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Merit Badges Requirements

Citizenship in the Community
Citizenship in the Nation
Citizenship in the World
Emergency Preparedness
Environmental Science
Family Life
First Aid
Life Saving
Personal Fitness
Personal Management

  1. Show that you know first aid for injuries or illnesses that could occur while camping, including hypothermia, heatstroke, heat exhaustion, frostbite, dehydration, sunburn, insect stings, tick bites, snakebite, and blisters.
  2. 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.
  3. Make a written plan for an overnight trek and explain how to get to your camping spot using a topographical map and compass.
  4. Make a chart showing how a typical patrol is organizaed for an overnight campout. List assignments for each member.
  5. Do the following:
    1. Prepare a list of clothing you would need for an 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.
  6. Do the following:
    1. Descripe 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 of 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.
  7. Prepare for an overnight campout with your patrol by doing the following:
    1. Make a checklist of personal and patrol gear that will be needed.
    2. Prepare a camp menu that is right for backpacking. Give recipes and make a foodlist for your patrol. Plan two breakfasts, three lunches, and two suppers. Discuss how to protect your food against bad weather, animals, and contamination.
    3. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Show experience in camping by doing the following:
    1. Camp out a total of at least 20 days and 20 nights. (You may use a week of long-term camp toward this requirement.) Sleep each night under the sky or under a tent you have pitched.
    2. On any of these camping experiences, you must do TWO of the following, only with proper preparation and 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 land owner or public land management agency.
  10. Discuss how the things you did to earn this badge have taught you about personal health and safety, survival, public health, conservation, and good citizenship.

BSA Advancement ID#: 1
Pamphlet Revision Date: 1984

Citizenship in the Community
  1. Describe your community to your counselor giving
    1. A short history
    2. Cultures and ethnic groups
    3. Major places of employment

    What is the future of your community?

  2. Mark or point out on a map of your community the following:
    1. Chief government buildings such as your city hall, county courthouse, and public works / services facility
    2. Fire station, police station, and hospital nearest your home
    3. Schools, churches, and synagogues near your home
    4. Main highways to neighboring cities and towns
    5. Nearest railroads and bus stations and airport, if any
    6. Chief industries or other major places of employment
    7. Historical and other interesting points
  3. Do the following:
    1. Chart the organization of your local or state government. Show the top offices and tell which are elected or appointed.
    2. Name the political parties in your community government and list four persons active in the politics of your community and what positions they hold.
  4. Attend ONE:
    1. County or parish board meeting
    2. City council meeting
    3. School board meeting
    4. Municipal, county, or state court session
  5. After visiting the governmental meeting, obtain a copy of that body's published budget. Review the major sources of income and expenses for its operation with your counselor.
  6. List the services your community provides to the citizens in return for the taxes paid by you and your parents.
  7. Select a city, county, or school problem or issue under consideration from the local newspaper or news broadcast and write a letter expressing your views to the mayor, administrator, or school board president. Show this letter and any response to your counselor.
  8. List and describe the work of five volunteer organizations through which people in your community work together for the good of your community.
  9. Tell how to report an accident or an emergency in your community.
  10. List five ways you can demonstrate good citizenship in your community, religious institution, school, or Scouting unit.

BSA Advancement ID#: 2
Pamphlet Revision Date: 1993

Citizenship in the Nation
  1. After reading, discuss with your counselor the following documents:
    1. Declaration of Independence
    2. Preamble to the Constitution
    3. Constitution
    4. Bill of Rights
    5. Amendments to the Constitution
  2. Name the three branches of government and explain their functions. Explain the checks and balances on each branch of government.
  3. Outline the relationships between state and federal governments.
  4. Do ONE of the following:
    1. Visit the national Capitol.
    2. Visit your state capitol.
    3. Tour a federal installation.

    Explain to your experiences to your counselor.

  5. Name your two senators and the member of congress from your congressional district. Write a letter to one of these elected officials on a national issue, sharing your view with him or her. Show your letter and any response to your counselor.
  6. What are five important functions of your national government? Explain how these functions affect your family and local community.
  7. Discuss the main ways by which our federal government is financed.

