MERIT BADGES

An Eagle Scout runs a local Blog called, “Bryan on Scouting”. he has some excellent articles and insights on Scouting all over the USA. He recently wrote a very good Blog on the most popular Merit Badges of 2011 and 2012. The results where very interesting.

There are many merit Badges that are required for an Eagle Scout, but not many that are actually requires by other Scouts. Bryan indicates in his Charts, which Badges where for Eagle Scouts and required, and which Merit Badges where done for the actual experience the Scout wanted to acquire. very interesting results in his research.

You can read Bryan’s Blog at the Link here:  BRYAN ON SCOUTING

The two lists below are from Bryans recent article on Merit Badges. Use the Link above to read his entire article on Merit Badges. We Thank Bryan very much for his hard work at exploring merit Badges and the use of that data, here in this review.

After examining the 2011 sales list, here’s what I’ve come up with for the 20 top-selling merit badges of 2011:

  1. First Aid*
  2. Swimming*
  3. Environmental Science*
  4. Citizenship in the World*
  5. Citizenship in the Nation*
  6. Camping*
  7. Communication*
  8. Citizenship in the Community*
  9. Personal Fitness*
  10. Family Life*
  11. Personal Management*
  12. Rifle Shooting
  13. Fingerprinting
  14. Emergency Preparedness*
  15. Leatherwork
  16. Wilderness Survival
  17. Wood Carving
  18. Archery
  19. Canoeing
  20. Fishing

Conclusions:

  • Each of the top 11 and 12 of the top 20 are required for Eagle (marked with an asterisk above).
  • Summer camps typically teach the eight on this list that aren’t Eagle-required.
  • The top three are both Eagle-required and taught at most summer camps.
  • Scouts have embraced technology (with their excitement for cool new merit badges like Inventing and Robotics), but they’re still enjoying “classics” such as Rifle Shooting, Leatherwork, Archery, and Fishing.

The full list

Check out the full list and make your own conclusions. Badges in green are Eagle-required, while those in yellow are new (December 2009 or sooner):

