otorboat Scouts BSA Advancement Changes - Effective January 1, 2021
US Scouting Service Project, Inc.

Scouts BSA
Advancement
Requirements Changes

Effective January 1, 2021


On February 1, 2019, BSA changed the name of their program for youth between the ages of 11 and 18 from Boy Scouts to Scouts BSA, opened the program to young girls, and issued two editions of the Scouts BSA handbooks which replaced the Boy Scout Handbook. In conjunction with that change, BSA Publication 33216, which had been titled "Boy Scout Requirements for many years, was renamed "Scouts BSA Requirements".

On January 10, 2021, the following notice was posted on the Scouting Forums:

The BSA will no longer be printing the Scouts BSA Requirements Book. The resources found in the requirements book can be located on Scouting.org at the Scouts BSA program page

By having the materials online it will allow the BSA to make updates quickly and efficiently. The resources (previously found) in the requirements book can be found in the following locations:

  • Merit Badges
    Documentation detailing the requirements and resources for all Boy Scouts of America merit badges!

  • Awards Central
    Find the most up-to-date information on all Boy Scouts of America related awards, including applications and nomination forms.

  • Advancement and Awards
    Learn about how advancement and awards work in the Boy Scouts of America, including the requirements for each rank.

This web page shows the revisions made to requirements for rank advancements and merit badges posted on Scouting.org and which would have been included in the 2021 edition of Scouts BSA Requirements if that publication had been published.


General Information

The Guide to Advancement (Publication No. 33088) and information posted on Scouting.org, are the official Boy Scouts of America sources on Scouts BSA advancement procedures. A new edition of the Guide to Advancement which is being prepared, will supersede the 2019 edition of the Guide when it is released. Prior to that release, in December, 2020, BSA posted selected sections of material which will be in the Guide to Advancement 2021 which took effect already. Those sections are described below.

When there is a conflict between two published lists of requirements, such as those posted on Scouting.org and those which appear in a Merit Badge pamphlet or in the Scouts BSA handbooks, the requirements posted on Scouting.org should normally be considered to be the controlling document.

No council, district, unit, or individual has the authority to add to, or to subtract from, any advancement or merit badge requirements. For more detailed information, see the Guide to Advancement, which is available online at www.scouting.org/resources/guide-to-advancement

The following excerpt from the 2019 edition of the Guide to Advancement explained what to do when merit badge requirements change:

7.0.4.3 What to Do When Requirements Change

The current annual edition of Scouts BSA Requirements lists the official merit badge requirements. However, those requirements might not match those in the Scouts BSA Handbook, the merit badge pamphlets, and the requirements listed at www.scouting.org/meritbadges because the Scouts BSA Requirements book is updated on an annual basis. When new or revised merit badge requirements appear in the Scouts BSA Requirements book, any Scout beginning wvork on a merit badge must use the requirements as stated therein. However, if changes to merit badge requirements are introduced in a revised merit badge pamphlet or at www.scouting.org/meritbadges during the year after the Scouts BSA Requirements is released, then the Scout has through the end of that year to decide which set of requirements to use.

Once work has begun, the Scout may continue using the requirements he or she started with until completion of the badge. Alternatively, the Scout may choose to switch to the revised requirements. Sometimes, however— especially for more significant changes—the Scouts BSA Handbook, the Scouts BSA Requirements book, www. scouting.org/meritbadges, or official communications from the National Council may set forth a different procedure that must be used and may establish a date by when use of the old requirements must cease.

There is no time limit between starting and completing a badge, although a counselor may determine so much time has passed since any effort took place that the new requirements must be used.

The authoritative source for all merit badge requirements is the current year's Scouts BSA Requirements book.

