U. S. Scouting Service Project at http://usscouts.org

BOY SCOUT
ADVANCEMENT
REQUIREMENT CHANGES

Effective: January 1, 2003

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When there is a conflict between two published lists of requirements, such as the Requirements Book and a Merit Badge Pamphlet, the Requirements Book should be considered to be the controlling document, until a newer edition of the Requirements Book is issued, EXCEPT when the pamphlet has a later issue date.

BSA is in the process of updating ALL 120 merit badge books, with the goal of updating all of them within 4-5 years (a rate of around 25 per year). As new pamphlets are issued, when they contain new requirements, Scouts will have the option of starting with the new requirements as soon as the pamphlets are issued, or they may start work using the old requirements until the next edition of Boy Scout Requirements (BSA Publication No. 33215) is issued.

They will NOT be holding the publications up until January each year, just issuing them as they are completed (and old stocks exhausted, probably). Then in January, the Requirements Book will include all revisions to date.

A new FLY FISHING Merit Badge was field tested at the 2001 Jamboree. The official announcement of the new badge with the official requirements was made in May, 2002, and the pamphlet became available in June, 2002.

New pamphlets for Fishing and Dentistry Merit Badges were also released around June 1, 2002, with new requirements.

A new pamphlet for Landscape Architecture Merit Badge was released around October 1, 2002, with new requirements.

Those revisions are in the new 2003 Boy Scout Requirements Book (33215F) and took effect when the new booklets were issued.  In addition to the four badges listed above, requirements for fifteen other merit badges were revised effective on January 1, 2003.

No Rank requirements were changed this year.  However, we noted one previously unannounced minor change which was made to the requirements for the First Class and Second Class ranks, which is identified below.

In addition to the merit badge changes, the requirements for BSA Lifeguard were revised this year.


REVISED RANK REQUIREMENTS

Second Class (Actually changed in 2000)
First Class (Actually changed in 2000)

REVISED MERIT BADGE REQUIREMENTS
(in the 2003 Requirements Book)

American Business
Backpacking
Coin Collecting
Dentistry
First Aid
Fishing
Gardening
Golf
Home Repairs
Insect Study
Landscape Architecture
Law
Leatherwork
Medicine
Painting
Pottery
Public Speaking
Sculpture

NEW MERIT BADGE
(issued during 2002)Fly Fishing

REVISED MERIT BADGE REQUIREMENTS
(AFTER the 2003 Requirements Book was issued)

Camping
Nature

OTHER AWARDS

BSA Lifeguard


Second Class

Requirement 2g, was revised in the 2000 Boy Scout Requirements Booklet, to delete a reference to the "four basic food groups" and substitute a reference to the "foods from the food pyramid"  The exact change to the wording is as follows:

2g. On one campout, plan and cook over an open fire one hot breakfast or lunch for yourself, selecting foods from the four basic food pyramid groups.  Explain the importance of good nutrition.  Tell how to transport, store, and prepare the foods you selected.


First Class

Requirement 4a, was revised in the 2000 Boy Scout Requirements Booklet, to delete a reference to the "four basic food groups" and substitute a reference to the "foods from the food pyramid"  The exact change to the wording is as follows:

4a. Help plan a patrol menu for one campout -- including one breakfast, lunch, and dinner - that requires cooking.  Tell how the menu includes the foods from the food pyramid four basic food groups and meets nutritional needs.


American Business

Mostly minor changes to existing requirement. New requirement (#6) added.

  1. Minor editing changes to requirements 1a, and 1b. (Replace "America" with "United States" and capitalize "Industrial Revolution".)
  2. Minor editing changes to requirement 2b (Replace "change" with "affect".) and 2e (Replace "purpose" with "purposes")
  3. Requirement 3a and 3b were revised to read as follows:
    1. Pick two or more stocks from the financial pages of a newspaper. Request the annual report or prospectus from one of the companies by writing, or visit its Web site (with your parent’s permission) to view the annual report online. Explain how a company’s annual report and prospectus can be used to help you manage your investments.
    2. Pretend to have bought $1,000 worth of the stocks from the company you wrote to in requirement 3a. Explain how you "bought" the stocks. Tell why you decided to "buy" stock in this company. Keep a weekly record for three months of the market value of your stocks. Show any dividends declared.
  4. In requirement 4, only ONE of items a-c is required now, and the word "different" was removed from requirement 4c.
  5. Minor editing changes to requirements 5a, and 5b. (Replace "3" with "three" and "profit" with "profit and loss".)
    The footnote was moved to after Item 5.
  6. A new requirement 6 was added, which reads as follows:
    Do ONE of the following:
    1. Make an oral presentation to your Scout troop about an e-commerce company. Tell about the benefits and pitfalls of doing business online, and explain the differences between a retailer and an e-commerce company. In your presentation, explain the similarities a retailer and an e-commerce company might share.
    2. Choose three products from your local grocery store or mall and tell your merit badge counselor how the packaging could be improved upon so that it has less impact on the environment.
    3. Gather information from news sources and books about a current business leader. Write a two-page biography about this person or make a short presentation to your counselor. Focus on how this person became a successful business leader.

