Merit Badge Center

Age Requirement Eligibility

Merit badges, badges of rank, and Eagle Palms are for boys who are registered Boy Scouts or Varsity Scouts. They may earn these awards until his 18th birthday. Any Explorer who achieved the First Class rank as a Boy Scout or Varsity Scout in a troop may continue working for the Star, Life and Eagle ranks and Eagle Palms while registered as an Explorer up to his 18th birthday.

Introduction to Merit Badges

Follow the link at the bottom of this page to view the requirements for all of the current merit badge subjects. You can learn about sports, crafts, science, trades, business, and future careers as you earn these merit badges. There are more than 100 merit badges. Any Boy Scout may earn any merit badge at any time. You don't need to have had rank advancement to be eligible. Pick a subject that interests you. Talk to your Scoutmaster about your specific interests. Read the requirements of the merit badges you think might interest you. Pick one or more of then to earn. Your Scoutmaster will give you the name of a person from a list of registered counselors. These counselors have special knowledge in their merit badge subjects and are interested in helping you earn your badge for that subject

The Scout Buddy System

You must have another person with you at each meeting with the merit badge counselor. This person can be another Scout, your parents or guardian, a brother or sister, a relative, or a friend. This helps to assure verification and safe personal accountability.

Call the Counselor

Get a signed merit badge application from your Scoutmaster or Advancement Chair. They will give you the contact information for the Merit Badge Counselor for the badge you have chosen. Get in touch with the merit badge counselor and tell him or her that you want to earn the merit badge. The counselor may ask you to come and see him so he can explain what he expects and start helping you meet the requirements. When you know what is expected, start to learn the things you need to know or do. You should read the merit badge pamphlet on the subject. Many troops and school or public libraries have them.

Show Your Stuff

When you are ready, call the counselor again to make an appointment to meet the requirements. When you go take along the things you have made to meet the requirements. If they are too big to move or represent a specific activity, take pictures or have an adult tell in writing what you have done. The counselor will go over each requirement to make sure that you know your stuff and have done or can do the things required.

Get the Badge

When the counselor is satisfied that you have met each requirement, he or she sign your application. Give the signed application to your Scoutmaster so that your merit badge emblem can be secured for you.


You are expected to meet the requirements as they are stated - no more and no less. You are expected to do exactly what is stated in the requirements. If it says "show or demonstrate," that is what you must do. Just telling about it isn't enough. The same thing holds true for such words as "make", "list", "in the field", "collect", "identify", and "label," all of which are specific actions related to a requirement

Required Badges for Eagle

The following individual badges or badges from a designated group, totaling 12 in addition to 9 elective badges, are required for the rank of Eagle Scout. Hold the mouse cursor over a badge to see the badge name and/or group.

Merit Badge Resources

Note: The links on this page leave the BSA Troop 997 web site. While we attempt to verify that the content accessible by these links is consistent with the principles and values of the Boy Scouts of America and Troop 997, we have no control over any material or links provided from these sites. This information is provided for reference only — the finial and definitive source of information relating to advancement should be the documentation obtained from your Scout Book, Merit Badge Books and Merit Badge Counselors.

Merit Badge Research Center at Merit

US Scouting Service Project - Merit Badge Requirements

US Scouting Service Project - Current Merit Badge Pamphlet and Merit Badge Requirement Revision Dates

This page last updated on Sunday August 23, 2009.