BSA Advancement ID#: 3
Pamphlet Revision Date: 1993

Citizenship in the World
  1. Answer the following:
    1. What is citizenship? How does one become a citizen in the United States? How does one become a citizen in other countries?
    2. What rights, duties, and obligations does American citizenship entail? How are these similar to or different from the way citizenship is experienced in two other countries?
  2. Do the following:
    1. Discuss the concept of national interest.
    2. Explain how a country's security, economy, and values relate to its national interest.
  3. Explain ONE of the following to your counselor:
    1. How communications and transportation have changed relationships between countries
    2. How changing national interest, democratic values, and global economic partnerships are affecting the relationships between countries.
  4. Do the following:
    1. Tell how the geography, natural resources, and climate of a country affect its economy.
    2. Using a map of the world, select two countries. Describe how geography, natural resources, and climate are important in defining each country's national interest. Explain how these interests affect relations with at least two other countries.
  5. Do the following:
    1. Explain international law and how it differs from national law. What role does international law perform in the international system? Describe how international law can be used as a tool for conflict resolution.
    2. Select TWO of the following global issues and explain how they have been affected by international agreements and treaties:
      1. Environmentalism
      2. Terrorism
      3. International trade
      4. Communications
      5. Transportation
      6. Famine relief
      7. Disease control
      8. International sports
    3. Select TWO of the following organizations and describe their role in the international system:
      1. The United Nations
      2. The World Court
      3. World Organization of the Scout Movement
      4. The World Health Organization
      5. Amnesty International
      6. The International Red Cross
      7. Americas Watch
      8. CARE
  6. Do the following:
    1. Explain to your counselor what is meant by
      1. International trade agreement
      2. Foreign exchange
      3. Balance of payments
      4. Tariffs
      5. Free trade
    2. Explain how world trade and global competition affect the economy of your state and your community.
      1. Locate the listing of foreign currency exchange rates in the financial section of the newspaper. Select three major foreign currencies and explain the rates of exchange between these currencies and the American dollar.
      2. Select a foreign currency and price a product in that currency. Explain how fluctuations in currency exchange rates affect the price of that product if you are exporting it from the United States. Explain how fluctuations in currency exchange rates affect the price of the product if you are importing it into the United States.
  7. Do the following:
    1. Discuss the differences between constitutional and non-constitutional governments.
    2. Name at least five different types of government currently in power in the world.
    3. Show on a world map countries that use each of these five different forms of government.
  8. Do the following:
    1. Explain how a government is represented abroad. How is the United States government accredited to international organizations?
    2. Describe the roles of the following in the conduct of foreign relations:
      1. Ambassador
      2. Consul
      3. United States Information Agency
      4. Agency for International Development
      5. Foreign Commercial Service
    3. Explain the purpose of a passport and visa for international travel.
  9. Do ONE of the following:
    1. Attend a world jamboree.
    2. Take part in an international event in your area.
    3. Visit with a foreign exchange student and discuss his or her country and customs.
    4. Study a foreign language for a year.
    5. Write an embassy or consulate for material about its country and discuss the material with your counselor.
    6. Examine a particular international issue and give a brief oral presentation and a written report to your counselor.

BSA Advancement ID#: 4
Pamphlet Revision Date: 1995

  1. Develop a plan to teach a skill. Have your merit badge counselor approve the plan. Make teaching aids. Carry out your plan. With the counselor, check to see if the learner has learned.
  2. Choose a product or service. Build a sales plan based on its good points. Try to "sell" the counselor on buying it from you. Talk with the counselor about how well you did in telling about the product or service and convincing the counselor to buy it.
  3. Do the following:
    1. Show how you would make a telephone call inviting an expert in the field of your choice to give a demonstration to your unit on that person's area of expertise.
    2. Show how to create an effective recorded message and how to leave a voice-mail message.
  4. Do the following:
    1. Write a five-minute speech. Give it at a meeting of a group.
    2. Show how to introduce a guest speaker.
  5. Attend a town meeting where two or three points of view are given. Listen and take notes. Make a report from your notes. Tell your troop or patrol what you heard.
  6. Do ONE of the following:
    1. Write to the editor of a magazine or your local newspaper to express your opinion or share information (on any subject you choose). Or, write to an individual or organization to request information (on any subject). Send your message by fax or electronic mail, if possible. Otherwise, mail a traditional paper letter.
    2. Create a page on the World Wide Web for yourself or to give information about your Scout troop, school, or other organization. Include at least one article and one photograph or illustration.
    3. Use desktop publishing to produce a newsletter, brochure, flier, or other printed material for your Scout troop, school, chartered organization, or other group. Include at least one article and one photograph or illustration.
  7. Prepare an autobiographical resume that you would use in applying for a job.
  8. Find out about careers in the field of communications. Choose one career and discuss with your counselor the qualifications and preparation needed for it.

