Merit Badge ratings + camp offerings
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2017 MB Listings by Camp or Fair in NJ area, + Richard Diesslin's MB Reviews as of 8-27-15 on (RD)JerseyTwinSeaMiddlesexForestburgQuail HillGooseCampCampJosephCampGlenCampNoBe-PouchNJNJ Sea GrantHenson10 Mi. RiverSummit
Merit Badge Worksheets are available for free at:(Scroll right for camp listings; set filters for desired selections)DevilLightsPinesDistrictCampCampPondRodneyWinnebagoCittaRooseveltGray MBSomersBoScoCampStateSandy HookSRNarrowburgBechtel
3 (Camp websites, pub'd 3-26-16; update 2-1-17; D.Gestrich)MBFairMBFairMB FairMBFairSummerSummerSummerSummerSummerSummerSummerWkndSummerSummerSpringMuseumGrp. & Indiv.SummerSummerReserve
MB links (+High Adventure/Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience)linklinklinklinklinklinklinklinklinklinklinklinklinklinklinklinklinklinklinklink
BSA #Merit BadgeEagle (R/O)# of Reqt.sRD's Est.d DifficultyRD's Est.d DurationRD's Suggested Pre-requisitesRD's Comments+HA+HA/COPE+HA+COPE+COPE +ATV+COPE+ATV+COPE+HA/COPE
15AMERICAN BUSINESS6Hard3 MonthsnoneWould go great with school economics course. What makes this "hard" is running a business for 3 months, otherwise it is easy to medium.Y
17AMERICAN CULTURES5Medium1-3 MonthsnoneDuration is mostly logistics - this one takes some planning.YYY
16AMERICAN HERITAGE6+Medium2-3 MonthsnoneWould go great with an American History class. A fair bit of planning and reporting required.YYYY
121AMERICAN LABOR9Medium1 MonthnoneGood companion to American Business MB, requires a bit of writing and research, but nothing too difficult.
18ANIMAL SCIENCE6Easy1 MonthnoneSome planning and visits, but most information is in an encyclopedia or library book.Y
158ANIMATION (NEW)5Easy2 weeksnoneGood introduction to the topic. There are a bunch of resources available on the web. The hardest part of this merit badge might be finding a counselor.Y
132ARCHAEOLOGY11Hard2-5 MonthsnoneVery involved. Need to do research, reports, presentations and visits. Jurassic Park and Indiana Jones movies won't count as requirements, but they will help make it more interesting.YYYYYY
19ARCHERY5Medium1-4 WeeksnoneSkill required! But fun to learn and do. Good summer camp badge.YYYYYYYYYYYYYY
20ARCHITECTURE5Medium1 MonthnoneLots of cool PC tools to help, involves interviews. Be sure to ask the architects why they almost always under estimate the cost! Pamphlet combined with Landscape Architecture in 2009.
21ART5Easy1 WeeknoneGood first merit badge - they don't get any easier than this ... fun too.YYYYYYYYYY
22ASTRONOMY9+Medium1-2 MonthsnoneFairly involved and requires planning. Good camp or troop badge. So is Pluto a planet?YYYYYYYYYYYYY
23ATHLETICS6Medium1-3 MonthsnoneA scout is physically fit ... and this newly updated badge will prove it. Takes some planning and scheduled events.YYYYY
127AUTOMOTIVE MAINTENANCE12+Hard2-5 Months15-16ishThis will be invaluable later (when you need to get that thingy to stop making that noise, etc.), but not of much interest until around driving age. Revamped in 2009.YY
25AVIATION5Medium1-3 MonthsnoneSome of this is in you Webelos book! Revisions make this a solid "medium" and does require some planning and project work.YY
26BACKPACKING11+Medium3 MonthsSome First AidNot difficult, but time consuming. Good start possible at summer camp.YYY
27BASKETRY3Easy1-3 DaysnoneAs easy as they get!YYYYYYYYYY
29BIRD STUDY8Medium1-12 WeeksnoneLots to study, but not too involved.YYYYYY
