But that’s a good thing. At least, it is for Scouts who love to mountain bike.

The BSA has approved a mountain biking option for Cycling, a merit badge mainstay since 1911. So for the first time, Scouts who prefer fat tires instead of thin can earn the badge.

The news comes in advance of next summer's opening of the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia, where mountain biking will play a big role in the high-adventure fun.

Here's what else I know about the change:

Last updated: June 6, 2012

  • Check out detail on the new and revised merit badges listed below on our Advancement Page
  • New for 2012: Kayaking, Search and Rescue, and Game Design.
  • Major Change in Fall 2012:  Cooking
  • Recently issued new merit badges: Welding, Robotics, Chess, Inventing, Scouting Heritage, and Geocaching

Looking for requirements for all 128 current merit badges? Click here. or go to the bottom of this page.


MERIT BADGE GENERAL INFORMATION

BSA has prepared several great resources for both the Scout and the adult merit badge counselor.  To see what is available and to download them, go online to the National website using this URL:  http://scouting.org/sitecore/content/Home/BoyScouts/GuideforMeritBadgeCounselors/Resources.aspx

 So what are Merit Badges, and why do you want to earn them?

A merit badge is an award that is presented to a Scout when he completes the requirements for one of the merit badge subjects. The badge is only a small piece of khaki cloth with a design embroidered in color, but its significance is as large as the interest of the merit badge counselor who helps a Scout earn it.

Millions of Scouts "browse" among the 120 subjects, choosing those that seem most interesting to them. Some subjects are in craftwork, some in vocational fields, some in service to others, and many in cultural or self-improvement areas.

Merit Badges are the primary method of gaining and proving knowledge for those ranks after First Class. The merit badge requirements for Star, Life, and Eagle ranks are:

  • Star - Earn six merit badges, including four from the required list for Eagle.
  • Life - Earn five more merit badges (so that you have 11 in all), including any three more from the required list for Eagle.
  • Eagle - Earn a total of 21 merit badges (10 more than you already have)
  • Eagle Palm - Bronze - 5 merit badges beyond Eagle rank, and again for 5 merit badges beyond each Gold Eagle Palm.
  • Eagle Palm - Silver - 5 merit badges beyond Bronze Eagle Palm
  • Eagle Palm - Gold - 5 merit badges beyond Silver Eagle Palm

The merit badges required for the Eagle rank are:

Merit badges, badges of rank, and Eagle Palms are for boys who are registered Boy Scouts or Varsity Scouts. Any registered Boy Scout or Varsity Scout may earn these awards until his 18th birthday. Any Venturer 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 Venturer up to his 18th birthday.

What Merit Badges are there?

As of January 2006, there are 121 merit badges. Alphabetically, they are (Note: Eagle required in BOLD):

A B C D E F G H I J K L M
N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

 

Other resources useful to the merit badge aspirant and Advancement include:

 

Merit Badge Montage