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Effective: September 1, 1996

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Changes were made to the requirements for the rank of Eagle Scout and four merit badges in the 1996-97 edition of Boy Scout Requirements. The changes became effective immediately, except for Scouts who had already started a merit badge. They may continue to use the old requirements. 

Eagle Scout Rank Requirements

Public Health
Traffic Safety

Crime Prevention

Eagle Scout Rank Requirements:

In requirement 4, the position of Historian has been added to the list of qualifying "troop positions of responsibility."


Requirement 7(d) now reads: 

  1. (d) Show the right way to pack your full gear in your pack. (Explain the principles of packing in external and internal frame packs.) 

This merit badge change was not  listed on the Inside Front Cover of the 1996-97 book. 

Crime Prevention (Merit Badge Number 131)

New merit badge, the requirements for which are as follows: 

  1. Define "crime" and "crime prevention."
  2. Prepare a notebook of newspaper and other clippings that addresses crime and crime prevention efforts in your community.
  3. Do the following:
    1. Talk to a store owner or manager about the impact of crime on the way the store is run and how crime affects prices.
    2. Talk with a school teacher, principal, or school officer about the impact of crime in your school.
    3. Explain what a neighborhood watch is and how it can benefit your neighborhood.
    4. Define white-collar crime and explain how it affects all citizens of the United States.
  4. Discuss the following with your counselor:
    1. The role of a sheriff's department or police department in crime prevention.
    2. The role of citizens, including youth, in crime prevention.
    3. Gangs and their impact on the community.
    4. When and how to report a crime.
    5. The role and value of laws in society.
  5. Do the following:
    1. Inspect your neighborhood for opportunities that may lead to crime. Learn how to do a crime prevention survey.
    2. Using the checklist in this pamphlet, conduct a security survey of your home and discuss the results with your family.
  6. Teach your family or patrol members how to protect themselves from crime at home, at school, in your community, and while traveling.
  7. Visit a jail or detention facility. Discuss your experience with your counselor.
  8. Discuss with your counselor the purpose and operation of agencies in your community that help law enforcement personnel prevent crime, and how the agencies help in emergency situations.
  9. Discuss the following with your counselor:
    1. How drug abuse awareness programs, such as "Drugs: A Deadly Game," help prevent crime.
    2. Why alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana are sometimes called "gateway drugs" and how "gateway drugs" can lead to the use of other drugs.
    3. Three resources in your city where a person with a drug problem or drug-related problem can go for help.
    4. How the illegal sale and use of drugs lead to other crimes.
    5. How to recognize child abuse.
    6. The "three Rs" of Youth Protection.


Requirement 2(c) has been slightly modified by replacing "them" with "printed circuit boards" at the end of the second sentence.

Requirements 4 & 5 were omitted from the printing of the 1996-97 Requirements Book by error. This portion of the Requirements HAS NOT changed.


Requirement 7 was revised to read as follows:

  1. Show how to rescue a person touching a live wire in the home. Show first aid if the person is unconscious from electrical shock.

    This merit badge change was actually effective 9/1/96, even though Electricity was not  listed on the Inside Front Cover of the 1996-97 book.

Public Health

The requirements have been significantly rewritten and now read as follows:

  1. Visit your city, county, or state public health agency. Prepare an outline of the agency's various services and
    1. Explain them briefly to your counselor.
    2. Explain how these services affect you.
    3. Identify the four leading causes of death (mortality) in your community for any of the past five years. Compare these with the four leading causes of hospital admissions (morbidity) in your community. Find out how the public health agency you visited is involved in trying to reduce both the mortality and morbidity of these leading causes of illness and disability.
    4. Tell about three professions of the people providing these services at the agency.
  2. Explain how the following diseases are contracted: tetanus, influenza, syphilis, hepatitis, emphysema, AIDS, encephalitis, meningitis, salmonellosis, Lyme disease, herpes, and lead poisoning.
  3. Do the following:
    1. Explain the meaning of immunization.
    2. Name five diseases against which a young child should be immunized.
    3. Name two diseases against which you should be reimmunized periodically.
  4. Visit a restaurant or other commercial food service facility and observe food preparation, handling, and storage. Interview a food service inspector and explain
    1. How foods can become contaminated.
    2. What conditions allow microorganisms to increase in number in food.
    3. How microorganisms in food can be killed.
    4. How dishes and utensils should be washed in camp and at home.
  5. Do the following:
    1. Show two ways of making water safe to drink under camping conditions.
    2. Visit a water treatment facility and describe the steps used in making public drinking water safe; OR visit the drinking-water quality-control agency in your community. Describe how water quality is monitored.
  6. Do the following:
    1. Explain how insects and rodents can be controlled in your home, community, and camp.
    2. Visit a municipal wastewater treatment facility and a solid-waste management operation in your community. Describe how sewage and solid waste disposal is done safely in urban and rural environments, and under wilderness camping conditions.
  7. Do the following:
    1. Describe the health dangers from air, water, and noise pollution.
    2. Describe the health dangers from tobacco use and alcohol and drug abuse.


In requirement 7 , add the word "(qualities)" after the word "attributes."

mb112c.gif (7963 bytes)Traffic Safety

"Check tires for wear and proper inflation." was moved from Requirement 1(e) to Requirement 4(e)

This merit badge change was not  listed on the Inside Front Cover of the 1996-97 book.

This analysis was originally prepared as a service to Scouts and Scouters nationwide by:
Bruce E. Cobern
Advancement Chairman
Founders District
Queens Council
Greater New York Councils
Boy Scouts of America

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

Copies may be freely distributed, so long as the author and editor are acknowledged.

Page updated on: December 22, 2022

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