32BUGLING6Medium3 MonthsnoneGood one for brass players in band, but most can learn a bugle. 3 months of bugling required.YYYY
1CAMPING (E)Req.d10+Medium1-2 YearsnoneMost requirements are simple, but to get in all the campouts takes time. Keep track of all campouts and around 1st Class or Star should have most done. Rewritten in 2006, although not much changed.YYYYYYYYYYYY
33CANOEING10+Medium1-4 WeeksFirst AidFirst Aid will cover CPR and other first aid issues and 1st Class requires basic swimming skills. Otherwise, enjoy the ride!YYYYYYYYYY
34CHEMISTRY7+Medium2-8 WeeksScience in SchoolA good one to do with High School Chemistry or Science class.YYYYYY
147CHESS6+Medium1-4 WeeksnoneA good introductory badge requiring you to learn the basics and some history of the game, but overall it never says you have to be good at playing the game <g>!YYYYYYYYY
2CITIZENSHIP - Community (E)Req.d8+Medium1-4 WeeksnoneA good one to do with Jr. High or High School government class. Eagle Required.YYYYYY
3CITIZENSHIP - Nation (E)Req.d8+Medium1-4 WeeksnoneA good one to do with Jr. High or High School government class. Eagle Required.YYYYYYYYYY
4CITIZENSHIP - World (E)Req.d7+Medium1-4 WeeksnoneRewritten in 2006 & seems easier, but overall is still a "medium" rating. Again a good 1 to do with Jr. High or High School government class. Eagle Required.YYYYYYYYYY
133CLIMBING12+Medium1-12 WeeksnoneSome knots and climbing required. Good one for summer camp or high adventure campout.YYYYYYYYYY
35COIN COLLECTING10+Medium1-12 WeeksnoneApparently the zealots were not content with 4 requirements, now there are 10. Helps to already have a collection started.YYY
128COLLECTIONS9+Medium1-12 WeeksnoneCould do in conjunction with coin collecting ... or drier lent ... or even something useful! Fun for us packrats!YYYYY
5COMMUNICATION (E)Req.d9Easy1-4 WeeksnoneGood summer camp or merit badge trail activity ... I'd tell you more, but that's your job!YYYYYYYYYYYY
137COMPOSITE MATERIALS6+Medium1-4 WeeksnoneSeems like a good introduction to the topic without going nuts! A good current materials technology to learn about.YY
38COOKING (E)Req.d8+Medium1-8 WeeksnoneNeed to do some planning and cooking, but fairly easy. This bumped up to medium because it doubled in reqs in '02.YYYYYYYYYYY
131CRIME PREVENTION9+Medium4-12 WeeksnoneLot of trips/visits to plan, so this one will take some time.YYYY
39CYCLING (E Opt)Opt.19+Medium3-6 MonthsnoneLots of bike rides required for this one. Plan to do it over a year or so. (Eagle Required - or swimming or hiking).YYYYYYYYY
40DENTISTRY7+Medium2-6 WeeksteethEasy-to-medium. My dentist would love this one, yours might too! Do your brush your tongue? Floss?Y
154DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY9Medium2-4 WeeksnoneEasy-to-medium. Much of this will be things the computer savvy teenager is already familiar with, but provides a good overall view. More of a challenge if limited exposure to computers, programs & apps.YYYYYYYY
60DISABILITIES AWARENESS7Medium3 MonthsnoneWhile the political correctness is abundant, this is a merit badge to be proud of. Possibly a life/perspective-changing effort. Recently rewritten.YYYY
41DOG CARE10Medium2 MonthsHelps to have a dogA good one to do if you have a dog or like animals. If you don't have a dog, you might be able to take care of someone else's for the badge.Y
42DRAFTING7+Medium1-8 WeeksnoneShades of my old mechanical drawing class from high school! Rewritten in 2009 pretty much requiring access to a CAD system and drawing tools. Might as well do the architecture badge while you're at it.
