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

MERIT BADGE
REQUIREMENT CHANGES

Effective: April 1, 1999

(REVISIONS TO MERIT BADGE REQUIREMENTS
EXCEPT COMPLETE CHANGES)

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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, even when the pamphlet has a later issue date, the Requirements Book should be considered to be the controlling document, until a newer edition of the Requirements Book is issued. 

There was one MAJOR exception to the preceding statement in 1999.  Subsequent to the publication of the 1999 Requirements book, the requirements for Personal Fitness Merit Badge were revised, with an effective date of April 1, 1999, like the changes in the book. The revisions were distributed on BSA Publication 18-083, released in late March. Scouts could use EITHER the old or new requirements for this Merit Badge until April 1, 2000.

The changed requirements could be used immediately.  Scouts who have already started a merit badge may continue to use the old requirements until their 18th birthday.  Scouts starting a Merit Badge after April 1, 1999, must use the new requirements.


This page includes the changes to Merit Badges identified on the inside front cover of the 1999 Boy Scout Requirements Book , except those where the requirements were completely replaced.  In addition, we have listed those other Merit Badges where there are known issues which should be brought to the attention of Merit Badge Counselors, Advancement Committee members, Unit Leaders, and Scouts.

If you find any discrepancies between what is printed in the Requirements Book and the Merit Badge Pages on this site, please let me know, and I will attempt to determine what the proper requirements are.

You can contact me by e-mail by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page.


Animal Science
Bugling
Communications
Cycling
Electronics
Environmental Science
Hiking
Nature
Personal Fitness
Rowing
Safety
Small-Boat Sailing
Sports
Theater
Waterskiing

COMPLETELY CHANGED
MERIT BADGES

Bird Study
Graphic Arts
Journalism
Skating
Snow Sports (REPLACED Skiing)

There has been confusion over the number assigned to the Snow Sports merit badge, ever since the badge was introduced.

We had originally reported that Snow Sports Merit Badge was going to be considered as a NEW Merit Badge and would be listed as No. 135, and that Scouts COULD earn both this badge and the former Skiing Merit Badge, based on information we received from BSA.

We were then informed that Snow Sports was simply a renaming of the former Skiing MB, and would be listed as No. 104. The Troop/Team Advancement Chart (Z34506A) identifies Snow Sports merit badge as #104. Under those circumstances, Scouts that earned Skiing Merit Badge before it was renamed would NOT be eligible to earn the Snow Sports Merit Badge.

However, we have now been informed that in BSA's official record system, SCOUTNET 2000, it is entered into the individual Scout's records as number 135, and Scouts that earned Skiing Merit Badge before it was replaced ARE eligible to earn the Snow Sports Merit Badge.  Until we are informed otherwise, we will use number 135 for the badge.


Animal Science:

The following changes were NOT identified, but did appear in the 1999 Requirements Book.

In Requirement 5, the phrase "or Animal Science" was added, so it now reads:

  1. Tell about three career opportunities in livestock production or animal science.

In Requirement 6, the options were rearranged into the following order:

  • Beef cattle
  • Dairying
  • Horse
  • Sheep
  • Hog
  • Poultry

mb032c.gif (8470 bytes)Bugling:

Although not listed as being changed on the inside front cover, the following footnote to requirements 4 and 6, which was removed in 1998, was added:

*NOTE: A bugle, trumpet, or cornet may be used to meet these requirements.


Communications: 

Requirement 1 was revised as follows:

  1. Develop a plan to teach a skill. Have your merit badge counselor approve the plan. Make teaching aids. Carry out your plan. With your the counselor, check to see if the learner has learned you have successfully carried out the plan.

Minor changes to the wording were made to requirements 2, 5, and 6b.

Old requirement 7 was deleted, and 
Requirements 8 & 9 were renumbered 7 & 8


mb039c.gif (7463 bytes)Cycling:

There have been NO changes to the requirements. However, this Merit Badge has been added to the list of Merit Badges required for advancement to the rank of Eagle Scout, and may be used as an alternate to either Hiking MB or Swimming MB.


mb044c.gif (7614 bytes)Electronics:

A minor change to the wording was made to requirement 2b ("parts" replaced with "components").

Requirements 4 & 5 were omitted from the 1996-1997 and 1998 Requirements Books, and have been restored.  They read as follows:

  1. Do the following for the project you built in requirement 3:
    1. Show how to read the schematic diagram of the project.
    2. Show how the project works. To the best of your ability, tell how it operates.
  2. 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.
    3. Tell about three jobs in electronics. Tell what training is needed for each job.

mb007c.gif (8523 bytes)Environmental Science:

The phrase ", and record your findings" was removed from the first sentence in requirement 3.

The second sentence of requirement 4 was changed to read:

Maintain the ecosystem for at least seven days after completing construction of the ecosystem.

