Boy Scout Merit Badge Requirements


  1. Prepare a field notebook, make a collection, and identify 15 species of trees or wild shrubs in a local forested area. Include a written description of:
    1. Identifying characteristics of leaf, twig, and fruit samples
    2. The habitat in which these trees or shrubs are found
    3. Chief ways each tree or shrub is used by human or wildlife
    4. The forest's successional stage, what its history has been, and what its future is
  2. Do ONE of the following:
    1. Collect and identify wood samples of 10 species of trees. List several ways each species of wood can be used.
    2. Find and examine several stumps or logs that show variations in growth rate in their ring patterns. Prepare a field notebook describing their location and discuss possible reasons for the variations.
  3. Be able to do the following:
    1. Describe contributions forests make to
        Our economy in the form of products
      • Our social well-being
      • Soil protection and increased fertility
      • Clean water
      • Clean air
      • Wildlife
      • Recreation
      • Tell which watershed or other source your community relies on for its water supply.
  4. Be able to describe what forest management means, including:
    1. Multiple-use management
    2. Even-aged and uneven-aged management and silvicultural systems associated with each type
    3. Intermediate cuttings
    4. How prescribed burning and related forest management practices are used
  5. Do ONE of the following:
    1. Visit a managed public or private forest area with its manager or someone familiar with it. Write a brief report describing:
        The type of forest
      • The management objectives
      • The forestry techniques used to achieve the objectives
      • Take a trip to a logging operation or wood-using industrial plant and write a brief report describing:
          The species and size of trees being harvested or used
        • Where the trees are going to or coming from
        • What products are made from the trees or at the plant
        • How the products are made
        • How the products are used
        • How waste materials from the logging operation or plant are disposed of or utilized
  6. Be able to do the following:
    1. Describe the damages to forests that result from:
      • Insects
      • Tree disease
      • Overgrazing
      • Improper harvest
      • Tell what can be done to reduce these damages.
      • Tell what you should do if you discover a forest fire and how to control it.
  7. Do ONE of the following:
    1. Assist in carrying out a project that meets one or more of these objectives: timber stand improvement, watershed improvement, wildlife habitat improvement, recreation area improvement, or range improvement.
    2. Take part in a forest fire prevention campaign in cooperation with your local fire warden, forester, or counselor.
    3. Visit with one of more local foresters and write a brief report including education, qualifications, career opportunities, and objectives relating to forestry.

BSA Advancement ID#: 54
Source: Boy Scout Requirements, #33215E, revised 2002