43ELECTRICITY11+Medium1-2 WeeksnoneCan get most of the information from books at the library. Rated medium because it requires two small projects and has over 10 requirements.YYYY
44ELECTRONICS6Medium1-2 WeeksnoneGoes well with electricity, project intensive and requires some math. Perfect if you are taking it in school anyway!YYYYY
6EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS (E Opt)Opt.29+Medium1-6 WeeksFirst AidThis or Lifesaving is Eagle Required. This badge goes well right after First Aid and Pioneering.YYYYYYYYYYY
45ENERGY8Medium3-6 WeeksJr/Sr High ScienceThis is best done in conjunction with a school science class and requires oral and written reports.YYYY
46ENGINEERING9+Medium1-2 MonthsnoneAnother badge prepared by zealots! You'll know a lot about engineering and get to do some visits and hands-on projects. Learn why most engineers should be required to take the communications merit badge!YYYY
134ENTREPRENEURSHIP6+Hard3 MonthsnoneThis badge was probably prepared by consultants (like a zealot only with no stake in the outcome)! Does require you to start a business, good joint badge with American Business.YY
7ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCEĀ (E Opt)Opt.36+Medium1-8 WeeksnoneEagle Required (or Sustainability). Rewritten to be a bit less zealous, which is good. An important badge, of course! A good one to do at Summer Camp.YYYYYYYYYYYY
137EXPLORATION9+Medium1-8 Weeksnone
129FAMILY LIFE (E)Req.d7Easy3 MonthsnoneEarn brownie points at home! A simple enough merit badge, but it does require some discipline. 90 days is a must for requirement 3.YYYY
48FARM MECHANICS7+Medium1-6 WeeksnoneIf you live on a farm this is a breeze! If not, your camp ranger or a local farmer would appreciate your projects on this one.Y
49FINGERPRINTING5Easy1 WeeknoneYou can probably pick up a finger printing kit from your local police department ... and convince network TV to do a CSI spin-off for your home town.YYYYYYY
50FIRE SAFETY12+Medium3 WeeksnonePyros ... this is the one for you - please! Not hard, but lots of stuff to do, explain, & demonstrate & includes a visit to the fire department.YYYYYY
8FIRST AID (E)Req.d7+Hard1 - 4 WeeksnoneYou must know Tenderfoot, 2nd & 1st Class first aid for this, but it's a good way to kill 4 birds with 1 stone (OK, wound 4 birds & then fix them up). Requires learning & demonstrating CPR. Good 1 to do before many other badges!YYYYYYYYYYYYYY
51FISH AND WILDLIFE MGMT8Medium1 - 4 WeeksnoneGood Summer Camp badge.YYYYYYYYYY
52FISHING9Medium1 - ? WeeksnoneTime to complete this mostly depends on how quickly you can catch 2 fish. Scout fishermen are exempt from "trustworthy" only in reporting the size of the fish that got away (simply because it's tradition)!YYYYYYYYYYYYYY
136FLY FISHING10Medium1 - ? WeeksnoneWhy are there 10 requirements here and only 9 for Fishing you ask? Good question. If you do both together that would make sense, but this does have some special skills needed!YYY
54FORESTRY7+Hard1 - 8 WeeksnoneThis is a good Summer Camp badge. It requires several "collections"/identifications of plants, trees and shrubs.YYYYYYYYY
151GAME DESIGN8Medium1-8 WeeksnoneGame design as in sports, board/card/role-play games, video games and etc. (aka broad definition). If you like games, this is a fun one and a good introduction to design issues, etc.YY
55GARDENING8Medium2 MonthsnoneJust need to watch your garden grow ... and a few other things! It just got promoted "medium" due to a few new requirements, but is still a very straight-forward MB.
56GENEALOGY9Medium2-4 WeeksnoneThe revision brings this badge down a notch from the over-zealous category. It is now more in-line with an introduction to the topic, albeit involved. It should be an interesting badge to do.YYYY
145GEOCACHING9Medium1-4 WeeksnoneThis looks like a pretty fun merit badge. Orienteering skills would help make this more meaningful but not required per se. Some geocaching equipment will be needed but your counselor or camp may have this available.YYYYYYYYYY
58GEOLOGY5+Medium1-16 WeeksnoneIf you are a rock hound ... this is for you. Totally rewritten in 2006, it is now a more reasonable introduction. Still involved, but one you are more likely to tackle, rock-hound or not.YYYYYYYYYY
59GOLF8Easy1-4 WeeksnoneThis is definitely a fun one, play golf and earn a badge!Y
122GRAPHIC ARTS7+Medium2-4 WeeksnoneGood intro to graphic arts and includes a field trip.YYYY
61HIKING (E Opt)Opt.17Medium1-4 Weeks1st Class First AidEagle alternate badge (swimming or cycling). This is a good one to do over a longer period of time based on troop hikes/events.YYYYY
62HOME REPAIRS6+Medium1-4 WeeksnoneMake the folks happy by becoming Mr. Fix-it. I'm for this one!!! Thrift vs. the money pit (a house)!YY
63HORSEMANSHIP11Medium2 MonthsHelps to have a horseA good one to do if you have a horse or like animals. You even get to be "in harmony" with your horse. You could be the next horse whisperer!Y
64INDIAN LORE4+Easy1 WeeknoneCould go well with history. This is a nice introductory level approach to the topic. Kudos to the authors.YYYYYYYYY
65INSECT STUDY11Hard1-3 MonthsnoneIf your school biology class still requires an insect collection, this will be a natural, otherwise the bug collection could be a show stopper. Has definite summer camp possibilities!YYYYYY
144INVENTING9Medium2-12 WeeksnoneLooks like a good introductory type badge. Expect to design your own invention and build a prototype.