BSA Advancement ID#: 5
Pamphlet Revision Date: 1997

  1. Show that you know first aid for injuries or illnesses that could occur while cycling, including hypothermia, heatstroke, heat exhaustion, frostbite, dehydration, sunburn, insect stings, tick bites, snakebite, blisters, and hyperventilation.
  2. Clean and adjust a bicycle. Prepare it for inspection using a bicycle safety checklist. Be sure the bicycle meets local laws.
  3. Show your bicycle to your counselor for inspection. Point out the adjustments or repairs you have made. Do the following:
    1. Show all points that need oiling regularly.
    2. Show the points that should be checked regularly to make sure the bicycle is safe to ride.
    3. Show how to adjust brakes, seat level and height, and steering post.
  4. Describe how to brake safely with foot brakes and with hand brakes.
  5. Show how to repair a flat. Use an old bicycle tire.
  6. Take a road test with your counselor and demonstrate the following:
    1. Proper mounting, pedaling, and braking including emergency stops.
    2. On an urban street with light traffic, properly execute a left turn from the center of the street; also demonstrate an alternate left turn technique used during periods of heavy traffic.
    3. Properly execute a right turn.
    4. Demonstrate appropriate actions at a right-turn-only lane when you are continuing straight.
    5. Show proper curbside and road-edge riding. Show how to ride safely along a row of parked cars.
    6. Cross railroad tracks properly.
  7. Describe your state's traffic laws for bicycles. Compare them with motor-vehicle laws. Know the bicycle-safety guidelines.
  8. Avoiding main highways, take two rides of ten miles each, two rides of fifteen miles each, and two rides of twenty-five miles each. You must make a report of the rides taken. List dates, routes traveled, and interesting things seen.
    Bicycle must have all required safety features. It must be registered as required by your local traffic laws.
  9. After fulfilling requirement 8, lay out on a road map a 50-mile trip. Stay away from main highways. Using your map, make this ride in 8 hours.

BSA Advancement ID#: 39
Pamphlet Revision Date: 1996

Emergency Preparedness
  1. Earn the First Aid merit badge.
  2. Do the following:
    1. Tell what you would do to prevent injury and possible loss of life to yourself and others in each of the following emergencies: fire or explosion at home and in a public building, car stalled in a blizzard or desert, motor vehicle accident, mountain accident, food poisoning, boating accident, search for lost person, lost or marooned group, gas leak, earthquake, flood, tornado or hurricane, atomic emergency, and avalanche (snow or rock).
    2. Show that you know what to do in at least TWO of the above.
  3. Show how you could safely save a person from the following:
    1. Touching a live electric wire
    2. A room with carbon monoxide or other fumes or smoke
    3. Clothes on fire
    4. Drowning using nonswimming rescues (including ice accidents)
  4. Tell the things a group of Scouts should be prepared to do, the training needed, and the safety precautions to be taken for the following emergency service:
    1. Crowd and traffic control
    2. Messenger service and communication
    3. Collection and distribution services
    4. Group feeding, shelter, and sanitation
  5. Take part in an emergency service project, either real or a practice drill.
  6. Show three ways of attracting and communicating with rescue planes.
  7. With another person, show a good way to move an injured person out of a remote and rugged area, conserving the energy of the rescuers.
  8. Do the following:
    1. Prepare a written plan for mobilizing your troop when needed to do emergency service. If there is a plan, explain it. Tell your part in making it work.
    2. Take part in at least one troop mobilization. Describe your part.
    3. Show the personal "emergency pack" which you have prepared to be ready for a mobilization call. Show a family kit (suitcase or box) for use by your family in case an emergency evacuation is needed. Explain the need.
  9. Show proper use of ropes and lines for rescue work by doing the following:
    1. Tie knots for joining lines. Tie knots for shortening or adjusting lines. Tie knots for lashings.
    2. Lower a person from a height sufficient to show how.
    3. Coil and accurately throw light and heavy 50-foot heaving lines.

