Revising Merit Badges​

Through a process managed by the national Advancement Team, all merit badges are reviewed periodically to improve relevance, consistency, and requirement and content accuracy. Merit badge counselors, unit leadership, parents, and youth are encouraged to send suggestions or comments to merit.badge@scouting.orgExternal Link. All submissions are reviewed and considered as merit badges and pamphlets are revised. Feedback has been invaluable in correcting errors, updating material, and enhancing content.

What to Do When Requirements Change

The current annual edition of Boy Scout Requirements, No. 34765, lists the official requirements. Changes usually appear first in a revised merit badge pamphlet, then become effective the next January 1 and are published in the requirements book. Unless otherwise stated there, or in the pamphlet, the following options are allowed.

• If Scouts have already started on a merit badge when a revision is introduced, they may switch to the new requirements or continue with the old ones until the badge is completed.

• If they have not already started, they may use the new requirements and the new pamphlet.

• If work begins before the end of the current year, they may use the old requirements and old pamphlet until the badge is completed.

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.

Discontinued Merit Badges

Scouts may not begin working on discontinued merit badges. If actual effort has already begun by the time discontinuation becomes effective, and work actively continues, then the badge may be completed and can count toward rank advancement, but presentation of the badge itself will be subject to availability. It is a misconception that discontinued merit badges may be earned as long as the patch and requirements can be found.