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


Effective: January 1, 2000

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A minor change was made to the requirements for the ranks of Life, Star, and Eagle Scout and changes were made to the requirements for four merit badges in the Y2K (2000) edition of Boy Scout Requirements (#33215C). The changes became effective January 1, 2000 (or earlier as discussed below).

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 this year.  Although the requirements for the Personal Fitness Merit Badge were revised, with an effective date of April 1, 1999, and appear in the Y2K Book, Scouts could use EITHER the old or new requirements for this Merit Badge until April 1, 2000.


Star, Life, and Eagle

Eagle Palms


Personal Fitness

LifeLife.gif (14396 bytes)Star, Life, and Eagle Ranks

In requirement 5 for Star, and requirement 4 for Eagle, the list of qualifying "Boy Scout troop positions of responsibility" was modified by adding the position of Order of the Arrow troop representative and by removing the position of Venture Patrol Leader, and the list of qualifying "Varsity Scout team positions of responsibility." was modified by adding the position of Order of the Arrow team representative.  Note that Scouts serving in a Troop as Venture Patrol Leaders still qualify under the position of Patrol Leader.

The following Notes were also added to the end of the requirements for Eagle:

Note: All requirements must be completed before a candidate's 18th birthday. The Eagle Scout board of review can be held after the candidate's 18th birthday. For more information, see Advancement Committee Policies and Procedures, publication No. 33088B.

If you have a permanent physical or mental disability, 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. 

Although the printed requirements for Life have not changed, the change to requirement 5 for Star, also affects requirement 5 for Life.

The change adding the OA representative positions became effective in July, 1999.

GoldPalm.jpg (1177 bytes)Eagle Palms

Requirement 4 was revised to read as follows:

  1. Earn five additional merit badges beyond those required for Eagle or last Palm.*.

This change was NOT identified on the inside front cover of the Requirements Book.


In Requirement 1, hyperventilation was removed from the list of conditions for which first aid must be shown.

Requirements 2 and 3 were changed to read:

  1. Learn the Leave No Trace principles and the Outdoor Code and explain what they mean. Write a personal plan for implementing these principles on your next outing.
  1. Make a written plan for an overnight trek and explain how to get to your camping spot using a topographical map and compass.

Requirements 5 and 6 were changed to read:

  1. Do the following:
    1. Prepare a list of clothing you would need for overnight campouts in warm weather and in cold weather.
    2. Discuss footwear for different kinds of weather and how the right footwear is important for protecting your feet.
    3. Explain the proper care and storage of camping equipment (clothing, footwear, bedding).
    4. Explain the term "layering".
    5. Present yourself with your pack for inspection. Be correctly clothed and equipped for an overnight campout.
  2. Do the following:
    1. Describe the features of four types of tents and how to care for tents. Working with another Scout, pitch a tent.
    2. Discuss the reasons and methods for water purification. Discuss camp sanitation.
    3. Tell the difference between "internal" and "external" frame packs. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each.
    4. Discuss the types of sleeping bags and what kind would be suitable for different conditions. Explain the proper care of your sleeping bag. Make a comfortable ground bed.

Requirement 7 (d) was deleted, and requirements 7 (b) and (c) were changed to read:

  1. Prepare a camp menu that is right for backpacking. Give recipes and make a food list for your patrol. Plan two breakfasts, three lunches, and two suppers. Discuss how to protect your food against bad weather, animals, and contamination.
  2. Pack your own gear and your share of the patrol equipment and food for proper carrying. Show that your pack is right for quickly getting what is needed first, and that it has been assembled properly for comfort, weight, balance, size, and neatness.

Requirement 8 was changed to read:

  1. Do the following:
    1. Explain the safety procedures when using a:
      1. Propane or butane/propane stove
      2. Liquid fuel stove
    2. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of different types of lightweight cooking stoves.
    3. Cook for your patrol a trail meal requiring the use of a lightweight stove.