MB 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Kayaking 0 0 0 0 21,765
Welding 0 0 0 0 4,022
Search and Rescue 0 0 0 0 725
Chess 0 0 0 6,002 29,298
Robotics 0 0 0 5,407 13,262
Textile 2,893 2,641 2,232 3,657 4,681
Theater 2,239 2,290 2,174 2,201 2,776
Animal Science 2,874 3,444 3,591 3,759 4,503
Drafting 1,451 1,514 1,516 1,170 1,377
Pulp and Paper 4,134 4,933 5,549 6,449 7,495
Astronomy 9,654 10,384 10,048 14,941 17,308
Insect Study 1,542 2,582 3,502 3,579 4,120
Cinematography 5,673 6,819 6,529 7,245 8,308
Inventing 0 0 616 2,279 2,592
Electronics 6,361 7,112 7,452 7,186 8,060
Radio 5,829 7,190 6,994 6,257 6,957
Backpacking 5,005 5,003 4,377 4,445 4,878
Landscape Architecture 1,461 1,335 1,414 1,475 1,618
Surveying 1,179 1,595 1,539 1,145 1,235
Archaeology 6,527 7,821 7,939 9,586 10,316
Energy 2,651 3,427 3,203 3,641 3,907
Metalwork 10,070 12,272 11,597 12,790 13,674
Archery 45,070 46,579 45,039 45,204 48,229
Painting 4,308 4,696 4,217 5,087 5,412
Model Design and Building 2,530 2,586 2,123 2,964 3,120
Photography 14,429 17,543 17,479 18,042 18,879
Public Speaking 5,742 6,940 6,671 6,703 6,987
Genealogy 4,841 5,674 6,386 5,452 5,641
Engineering 5,965 7,361 9,459 9,418 9,682
Hiking** 7,470 8,074 7,658 7,946 8,132
Nuclear Science 4,505 5,881 5,908 6,965 7,114
Home Repairs 4,325 5,165 4,572 4,324 4,413
Personal Management* 50,240 56,330 56,793 53,459 54,529
Entrepreneurship 1,249 1,609 1,582 1,895 1,932
Athletics 3,445 3,779 3,728 3,411 3,465
Electricity 10,053 11,585 10,419 11,187 11,350
Geology 21,170 23,640 21,798 23,695 24,015
Chemistry 6,456 8,248 8,661 9,569 9,692
Architecture 2,264 2,691 2,840 3,586 3,631
Emergency Preparedness*** 45,702 50,707 49,945 50,510 51,035
Bird Study 5,681 6,268 6,668 6,881 6,952
Collections 4,939 5,614 6,090 5,027 5,077
Cycling** 6,480 7,736 7,533 6,992 7,053
Family Life* 52,397 58,568 58,767 55,812 56,210
Medicine 3,693 4,513 4,547 4,480 4,507
Personal Fitness* 54,068 58,461 58,988 56,588 56,908
Citizenship in the Community* 50,280 59,203 58,891 57,785 57,951
Automotive Maintenance 7,864 9,181 9,520 10,762 10,784
Wilderness Survival 41,679 44,632 41,627 46,757 46,829
Climbing 22,928 25,192 23,698 24,617 24,609
Space Exploration 20,459 21,977 22,914 23,595 23,557
American Heritage 4,390 5,625 5,853 6,645 6,626
Fishing 26,014 28,692 29,806 32,048 31,932
Citizenship in the World* 60,582 68,075 67,483 67,779 67,486
Reptile and Amphibian Study 10,735 9,902 9,797 9,816 9,772
Crime Prevention 6,586 6,981 8,049 8,374 8,331
Law 5,949 7,044 7,333 7,315 7,274
Sports 9,581 10,444 9,550 9,167 9,112
Citizenship in the Nation* 57,958 64,847 64,683 64,558 64,120
Swimming** 75,568 76,807 78,825 80,938 80,376
Oceanography 9,783 10,202 11,098 10,720 10,636
Plant Science 1,151 1,779 1,797 2,614 2,593
Forestry 15,566 16,843 14,906 16,456 16,309
Motor Boating 13,492 12,985 12,578 12,133 12,004
Veterinary Medicine 2,723 3,018 3,855 3,502 3,460
Wood Carving 45,843 48,489 45,121 45,645 44,927
Computers 14,278 15,166 14,474 14,712 14,474
Nature 17,156 18,404 16,773 18,453 18,114
Sculpture 9,728 10,372 10,750 13,074 12,829
Dentistry 3,814 5,231 5,506 4,491 4,403
First Aid* 84,419 91,334 89,694 94,268 92,312
Dog Care 3,188 3,373 3,455 3,407 3,330
Communications* 54,983 62,153 59,462 60,749 59,345
Bugling 563 662 844 628 613
Cooking 24,079 24,496 23,548 23,989 23,384
Truck Transportation 3,028 3,291 2,960 3,009 2,928
Pets 6,251 6,900 6,346 6,068 5,904
Camping* 58,654 62,774 62,174 62,492 60,772
American Cultures 2,484 2,710 2,353 2,965 2,883
Environmental Science* 72,150 77,285 74,836 78,719 76,238
Graphic Arts 2,526 2,982 3,093 3,620 3,505
Pottery 9,388 9,885 8,937 10,493 10,157
Aviation 17,219 20,787 21,173 21,440 20,751
Reading 5,957 7,183 6,590 5,889 5,676
Disabilities Awareness 4,924 6,100 7,362 7,503 7,230
Geocaching 0 0 4,533 19,419 18,711
Weather 16,262 17,927 16,345 18,582 17,869
Fish & Wildlife Management 15,168 16,971 14,825 16,162 15,528
Lifesaving*** 28,516 28,483 27,739 29,382 28,228
Scholarship 6,614 7,194 7,034 6,570 6,310
American Business 494 685 667 707 679
Whitewater 3,780 3,993 3,372 4,322 4,149
Music 15,325 17,565 16,623 15,875 15,088
Salesmanship 5,020 5,704 6,286 6,765 6,425
Railroading 7,122 7,484 8,868 9,144 8,681
Leatherwork 51,316 53,896 50,028 51,535 48,674
Small Boat Sailing 17,968 19,145 18,471 19,895 18,740
Shotgun Shooting 23,597 25,086 24,978 27,838 26,173
Basketry 27,144 27,179 23,899 23,505 22,073
Orienteering 20,035 20,723 18,328 20,221 18,989
Canoeing 40,752 41,918 40,160 41,601 39,042
Soil and Water Conservation 14,741 15,546 15,298 15,554 14,553
Farm Mechanics 1,974 2,625 2,387 2,627 2,457
Indian Lore 29,161 31,293 28,530 28,591 26,705
Gardening 1,777 2,576 2,403 2,422 2,258
Fly Fishing 489 634 475 4,605 4,291
Pioneering 21,732 22,596 21,008 23,138 21,550
Rifle Shooting 46,221 51,562 50,801 54,276 50,435
Safety 3,661 4,304 4,088 4,128 3,824
Journalism 1,168 1,285 1,191 1,285 1,184
Horsemanship 12,525 13,106 13,230 13,814 12,670
Mammal Study 29,653 31,245 28,728 31,028 28,309
Stamp Collecting 1,031 1,087 1,434 1,147 1,045
Art 27,991 31,034 28,707 32,146 29,273
Plumbing 5,414 7,055 6,233 6,417 5,785
Water Sports 4,753 5,135 4,891 4,783 4,291
Public Health 1,453 1,928 1,958 1,989 1,783
Woodwork 4,418 5,217 5,866 5,590 4,962
Composite Materials 1,536 1,380 1,603 1,817 1,610
Golf 7,163 7,623 7,236 5,798 5,128
Fingerprinting 41,065 46,808 46,395 53,189 46,594
Rowing 15,946 16,878 14,948 15,906 13,769
Scuba Diving 0 130 2,962 3,015 2,594
Traffic Safety 6,060 7,745 7,148 8,665 7,450
Fire Safety 14,055 17,784 15,483 16,886 14,517
Coin Collecting 5,895 7,023 6,785 7,052 6,043
Scouting Heritage 0 0 3,814 6,407 5,394
Snow Sports 10,443 11,326 11,394 10,586 8,636
American Labor 642 822 739 1,168 811
Skating 3,111 3,360 3,119 3,208 2,220

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