A minor wording change was made to requirement 7 ("project" in place of "plan")


mb061c.gif (7143 bytes)Hiking:

There have been NO changes to the requirements. However, this Merit Badge has been added to the list of Merit Badges required for advancement to the rank of Eagle Scout, and may be used as an alternate to either Cycling MB or Swimming MB.


Nature:

There have been NO changes to the requirements. However, requirement 4 is numbered differently in the Requirements Book and the Merit Badge Pamphlet.  The Requirements are the same, however. When working on this badge as a Scout or counseling Scouts for this badge, be alert to this discrepancy.


mb010c.gif (7195 bytes)Personal Fitness:

This Merit Badge has been moved on the list of Merit Badges required for advancement to the rank of Eagle Scout,

Formerly, this badge could be used as an alternate to either Sports MB or Swimming MB, but now it MUST be earned (unless an alternative is permitted due to a handicap).

In addition, the requirements were changed, subsequent to the publication of the 1999 Requirements Book.  Scouts may use either the OLD or NEW requirements until April 1, 2000.

The opening paragraph of requirement 1a was changed as follows:

  1. a. Before you try to meet any other requirements, have your physician health-care provider give you a physical examination, using thorough health examination. He or she is to use the Scout medical examination form. Describe the examination. Tell what questions you were asked about your health. Tell what health or medical recommendations were your doctor made. Report and report what you have done in response to the recommendations. about them. Explain the following:

and a new item 5 was added to that requirement, which reads:

  1. The youth risk factors that affect cardiovascular fitness in adulthood.

Requirement 2e was changed as follows:

  1. e. What it means to be socially healthy. Discuss your activity in the eight areas of healthy social fitness. several healthy social traits.

Requirement 3 was deleted, and requirements 4-10 renumbered to 3-9.

Requirements 3b and 3d (old 4b and 4d) had minor wording changes.

Requirements 6, 7, and 8 were completely rewritten and now read as follows:

  1. Before doing requirements 7 and 8, complete the aerobic fitness, flexibility, muscular strength, and body composition tests as  described in the Personal Fitness merit badge pamphlet. Record your results and identify those areas where you feel you need to improve.

Aerobic Fitness Test

Record your performance on one of the following tests:

  • Run/walk as far as you can in nine minutes
  • Run/walk one mile as fast as you can

Flexibility Test

Using a sit-and-reach box constructed according to specifications in this merit badge pamphlet, make four repetitions and record the fourth reach. This last reach must be held for 15 seconds to qualify.

Muscular Strength Test

You must use the sit-up test and EITHER the pull-up or push-up test.

  • Sit-ups. Record the number of sit-ups done correctly in 60 seconds. The sit-ups must be done in the form explained and illustrated in this merit badge pamphlet.

  • Pull-ups. Record the total number of pull-ups completed consistent with the procedures presented in this merit badge pamphlet.

  • Push-ups. Record the total number of push-ups completed consistent with the procedures presented in this merit badge pamphlet.

Body Composition Test

Have your parent, counselor, or other adult take and record the following measurements:

  • Circumference of the right upper arm, midway between the shoulder and the elbow, with the arm hanging naturally and not flexed.
  • Shoulders, with arms hanging by placing the tape two inches below the top of the shoulder and around the arms, chest, and back during breath expiration.
  • Chest, by placing the tape under the arms and around the chest and back at the nipple line during breath expiration.
  • Abdomen circumference at navel level (relaxed).
  • Right thigh, midway between the hip and the knee.

If possible, have the same person take the measurements whenever they are recorded.

  1. Outline a comprehensive 12-week physical fitness program using the results of your fitness tests. Be sure your program incorporates the endurance, intensity, and warm-up guidelines discussed in the Personal Fitness merit badge pamphlet. Before beginning your exercises, have the program approved by your counselor and parents.
  2. Complete the physical fitness program you outlined in requirement 7. Keep a log of your fitness program activity (how long you exercised; how far you ran, swam, or biked; how many exercise repetitions you completed; your exercise heart rate; etc.). Repeat the aerobic fitness, muscular strength, and flexibility tests every two weeks and record your results. After the 12th week, repeat all four tests, record your results, and show improvement in each one. Compare and analyze your preprogram and postprogram body composition measurements. Discuss the meaning and benefit of your experience.

Rowing:

Requirement 1 was changed as follows:

  1. Show that you know first aid for injuries or illnesses that could occur while rowing, including hypothermia, heatstroke, heat exhaustion, dehydration, sunburn, contusions, lacerations, and blisters. insect stings, tick bites, blisters, and hyperventilation.