66JOURNALISM5Medium1-4 WeeksnoneThis is a nice introductory level approach and very useful for understanding what you read and hear in the news.YYYYYY
149KAYAKING8Medium1-4 WeeksSwimmerSimilar to other boating badges, this requires knowledge of the equipment and demonstrating some skills, but is a lot of fun!YYYYYYYYYYY
67LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE6Easy1 WeeknoneThis is fairly straightforward and a good intro to landscaping. Pamphlet combined with Architecture in 2009.
68LAW11Medium2 WeeksnoneI expected a high-falutin' set of requirements, but found these quite reasonable. A good intro.YY
69LEATHERWORK5Easy1 WeeknoneGood camp badge in terms of having the materials you need, but can be done at home too.YYYYYYYYYYY
9LIFESAVING (E Opt)Opt.215+Medium1-4 WeeksSwimming MB, CPRGood camp badge for pool, etc. This is Eagle required, but optional if Emergency Preparedness has been earned. A good one to do regardless.YYYYYYYYYY
71MAMMAL STUDY5Medium1 WeeknoneHas many options, some more time-consuming than others.YYYYYYYYYYYY
130MEDICINE10+Hard1 MonthnoneGood introduction, but prepared by zealots. Lots of details in this one. Might be able to get into med school after this!YYY
74METALWORK5+Medium1 WeeknoneA good one to do in conjunction with metal shop. Access to proper tools is helpful. Should be able to forge the Tessaiga with these skills.YYY
155MINING IN SOCIETY8+Medium1 MonthnoneThis seems like a good introduction to mining. Much of it is reading and internet searching. A few tasks might take some time to complete simply in finding tracking things/people down to talk to.YY
75MODEL DESIGN AND BUILDING6Medium2 WeeksnoneProject planning and model creation required, but a fun one.YY
76MOTORBOATING6+Medium1-6 WeeksCPRThis is a good one to be an older scout, having 1st Class swimming requirements and CPR (via First Aid or other merit badges) - access to a motorboat is required.YYY
126MOVIEMAKING4Easy1-4 WeeksnoneThis one replaces cinematography because apparently it was easier to spell. This is a fairly easy one to do and getting even easier with many options for shooting a video.YYY
77MUSIC4Easy1-6 MonthsnoneDon't let 6 months scare you off -- one option is being in a band or choir for that long. Good introduction to music.YYYYYYYYY
78NATURE4+Medium1-4 WeeksnoneGood summer camp or merit badge trail activity.YYYYYYYYYY
24NUCLEAR SCIENCE8Medium1-3 MonthsnoneWould go well with high school science. Not hard, but involves research and projects.YYYYY
79OCEANOGRAPHY9Medium1-4 WeeksnoneGood in conjunction with high school biology, good selection of options to choose from.YYYYYYY
80ORIENTEERING10+Medium1-4 WeeksnoneMight be better to be 2nd Class or above, but not essential. You'll know map reading and compass use well after earning this one! Still as a male you may only ask for directions as a last resort!YYYYYYYYYYY
81PAINTING8Easy1-2 WeeksnoneAn easy one, but useful none-the-less. You do not have to paint the counselor's house!YYYYYY
10PERSONAL FITNESS (E)Req.d9+Medium3 MonthsnoneEagle required. This'll get you in shape!YYYYYYYYY
11PERSONAL MANAGEMENT (E)Req.d10+Medium3 MonthsnoneEagle required. This is medium because it requires planning and discipline, but provides good life skills!YYYYYY
82PETS4+Easy4 MonthsnoneEasier that Dog and Horse MBs, but you need 4 months of pet care to earn it.Y
83PHOTOGRAPHY5Easy2-4 WeeksnoneRewritten in 2006 and 2013, this badge is now more of a general introduction to the subject. Should be an easy one to complete.YYYYYYYYY
84PIONEERING10Medium1 WeeknoneGood scout weekend or summer camp badge. Helps to earn this one on your way to Emergency Preparedness and after First Aid (or rank-level First Aid). If you like camp gadgets, you like this!YYYYYYYYYYY
85PLANT SCIENCE7+Hard1-3 MonthsnoneGood companion to gardening MB. Does require growing some plants, hence 1-3 Months. The 2006 rewrite move this into the difficult and "created by zealots" category. It's more like 15 requirements than 7.YYY
86PLUMBING7Medium1-4 WeeksnoneDoes require using a torch and solder, and some plumbing materials and equipment.YYY
87POTTERY8Medium1-4 WeeksnoneYou might find a ceramic/pottery shop offering a course or your counselor providing resources to assist you in doing the projects.YYY
2017 Camps_Fairs + 2015 MB ratings
2014 MB ratings