BSA Advancement ID#: 6
Pamphlet Revision Date: 1995

Environmental Science
  1. Make a timeline of the history of environmental science in America. Identify the contribution made by the Boy Scouts of America to environmental science. Include dates, names of people or organizations, and important events.
  2. Define the following terms and describe the relationships among them: population, community, ecosystem, biosphere, symbiosis, niche, habitat, conservation, threatened species, endangered species, extinction.
  3. Do ONE activity in EACH of the following categories (using the activities in this merit badge pamphlet as the bases for planning and carrying out your projects):
    1. Ecology
      1. Conduct an experiment to find out how living things respond to changes in their environments. Discuss your observations with your counselor.
      2. Conduct an experiment illustrating the greenhouse effect. Keep a journal of your data and observations. Discuss your conclusions with your counselor.
    2. Air Pollution
      1. Perform an experiment to test for particulates that contribute to air pollution. Discuss your findings with your counselor.
      2. Conduct a study to test the effects of acid rain on plants. Discuss your findings with your counselor.
    3. Water Pollution
      1. Conduct an experiment to show how living things react to thermal pollution. Discuss your observations with your counselor.
      2. Conduct an experiment to identify the methods that could be used to mediate (reduce) the effects of an oil spill on waterfowl. Discuss your results with your counselor.
    4. Land Pollution
      1. Conduct an experiment to illustrate soil erosion by water. Take photographs or make a drawing of the soil before and after your experiment, and make a poster showing your results. Present your poster to your patrol or troop.
      2. Perform an experiment to determine the effect of an oil spill on land. Share your journal and discuss your conclusions with your counselor.
    5. Endangered Species
      1. Do research on one endangered species found in your state. Find out what its natural habitat is, why it is endangered, what is being done to preserve it, and how many individual organisms are left in the wild. Prepare a 100-word report about the organism, including a drawing. Present your report to your patrol or troop.
      2. Do research on one species that was endangered or threatened but which has now recovered. Find out how the organism recovered, and what its new status is. Write a 100-word report on the species and discuss it with your counselor.
    6. Resource Recovery
      1. Perform an experiment on packaging materials to find out which ones are biodegradable. Discuss your conclusions with your counselor.
      2. Find out if your local community has a recycling program in effect. If it does, find out what items are recycled, and who pays for recycling. If your community does not have a recycling program, write questions for and conduct a survey on recycling. Include questions about attitudes toward recycling, what should be recycled, and your community's willingness to support a recycling program. Discuss your findings with your counselor.
  4. Build an ecosystem in a bottle. Include soil, plants, fungi, and small animals found in your local environment. Maintain the ecosystem for at least seven days after completing construction of the ecosystem. Observe it daily, and keep a record of your observations. Discuss your observations with your counselor.
  5. Choose an outdoor area to study. In your study area, do ONE of the following:
    1. Mark off three study plots of four square yards each, and count the number of species found there. Then estimate how much space is occupied by each species found in the plots. Make a chart, graph, or table to compare the plots. Write a report that adequately discusses the biodiversity and population density of your study area. Discuss your report with your counselor.
    2. Make four visits to the study area, staying for at least 30 minutes each time, to observe the living and nonliving parts of the ecosystem. Keep a journal of your observations, including a discussion of differences noted during the four visits. Write a report on your observations and discuss it with your counselor.
  6. Propose a hypothetical construction project in your community and prepare a limited environmental impact statement for the project. Study the area to see what the impact of the project might be upon the living and nonliving parts of the ecosystem.
  7. Develop a plan that would help solve an environmental problem, reduce an environmental impact, or affect environmental awareness in your community. Include plans for a specific project that could be done by your patrol or troop.
  8. Discuss three possible careers in the field of environmental science. Identify the education that you would need to pursue ONE of these careers.

BSA Advancement ID#: 7
Pamphlet Revision Date: 1998

Family Life
  1. Prepare an outline and discuss with your merit bade counselor what a family is and how the actions of one member can affect the other members.
  2. List 10 reasons why you are important to your family. Review these points with your parents or guardians and with your merit badge counselor.
  3. Prepare a list of your regular home duties or chores (at least five) and do them for 90 days. Keep a record of how often you do each of them.
  4. With the approval of your parents / guardians and your merit badge counselor, decide on and carry out a project that you would do around the house that would benefit the family. Submit a report to your merit badge counselor outlining how the project benefited the family.
  5. Plan and carry out a project that involves the participation of your family. After carrying out the project, discuss the following with your merit badge counselor:
    1. The objective or goal of the project
    2. How individual members of your family participated
    3. The results of the project
  6. Do the following:
    1. Discuss with your merit badge counselor how to plan and carry out a family council.
    2. After this discussion, plan and carry out a family council to include the following subjects:
      1. How to avoid the use of drugs and drug abuse
      2. Understand the growing-up process, how the body changes, and making responsible decisions dealing with sex
      3. Personal and family finances

