Merit Badge and Advancement Changes
March 6, 2013 Game Design Merit Badge released this date. Click here to get the requirements for Scouting's newest merit badge.
Numerous changes were made for 2013 by BSA to Rank Advancement and Merit Badges. Many of these changes are minor, and a number of them have incorporated safety issues to be considered when doing the requirements or the hobby. USScouts.org (an unofficial, but reliable source) has a good list of these changes. Of course, the authoritative source for all requirements is the annual Rank Advancement Book available at your Scout Store. Be sure to pick-up your 2013 edition soon.
In the 2013 edition, you will find the requirements for new merit badges (Kayaking and Search and Rescue), rank advancement changes (all ranks except Tenderfoot have some new wording), and revised merit badges (Astronomy, Automotive Maintenance, Bird Study, Chess, Citizenship in the Community, Communication, Composite Materials, Dog Care, Emergency Preparedness, Fire Safety, Fishing, Gardening, Hiking, Home Repair, Law, Oceanography, Orienteering, Photography, Safety. Wilderness Survival, Wood Carving. Many of these changes are minor, but it is best if you print them out and paste them into all books in your merit badge library.
Coming out later this year are major revisions for Cooking Merit Badge (a new Eagle required merit badge starting January 1, 2014) and the new merit badge Sustainability which will be an alternate to Environmental Science as an Eagle required merit badge.
Still more changes are coming to the Merit Badge line-up. Computers is on its way out; it is being replaced with Programming and Animation. There is new merit badge coming for Signs, Signals, and Codes which has a strong component for American Sign Language. To keep up-to-date on the rollout of these merit badges and more, go to http://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/merit-badge-calendar/.