Since the Scouts BSA Requirements book will no longer be published, the following is our estimate of how that section will be revised:

The official requirements for all merit badges are listed on Scouting.org. However, those requirements might not match those in the Scouts BSA Handbooks or the merit badge pamphlets, because the requirements on Scouting.org were revised after the Scouts BSA Handbooks or the merit badge pamphlets were published. When new or revised merit badge requirements appear on Scouting.org, any Scout beginning work on a merit badge must use the requirements as stated therein. However, if changes to merit badge requirements are introduced in a revised merit badge pamphlet or on Scouting.org after the Scout has started work on the merit badge , then the Scout has through the end of that year to decide which set of requirements to use.

Once work has begun, the Scout may continue using the requirements he or she started with until completion of the badge. Alternatively, the Scout may choose to switch to the revised requirements. Sometimes, however— especially for more significant changes—the Scouts BSA Handbooks, information posted on Scouting.org, or official communications from the National Council may set forth a different procedure that must be used and may establish a date by when use of the old requirements must cease.

The authoritative source for all merit badge requirements is Scouting.org.


Index of Changes

CHANGES TO THE GUIDE TO ADVANCEMENT

Local Council Time extension request

RANK ADVANCEMENT CHANGES

Introductory note for each rank
First Class
Life Scout
Eagle Scout - The change we originally quoted was an error and has been corrected
Eagle Scout rank - Alternative Requirements

MERIT BADGE CHANGES

Archaeology
Collections
Digital Technology
Disabilities Awareness
Electricity
Electronics
Fish and Wildlife Management
Fishing
Fly-Fishing

Lifesaving
Motorboating
Nature
Photography
Public Health
Rowing
Sports
Theater
Woodwork

NEW MERIT BADGE

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion - PENDING

DISCONTINUED AWARDS

The following awards were discontinued on December 31, 2020.
Those who are in process of earning any of these awards have until
December 31, 2021 to complete the requirements and earn the award.

Emergency Preparedness Award
Keep America Beautiful Award
Conservation Good Turn for America
ScoutSTRONG (family of awards)


Changes to the Guide to Advancement

Local Council Time extension request

On December 15, 2020, BSA released advance copies of 5 sections of the 2021 Guide to Advancement, with the following notice:

Effective January 1, 2021, local councils will have the authority to grant limited extensions of time to complete Eagle, Quartermaster, or Summit requirements. These extensions are available only to youth members who qualify under the three tests listed in the attached advance copy of topics 9.0.4.0, 9.0.4.1, 9.0.4.2, and forms 11.2.0.0 and 11.2.1.0 from the 2021 edition of the Guide to Advancement (GTA), which will be published early in the year. Advance copies of these topics and forms are also published at www.scouting.org/advancement.

The three tests are laid out in topic 9.0.4.0.

The process for requesting and reviewing a time extension is outlined in topic 9.0.4.1.

An appeal process has also been established if the council denies an extension. This process is outlined in topic 9.0.4.2.

Though the updated GTA containing these three topics will not be published until after the new year the authority outlined in topics 9.0.4.0, 9.0.4.1, and 9.0.4.2 will take effect on January 1, 2021.

Council Advancement Committees are advised that after Dec. 31, 2020 there is no plan to authorize COVID extensions as has been allowed during 2020. It is possible, however, that as of Jan. 1, 2021, COVID could become a circumstance that warrants an extension if it qualifies under the three tests listed in 9.0.4.0. Note that existing COVID extension granted between Oct. 1, 2020 and Dec. 31, 2020 will expire three months after they were granted.

Copies of the documents mentioned in the notice are available for download by clicking on the following links:


Changes to Rank Requirements

Introductory note for each rank

The note which formerly appeared at the start of the Scouts BSA Rank Requirements section of the Scouts BSA Requirements book, has been revised, and now appears as an introduction to each rank. Note that in each case, the last two words ("this webpage") are a link pointing to this page on Scouting.org: https://www.scouting.org/programs/scouts-bsa/advancement-and-awards/ Other than adding this note, there were no changes to the requirements for Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, Star, and Eagle. The revisions are as follows:

The rank requirements in this book are official as of Jan. 1, 2020 2021. If a Scout has started work toward a rank before that date using requirements that were current before Jan. 1, 2020 2021, except as noted below, the Scout may complete that rank using the old requirements. Any progress toward a rank that is begun after Jan. 1, 2020 2021, must use the requirements as they are presented in this Scouts BSA Requirements book on this webpage.


