Eagle Scout Information

History of
Required Merit Badges
for Eagle Scouts


Here is a list of the Merit Badges that have been required to earn the Eagle Scout rank since 1912. Please note that 21 total merit badges must have been earned for the Eagle Scout rank, except from 1972-1979, when 24 were needed.

The number of specifically required MBs has varied from 5, (1912-1915) to 16 (1952-1965) including MBs chosen from specific groups as "required".

In the list below, additions are shown in bold Green underline, and deletions in red italic strikeout like the highlighted texts in this sentence.


1912: Athletics, First Aid, Life Saving, Personal Health, Public Health.[5]

1915: Athletics, Bird Study, Cooking, Camping, First Aid, Life Saving, Pathfinding, Personal Health, Physical Development, Pioneering, Public Health.[11]

1916: Athletics, Athletics OR Physical Development, Bird Study, Camping, Civics, Cooking, First Aid, Life Saving, Pathfinding, Personal Health, Physical Development,  Pioneering, Public Health.[11]

1924: No change in list.

1925: Athletics OR Physical Development, Bird Study, Camping, Civics, Cooking,   First Aid, Life Saving, Pathfinding, Personal Health, Pioneering, Public Health, Swimming.[12]

1927: No change except Swimming specifically listed

1928: Athletics OR Physical Development, Bird Study, Camping, Civics, Cooking, First Aid, Life Saving, Pathfinding, Personal Health, Pioneering, Public Health,  Swimming.[11]

1932: Athletics OR Physical Development, Bird Study, Camping, Civics, Cooking, First Aid, Life Saving, Pathfinding, Personal Health, Pioneering, Public Health,  Safety.[12] ,

1939: Athletics OR Physical Development, Bird Study, Camping, Civics, Cooking, First Aid, Life Saving,  Pathfinding, Personal Health, Pioneering, Public Health,  Safety, Swimming.[13]

1941: Athletics OR Physical Development, Bird Study, Camping, Civics, Cooking, First Aid, Life Saving, Pathfinding, Personal Health, Pioneering, Public Health,  Safety, Swimming.[12]

1950: Athletics OR Physical Development, Bird Study, Camping, Citizenship,   Civics, Cooking, First Aid, Life Saving, Pathfinding, Personal Health, Pioneering, Public Health, Safety, Swimming.[13]

1952: Athletics OR Physical Development, Bird Study, Camping, Citizenship,  Cooking, Firemanship, First Aid, Life Saving, Nature, Pathfinding, Personal Fitness, Personal Health, Pioneering, Public Health, Safety, Swimming, one from the Outdoor Sports group, one from any of the following groups - Animal Husbandry, Plant Cultivation, Communication, Transportation, or Building, one from the Conservation group, three from the Citizenship group.[16]

1954: No change in list.

1959: Camping, Cooking, Firemanship, First Aid, Life Saving, Lifesaving (name change only), Nature, Personal Fitness, Public Health, Safety, Swimming, one from the Outdoor Sports group, one from any of the following groups - Animal Husbandry, Plant Cultivation, Communication, Transportation, Building, one from the Conservation group, three from the Citizenship group[16]

1961: No change in list.

1965: one from the Conservation group, three from the Citizenship group, Camping, Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation, Cooking, Firemanship, First Aid, Lifesaving, Nature, Personal Fitness, Public Health, Safety, Soil and Water Conservation, Swimming, one from the Outdoor Sports group, one from any of the following groups - Animal Husbandry, Plant Cultivation, Communication, Transportation, Building, one from the Conservation group, three from the Citizenship group.[11]

1966: No change in list.

1967: Camping, Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation,  Conservation of Natural Resources, Cooking, First Aid, Lifesaving, Nature, Personal Fitness, Safety, Soil and Water Conservation, Swimming.[11]

1972: Camping, Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation, Citizenship in the World, Communications, Conservation of Natural Resources, Cooking, Environmental Science, Emergency Preparedness OR Lifesaving, First Aid, Lifesaving, Nature, Personal Fitness, Personal Fitness OR Swimming OR Sports, Personal Management, Safety,.Swimming.[10]

1979:  Camping, Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation, Citizenship in the World, Communications, Emergency Preparedness OR Lifesaving, Environmental Science, First Aid, Personal Fitness OR Swimming OR Sports, Personal Management, Safety.[11]

1989: No change in list.

1991: No change in list.

1993: No change in list.

1994: Camping, Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation, Citizenship in the World, Communications, Emergency Preparedness OR Lifesaving, Environmental Science, Family Life, First Aid, Personal Fitness OR Swimming OR Sports, Personal Management, Safety.[12]

1999: Camping, Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation, Citizenship in the World, Communications, Cycling OR Hiking OR Swimming, Emergency Preparedness OR Lifesaving, Environmental Science, Family Life, First Aid, Personal Fitness, Personal Fitness OR Swimming OR Sports, Personal Management, Safety.[12]

2010: Camping, Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation, Citizenship in the World, Communications Communication, Cycling OR Hiking OR Swimming, Emergency Preparedness OR Lifesaving, Environmental Science, Family Life, First Aid, Personal Fitness, Personal Management.[12]

2013: Camping, Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation, Citizenship in the World, Communication, Cycling OR Hiking OR Swimming, Emergency Preparedness OR Lifesaving, Environmental Science OR Sustainability, Family Life, First Aid, Personal Fitness, Personal Management.[12]

2014: Camping, Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation, Citizenship in the World, Communication, Cooking, Cycling OR Hiking OR Swimming, Emergency Preparedness OR Lifesaving, Environmental Science OR Sustainability, Family Life, First Aid, Personal Fitness, Personal Management.[13]

NOTE: Swimming MB was listed only in a footnote as a required prerequisite to Life Saving MB in 1925 and 1939.


The Merit Badge Groups listed in the requirements between 1952 and 1965 were as follows:

  • Outdoor Sports:
    • Fishing
    • Archery
    • Hiking
    • Marksmanship
    • Cycling
    • Horsemanship
    • Skiing
    • Athletics
  • Conservation:
    • Soil and Water Conservation
    • Forestry
    • Wildlife Management
    • Sheep Farming
    • Animal Industry
    • Rabbit Raising
    • Dairying
  • Citizenship
    • Citizenship in the Home
    • Citizenship in the Community
    • Citizenship in the Nation
    • World Brotherhood
  • Animal Husbandry
    • First Aid to Animals
    • Dog Care
    • Poultry Keeping
    • Pigeon Raising
    • Beekeeping
    • Beef Production
    • Hog and Pork Production
    • Sheep Farming
    • Animal Industry
    • Rabbit Raising
    • Dairying
  • Plant Cultivation
    • Gardening
    • Landscape Gardening
    • Fruit Culture
    • Citrus Fruit Culture
    • Nut Culture
    • Agriculture
    • Corn Farming
    • Small Grains
    • Cotton Farming
    • Grasses, Legumes, and Forage Crops
  • Communication
    • Signaling
    • Bugling
    • Radio
    • Journalism
    • Printing
  • Transportation
    • Automobiling
    • Aviation
    • Railroading
    • Seamanship
  • Building
    • Home Repairs
    • Farm Home and Planning
    • Farm Layout and Building
    • Machinery
    • Farm Mechanics
    • Woodwork
    • Metalwork
    • Masonry
    • Painting
    • Plumbing
    • Electricity
    • Chemistry

The information on this page was originally furnished by
Jak Stallings - Fritch, TX
from information in the
Journal of the National Eagle Scout Association
Vol 20, No. 2, Fall 1994


Page updated on: July 30, 2013



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