BSA Advancement ID#: 129
Pamphlet Revision Date: 1991

First Aid
  1. Satisfy your counselor that you have current knowledge of all first aid requirements for Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class ranks.
  2. Do the following:
    1. Explain how you would obtain emergency medical assistance from your home, on a wilderness camping trip, and during an activity on open water.
    2. Prepare a first aid kit for your home. Display and discuss its contents with your counselor.
  3. Do the following:
    1. Explain what action you should take for someone who shows signs of a heart attack.
    2. Identify the conditions that must exist before performing CPR on a person.
    3. Demonstrate proper technique in performing CPR using a training device approved by your counselor.
    4. Show the steps that need to be taken for someone suffering from a severe laceration on the leg and on the wrist. Tell the dangers in the use of a tourniquet and the conditions under which its use is justified.
    5. Explain when a bee sting could be life threatening and what action should be taken for prevention and for first aid.
    6. Explain the symptoms of heat stroke and what action needs to be taken for first aid and for prevention.
  4. Do the following:
    1. Describe the signs of a broken bone. Show first aid procedures for handling fractures, including open (compound) fractures of the forearm, wrist, upper leg, and lower leg using improvised materials.
    2. Describe the symptoms and possible complications and demonstrate proper procedures for treating suspected injuries to the back, neck, and head. Explain what measures can be taken to reduce the possibility of further complicating these injuries.
  5. Describe the symptoms, proper first aid procedures, and possible prevention measures for the following conditions:
    1. Hypothermia
    2. Convulsions
    3. Frostbite
    4. Bruises, strains, sprains
    5. Burns
    6. Abdominal pain
    7. Broken, chipped, or loosened tooth
    8. Knocked out tooth
    9. Muscle cramps
  6. Do the following:
    1. If a sick or injured person must be moved, tell how you would determine the best method.
    2. With helpers under your supervision, improvise a stretcher and move a presumably unconscious person.
  7. Teach another Scout a first aid skill selected by your counselor.

BSA Advancement ID#: 8
Pamphlet Revision Date: 1995

  1. Show that you know first aid for injuries or illnesses that could occur while hiking, including hypothermia, heatstroke, heat exhaustion, frostbite, dehydration, sunburn, sprained ankle, insect stings, tick bites, snakebite, blisters, hyperventilation, and altitude sickness.
  2. Explain and, where possible, show the main 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Make a written plan for a 10-mile hike. Including map routes, a clothing and equipment list, and a list of things for a trail lunch.
  5. Take five hikes, each on a different day, and each of 10 continuous miles. Prepare a hike plan for each hike.*
  6. Take a hike of 20 continuous miles in one day following a hike plan you have prepared.*
  7. After each hike, write a short report of your experience. Give dates and descriptions of routes covered, weather, and any interesting things you saw.

*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.

BSA Advancement ID#: 61
Pamphlet Revision Date: 1999

Life Saving
  1. Before doing requirements 2-15
    1. Earn Swimming merit badge.
    2. Swim 400 yards.
  2. Explain
    1. Safe Swim Defense and Safety Afloat
    2. The order of methods in water rescue
  3. Show reaching rescues using such things as arms, legs, branches, sticks, towels, shirts, paddles, and poles.
  4. Show rescues using items that can be thrown, such as lines, ring buoys, rescue bags, and free-floating supports.
  5. Show or explain the use of rowboats, canoes, and other small craft in making rescues.
  6. With a helper and a practice victim, show a line rescue both as tender and as rescuer. Perform the rescue with the practice victim approximately thirty feet from the tender. Use a 100-foot length of 3/16-inch line.
  7. Show that you can remove street clothes on shore (except underwear or swim trunks) in 20 seconds or less. Explain the importance of disrobing before a swimming rescue.
    "Street clothes" means low shoes, socks, underwear (or trunks), pants, belt, and a long-sleeve shirt. A jacket, sweater, or sweatshirt also may be worn.
  8. Explain the importance of avoiding contact with a victim; explain "lead" and "wait" tactics; and explain why equipment should be used in a swimming rescue.
  9. Swim 30 feet and make the correct approach to a tired swimmer. Move the tired swimmer 30 feet to safety using the following:
    1. Underarm swim-along
    2. Two-person assist
  10. Make rescues on a practice victim 30 feet from shore, using the correct entry and a strong approach stroke, and bringing the victim back to pier or poolside, using
    1. A rescue tube or torpedo buoy
    2. A shirt, towel, or other equipment
    3. A front approach and wrist tow
    4. A rear approach and single armpit tow
    5. A rear approach and single armpit tow, changing to the cross-chest carry

    Discuss the different methods for removing the victim from the water. Choose the appropriate method for your situation. Remove the practice victim from the water and place in position for resuscitation.

