor how long each story is and how fair and accurate the stories are in presenting different points of view. Tell how each source handled the story differently, depending on its purpose or audience.
      1. All on the same day, watch a local and national network newscast, listen to a radio newscast, and (with your parent's parent or guardian's permission) view a national broadcast news source online. List the different news items and features presented, the different elements used, and the time in minutes and seconds and the online space devoted to each story Compare the story lists, and discuss whether the stories are fair and accurate. Explain why different news outlets treated the stories differently and/or presented a different point of view.
    1. With your parent's parent or guardian's permission and counselor's approval, interview someone in your community who is influential because of his or her leadership, talent, career, or life experiences. Then present to your counselor either a written or oral report telling what you learned about this person.
    2. With your parent's parent or guardian's permission and counselor's approval, read an autobiography written by a journalist you want to learn more about. Write an article that tells what you learned about this person and the contributions this person has made to the field of journalism.

Law Merit BadgeLaw

Changes were made to requirements 1, 5 and 11a-11j, as shown below.

  1. Define "law." Tell some of its sources. Describe functions it serves. what The "Rule of Law" is. Outline the functions the law serves.
  2. Tell about Discuss with your counselor several laws that were passed to protect the consumer and the seller. Tell about Describe several organizations that provide help to consumers and sellers.
    1. Environmental law Administrative
    2. Computers and the Internet Bankruptcy
    3. Copyright and the Internet Environmental
    4. Space travel and satellites orbiting the earth Family
    5. Patents Immigration
    6. Biotechnology Information Technology
    7. Privacy law Intellectual Property
    8. International law
    9. Privacy

Lifesaving Merit BadgeLifesaving

The changes below were made in 2021, but were not included in the 2022 or 2023 Scouts BSA Requirements books. That was corrected in the 2024 edition. Changes were made to requirements 1, 2. 15, and 16. The order of requirements 1 and 2 was reversed, and both are now prerequisites for requirements 3-15. The requirements to complete the swimming requirements for Second Class and First Class Ranks were replaced with a requirement to earn the Swimming Merit Badge before working on most of the requirements for this badge. The order of requirements 15 and 16 was also reversed. Requirements 16 and 17 no longer must be completed after requirements 1 and 2. The changes are as follows:

  1. Before doing requirements 2 3 through 17 15, review with your counselor the principles of Safe Swim Defense.
    1. Complete Second Class rank requirements 5a through 5d and First Class rank requirements 6a, 6b, and 6e.**
      • Second Class rank requirements 5a through 5d:
        • (5a) Tell what precautions must be taken for a safe swim
        • (5b) Demonstrate your ability to pass the BSA beginner test: Jump feetfirst into water over your head in depth, level off and swim 25 feet on the surface, stop, turn sharply, resume swimming, then return to your starting place.
        • (5c) Demonstrate water rescue methods by reaching with your arm or leg, by reaching with a suitable object, and by throwing lines and objects.
        • (5d) Explain why swimming rescues should not be attempted when a reaching or throwing rescue is possible. Explain why and how a rescue swimmer should avoid contact with the victim.
      • First Class rank requirements 6a, 6b, and 6e:
        • (6a) Successfully complete the BSA swimmer test.
        • (6b) Tell what precautions must be taken for a safe trip afloat.
        • (6e) With a helper and a practice victim, show a line rescue both as tender and as rescuer. (The practice victim should be approximately 30 feet from shore in deep water.
  2. Before doing requirements 3 through 15:
    1. Earn the Swimming merit badge.
    2. Swim continuously for 400 yards using each of the following strokes in a strong manner, in good form with rhythmic breathing, for at least 50 continuous yards: front crawl, sidestroke, breaststroke, and elementary backstroke.
      Discuss and review with your counselor the principles of BSA Safe Swim Defense.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of resuscitation procedures:
    1. Describe how to recognize the need for rescue breathing and CPR.
    2. Demonstrate CPR knowledge and skills, including rescue breathing, consistent with current guidelines.*
    16. Demonstrate management of a spinal injury to your counselor:
    1. Discuss the causes, signs, and symptoms of a spinal injury.
    2. Support a faceup subject in calm water of standing depth.
    3. Turn a subject from a facedown to a faceup position in water of standing depth while maintaining support.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of resuscitation procedure:
    1. Describe how to recognize the need for rescue breathing and CPR.
    2. Demonstrate CPR knowledge and skills, including rescue breathing, on a mannequin under the guidance of a current CPR/AED instructor trained by a nationally certified provider.