Backpacking

Changes to most requirements, primarily to add emphasis on Leave No Trace, environmental, hydration, and sanitary issues. Added service project component to final trek

  1. In requirement 1, the list of health issues was revised by deleting sunburn and hyperventilation, and by replacing heat stroke and heat exhaustion with "heat reactions".
  2. Requirement 2a was edited by replacing "which" with "that", and deleting "overnight."
  3. Requirement 3a & 3b were revised to read:
    1. Define limits on the number of backpackers appropriate for a trek crew.
    2. Describe how a trek crew should be organized.
  4. Requirement 4 was replaced with the following:
    Do the following:
    1. Describe the importance of using Leave No Trace principles while backpacking, and at least five ways you can lessen the crew’s impact on the environment.
    2. Describe proper methods of handling human and other wastes while on a backpacking trek. Describe the importance of and means to assure personal cleanliness while on a backpacking trek.
  5. Requirement 5 was replaced with the following:
    Do the following:
    1. Demonstrate two ways to treat water and tell why water treatment is essential.
    2. Explain to your counselor the importance of staying well hydrated during a trek.
  6. Requirement 6 was replaced with the following:
    Do the following:
    1. Demonstrate that you can read topographic maps.
    2. While on a trek, use a map and compass to establish your position on the ground at least three times at three different places, OR use a GPS receiver unit to establish your position on a topographic map at least three times at three different places.
  7. "Do the following" was added to the beginning of Requirement 7, the existing text was designated as point "a", and a new point "b" was added, which reads as follows:
    1. Tell how to properly prepare for and deal with the human and environmental hazards you may encounter on a backpacking trek.
  8. New item "d" was added to requirement 8, as follows:
    1. Demonstrate that you know how to keep cooking and eating gear clean and sanitary while on a backpacking trek.
  9. A New requirement 9c was added, old 9c and 9d were renumbered to 9d & 9e, and 9a, 9b, and 9e were revised.  The requirement now reads as follows:
    1. Write a plan for a patrol backpacking hike that includes a time control plan.
    2. Show that you know how to properly pack your personal gear and your share of the crew’s gear and food.
    3. Show you can properly shoulder your pack and adjust it for proper wear.
    4. Conduct a prehike inspection of the patrol and its equipment.
    5. While carrying your pack, complete a hike of at least 2 miles.
  10. Requirement 10 was revised to read:
    Using Leave No Trace principles, participate in at least three backpacking treks of at least three days each and at least 15 miles each, and using at least two different campsites.
  11. Requirement 11 was revised to read:
    Do the following:
    1. Write a plan for a backpacking trek of at least five days using at least three different campsites and covering at least 30 miles. Your plan must include a description of and route to the trek area, schedule (including a daily time control plan), list of food and equipment needs, safety and emergency plan, and budget.
    2. Using Leave No Trace principles, take the trek planned and, while on the trek, complete at least one service project approved by your merit badge counselor.
    3. Upon your return, write a report about the trek that includes a day-by-day description of what you did or what happened, and what you might do the same and what you might do differently on your next trek.

Camping

A minor change was made to requirement 9(a) with the release of a new edition of the Camping Merit Badge pamphlet mid-year in 2003, to clarify that the use of pre-erected tents at long term camps is excluded from the requirement to pitch your own tent or sleep under the stars.  The requirement now reads as follows:

  1. a. Camp a total of at least 20 days and nights. You may use a week of long-term camp toward this requirement. Sleep each night under the sky or in a tent you have pitched (long-term camp excluded).

 The following item appeared as 9(b)6 in the 2000 edition of the Camping merit badge booklet and Boy Scout Requirements 2000, but was changed to 9(c) in the 2001 and subsequent editions of Boy Scout Requirements and in the 2003 edition of the merit badge booklet. It has now been confirmed that the original numbering was an error, and the conservation project is required.

  1. c. On one of your campouts, perform a conservation project approved in advance by the private landowner or public land management agency.