  11. Show in deep water your defense against grasps by blocking and escaping. Free yourself from a wrist hold, rear head-hold, and a front head-hold.
  12. Make four surface dives in 8 to 10 feet of water. Retrieve an object on each of the first three dives. Bring up a 10-pound weight on the fourth dive.
  13. Show search techniques as a part of a lost-swimmer drill. Discuss search techniques using mask, fins, and a snorkel (not scuba).
  14. Do the following:
    1. Explain how to recognize and confirm cardiac arrest.
    2. Demonstrate proper technique for performing CPR using a training device approved by your counselor.
  15. Demonstrate proper management of a spinal injury by
    1. Explaining the signs and symptoms of a spinal injury
    2. Supporting a faceup victim in calm, shallow water
    3. Turning a person from a facedown to a faceup position while maintaining support

BSA Advancement ID#: 9
Pamphlet Revision Date: 1993

Personal Fitness

If meeting any of the requirements for this merit badge is against the Scout's religious convictions, it does not have to be done if the Scout's parents and proper religious advisors state in writing that

  1. To do so would be against religious convictions.
  2. The parents accept full responsibility for anything that might happen because of such exemption. They release the Boy Scouts of America from any responsibility.
    1. Before you try to meet any other requirements, have your health-care provider give you a physical examination, using the Scout medical examination form. Describe the examination. Tell what questions you were asked about your health. Tell what health or medical recommendations were made and report what you have done in response to the recommendations.
      Explain the following:
      1. Why physical exams are important.
      2. Why preventative habits are important in maintaining good health.
      3. Diseases that can be prevented and how.
      4. The seven warning signs of cancer.
      5. The youth risk factors that affect cardiovascular fitness in adulthood.
    2. Have an examination made by your dentist. Get a statement saying that your teeth have been checked and cared for. Tell how to care for your teeth.
  2. Explain to your merit badge counselor verbally or in writing what personal fitness means to you, including:
    1. Components of personal fitness.
    2. Reasons for being fit in all components.
    3. What it means to be mentally healthy.
    4. What it means to be physically healthy and fit.
    5. What it means to be socially healthy. Discuss your activity in the eight areas of healthy social fitness.
    6. What can you do to prevent social, emotional, or mental problems.
  3. With your counselor answer and discuss the following questions:
    1. Are you free from all curable diseases? Are you living in such a way that your risk of preventable diseases is minimized?
    2. Are you immunized and vaccinated according to the advice of your health-care provider?
    3. Do you understand the meaning of a nutritious diet and know why it is important for you? Does your diet include foods from all the food groups?
    4. Are your body weight and composition what you would like them to be, and do you know how to modify them safely through exercise, diet, and behavior modification?
    5. Do you carry out daily activities without noticeable effort? Do you have extra energy for other activities?
    6. Are you free from habits relating to nutrition and the use of alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and other practices that could be harmful to your health?
    7. Do you participate in a regular exercise program or recreational activities?
    8. Do you sleep well at night and wake up feeling refreshed and energized for the new day?
    9. Are you actively involved in the religious organization of your choice, and do you participate in their youth activities?
    10. Do you spend quality time with your family and friends in social and recreational activities?
    11. Do you support family activities and efforts to maintain a good home life?
  4. Explain the following about physical fitness:
    1. The components of physical fitness
    2. Your weakest and strongest component of physical fitness
    3. The need to have a balance in all four components of physical fitness
    4. How the components of personal fitness relate to the Scout Law and Scout Oath
  5. Explain the following about nutrition:
    1. The importance of good nutrition
    2. What good nutrition means to you
    3. How good nutrition is related to the other components of personal fitness
    4. The three components of a sound weight (fat) control program
  6. 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:

    1. Run/walk as far as you can in nine minutes
    2. 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.

    1. 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.
    2. Pull-ups. Record the total number of pull-ups completed consistent with the procedures presented in this merit badge pamphlet.
    3. 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:

    1. Circumference of the right upper arm, midway between the shoulder and the elbow, with the arm hanging naturally and not flexed.
    2. 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.
    3. Chest, by placing the tape under the arms and around the chest and back at the nipple line during breath expiration.
    4. Abdomen circumference at navel level (relaxed).
    5. Right thigh, midway between the hip and the knee.

    If possible, have the same person take the measurements whenever they are recorded.