Requirement 6 was changed as follows:

  1. Do ONE of In a fixed seat rowboat, do the following:
  1. In a fixed-seat rowboat, come Come alongside a dock and help a passenger into the boat. Pull away from the dock, change positions with your passenger, and scull in good form over the stern for 10 yards, including at least one 180-degree turn. Resume your rowing position, return alongside the pier, and help your passenger out of the boat. Row 50 feet, stop, pivot, and come back to the dock. Help the passenger from the boat.
  2. In a sliding-seat rowboat, come alongside a pier and, with your buddy assisting you, get out onto the pier. Help your buddy into the boat. Reverse roles with your buddy and repeat the procedure.  Show sculling in good form over the stern for 10 yards. Turn under way, and return to starting point.

mb012c.gif (8470 bytes)Safety:

There have been NO changes to the requirements. However, this Merit Badge has been removed from the list of Merit Badges required for advancement to the rank of Eagle Scout.


Small Boat Sailing:

The CPR requirement (2b) was changed to read like all the other aquatics merit badges, which were changed last year.  It now reads:

  1. Demonstrate proper technique for performing CPR using a training device approved by your counselor. on an adult mannequin for at least three minutes.


mb013c.gif (7694 bytes)Sports

There have been NO changes to the requirements. However, this Merit Badge has been removed from the list of Merit Badges required for advancement to the rank of Eagle Scout.


mb111c.gif (7548 bytes)Theater

Requirement 1 was changed as follows:

  1. See or read three full-length plays. These can be from the stage, movies, or television, or video. Write a review of each. Comment on the story, acting, and staging.

Requirement 3 was changed as follows:

  1. Direct a play. Cast, rehearse, and stage it. The play must be at least 10 or more minutes long.

  1. Show skill in stage makeup. Make up yourself or a friend as an old man or woman, and Indian, a clown, an extraterrestrial, or a monster as directed.

  1. Design the lighting for a play; or, under guidance, handle the lighting for a play under guidance.

The first sentence of requirement 4 was changed as follows:

  1. Pantomime Mime or pantomime any ONE of the following picked by chosen by you and your counselor.

Requirements 5 & 6 were changed as follows:

  1. Explain the following: proscenium arch, central or arena staging, spotlight, floodlight, flies, center stage, stage right, stage left, highlight, lowlight, scene paint, stage brace, cleat, stage crew, stage brace, batten foyer.
  2. Do two short entertainment features that you could give present either alone or with others for a troop meeting or campfire.

mb115c.gif (8578 bytes)Waterskiing

NOTE: Our review of the changes in 1998 omitted a number of changes to this Merit badge.  The following is a list of ALL changes to this Merit Badge in both 1998 and 1999.

Requirement 1 was changed (in 1999) as follows:

  1. Show that you know first aid for injuries or illnesses that could occur while waterskiing, including hypothermia,  heat exhaustion, heatstroke,dehydration, sunburn, contusions, lacerations, insect stings, tick bites, blisters, and hyperventilation.

As previously reported (in 1998), In requirement 2(b), the phrase "on an adult mannequin for at least three minutes" was replaced with "using a training device approved by your counselor."

Requirement 3 was changed  (in 1998) as follows:

  1. Before doing the following requirements, successfully complete the BSA swimmer test. Jump feetfirst into water over your head in depth. Level off, and swim 75 yards or 75 meters in a strong manner using one or more of the following strokes: sidestroke, breaststroke, trudgen, or crawl; then swim 25 yards or 25 meters using an easy, resting backstroke. The 100 yards or 100 meters must be completed in one swim without stops, swum continuously and must include at least one sharp turn. After completing the swim, rest by floating as motionless as possible.

Requirement 5 was changed (in 1999) as follows:

  1. Show the following water-skier signals to safety observer in boat: in-gear, start, skier safe, faster, slower, speed required, speed OK, turns, stop, back to dock, cut motor, skier in water. Help others to ski by acting as the safety observer in the boat.

Requirements 6-8 were changed (in 1998) as follows:

  1. In deep water, show Show you can adjust binders to fit, put on skis, and recover skis that have come off during a fall. Put on skis in knee-deep water.
  2. Make a shallow-water deepwater start on two skis without help.
  3. Show you can fall properly in avoiding to avoid an obstacle. Drop Also, show that you can drop handle and coast to a stop without loss of balance.

Requirement 9 was deleted (in 1998) and requirements 10-13 were renumbered 9-12, then (in 1999) renumbered requirement 10 (formerly requirement 11) was deleted and renumbered requirements 11 and 12   (formerly requirements 12 and 13) were renumbered 10 and 11.


This analysis was prepared as a service to Scouts and Scouters by:
Paul S. Wolf

Advancement Committee
Winding Rivers District
Greater Cleveland Council
Boy Scouts of America

Copies may be freely distributed, so long as the source is acknowledged.


Page updated on: August 01, 2007

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