First Class Rank BadgeFirst Class

A revision was made to requirement 4b, as shown below, and the introductory note mentioned above was added.

    1. Demonstrate how to use a handheld GPS unit, GPS app on a smartphone, or other electronic navigation system while on a campout or hike. Use GPS to find your current location, a destination of your choice, and the route you will take to get there. Follow that route to arrive at your destination.

Life Rank BadgeLife

A revision was made to requirement 3, as shown below and the introductory note mentioned above was added. When the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion merit badge is added to the Eagle required list,  the number "17" in the requirement will change to "18".

  1. Earn five more merit badges (so that you have 11 in all), including any three additional badges from the required list for Eagle number more from the list for Eagle so that you have a total of seven from the required list of Eagle in that total number of 11 merit badges. You may choose any of the 17 merit badges on the required list for Eagle to fulfill this requirement. See Eagle rank requirement 3 for this list

Eagle Scout Rank BadgeEagle Scout

An early draft of the rank requirements which will be used in 2021 included a revision was to requirement 3, which was made in error. We had originally noted the change, but have removed that information from our website. Other than the addition of the introductory note described above, there were no changes to the requirements.

Although BSA has announced that the new (yet to be released) Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion merit badge would become the 14th merit badge required for Scouts to advance to Eagle Scout during 2021, neither the requirements for the merit badge nor the changed requirements for Eagle Scout have been announced, and BSA has announced that the introduction of the new merit badge has been delayed.


Eagle Scout rank - Alternative Requirements

A change was made to the footnote, as shown below

14 In order to be an Eagle Scout candidate, a Venturer or Sea Scout must have achieved First Class rank as a registered Scout or as a Lone Scout,


REVISED Merit Badges


Archaeology Merit BadgeArchaeology

A change was made to requirement 4a, and requirements 8-11 were rearranged. What had been Requirements 10 and 11 are now requirements 8 and 9, and what had been Requirements 8 and 9 are now requirements 10 and 11, as shown here.