Mining in Society Merit BadgeMining in Society

Changes were made to requirements 5a, 5b, 5c, 5d, 7d, 8a and 8c as shown below.

    1. With your parent's parent or guardian's approval and your counselor's assistance, use the Internet to find and take a virtual tour of two types of mines. Determine the similarities and differences between them regarding resource exploration, mine planning and permitting, types of equipment used, and the minerals produced. Discuss with your counselor what you learned from your Internet-based mine tours.
    2. With your parent's parent or guardian's permission and counselor's approval, visit a mining or minerals exhibit at a museum. Find out about the history of the museum's exhibit and the type of mining it represents. Give three examples of how mineral resources have influenced history.
    3. With your parent's parent or guardian's permission and counselor's approval, visit an active mine.* Find out about the tasks required to explore, plan, permit, mine, and process the resource mined at that site. Take photographs if allowed, and request brochures from your visit. Share photos, brochures, and what you have learned with your counselor.
    4. With your parent's parent or guardian's permission and counselor's approval, visit a mining equipment manufacturer or supplier.* Discuss the types of equipment produced or supplied there, and in what part of the mining process this equipment is used. Take photographs if allowed, and request brochures from your visit. Share photos, brochures, and what you have learned with your counselor.
    1. With your parent's parent or guardian's permission, use the Internet and other resources to determine the current price of gold, copper, aluminum, or other commodities like cement or coal, and find out the five-year price trend for two of these. Report your findings to your counselor.
    1. With your parent's parent or guardian's and counselor's approval, meet with a worker in the mining industry. Discuss the work, equipment, and technology used in this individual's position, and learn about a current project. Ask to see reports, drawings, and/or maps made for the project. Find out about the educational and professional requirements for this individual's position. Ask how the individual's mining career began. Discuss with your counselor what you have learned.
    2. With your parent's parent or guardian's permission and counselor's approval, visit a career academy or community college college, university, or trade school to learn about educational and training requirements for a position in the mining industry that interests you. Find out why this position is critical to the mining industry, and discuss what you learned with your counselor.

Nuclear Science Merit BadgeNuclear Science

Changes were made to requirements 1a (replaced), 1b, 1c, 1d, 1e (added), 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 4c (replaced), 4d , 6a, 6b and 6c (deleted), as shown below.

    1. Tell what radiation is.
      Explain radiation and the difference between ionizing and non-ionizing radiation.
    2. Describe the hazards of radiation to humans, the environment, and wildlife. Explain the difference between radiation exposure and contamination. In your explanation, discuss the nature and magnitude of radiation risks to humans from nuclear power, medical radiation (e.g., chest or dental X-ray), and background radiation including radon. Explain the ALARA principle and measures required by law to minimize these risks. Describe what safety requirements you will need to consider while performing the requirements in this merit badge.
    3. Describe the radiation hazard symbol and explain where it should be used. Tell why and how people must use radiation or radioactive materials carefully.
    4. Compare the amount of radiation exposure of a nuclear power plant worker to that of someone receiving a chest and dental X-ray.
      Explain how we are exposed to ionizing radiation from outside the earth as well as on earth every day. List four examples of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials. NORM, that are in your house or grocery store and explain why they are radioactive.
    5. Explain the difference between radiation exposure and contamination. Describe the hazards of radiation to humans, the environment, and wildlife. Calculate your approximate annual radiation dose and compare to that of someone who works in a nuclear power plant.
    1. Tell the meaning of the following: atom, nucleus, proton, neutron, electron, quark, isotope; alpha particle, beta particle, gamma ray, X-ray, ionization, radioactivity, radioisotope, and stability
    2. 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 and the difference between the atom and nuclear and quark structures of isotopes. Write down the isotope notation for each model including the atomic and mass numbers. In a separate model or diagram, explain or show how quarks make up protons and neutrons.
    1. Visit an accelerator (research lab) or university where people scientists study the properties of the nucleus or nucleons.
    2. Name List three particle accelerators and describe several experiments that each accelerator performs, including basic science and practical applications.
  1. Do TWO of the following; then discuss with your counselor the different kinds of radiation and how they can be used:
    1. 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.
      Perform an experiment demonstrating half-life. Discuss decay chains
    2. Visit a place where radioisotopes are being used. Using a drawing, explain how and why they are used.
    1. Make a drawing showing how nuclear fission happens, labeling all details. Draw another picture showing Observe a mousetrap reactor (setup by an adult) and use it to explain how a chain reaction could be started. Explain how a chain reaction and how it could be stopped or controlled in a nuclear reactor. Explain what is meant by a "critical mass."
    2. Build a model of a nuclear reactor. Show the fuel, control rods, shielding, moderator, and cooling material. Explain how a reactor could be used to change nuclear energy into electrical energy or make things radioactive.
      Visit a local nuclear power plant or nuclear reactor either in person or online (with your parent's permission). Leam how a reactor works and how the plant generates electricity. Find out what percentage of electricity in the United States is generated by nuclear power plants, by coal, and by gas.
    3. 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.