Coin Collecting

This merit badge has been completely re-written. Now includes paper money as well as coins. The new requirements read as follows:

  1. Understand how coins are made, and where the active U.S. Mint facilities are located.
  2. Explain these collecting terms:
    1. Obverse
    2. Reverse
    3. Reeding
    4. Clad
    5. Type set
    6. Date set
  3. Explain the terms poor, good, very good, fine, very fine, extremely fine, and uncirculated. Show five different grade examples of the same coin type. Explain the term “proof” and why it is not a grade. Tell what “encapsulated” coins are.
  4. Know three different ways to store a collection, and describe the benefits, drawbacks, and expenses of each method. Pick one to use when completing requirements.
  5. Do the following:
    1. Identify the people depicted on the following denominations of current U.S. paper money: $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100.
    2. Explain “legal tender.”
    3. Describe the role the Federal Reserve System plays in the distribution of currency.
  6. Do the following:
    1. Demonstrate to your counselor that you know how to use two U.S. or world coin reference catalogs.
    2. Read a numismatic magazine or newspaper and tell your counselor about what you learned.
  7. Describe the 1999-2008 50 State Quarters Program. Collect and show your counselor five different quarters you have acquired from circulation.
  8. Collect from circulation a set of currently circulating U.S. coins. Include one coin of each denomination (cent, nickel, dime, quarter, half-dollar, Susan B. Anthony or Sacagawea dollar). For each coin, locate the mint marks, if any, and the designer’s initials, if any.
  9. Do ONE of the following:
    1. Collect and identify 50 foreign coins from at least 10 different countries.
    2. Collect and identify 20 bank notes from at least five different countries.
    3. Collect and identify 15 different tokens or medals.
    4. Collect a date set of a single type since the year of your birth.
  10. Do ONE of the following:
    1. Tour a U.S. Mint facility, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, or a Federal Reserve bank, and describe what you learned to your counselor.
    2. With your parent’s permission, attend a coin show or coin club meeting, or view the Web site of the U.S. Mint or a coin dealer, and report what you learned.
    3. Give a talk about coin collecting to your troop or class at school.
    4. Do drawings of five Colonial-era U.S. coins.

Dentistry

The requirements were revised when a new pamphlet was issued in June, 2002.  The changes are mostly a refreshing of the requirements, and now read as follows:

  1. Using x-ray (radiographic) films and with your counselor's guidance, study the tooth structure and look for decay. Then do the following:
    1. Using the radiographs as a guide, draw a lower molar. Label its parts and surfaces. Show surrounding structures such as bone and gum tissues.
    2. Show on your drawing where the nerves and blood vessels enter the tooth.
    3. Show on your drawing where bacterial plaque is most likely to be found.
  2. Do the following:
    1. Tell or write about what causes dental decay and gum disease. Tell how each of the following contributes to dental decay and gum disease: bacterial plaque, sugars, and acid.
    2. Tell the possible causes for traumatic tooth loss, describe the types of mouth guards used to prevent tooth trauma, and list the athletic activities during which a person should wear a mouth guard.
    3. Explain the first-aid procedure for saving a tooth that has been knocked out.
  3. Arrange for a visit with a dentist. Before you go, ask whether your visit can include a dental examination and a plaque-control demonstration. Afterward, ask questions about things you want to know. Then tell your counselor what the dentist does in a checkup examination.
  4. Do TWO of the following:
    1. Name at least five instruments and five pieces of equipment a dentist uses.
    2. With the help of a dentist, prepare a dental stone cast using a vibrator, a mixing bowl, a water measure, a plastic measure, model stone, and a spatula.
    3. Keep a record of everything you eat for three days. Circle those that could provide the sugars that bacterial plaque needs to make acid. List snacks that you should avoid to help maintain the best oral health.
  5. Discuss with your merit badge counselor the following:
    1. How fluorides help prevent tooth decay and the ways fluorides can be provided to the teeth.
    2. How the mouth is related to the rest of the body. Topics might include chewing, saliva, enzymes, nutrition, and speech.
  6. Do TWO of the following:
    1. Make a model tooth of soap, clay, papier-mâché, or wax. Using a string and a large hand brush, show your troop or a school class proper toothbrushing and flossing procedures.
    2. Make a poster on prevention of dental disease. Show the importance of good oral health.
    3. Collect at least five advertisements for different toothpastes. List the claims that each one makes. Tell about the accuracy of the advertisements.
    4. Write a feature story for your school newspaper on the proper care of teeth and gums.
    5. Make drawings and write about the progress of dental decay. Describe the types of dental filling and treatments a dentist can use to repair dental decay problems.
  7. Do the following:
    1. Report on careers in dentistry. Tell about the different specialties of dentistry and briefly tell what each specialist does.
    2. Choose a field in dentistry that interests you and tell your counselor why it interests you. Describe the education required and the cost of the training, and tell what specific duties would be required of someone in this field.

First Aid

Mostly minor changes with the inclusion of dehydration.

  1. In requirement 3d, "laceration" was replaced by "cut".
  2. In requirement 4a, "fractures" was replaced by "fractures and broken bones".
  3. In requirement 4b, "back, neck, and head" was replaced by "head, neck, and back". and "can be taken" was replaced by "should be taken".
  4. In requirement 5b, "Convulsions" was replaced by "Convulsions / seizures"
    "Dehydration" was added as item 5d, and items 5d-5i were renumbered as 5e-5j.