    1. For EACH site you research, point it out on a map and explain how it was discovered became known to archaeologists. Describe some of the information about the past that has been found at each site. Explain how the information gained from the study of these sites answers questions that archaeologists are asking and how the information may be important to modern people. Compare the relative ages of the sites you research.
  1. Do either A or B of the following:
    1. With your parent's and counselor's permission, assist a qualified archaeologist for at least eight hours with a project being worked on. Projects may include surveying, site monitoring, site stabilization, excavation, laboratory analysis, use of digital archaeological technology, or public outreach. Describe your involvement in the project, what you learned about archaeology, and the steps of archaeological inquiry.
      Note: Visiting an archaeological site will require advance planning. An archaeological site during study can be a dangerous place. While there, you will need to closely follow the archaeologist's directions and comply with all the safety procedures. Be aware of the changing conditions at the site.
    2. With your counselor's approval, take part in a simulated archaeological project designed by a qualified archaeologist. The project must include the use of a simulated archaeological site including artifacts and features for the site. Using the steps of archaeological inquiry, analyze the "artifacts and features" and document the spatial relationships of the "artifacts and features" at the simulated site. Explain how the environment and time can affect the interpretation of an artifact and the overall archaeological site. Tell how you would share the results of your analysis with other researchers and the public
      Note: To find out how to make a simulated archaeological site, talk with a professional archaeologist, trained avocational archaeologist, museum school instructor, junior high or high school science teacher, advisor from a local archaeology society, or other qualified instructor.
    Research a group of people who lived in your area more than 100 years ago. Find out about their ways of life, including housing, clothing, arts and crafts, tools, trade and markets, rituals and religions, and diets, and their relationships with other groups of people in the area. Describe what you would expect to find at an archaeological site where these people lived. Explain how these people influenced your current community.
  2. Under the supervision of a qualified archaeologist or instructor, do ONE of the following:
    1. Help prepare an archaeological exhibit for display in a museum, visitor center, school, or other public area.
    2. Use the methods of experimental archaeology to re-create an item or to practice a skill from the past. Write a brief report explaining the experiment and its results.
    Identify three career opportunities in archaeology. Pick one and explain how to prepare for such a career. Discuss with your counselor what education and training are required, and explain why this profession might interest you.
  3. Research a group of people who lived in your area more than 100 years ago. Find out about their ways of life, including housing, clothing, arts and crafts, tools, trade and markets, rituals and religions, and diets, and their relationships with other groups of people in the area. Describe what you would expect to find at an archaeological site where these people lived. Explain how these people influenced your current community.
    Do either A or B of the following:
    1. With your parent's and counselor's permission, assist a qualified archaeologist for at least eight hours with a project being worked on. Projects may include surveying, site monitoring, site stabilization, excavation, laboratory analysis, use of digital archaeological technology, or public outreach. Describe your involvement in the project, what you learned about archaeology, and the steps of archaeological inquiry.
      Note: Visiting an archaeological site will require advance planning. An archaeological site during study can be a dangerous place. While there, you will need to closely follow the archaeologist's directions and comply with all the safety procedures. Be aware of the changing conditions at the site.
    2. With your counselor's approval, take part in a simulated archaeological project designed by a qualified archaeologist. The project must include the use of a simulated archaeological site including artifacts and features for the site. Using the steps of archaeological inquiry, analyze the "artifacts and features" and document the spatial relationships of the "artifacts and features" at the simulated site.
      Explain how the environment and time can affect the interpretation of an artifact and the overall archaeological site. Tell how you would share the results of your analysis with other researchers and the public
      Note: To find out how to make a simulated archaeological site, talk with a professional archaeologist, trained avocational archaeologist, museum school instructor, junior high or high school science teacher, advisor from a local archaeology society, or other qualified instructor.
  4. Identify three career opportunities in archaeology. Pick one and explain how to prepare for such a career. Discuss with your counselor what education and training are required, and explain why this profession might interest you.
    Under the supervision of a qualified archaeologist or instructor, do ONE of the following:
    1. Help prepare an archaeological exhibit for display in a museum, visitor center, school, or other public area.
    2. Use the methods of experimental archaeology to re-create an item or to practice a skill from the past. Write a brief report explaining the experiment and its results.

Collections Merit BadgeCollections

Changes were made to requirements 1, 3a, 3c, 4c, 5a, 5c, 5eand 5f. Requirement 3d was added, and requiremenr 7 was deleted. Requirement 8 was renumbered as 7, The changes were as follows:

  1. Prepare a short written report or outline for your counselor, giving a detailed description of your collection,* including a short history, why you enjoy your collection, and what you have learned from collecting. Be sure to include why you chose that particular type of collecting and what you enjoy and have learned from your collectio collection/collecting method.
    *Stamp and coin collecting are excluded from eligibility for this merit badge.
    1. Explain the precautions that you need to take to preserve your collection, including
      1. Handling
      2. Cleaning
      3. Storage
    2. Explain to your counselor the events available for a hobbyist of this collection, including shows, seminars, conventions, contests, and museum programs or and exhibits.
    3. Explain to your counselor how you keep track of your collection. Describe your cataloging method.
    1. What you would expect in return value in the event if you decided to sell all or part of the collection
    1. Discuss with your counselor at least 10 terms commonly used in to describe your collection and be prepared to discuss the definition of each.
    2. Explain how the monetary value of your collection is valued by other collectors and display to your counselor any price guides that may be available and where you learned about those values.
    3. List the national, state, or local association responsive to association(s) related to or associated with your collection.
    4. Show the location of and explain Explain to your counselor the purpose of and reason for the identification number (if applicable), series, brand name (if any),and any other special identification marks.
  2. Discuss with your counselor why and how collecting has changed and how this applies to your collection.
    8. Find out about career opportunities in collecting. Pick one and find out the education, training, and experience required for this profession. Discuss this with your counselor, and explain why this profession might interest you.