Personal Management Merit BadgePersonal Management

The only change was in the note. References to the Cyber Chip were removed, since it is no loner being used.  The revision is shown below:

* Always be sure to have proper permission before using the internet. To learn about appropriate behavior and etiquette while online , consider earning the BSA Cyber Chip. Go to www.scouting.org/training/youth-protection/cyber-chip/ www.scouting.org/training/youth-protection for more information.


Photography Merit BadgePhotography

The order of requirements 1a and 1b has been adjusted to match the listing on Scouting.org., and a change was made to requirement 1a, since the Cyber Chip has been phased out. The changes are shown below.

    1. Explain to your counselor the most likely hazards you may encounter while working with photography and what you should do to anticipate, mitigate, prevent, and respond to these hazards. Explain how you would prepare for exposure to environmental situations such as weather, sun, and water.
      View the Personal Safety Awareness "Digital Safety" video (with your parent or guardian's permission)
    2. Show your counselor your current, up-to-date Cyber Chip.
      Explain to your counselor the most likely hazards you may encounter while working with photography and what you should do to anticipate, mitigate, prevent, and respond to these hazards. Explain how you would prepare for exposure to environmental situations such as weather, sun, and water.

Plant Science Merit BadgePlant Science

Changes were made to requirements 8-Option 1-E5c and 8-OPTION 3 -F4a, as shown below.

    • Option 1
          1. Explain why a killing hard frost can be dangerous to soybeans just after emergence is critical for soybeans .
    • OPTION 3
          1. Write ahead and arrange to visit an herbarium at a university, park or botanical garden; OR, visit an herbarium website (with your parent's parent or guardian's permission).

Programming Merit BadgeProgramming

A change, as shown below, was made to requirement 1a, since the Cyber Chip has been phased out.

    1. Show your counselor your current, up-to-date Cyber Chip.
      View the Personal Safety Awareness "Digital Safety"; video (with your parent or guardian's permission.

Radio Merit BadgeRadio

Changes were made to requirement 9a5, as shown below.

      1. Explain the differences between handheld transceivers and home "base" , mobile, and base station transceivers and their uses. Explain the uses of mobile use of amateur radio transceivers and amateur radio repeaters.

Sports Merit BadgeSafety

Changes were made to requirements1a and 1c, and new requirements 2c, 2d, and 2e were added, as shown below.

    1. Newspaper, internet (with parent's parent or guardian's permission), or other articles, facts, and statistics showing common types and causes of injuries in the home and in the workplace, and how these injuries could be prevented.
    2. A paragraph or more, written by you, explaining how a serious fire, accident, or crime, or a natural disaster could change your family life.
    1. Develop a family emergency action plan for a natural disaster.
    2. Explain what risk assessment is and its purpose.
    3. Explain the BSA's Commitment to Safety.

Scouting Heritage Merit BadgeScouting Heritage

Changes were made to requirements 2b3, 2b4, 3, and 4c as shown below.

      1. Boy Scout Scouts BSA Handbook
      2. Boys' Scout Life magazine (formerly Boys' Life)
  1. Discuss with your counselor how Scouting's programs have developed time and been adapted to fit different age groups and interests (Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting Scouts BSA, Exploring, Venturing).
    1. Visit an exhibit of Scouting memorabilia or a local museum with a Scouting history gallery, or (with your parent's permission and counselor's approval) visit with someone in your council who is recognized as a dedicated Scouting historian or memorabilia collector. Learn what you can about the history of Boy Scouting the BSA. Give a short report to your counselor on what you saw and learned.

Skating Merit BadgeSkating

Changes were made to requirements 2, Ice Skating Option b1 and d2, Roller Skating Option c1, d2 and d3 (deleted), d4 (renumbered), and a new option for Skateboarding was added.  The changes and new option are  shown below.