Fishing

The requirements were revised when a new pamphlet was issued in June,2002, The changes include addition of first aid, Leave No Trace, and cleaning & cooking requirements. Other changes are minor in nature, but affect most of the requirements, The requirements now read as follows:

  1. Explain to your counselor the injuries that could occur while fishing and the proper treatment, including cuts, scratches, puncture wounds, insect bites, hypothermia, dehydration, and heat reactions. Explain how to remove a hook that has lodged in your arm. Name and explain five safety practices you should always follow while fishing.
  2. Learn and explain the differences between two types of fishing outfits. Point out and identify the parts of several types of rods and reels. Explain how and when each would be used. Review with your counselor how to care for this equipment.
  3. Demonstrate the proper use of two different types of fishing equipment.
  4. Demonstrate how to tie the following knots: clinch, palomar, turle, blood loop (barrel knot), and surgeon's loop. Explain how each knot is used and when to use it.
  5. Name and identify five basic artificial lures and five natural baits and explain how to fish with them. Explain why bait fish are not to be released.
  6. Explain the importance of practicing Leave No Trace and how it positively affects fishing resources.
  7. Give the regulations affecting game fishing where you live. Explain why they were adopted and what you accomplish by following those regulations.
  8. Explain what good outdoor sportsmanlike behavior is and how it relates to fishermen. Tell how the Outdoor Code of the Boy Scouts of America relates to a fishing sports enthusiast, including the aspects of littering, trespassing, courteous behavior, and obeying fishing regulations.
  9. Catch two different kinds of fish and identify them. Release at least one of them unharmed. Clean and cook another fish.

Fly Fishing

This is a new badge, increasing the number of available merit badges to 120. The new pamphlet became available in June, 2002. The requirements are:

  1. Explain to your counselor the injuries that could occur while fly-fishing and the proper treatment, including cuts, scratches, puncture wounds, insect bites, hypothermia, and heat reactions. Explain how to remove a hook that has lodged in your arm. Name and explain five safety practices you should always follow while fly-fishing.
  2. Discuss how to match a fly rod, line and leader to get a balanced system. Discuss several types of fly lines, and explain how and when each would be used. Review with your counselor how to care for this equipment.
  3. Demonstrate how to tie proper knots to prepare a fly rod for fishing:
    1. Tie a backing to a fly reel spool using the arbor backing knot
    2. Attach backing to fly line using the nail knot
    3. Attach a leader to fly line using the needle knot, nail knot or loop-to-loop connection
    4. Add tippet to a leader using a double surgeon’s loop or blood knot
    5. Tie a fly onto the terminal end of the leader using the improved clinch knot
  4. Explain how each of the following types of flies are used: dry flies, wet flies, nymphs, streamers, bass bugs, and poppers. What does each imitate? Tie at least two types of the flies mentioned in this requirement.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to cast a fly consistently and accurately using overhead and roll cast techniques.
  6. Go to a suitable fishing location and make observations on the types of insects fish may be eating. Look for flying insects and some that may be on or beneath the water’s surface. Look under rocks. Explain the importance of matching the hatch.
  7. Explain the importance of practicing Leave No Trace and how it positively affects fly-fishing resources.
  8. Obtain a copy of the regulations affecting game fishing where you live. Explain why they were adopted and what you accomplish by following them.
  9. Explain what good outdoor sportsmanlike behavior is and how it relates to fishermen. Tell how the Outdoor Code of the Boy Scouts of America relates to a fishing enthusiast, including the aspects of littering, trespassing, courteous behavior, and obeying fishing regulations.
  10. Using the fly-fishing techniques you have learned, catch two different kinds of fish and identify them. Release at least one of them unharmed. Clean and cook another fish.

Gardening

Significant changes including visiting with professionals, germination, and new projects.

  1. Requirements 2b & 2c were revised to read:
    1. Three vegetables that bear above the ground.
    2. Three fruits
  2. New requirements 3 & 4 added, which read as follows:
    1. Test 100 garden seeds for germination. Determine the percentage of seeds that germinate. Explain why you think some did not germinate.
    2. Visit your county extension agent’s office, local university agricultural college, nursery, or a botanical garden or arboretum. Report on what you learned.
  3. Old requirements 3 & 4 renumbered as 5 & 6, and changed to read as follows:
    1. Identify five garden pests (insects, diseased plants). Recommend two solutions for each pest. At least one of the two solutions must be an organic method.
    2. Do ONE of the following:
      1. Build a compost bin and maintain it for 90 days.
      2. Build a vermipost bin (worm compost bin) and maintain it for 90 days.
      3. Build a hydroponic garden containing three vegetables or herbs, or three ornamental plants. Maintain this garden through harvest or flowering, or for 90 days.
      4. Build one water garden, either in a container (at least 12 by 6 inches and 6 inches deep), or in the ground as a small, decorative pond no larger than 6 by 3 feet and 24 inches deep. Maintain the water garden for 90 days.

Golf

Added safety requirement, otherwise mostly just a refresh of the requirements.