In Requirement 9, in Item (a) the sentence in parentheses was moved to follow the first sentence instead of the second., Item (c) was deleted, and Item (b) was changed to read:

  1. On any of these camping experiences, you must do TWO of the following, only with proper preparation and under qualified supervision:
    1. Hike up a mountain, gaining at least 2,000 vertical feet.
    2. Backpack for at least four miles.
    3. Take a bike trip of at least 15 miles or at least four hours.
    4. Plan and carry out a float trip of at least four hours.
    5. Rappel down a rappel route of 30 feet or more.
    6. On one of your campouts, perform a conservation project approved in advance by the private landowner or public land management agency.

In Requirement 10, the word "about" was added before "personal health ..."


In Requirement 1, snakebite, and insect bites or stings were added to the list of conditions for which first aid must be shown.

A new Requirement 2 was added, which reads as follows:

  1. Identify the conditions that must exist before performing CPR on a person. Demonstrate proper technique in performing CPR using a training device approved by your counselor.

Requirements 2-11 were renumbered as 3-12.

In Requirement 3 (formerly 2), the word "also" was removed.

Requirement 4 (formerly 3) now reads as follows:

  1. Location. Do the following:
    1. Explain how the difficulty of climbs is classified, and apply classifications to the rock faces or walls where you will demonstrate your climbing skills.
    2. Explain the following: top-rope climbing, lead climbing, and bouldering.
    3. Evaluate the safety of a particular climbing area. Consider weather, visibility, the condition of the climbing surface, and any other environmental hazards.
    4. Determine how to summon aid to the climbing area in case of an emergency.

In Requirement 5 (formerly 4), "and while bouldering" was added to the first sentence, and a new item (d) was added, which reads

  1. Boulderers and their spotters

In Requirement 7 (formerly 6), item (e) "Bowline on a coil" was deleted, and item (d) was changed to read:

  1. Double fisherman¹s knot (Grapevine knot)

In Requirement 8  (formerly 7) items (c) and (d) were deleted, and item (b) was changed to read:

  1. Tied harness

In Requirement 11a (formerly 10a),"seat" was changed to " tied harness"

Hiking Hiking:

In Requirement 1, sprained ankle, and altitude sickness were added to the list of conditions for which first aid must be shown.

Requirement 2 was revised to read as follows:

  1. Explain and, where possible, show the points of good hiking practices including the principles of Leave No Trace, hiking safety in the daytime and at night, courtesy to others, choice of footwear, and proper care of feet and footwear.

A new Requirement 3 was added, which reads as follows:

  1. Explain how hiking is an aerobic activity. Develop a plan for conditioning yourself for 10-mile hikes, and describe how you will increase your fitness for longer hikes.

Requirements 3-6 were renumbered as 4-7.

In requirement 4 (formerly 3), "things" was replaced with "items".

Requirements 5 -7 (formerly 4-6) were revised to read as follows:

  1. Take five hikes, each on a different day, and each of 10 continuous miles. Prepare a hike plan for each hike.*
  2. Take a hike of 20 continuous miles in one day following a hike plan you have prepared.*
  3. After each of the hikes (or during each hike if on a continuous trek) in requirements 5 and 6, write a short report of your experience. Give dates and descriptions of routes covered, the weather, and interesting things you saw. Share this report with your merit badge counselor.

The following footnote was added to requirements 5 and 6:

*The hikes in requirements 5 and 6 can be used in fulfilling Second Class (2a) and First Class (3) rank requirements, but only if Hiking merit badge requirements 1, 2, 3, and 4 have been completed to the satisfaction of your counselor. The hikes of requirements 5 and 6 cannot be used to fulfill requirements of other merit badges.

Personal Fitness Personal Fitness:

The changes to this merit badge were effective April 1, 1999.  However, Scouts could 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.

This analysis was prepared as a service to Scouts and Scouters nationwide
from information provided by
Steve Henning
Reading, PA

The information was edited, rearranged, and converted to HTML by:
Paul S. Wolf
Advancement Committee
Winding Rivers District
Greater Cleveland Council
Boy Scouts of America

Page updated on: November 28, 2017

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