  1. Complete Working under the supervision of an experienced adult, complete all of the requirements for ONE of the following options.
    • Ice Skating Option
        1. Skate forward at least 40 feet and come to a complete stop. Use either a two-footed two-foot snowplow stop or a one-footed two-foot snowplow stop.
        1. Explain to your counselor the safety considerations for running or participating in an ice skating race.
    • Roller Skating Option
        1. Perform a crosscut forward crossover.
        1. Perform a widespread eagle.
          3. Perform a mohawk.
          4.
          Perform a series of two consecutive spins on skates, OR hop, skip, and jump on skates for at least 10 feet.
    • Skateboarding Option
      1. Explain the following to your counselor:
        1. History and evolution of skateboarding
        2. Benefits of skateboarding (physical fitness, balance, coordination, perseverance, and creativity)
        3. Purpose of skateboarding safety and protective gear (helmets, knee pads, elbow pads, wrist guards)
      2. Explain the following to your counselor:
        1. Rules and regulations of skateparks
        2. Understanding skatepark zones (street, bowl, and ramp)
        3. Right-of-way and respect for others
        4. Communication signals and warnings
      3. Do the following:
        1. Explain skateboard anatomy (deck, trucks, wheels, bearings)
        2. Build a board by assembling all pieces (deck, wheels, trucks, bearing, and grip tape) in the proper order
        3. Explain skateboard maintenance (cleaning, tightening bolts, and replacing parts)
      4. Demonstrate the following skateboarding skills:
        1. Stance and fool placement (regular and goofy)
        2. Pushing and balance
        3. Turning and carving
        4. Braking and stopping techniques
        5. Ollies (basic and variations)
      5. Demonstrate a total of three skateboarding tricks from the following types
        1. Flatland tricks
        2. Flip and shove-it tricks
        3. Grind and slide tricks
        4. Air, grab, bowl and ramp tricks
        5. Footplant tricks
        6. Balance tricks

Snow Sports Merit BadgeSnow Sports

Requirement 6d was deleted, as shown below.

  1. Tell the meaning of the Wilderness Use Policy. Explain why each skier and snowboarder must adopt this policy.

Sports Merit BadgeSports

To see information regarding the previous versions of the requirements for this merit badge, Click here.

In 2023, changes were made to requirement 5 and a note was added which applies to that requirement. The changes are shown below.

  1. Take part for one season (or four months) as a competitive individual or as a member of an organized team in TWO of the following sports: baseball, basketball, bowling, cross-country, field hockey, football, diving, field hockey, flag football, flagteam, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, spirit/cheerleading, swimming, tackle football, table tennis, tennis, track and & field, volleyball, water polo, and wrestling, and/or badminton. Your counselor may approve in advance other recognized sports.* , but not any sport that is restricted and not authorized by the Boy Scouts of America. Then with your chosen sports do the following:

* The BSA has prohibited as official Scouting activities intramural, interscholastic, or club-sport competitions or activities. However, they can be acceptable for your individual participation in an organized school, league, or club activity if approved by your counselor.


Surveying Merit BadgeSurveying

The following changes were made to requirements 2-6, as shown below.

  • Requirement 2 was rewritten and split into parts 2a and 2b.
  • Requirement 3 was revised.
  • Requirement 4 was deleted and replaced with new requirement 6.
  • Requirements 5 and 6 were revised and renumbered as 4 and 5.
  1. 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. 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.
    Do the following:
    1. Set an instrument over one of the corners of a five-sided lot laid out by your counselor and sighting one of the other corners for reference and, using radial measurement methods, record the angle turned and the distance measured to each of the remaining corners, as directed by your counselor. Record the angle and distance to five topographic features (trees, shrubs, rocks, etc.) near your work area.
    2. Measure to three of the same points with GPS measurement and compare the distances between the points measured.
  2. From the field notes gathered for requirement 2, and using a protractor and scale, plot the points you measured and draw to scale a map of your survey which includes a north arrow, scale bar, title, date and a diagram of the lot you measured. Submit a neatly drawn copy.
  3. 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, collect and record measurements, and determine the elevation of the other four corner markers.
  4. 6. Get a copy of the deed to your property, or a piece of property assigned approved by your counselor, from the local courthouse or title agency. Discuss with your counselor the different parts of the deed and their importance.
  5. Discuss emerging surveying technology such as drones and laser scanning and the strengths and weaknesses of each.