  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Describe your long-term plans regarding your personal fitness.

BSA Advancement ID#: 10
Pamphlet Revision Date: 1999

Personal Management
  1. Do the following:
    1. Lead a discussion with your family to identify one family financial goal that must be saved for out of family income. Choose a goal that has strong personal interest for both you and your family (a family trip or vacation, a new VCR, or a family car, for instance).
    2. Discuss the goal in detail (where to go on vacation, for example, or what kind of car to buy), the cost of the goal, and when you want to reach the goal.
    3. Discuss how your family could accumulate funds to reach this goal, how the goal will affect the rest of the family budget, and how you could help your family achieve the goal.
  2. Do the following:
    1. Prepare a personal budget or spending plan for three months, including a "pay yourself first" savings plan. Keep track of everything you buy. Balance all income with expenses and savings at the end of each month.
    2. Share your three month budget with your merit badge counselor. Explain how you determined discretionary income (income not spent to meet fixed expenses), how much you saved, and what you spent money on. Did you spend more or less than you budgeted?
  3. Do ONE of the following:
    1. Identify a personal financial goal and make a plan to achieve that goal.
      1. Write down the goal you want to achieve. (This may be a small, short term goal such as buying clothes, or it may be a major, long-term goal such as saving for college.)
      2. Develop a financial plan to accomplish the goal. Determine how much the goal will cost, how much time you have to reach the goal, how you will earn money to pay for the goal, and what adjustments you could make if you cannot reach the goal in the desired time with the income you can earn.
      3. Discuss your plan with your counselor.
    2. Determine a spending/savings plan for living on your own.
      1. Choose a realistic job based on your age, skills, education, and experience (working at a fast-food restaurant, movie theater, or college library, for example). Determine how much you would probably make per hour and how many hours you would work each week. Determine your spendable income (after taxes and other deductions are taken out) for a month.
      2. Make a list of all basic monthly living expenses: rent, food, transportation, clothing, telephone, etc. Ask family or friends, or call sources to help you determine costs.
      3. Compare projected income with projected expenses. Would you have enough income to live on? Would any be left over for fun? For savings?
      4. If expenses exceed income, determine what options you would have for bringing the two into balance. Could you reduce or eliminate expenses? Work more hours a week? Get a higher-paying job?
      5. Discuss you final plan with your counselor.
  4. Do the following:
    1. Choose an item you would like to buy. Be specific. (For example, identify the brand name of a pair of shoes you want, or the title of a CD.)
    2. Comparison shop for the item. Find out where you can buy the item for the best price. Call around; study ads. Look for a sale or a discount coupon.
    3. Consider alternatives. Could you buy the item used? Should you wait for a sale?
    4. Discuss your shopping strategy with your counselor.
  5. Do ONE of the following:
    1. Visit a bank. Ask a bank representative to explain checking accounts, savings accounts, loans, and automated teller machines (ATMs). Explain to your counselor the difference between a checking account and a savings account. Discuss with your counselor the minimum requirements to open and maintain the accounts or to take out a loan.
    2. Visit another type of financial institution, such as a stock brokerage firm or an insurance company. Ask a representative what the firm does and how it works with consumers. Explain to your counselor the differences in services offered by the following types of financial professionals: financial planner, stockbroker, insurance agent, accountant, tax preparer, banker, estate planning attorney.
  6. Do the following:
    1. Explain the difference between saving for a goal and investing for a goal.
    2. Explain the two basic methods of investing: loaned and owned.
    3. Explain the concepts of simple and compound interest and how compound interest can be used to increase your savings and investments more rapidly.
    4. Explain the concepts of yield, profit, and total return, and how they are used to evaluate investment performance.
    5. Explain the basic features of the following types of investments, including risks and rewards and whether they involve lending or owning: bank savings accounts, certificates of deposit, U.S. Savings Bonds, shares of stock, shares in a mutual fund, real estate.
  7. Do the following:
    1. Explain what a loan is, what interest is, and how the "annual percentage rate" measures the true cost of a loan.
    2. Choose something you want to buy or do, but currently cannot afford. Set up an imaginary loan so you can "achieve" that goal. Identify the "principal" amount, interest rate, and repayment schedule. Determine the total cost of the loan (principal plus interest). Determine how it would affect your total cost if you paid back the same amount every two weeks, instead of once a month.
    3. Explain the differences between a charge card, a debit card, and a credit card.
    4. Identify the factors that affect the costs of credit. Tell which factors can be controlled.
    5. Explain credit reports and how personal responsibility can affect your credit record.
    6. Describe ways to reduce or eliminate debt.
  8. Do the following:
    1. Explain the five ways to manage risk.
    2. Explain the six basic types of insurance and why someday you might need one or more of them.
    3. Define the two major types of life insurance (term and permanent) and compare their advantages and disadvantages.
  9. Do the following:
    1. Identify a job or career that interests you and do basic research about it at your library or through other information sources. Make a presentation to your troop or counselor about the job or career. Your report should include:
      1. An explanation of your interest in the job or career (how you learned of it, what about it that interests you, what its job prospects are, and how you think the job or career will change in the future)
      2. Any qualifications required (education, skills, experiences) and how you might become qualified for the job
      3. The job's functions and responsibilities (the duties of the job or career)
      4. The organizations, trade associations, professional associations, governmental regulations, or licenses involved in the career field
    2. Do ONE of the following:
      1. Prepare a personal résumé for the job.
      2. Interview someone in the job or career field and prepare a summary of the interview.
    3. Discuss with your counselor your personal goals and ambitions in life. Relate these to your intellectual, physical, spiritual, and moral development. How has Scouting helped you in accomplishing your goals and ambitions? Share your thoughts with your family.