  1. New requirement 1 added, and old requirements 1-7 renumbered as 2-8.  Requirement 1 reads:
    Discuss safety on the golf course. Show that you know first aid for injuries or illnesses that could occur while golfing, including heat reactions, dehydration, blisters, sprains, and strains.
  2. In requirement 2, item c deleted and d renumbered as c.
  3. Requirement 3 revised by deleting the clause, "Show that you have established your handicap under this system."
  4. Requirement 4 revised by deleting the following: "from each other following periods:
    1. Before 1900
    2. 1900 to 1940
    3. 1940 to present"
  5. Requirement 5 revised to read, "Discuss with your counselor vocational opportunities related to golf."
  6. Requirement 6 changed to by adding the following new text (old text become item b):
    Do the following:
    1. Tell how golf can contribute to a healthy lifestyle, mentally and physically.
  7. Requirements 7a and 7f changed to read as follows:
    1. The proper grip, stance, posture pivot, and key fundamentals parts of a good swing.
    2. The approach, chip-and-run, and pitch shots.
  8. The introduction to requirement 8 revised, and item b deleted (with old c & d renumbered as b & c). The new requirement reads:
    Play a minimum of two nine-hole rounds or one 18-hole competitive round of golf with another golfer about your age and your counselor, or an adult he has approved by your counselor. Do the following: :
    1. Follow the Rules of Golf".
    2. Practice good golf etiquette.
    3. Show respect to fellow golfers, committee, sponsor, and gallery.

Home Repairs

This merit badge has been completely rewritten. It now includes a requirement on safety and the projects have been broken out into sections based on specialty, with requirements in each section. The new requirements read as follows:

  1. Discuss general precautions related to home repairs. Name at least 10 safe practices that every home repairer should exercise.
  2. Under the supervision of your merit badge counselor, do FOUR of the following:
    1. Maintain or recondition a garden tool and show that you know how to clean up and properly store it and other tools.
    2. Install insulation in an attic, wall, or crawl space.
    3. Caulk cracks or joints open to the weather.
    4. Waterproof a basement.
    5. Repair a break in a concrete or asphalt surface.
    6. Repair the screen in a window or door.
    7. Replace a pane of glass.
    8. Solder a broken wire or metal object.
  3. Under the supervision of your merit badge counselor, do THREE of the following:
    1. Install or build equipment for storing tools.
    2. Build a workbench
    3. Repair a piece of furniture.
    4. Paint or varnish a piece of furniture, a door, or trim on a house.
    5. Repair a sagging door or gate.
    6. Repair a loose step.
    7. Repair a fence.
  4. Under the supervision of your merit badge counselor, do TWO of the following:
    1. Locate a main electrical switch box and know how to replace a fuse or reset a circuit breaker.
    2. Replace an electrical cord or repair a plug or lamp socket.
    3. Install a single-pole light switch.
    4. Replace an electrical wall outlet.
  5. Under the supervision of your merit badge counselor, do TWO of the following:
    1. Clear a clogged drain or trap.
    2. Repair a leaky water faucet.
    3. Repair a flush toilet.
    4. Repair a leaky hose or connector.
    5. Clean or replace a sprinkler head.
  6. Under the supervision of your merit badge counselor, do THREE of the following:
    1. Paint a wall or ceiling.
    2. Repair or replace damaged tile or linoleum.
    3. Install drapery or curtain rods and then hang drapes or curtains.
    4. Replace window blind cords.
    5. Repair or replace a window sash cord.
    6. Reinforce a picture frame.
    7. Mend an object made of china, glass, or pottery.

Insect Study

Changes are mostly a refreshing of the requirements.

  1. In requirement 1, the second sentence was changed to read, "Show how insects are different from centipedes and spiders."
  2. Requirement 4 was changed to read, "Describe the characteristics that distinguish the principal families and orders of insects."
  3. Requirement 7  was changed to read, "Raise an insect through the complete metamorphosis from its larval stage to its adult stage (e.g. raise a butterfly or moth from a caterpillar)".
  4.  In requirement 9, replace "Collect and watch" with  "Observe".
  5.  Requirements 10a & 10b were changed to read:
    1. Four species of insects helpful to people.
    2. Six species of insects harmful to humans. Describe some general methods of insect control.
  6. The footnote was changed to readas follows:
    *Some insects are endangered species and are protected by federal or state law. Every species is found only in its own special type of habitat. Be sure to check natural resources authorities in advance to be sure that you will not be collecting any species that is known to be protected or endangered, or in any habitat where collecting is prohibited.