Sustainability Merit BadgeSustainability

The requirements were almost completely rewritten. Please click on the merit badge or badge name above to see the new requirements, To see the previous requirements, Click Here.


Swimming Merit BadgeSwimming

A new requirement 3 was added, and as a result of that change, requirements 3-8 were renumbered as 4-9. Changes were also made to requirement 4. The new requirement, and the changes to requirement 4 are shown below. However, for requirements 5-9, we have only included the numbering changes and the first few words of the requirement, since the wording was not revised.

  1. Correctly perform the following strokes:
    1. Demonstrate the front crawl or the trudgen using good form.
    2. Demonstrate the back crawl using good form.
    3. Demonstrate the sidestroke using good form.
    4. Demonstrate the breaststroke using good form.
    5. Demonstrate the elementary backstroke using good form.
  2. 3. Swim continuously for 150 yards in a strong manner using each of the following strokes in good form and in a strong manner any order: front crawl or trudgen for 25 yards, back crawl for 25 yards, sidestroke for 25 yards, breaststroke for 25 yards, and elementary backstroke for 50 yards.
  3. 4. Do the following:...
  4. 5.Do the following:...
  5. 6.In water over your head...
  6. 7.Following the guidelines...
  7. 8.Explain the health benefits...

Changes to Special Opportunities

Scouts-BSA Cyber Chip Award patchCyber Chip

The Cyber Chip award was discontinued.


Eagle palmsEagle Palms

The requirements for Eagle Palms were moved from the Rank Requirements section of the Scouts BSA Requirements book, to the Special Opportunities section, since the Eagle Palms are awards, not rank advancements. The introduction was revised, obsolete material pertaining to previous changes were deleted, and requirements 1 and 5 were deleted, removing the 3 month minimum period between awarding Eagle Palms, and removing the requirement for additional Scoutmaster conferences. Requirements 2-4 were renumbered as 1-3, and the footnotes were deleted. The changes are shown below.

After successfully completing your an Eagle Scout board of review on or after Aug. 1, 2017, and being validated as an Eagle Scout by the National Service Center, you will be entitled to receive a Scout can be recognized immediately with an Eagle Palm for each additional five merit badges you completed before your Eagle board of review beyond those they have earned beyond the 21 merit badges required for the rank of Eagle. In addition, all current Scouts who have completed their Eagle board of review and who had not passed their 18th birthday before Aug. 1, 2017, are entitled as well to receive Eagle Palms. For these Palms only, it will not be necessary for you to complete the requirements stated below.

After becoming an Eagle Scout and receiving the Eagle Palms you are entitled to, you Subsequently, they may earn additional Palms by completing the following requirements:

  1. Be active in the Boy Scouts of America for at least three months after becoming an Eagle Scout or after the last Palm was earned.15
    2.
    Since earning the Eagle Scout rank or your last Eagle Palm, demonstrate Scout spirit by living the Scout Oath and Scout Law. Tell how you have done your duty to God and how you have lived the Scout Oath and Scout Law in your everyday life.
  2. 3. Continue to set a satisfactory example of accepting responsibility or demonstrating leadership ability.
  3. 4. Earn five additional merit badges beyond those required for Eagle or last Palm. 16
    5. While an Eagle Scout participate in a Scoutmaster conference.

Notes:

For Venturers working on Scouts BSA Requirements, replace "troop" with "crew" and "Scoutmaster" with "Crew Advisor."
For Sea Scouts working on Scouts BSA Requirements, replace "troop" with "ship" and "Scoutmaster" with "Skipper."

15 Eagle Palms must be earned in sequence, and the three-month tenure requirement must be observed for each Palm.

16 Merit Badges earned any time since joining Scouts BSA may be used to meet this requirement.


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

This document is a product of the U.S. Scouting Service Project, Inc. (USSSP). It may be reproduced by or for Scouting volunteers and used locally for training purposes consistent with the programs of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) or other Scouting and Guiding Organizations. However, it may not be used or reproduced for electronic redistribution or for commercial or other non-Scouting purposes without the express permission of the U. S. Scouting Service Project, Inc. (USSSP) or other copyright holders. The USSSP is not affiliated with BSA or WOSM and does not speak on behalf of BSA or WOSM. Opinions expressed in this document are those of the web authors.

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Page updated on: February 23, 2024



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