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MERIT BADGES

Merit Badges
A vital part of the BSA's advancement plan, the merit badge program is one of Scouting's basic character-building tools. Through participation in the program (which may begin immediately upon registration in a troop or team), a Scout acquires the kind of self-confidence that comes only from overcoming obstacles to achieve a goal. Instruction is offered in everything from animal science and public speaking to swimming and communications, providing a young man with invaluable career, physical, and interpersonal skills.
MERIT BADGE PAMPHLETS
Each merit badge subject is outlined and explained in a pamphlet that contains short, introductory information written for Boy Scouts/Varsity Scouts by recognized authorities. More than a million pamphlets are sold yearly, and many are used as approved reference texts in libraries and school curriculum.
COUNSELORS
Persons who are knowledgeable of the various merit badge subjects are selected, approved, and trained by council and district advancement committees to serve as merit badge counselors. For example, a dentist might be asked to serve as a counselor for the Dentistry merit badge. A counselor must not only possess the necessary technical knowledge but also have a solid understanding of the needs, interests, and abilities of Scouts. He must also be a registered adult with the BSA.
PROCEDURE
When a Scout shows an interest in earning a particular merit badge, he obtains his Scoutmaster's/Varsity Scout Coach's approval, and identifies another Scout with similar interests to become his partner. They are then directed to the appropriate merit badge counselor. The counselor reviews the badge requirements with the young men and decides with them what projects should be undertaken and when they should be completed. After the counselor has certified that the Scouts have qualified for the merit badge, it is presented to them at a troop/team meeting and can be applied toward rank advancement.
BADGES FOR EAGLE
To qualify for the Eagle Scout Award, Scouting's highest advancement rank, a Scout must-along with meeting five other requirements-earn a total of twenty-one merit badges, including First Aid; Citizenship in the Community; Citizenship in the Nation; Citizenship in the World; Communications; Safety; Emergency Preparedness OR Lifesaving; Environmental Science; Personal Management; Personal Fitness OR Swimming OR Sports; Camping; and Family Life.
NEW BADGES
To meet the changing interests of boys, new merit badges are added from time to time. Recent additions are Auto Mechanics; Family Life; Collections; and Medicine. In addition, all merit badges are reviewed and revised periodically.
NUMBER
In 1993, 1,978,746 badges were earned by Scouts. Since 1911, when the merit badge program began, 87,040,806 badges have been awarded.


MERIT BADGE                          1993   1911-1993

(Marked with an X means that I have earned that one...)

Agribusiness                        1,138       4,404

American Business                   1,442      36,105

American Cultures                   2,074      19,243

American Heritage                   4,371      60,322

American Labor                      1,358       5,417

Animal Science X                    2,288      50,610

Archery  X                         35,292     699,795

Architecture                        3,470     159,910

Art X                              19,658     703,492

Astronomy X                        14,363     323,983

Athletics                           6,817     972,830

Atomic Energy                       3,594      73,249

Auto Mechanics                      3,566       6,200

Aviation X                         15,488     229,048

Backpacking                         8,864      87,149

Basketry X                         48,773   1,616,442

Beekeeping                            777      57,676

Bird Study                          1,521     490,438

Botany                                959      85,107

Bugling                               975     155,061

Camping X                          73,831   3,281,758

Canoeing                           54,697   2,066,480

Chemistry                           2,935     221,879

Cinematography                      1,730       8,854

Citizenship in the Community X     61,185   2,220,759

Citizenship in the Nation X        62,307   1,885,971

Citizenship in the World X         60,844     952,661

Coin Collecting                     4,209     390,926

Collections                         7,524      14,782

Communications X                   52,533     855,869

Computers X                        12,744     198,489

Consumer Buying                       806      23,850

Cooking                            46,328   3,564,699

Cycling                             5,703     427,532

Dentistry                           4,204      54,505

Disabilities Awareness              3,405      36,208

Dog Care                            3,695     356,873

Drafting                            2,423     191,647

Electricity X                       8,028     590,376

Electronics                         2,988     100,988

Emergency Preparedness X           44,142     812,167

Energy X                            2,680      29,690

Engineering                         2,263      38,265

Environmental Science X            66,064   1,193,084

Family Life X                       2,932       5,133

Farm Mechanics                      2,051     176,750

Fingerprinting X                   28,016     766,950

Firemanship                        14,150   2,325,534

First Aid X                        94,528   5,041,220

Fish and Wildlife Management X     17,388     319,453

Fishing X                          29,726   1,358,133

Forestry X                         14,986     818,823

Gardening                           2,523     343,320

Genealogy X                         6,680     113,296

General Science                     1,431      50,145

Geology   X                        11,067     257,912

Golf X                              4,220      39,252

Graphic Arts                        1,429       6,729

Hiking                             10,309   1,147,233

Home Repairs                       10,788   2,287,862

Horsemanship                       13,451     388,541

Indian Lore                        30,949     583,901

Insect Study X                      1,721     118,002

Journalism                          1,080      82,979

Landscape Architecture              1,863      40,482

Law                                 5,067      62,475

Leatherwork X                      66,585   1,247,346

Lifesaving                         37,828   2,366,130

Machinery                           1,169     172,364

Mammal Study X                     34,147     567,092

Masonry                               796     158,368

Medicine                            2,495       4,112

Metals Engineering                  1,268      26,044

Metalwork X                        16,562     790,032

Model Design and Building           1,904     170,413

Motorboating                       13,228     303,548

Music X                            12,379   1,022,323

Nature                             17,055   1,315,718

Oceanography X                      6,278      98,944

Orienteering X                     26,018     351,027

Painting                            3,879     470,463

Personal Fitness                   14,022   1,502,204

Personal Management X              46,576     762,228

Pets                                7,955     518,115

Photography X                       4,715     285,757

Pioneering X                       36,389   1,877,918

Plant Science                       1,366      19,382

Plumbing                            3,571     280,351

Pottery                             7,115     151,024

Public Health                       4,363   1,482,135

Public Speaking X                   2,405     548,485

Pulp and Paper                      1,776      34,200

Rabbit Raising                      1,282     136,869

Radio                               1,549      73,240

Railroading                         2,850     107,407

Reading                             7,848   1,337,852

Reptile and Amphibian Study        12,989     418,461

Rifle Shooting X                   37,029     218,574

Rowing                             27,330   1,316,140

Safety X                           64,097   2,564,772

Salesmanship                        5,654     208,709

Scholarship                         8,049   1,131,843

Sculpture X                         5,440     118,475

Shotgun Shooting X                 19,713      68,263

Skating                             5,059      71,793

Skiing                             12,623     191,328

Small-Boat Sailing                 16,261     266,656

Soil and Water Conservation X      17,164     806,417

Space Exploration                  10,838     138,315

Sports X                           31,446     816,747

Stamp Collecting                    1,720     364,996

Surveying                           1,806     124,566

Swimming X                         93,488   4,560,523

Textile X                           2,441      80,546

Theater                             1,389      43,106

Traffic Safety                      2,351      53,992

Truck Transportation                3,334      71,367

Veterinary Science                  1,355      26,903

Waterskiing                         5,053     154,140

Weather X                          12,108     238,017

Whitewater                          2,274      12,625

Wilderness Survival X              46,405     723,163

Wood Carving X                     48,234   1,302,861

Woodwork                            5,733     867,602

Unclassified                       21,569  10,314,829



TOTAL MERIT BADGES AWARDED      1,978,746  87,040,806
 
Total Merit Badges Recieved      47  

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