Landscape Architecture

The requirements were completely rewritten when a new pamphlet was issued in October, 2002, and now read as follows:

  1. Explain the differences between a landscape architect and a horticulturist, a landscape contractor, an architect, an urban planner, and a civil engineer. Give an example of the work each might do that is unique to that vocation. How might people in these positions work with a landscape architect.
  2. Do ONE of the following:
    1. Visit a landscape architect's office or invite a landscape architect to your troop meeting to tell about his or her work. Find out about and discuss the following with your merit badge counselor:
      1. What a landscape architect's daily work is like.
      2. The education one must have to be a professional landscape architect.
      3. The methods used in developing a design.
      4. The drawing tools and computer equipment used in design.
    2. Log on to the American Society of Landscape Architects' Web site at http://www.ASLA.org and find out more about the landscape architecture profession and schools that educate landscape architects. Using documents printed from this Web site, report to your counselor what you have learned.
  3. Go to a completed landscape project that a landscape architect has designed. Before you visit the site, obtain a plan of the design from the landscape architect if one is available.
  4. Make a report in the form of a short talk to your Scout troop on what you found in requirement 3. Discuss the following:
    1. Tell whether the design had separate spaces, a clear path system, and sun and shade variety.
    2. Tell about the places to sit, eat, or park a car.
    3. Tell whether you were always comfortable and protected.
    4. Tell about some of the trees, shrubs, and ground covers used in the design.
  5. Identify five shrubs, five trees, and one ground cover, being sure that you select examples of different shapes, sizes, and textures. With the help of your counselor or a local nursery, choose plants that will grow in your area. Bring pictures of the different planting materials or, if possible, examples of their branches, leaves, or flowers to a troop meeting. Be prepared to tell how you might use each in the design of a landscape.
  6. Look at and study a place of worship or school grounds to find the place where most people arrive by bus or car. Show you can do the following:
    1. Using a measuring tape, measure and draw the entry and its nearby area using a scale of 1/8 inch equal to 1 foot on an 11-by-17-inch piece of paper. Be sure to include the driveway and the wall and door where people enter the school or place of worship. Indicate any sidewalks, structures, trees, and plants within the study area. Make a copy of this plan to save the original. Do the next two items on copies.
    2. On one copy, use directional arrows to indicate where the water drains across the site, where ditches occur, and where water stands for a longer period of time.
    3. Decide how you can make the place safer and more comfortable for those using it. Redesign the area on another copy of the plan. You may want to include new walks, covered waiting areas, benches, space-defining plantings of trees and shrubs, and drainage structures.

Law

Changes are mostly a refreshing of the requirements. Added new sections on consumer law and emerging areas of legal interest.

  1. In requirement 2, replace "two" with "TWO".
  2. In requirement 3, replace "criminal law" with "tell what criminal law is"
  3. Requirement 5 changed to read, "Tell about several laws that were passed to protect the consumer and the seller. Tell about several organizations that provide help to consumers and sellers.".
  4. In requirement 5, replace "government" with "government agency", and delete the footnote which formerly read:
    * If it is impossible for your to arrange such a visit, discuss with your counselor the duties and responsibilities of a lawyer who works for one of the groups listed.
  5. Requirement 10 was revised to be gender neutral, and now reads:
    Tell where people can go to obtain the help of a lawyer if they are unable to pay for one. Tell what you can do if you can afford a lawyer but do not know of any in your area.
  6. Requirement 11 added, which reads: "Discuss with your counselor the importance of TWO of the following areas of law that have recently emerged and are still developing:
    1. Environmental law
    2. Computers and the Internet
    3. Copyright and the Internet
    4. Space travel and satellites orbiting the earth."

Leatherwork

Added section on safety and first aid. Upgraded most other requirements.  The new requirements read as follows:

  1. Identify and demonstrate to your counselor the safe use of leatherworking tools. Show correct procedures for handling leathercraft dyes, cements, and finished. Know first aid for cuts, internal poisoning, and skin irritation.
  2. Explain to your counselor
    1. Where leather comes from
    2. What kinds of hides are used to make leather
    3. What are five types of leather
    4. What are the best uses for each type of leather
  3. Make one or more articles of leather that use at least five of the following steps:
    1. Pattern layout and transfer
    2. Cutting leather
    3. Punching holes
    4. Carving or stamping surface designs.
    5. Applying dye or stain and finish to the project.
    6. Assembly by lacing or stitching
    7. Setting snaps and rivets
    8. Dressing edges
  4. Recondition or show that you can take proper care of your shoes, a baseball glove, a saddle, furniture or other articles of leather.
  5. Do ONE of the following:
    1. Learn about the commercial tanning process. Report about it to your merit badge counselor.
    2. Tan the skin of a small animal. Describe the safety precautions you will take and the tanning method that you used.
    3. Braid or plait an article out of leather or vinyl lace.
    4. Visit a leather-related business. This could be a leathercraft supply company, a tannery, a leather goods or shoe factory, or a saddle shop. Report on your visit to your counselor.

Medicine

Minor updates

  1. In requirement 1, add item q: "James Watson and Francis Crick".
  2. In requirement 5b, replace "those" with "these".
  3. In requirement 6a(20), delete "/sports medicine".
  4. In requirement 9 replace "Canada" with "Sweden" and "Mexico" with "China".