Digital Technology Merit BadgeDigital Technology

Changes were made to requirement 5b, as shown here:

    1. Using an internet search engine (with your parent's parent or guardian's permission), find ideas from at least three different websites about how to conduct a troop court of honor or campfire program. Print out a copy of Present the ideas from at least three different websites. Share what you found with to your counselor, and explain how you used the a search engine to find this information.

Disabilities Awareness Merit BadgeDisabilities Awareness

Changes were made to requirements 1a and 1b, as shown here:

    1. Define and discuss with your counselor the following disabilities awareness terms: disability, accessibility, adaptation, accommodation, invisible disability, and person-first language, and inclusion.
    2. Explain why proper disability etiquette is important, and how it may differ depending on the specific disability. Give three examples.

Electricity Merit BadgeElectricity

A change was made to requirement 10, adding GFCI to the list of terms to explain. The change is as follows:

  1. Explain the following electrical terms: volt, ampere, watt, ohm, resistance, potential difference, rectifier, rheostat, conductor, ground, GFCI, circuit, and short circuit

Electronics Merit BadgeElectronics

Requirement 5c was added, and reads as shown below. This merit badge was omitted from the list of merit badges with changes in 2021 that appears on the Scouting.org website.

    1. Demonstrate to your counselor how to read the colored bands of a resistor to determine its resistance value.

Fish and Wildlife Management Merit BadgeFish and Wildlife Management

A change was made to requirement 3. The change is shown below.

  1. Describe some practical ways in which everyone can help with the fish and wildlife effort conservation.

Fishing Merit BadgeFishing

Changes were made to requirements 7 and 10 as shown below.

  1. btain and review a copy of the regulations affecting game fishing where you live. Explain why they were adopted and what you accomplish is accomplished by following them.
  2. If regulations and health concerns permit, clean and cook a fish you have caught. Otherwise If you are unable to catch a fish for eating, acquire a fish, clean the fish you acquired, and cook it the fish you acquired. (You do (It is not need to required that you eat your the fish.)

Fly-Fishing Merit BadgeFly-Fishing

Changes were made to requirements 10 and 11 as shown below.

  1. Catch at least one fish using a fly rod and a fly. Identify it and quickly release it live back into the water. Discuss this experience with your counselor.
  2. If regulations and health concerns permit, clean and cook a fish you have caught. Otherwise If you are unable to catch a fish for eating, acquire a fish, clean the fish you acquired, and cook it the fish you acquired. (You do (It is not need to required that you eat your the fish.)

Lifesaving Merit BadgeLifesaving

Changes were made to requirements 1, 2. 15, and 16.  The order of requirements 1 & 2 was reversed, and both are now prerequisites for requirements 3-15. The requirements to complete the swimming requirements for Second Class and First Class Ranks was replaced with a requirement to earn the Swimming Merit Badge. The order of requirements 15 and 16 was also reversed.  Requirements 16 and 17 no longer must be completed after requirements 1 & 2.  The changes are as follows:

  1. Before doing requirements 2 3 through 17 15, review with your counselor the principles of Safe Swim Defense.
    1. Complete Second Class rank requirements 5a through 5d and First Class rank requirements 6a, 6b, and 6e.**
      • Second Class rank requirements 5a through 5d:
        • (5a) Tell what precautions must be taken for a safe swim
        • (5b) Demonstrate your ability to pass the BSA beginner test: Jump feetfirst into water over your head in depth, level off and swim 25 feet on the surface, stop, turn sharply, resume swimming, then return to your starting place.
        • (5c) Demonstrate water rescue methods by reaching with your arm or leg, by reaching with a suitable object, and by throwing lines and objects.
        • (5d) Explain why swimming rescues should not be attempted when a reaching or throwing rescue is possible. Explain why and how a rescue swimmer should avoid contact with the victim.
      • First Class rank requirements 6a, 6b, and 6e:
        • (6a) Successfully complete the BSA swimmer test.
        • (6b) Tell what precautions must be taken for a safe trip afloat.
        • (6e) With a helper and a practice victim, show a line rescue both as tender and as rescuer. (The practice victim should be approximately 30 feet from shore in deep water.)
    2. Swim continuously for 400 yards using each of the following strokes in a strong manner, in good form with rhythmic breathing, for at least 50 continuous yards: front crawl, sidestroke, breaststroke, and elementary backstroke.
  2. Discuss and review with your counselor the principles of BSA Safe Swim Defense.
    Before doing requirements 3 through 15:
    1. Earn the Swimming merit badge.
    2. Swim continuously for 400 yards using each of the following strokes in a strong manner, in good form with rhythmic breathing, for at least 50 continuous yards: front crawl, sidestroke, breaststroke, and elementary backstroke.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of resuscitation procedures:
    1. Describe how to recognize the need for rescue breathing and CPR.
    2. Demonstrate CPR knowledge and skills, including rescue breathing, consistent with current guidelines.*
    16. Demonstrate management of a spinal injury to your counselor:
    1. Discuss the causes, signs, and symptoms of a spinal injury.
    2. Support a faceup subject in calm water of standing depth.
    3. Turn a subject from a facedown to a faceup position in water of standing depth while maintaining support.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of resuscitation procedure:
    1. Describe how to recognize the need for rescue breathing and CPR.
    2. Demonstrate CPR knowledge and skills, including rescue breathing, on a mannequin under the guidance of a current CPR/AED instructor trained by a nationally certified provider.

Motorboating Merit BadgeMotorboating

Changes were made to requirements 1a, 2a, 3a, 4, 4a, 4b., 4c, 5a, and 5c. Requirement 4d was deleted and 4e-4i were renumbered as 4d-4h. The changes were as follows:

    1. Explain to Discuss with your counselor the most likely following hazards you may might encounter while motorboating, and : flammable fuel; carbon monoxide; propellers; collisions; falls overboard; capsize; running aground. Explain what you should do to anticipate, help prevent, mitigate, and respond to these hazards.
    1. Before doing requirements 3 through 6 requirement 5, successfully complete the BSA swimmer test.
    1. Explain inboard, outboard, and inboard/outboard motors and the uses and advantages of each. Discuss the special features of a bass boat and a ski boat.
  1. Show you know safety laws guidelines for motorboating by doing the following
    1. Have a permit to run a motorboat, if needed.
      Review how each item of the BSA Safety Afloat policy applies, including checking the weather prior to and during time on the water, confirming all required equipment is present and functional, and following a float plan.
    2. Explain the rules or laws that apply to recreational boating in your area or state. Have a permit to operate a motorboat, if required by the laws of your state. Discuss how you would find information regarding the boating laws in different states.
    3. Discuss how the hazards of weather and heavy water conditions can affect both safety and performance in motorboating.
    4. Promise that you will follow BSA Safety Afloat guidelines. Explain the meaning of each point.
      e. Discuss with your counselor the nautical rules of the road and describe the national and your state's aids to navigation.
    5. f. Explain and show the correct use of equipment required by both state and federal regulations to be carried aboard a motorboat.
    6. g. Explain federal and state rules for a ventilation system, and tell why these rules are required.
    7. h. Explain the use of lights (sight signals) and sound signals on motorboats.
    8. i. Discuss the common types of anchors used in motorboating and under what conditions each would be preferred. Explain proper anchoring techniques.
    1. Board and assist others in boarding. Confirm that all passengers on board are wearing properly fitted life jackets.
    2. If equipped, attach a kill switch and safely start the motor. Get underway from dockside or from a beach launch.

Nature Merit BadgeNature

A new printing of the Nature merit badge pamphlet with a new requirement 5 (shown below) was released in 2020. Scouts starting the merit badge in 2020 could choose to use either those requirements, or the previous requirements. Since the 2021 edition of Scouts BSA Requirements does NOT include this requirement, until it is added to a future edition, Scouts may continue to use either the newer requirements, or the previous requirements.