BSA Advancement ID#: 11
Pamphlet Revision Date: 1997

  1. Show that you know first aid for injuries or illnesses that could occur while swimming, including hypothermia, heatstroke, heat exhaustion, dehydration, sunburn, insect stings, tick bites, blisters, and hyperventilation.
  2. Do the following:
    1. Identify the conditions that must exist before performing CPR on a person. Explain how such conditions are recognized.
    2. Demonstrate proper technique for performing CPR using a training device approved by your counselor.
  3. Before doing the following requirements, successfully complete the BSA swimmer test. Jump feetfirst into water over your head in depth, swim 75 yards or 75 meters in a strong manner using one or more of the following strokes: sidestroke, breaststroke, trudgen, or crawl; then swim 25 yards or 25 meters using an easy resting backstroke. The 100 yards or 100 meters must be swum continuously and include at least one sharp turn. After completing the swim, rest by floating as motionless as possible. Explain how the Safe Swim Defense plan is used to protect Scout troops and other groups when they are swimming.
  4. Swim continuously for 150 yards using the following strokes in good form and in a strong manner: sidestroke for 50 yards, elementary backstroke for 50 yards, front crawl or trudgen for 25 yards, and either the breaststroke or back crawl for 25 yards.
  5. In water over your head, but not to exceed 10 feet, do each of the following:
    1. Use the feetfirst method of surface diving and bring an object up from the bottom.
    2. Do a head first surface dive, pike, or tuck, and bring the object up again.
    3. Do a head first surface dive to a depth of at least 5 feet and swim underwater for 3 strokes. Come to the surface, take a breath, and repeat the sequence twice.
  6. In water at least 8 feet deep, show a headfirst dive from a dock or pool deck. Show a long shallow dive, also from the dock or pool deck. If a low board (not to exceed 40 inches above water at least 9 feet deep) is available, show a plain front dive.
  7. Enter water over your head wearing clothes (shoes and socks, underwear or swim trunks, long pants, belt, long-sleeved shirt). Remove the shoes and socks. Inflate the shirt and show that you can float using the shirt for support. Remove the pants and use them for support. Swim 50 yards using inflated clothing for support. (Note: If the bottom surface of the swimming area is dark or objects can not be seen easily, practice removing shoes and socks in neck-deep water, then leave shoes and socks on land or in a protected area to prevent loss, and demonstrate the above.)
  8. Do the following:
    1. Float faceup in a resting position as nearly motionless as possible for at least a minute.
    2. While wearing a properly fitted personal flotation device (PFD), demonstrate the "HELP" and "huddle" positions. Explain their purpose.
    3. In warm water (at least 70°F or 21°C), show survival floating. If the water is cooler than 70°F, discuss the purpose, technique, and limitations of survival floating.
  9. Do the following:
    1. Demonstrate rescuing a person from water by reaching with an arm or leg, by reaching with a suitable object, and by throwing lines and objects.
    2. Explain why swimming rescues should not be attempted when a reaching or throwing assist or boat rescue can be done instead. Explain why and how a person making a swimming rescue should avoid contact with the victim.

BSA Advancement ID#: 14
Pamphlet Revision Date: 1993

Note: This Information is from and is only
being borrowed by the Troop 566 Website.