Nature

Changes were made with the release of a new edition of the Nature Merit Badge pamphlet mid-year in 2003.  Scouts using the OLD Booklet may continue to use the old requirements if they start work on the badge before the next edition of Boy Scout Requirements is issued, or they may use the new requirements.

Requirements 1 & 2 each had a sentence added regarding protected species.  They now read as follows.

  1. Name three ways in which plants are important to animals. Name a plant that is important to animals that is protected in your state or region, and explain why it is at risk.
  2. Name three ways in which animals are important to plants. Name an animal that is protected in your state or region, and explain why it is at risk.

In Requirement 4, under BIRDS, the second item was revised to read:

Make and set out a birdhouse OR a feeding station OR a birdbath. List what birds used it during a period of one 1 month.

In Requirement 4, under REPTILES AND AMPHIBIANS, a new second item was added, and the second item became third.. The new second item reads:

In the field, identify three species of reptiles or amphibians.

(Note that Requirement 4 is numbered differently in the Merit Badge pamphlet than in the Requirements Booklet.)

Requirement 5 was deleted completely.

The note at the end had two new paragraphs added and the existing wording revised slightly.  The note now reads:

NOTE:
In most cases all specimens should be returned to the wild at the location of original capture after the requirements have been met. Check with your merit badge counselor for those instances where the return of these specimens would not be appropriate.
Under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, some plants and animals are or may be protected by federal law. The same ones and/or others may be protected by state law. Be sure that you do not collect protected species.
Your state may require that you purchase and carry a license to collect certain species. Check with the wildlife and fish and game official in your state regarding species regulations before you begin to collect.


Painting

Added new requirements on safety, environmental impact, health, and professional opportunities. Updated most of the rest. The requirements now read:

  1. Explain the proper safety procedures to follow when preparing surfaces and applying coatings.
  2. Do the following:
    1. Explain three ways that coatings can improve a surface.
    2. Explain the differences between oil-based paints and water-based paints.
    3. Explain where you would apply enamel paint, flat paint, wood stain, and varnish, and explain the importance of sheen.
    4. Tell why each is best for these uses.
  3. Prepare and paint two different surfaces using patching material, caulking, and proper primers and topcoats. Suggested projects include an interior or exterior wall, a door, a piece of furniture, a concrete wall or floor , a porch rail, or a fence. Your counselor must preapprove the projects.
  4. Prepare and paint an item using harmonizing colors that you have created by tinting white base paint. (Use the color wheel in the center of this book.)
  5. Show the right way to use, clean, maintain, and store painting equipment.
  6. Explain the importance of ladder safety, environmental responsibility, and personal hygiene when painting.
  7. Explain some of the environmental and health issues concerning removing paint, applying paint, and discarding old paint.
  8. Discuss with your counselor the various career opportunities associated with the painting trade.

Pottery

Added requirement on safety. Minor changes on most of the other requirements. Requirement 1 added, and old requirements 1-5 renumbered as 2-6.  Old requirement 6 deleted, and new requirements 7 & 8 added.

  1. Explain to your counselor the precautions that must be followed for the safe use and operation of a potter’s tools, equipment, and other materials.
  2. Explain the properties and ingredients of a good clay body for the following:
    1. Making sculpture
    2. Throwing on the wheel
  3. Make two drawings of pottery forms, each on an 8 1/2 by 11 inch sheet of paper. One must be a historical pottery type. The other must be of your own design.
  4. Explain the meaning of the following pottery terms: bat, wedging, throwing, leather hard, bone dry, greenware, bisque, terra-cotta, grog, slip, score, earthenware, stoneware, porcelain, pyrometric cone, and glaze.
  5. Do the following. Each piece is to be painted, glazed, or otherwise decorated by you:
    1. Make a slab pot, a coil pot, and a pinch pot.
    2. Make a human or animal figurine or decorative sculpture.
    3. Throw a functional form on a potter's wheel.
    4. Help to fire a kiln.
  6. Tell how three different kinds of potter’s wheels work.
  7. Visit the kiln yard at a local college or other crafts school. Learn how the different kinds of kilns work, including the low-fire electric, high-fire gas or propane, wood or salt/soda, and raku.
  8. Explain the scope of the ceramic industry in the United States. Tell some things made other than craft pottery.

Public Speaking

Significant changes to requirements 1-4, and a minor change to requirement 5.  The requirements now read as follows:

  1. Give a three- to five-minute introduction of yourself to an audience such as your troop, class at school, or some other group.
  2. Prepare a three- to five-minute talk on a topic of your choice that incorporates body language and visual aids.
  3. Give an impromptu talk of at least two minutes, either as part of a group discussion or before your counselor. Use a subject selected by your counselor that is  interesting to you but that is not known to you in advance and for which you do not have time to prepare.
  4. Select a topic of interest to your audience. Collect and organize information about this topic and prepare an outline. Write an eight- to 10-minute speech, practice it, then deliver it in the conversational way.
  5. Show you know parliamentary procedure by leading a discussion or meeting according to accepted rules of order; or by answering questions on the rules of order.