  1. Discuss the principle of Leave No Trace and how it relates to nature.

Photography Merit BadgePhotography

The order of requirements 1a and 1b was reversed. Changes were made to requirements 1a, 2g, 3, 4c, 5, and 7, . The changes are shown below.

    1. Show your counselor your current Cyber Chip.
    2. a. Explain to your counselor the most likely hazards you may encounter while working with photography and what you should do to anticipate, mitigate, prevent, and respond to these hazards. Explain how you would prepare for exposure to environmental situations such as weather, sun, and water.
      b. Show your counselor your current, up-to-date Cyber Chip.
    1. Timing Decisive moment (action or expression captured by the photographer)
  1. Explain the basic parts and operation of a film camera or digital camera. Explain how an exposure is made when you take a picture.
    1. Photograph one subject with two different depth of fields depths of field
  2. Photograph THREE of the following, then share your work with your counselor.
  3. Using images other than those created for requirements 4, 5 or and 6, produce a visual story to document an event to photograph OR choose a topic that interests you to photograph. Do the following:

Public Health Merit BadgePublic Health

Requirement 1 was revised, as shown below. However, when that requirement was revised, a reference to requirement 1b was not replaced in requirement 2c. The diseases and conditions that are to be discussed are those listed in requirement 1,  starting with "gonorrhea" and ending  with "lead poisoning". Although it wasn't revised, we have included requirement 2c below.

  1. Do the following:
    1. Ex1plain what public health is. Explain how Escherichia coli (E. coli), tetanus, HIV/AIDS, malaria, salmonellosis, and Lyme disease are contracted.
    2. Choose any FOUR of the following diseases or conditions, and explain how each one is contracted and possibly prevented: gonorrhea, West Nile virus, Zika, botulism, influenza, syphilis, hepatitis, emphysema, meningitis, herpes, lead poisoning.
    3. For each disease or condition in requirement 1b, explain:
      1. The type or form of the malady (viral, bacterial, environmental, toxin)
      2. Any possible vectors for transmission
      3. Available treatments
    Explain what public health is. Explain how Escherichia coli (E. coli), tetanus, AIDS, encephalitis, salmonellosis, Lyme disease, and coronavirus (COVID-19) are contracted. Then, pick any four of the following diseases and explain how each one is contracted and possibly prevented: gonorrhea, West Nile virus, botulism, influenza, syphilis, hepatitis, emphysema, meningitis, herpes, lead poisoning. For all 10 diseases, explain the type or form of the disease (viral, bacterial, environmental, toxin), any possible vectors for transmission, ways to help prevent exposure or the spread of infection, and available treatments.
    1. Using the list of diseases and conditions in requirement 1b (sic), discuss with your counselor those which currently have no immunization available.

Rowing Merit BadgeRowing

Changes were made to requirement 2 as shown below.

  1. Before doing the following completing requirements 4, 5, 6, and 7, successfully complete the BSA swimmer test.

Sports Merit BadgeSports

A new requirement 2a was added and requirements 2a, 2b, and 2c were renumbered as 2b, 2c, and 2d. The order of requirements 4 and 5 was reversed. Changes were made to requirements 1a, 1b, 1c, 2, 2b, 2c, 2d, 4, 4c, 5, and 5a.  The changes are shown below:

    1. Explain to your counselor the most likely hazards risks you may encounter while playing sports, during athletics activities , and what you should do to anticipate, help prevent, mitigate, and respond to these hazards risks.
    2. Show that you know first aid or understand the treatment for injuries or illnesses that could occur while participating in sports athletics, including sprains, strains, muscle cramps, contusions, abrasions, fractures, blisters, muscle cramps, injured teeth, dehydration, heat and cold reactions, and concussions or other suspected injuries to the head, neck, and back.
    3. The importance of maintaining a healthy diet.
  1. Explain the importance of the following:
    1. Before completing requirements 4 and 5, show that you have received a physical examination from your health care practitioner within the last 12 months.
    2. a. The Explain the importance of the physical exam
    3. b. The Explain the importance of maintaining good health habits for life (such as exercising regularly), and how the use of tobacco products, alcohol, and other harmful substances can negatively affect your health and your performance in sports activities
    4. c. The Explain the importance of maintaining a healthy diet
  2. With guidance from your counselor, establish a personal training program suited to the activities you choose for requirement 5. Then do the following:
    1. Create a chart and use it to track your training, practice, and development in these sports for one season (or four months).
    2. Demonstrate proper technique for your two chosen sports.
    3. At the end of the season, share your completed chart with your counselor and discuss how your participation in the sports you chose has affected you mentally and physically.
    5. Take part for one season (or four months) as a competitive individual or as a member of an organized team in TWO of the following sports: baseball, basketball, bowling, cross-country, field hockey, football, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, table tennis, tennis, track and field, volleyball, water polo, wrestling, cheerleading, and/or badmintonv. Your counselor may approve in advance other recognized sports, but not any sport that is restricted and not authorized by the Boy Scouts of America BSA. Then with your chosen sports do the following:
    1. Give the rules and etiquette for the two sports you picked.
    2. List the equipment needed for the two sports you chose. Describe the protective equipment and appropriate clothing (if any) and explain why it is needed.
    3. Draw diagrams of the playing areas area for your two sports.
  3. With guidance from your counselor and before beginning requirement 4, establish a personal training program suited to the activities you chose for requirement 4. Do the following:
    1. Organize a chart and track your training, practice, and development in the sports for one season or four months.
    2. Demonstrate proper technique for your two chosen sports.
    3. At the end of the season, share your completed chart with your counselor and discuss how your participation in the sports you chose has affected you mentally and physically.

Theater Merit BadgeTheater

Changes were made to requirements 2, 4a, and 5,  and new requirement  3j was added. The changes are as shown below.

  1. Write a one-act play that will take at least eight 10 minutes to perform. The play must have a main character, conflict, and a climax.
    1. Serve as musical director for a musical theater production.
    1. You have come into a large room. It is full of pictures, furniture, and other things of interest.
  2. Explain the following: proscenium arch, central or arena staging, center stage, stage right, stage left, downstage, upstage, stage crew, flies, portal, cyclorama, stage brace, spotlight, floodlight, lighting control board, sound mixing desk, thrust staging, ground plans, and sightlines

Woodwork Merit BadgeWoodwork

Changes were made to requirements 6e and 7 as shown below.

    1. Help make and repair wooden toys for underprivileged children OR help carry out a woodworking service project approved by your counselor for a charitable organization.
  1. Talk with a cabinetmaker or finish carpenter. Find out Learn about the training, apprenticeship apprenticeships, career opportunities, work conditions, work hours, pay rates, and union organization that woodworking experts have in your area.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

This merit badge is scheduled to be introduced in 2021. When it is officially introduced, it will be added to the list of merit badges required for advancement to Eagle Scout at a date to be determined. That will change the requirement for 21 total merit badges to require 14 out of 18 specific merit badges, and 7 others.

On January 7, 2021, BSA made the following Announcement:

Proposed Eagle Scout Required Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Merit Badge Delayed

The introduction of the proposed Diversity, Equity and Inclusion merit badge is being delayed to allow for the careful consideration and evaluation of feedback received from a wide variety of commenters on the draft requirements. Until further notice, all Scouts working on the Eagle Scout rank should continue to use current rank requirements. Once the Eagle-required Diversity, Equity and Inclusion merit badge is introduced, Scouts in the process of earning the rank of Eagle Scout will be given adequate time to earn it.

Updates regarding the merit badge will be shared with councils directly and via Scoutingwire. Specific questions are welcome via email at Officeof.ChiefDiversityOfficer@scouting.org.

Based on this announcement, we have removed the draft rquirements that we originally had includedd in this report.


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

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Page updated on: January 17, 2021



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