Sculpture

Added requirement 1 on safety. Minor changes to the other requirements. The requirements now read as follows:

  1. Explain to your counselor the precautions that must be followed for the safe use and operation of a sculptor’s tools, equipment, and other materials.
  2. DO the following:
    1. Model in clay a life-sized human head.
    2. Sculpt in modeling clay (such as plasteline or Sculpey) or carve/rasp in wood or soft stone a small scale model of an animal or person.
      Explain to your counselor the method and tools you used to sculpt the figure.
  3. Do the following:
    1. Make a plaster mold of a fruit or vegetable.
    2. In this mold make a copy of the fruit or vegetable.
      Explain to your counselor the method and tools you used to sculpt the figure.

BSA Lifeguard

Numerous portions of the requirements were revised, as follows:

  1. Prerequisites :
    1. Item 2b - minor wording change, so it now reads:
      Surface dive. Perform both a feet-first and a head-first (tuck or pike) surface dive in 8 to 10 feet of water and recover a 10-pound weight on each dive.
  2. Aquatic Skills
    1. Introduction now reads:
      Perform each of the following aquatics skills:
    2. Item a now reads:
      Perform a long, shallow dive into deep water and swim an approach stroke 25 yards in 20 seconds or less.
    3. Item b now reads:
      Throw a line for accuracy 10 yards, three times in one minute. The line may be weighted, unweighted, or attached to a ring buoy.
    4. Item d(1) now reads:
      Perform a swimming extension rescue. Using a front approach, swim with the rescue tube 15 yards to a distressed swimmer; extend the rescue tube to the victim; have the victim grasp it; and tow the victim back to the starting point in the water.
    5. Old item d(2) was deleted, item d(3) renumbered as d(2) and the following added as the first sentence:
      Perform an active drowning victim rear rescue.
    6. New items d(3), d(4), and d(5) added, which read:
      1. Perform an passive drowning victim rear rescue. Using a rear approach, swim with the rescue tube 15 yards to face down victim; squeeze the rescue tube between your chest and the victim's back, role the victim face up and tow the victim back to the starting point in the water.
      2. Perform an passive drowning victim front rescue. Approach a face-down, unconscious victim from the front; Reaching across the rescue tube, grasp the victim's wrist and rotate the victim into the rescue tube. Clamp the victim to the tube with your other arm and tow the victim back to the starting point.
      3. Perform a submerged victim rescue. Approach until you are over the victim and do a feet-first surface dive. Using the rescue tube between your chest and the victim's back, move the victim to the starting point.
    7. New item e added, and old items e-m relettered as f-n.  Item e reads:
      Perform a swimming rescue of a distressed or active victim using a flotation aid other than a rescue tube. Demonstrate an appropriate entry and approach stroke for 15 yards and the  tow the victim to the starting point.
    8. In item g, "to the rear of" was replaced with "to beyond"
    9. In item h, "Jump feetfirst" was replaced by "Perform a compact jump" and "him or her" was replaced by "the victim"
    10. In item i, old requirement 1 was deleted and items 2-4 renumbered as 1-3
    11. In item j, old requirement 1 was deleted and items 2-4 renumbered as 1-3, and the wording was changed to read:
      Remove the victim from the water using each of the following techniques, in the appropriate circumstances:
      1. Lift from the water using a backboard and two lifeguards
      2. Walking assist
      3. Beach drag
    12. In item k, "into shallow water" was replaced with "in shallow water"
    13. Item m was replaced with
      Demonstrate the proper use of mask, snorkel, and fins.
  3. First Aid and CPR:
    1. In item a,  "the subjects covered in the First Aid merit badge" was replaced with "basic first aid"
    2. Item b was changed to read:
      Show a knowledge of the procedures for the universal precautions for bloodborne pathogens.
    3. In item c, the first word was changed from "Have" to "Hold"
  4. The title of section 6 was changed from "SUPERVISED LIFEGUARDING" to "PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE",  item a was removed, and item b became unnumbered.

This analysis was prepared as a service to Scouts and Scouters nationwide
Paul S. Wolf
Advancement Webmaster, US Scouting Service Project, Inc.

Special Thanks to Mark Elias, ASM T-96,
Dean of Merit Badge Counselors, Lakeshore District
Council and District Advancement Committees, Detroit Area Council,
for providing the original analysis of the changes which was used to create this page, and which we used to edit the various Merit Badge Requirements pages.

Printed copies may be freely distributed, so long as the source is acknowledged,
but copying the information to another web site is NOT authorized.


Page updated on: May 02, 2013

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