Merit Badges

Merit Badges are awards earned by Boy Scouts based on activities within an area of study by completing a list of requirements.  There are more than 130 different merit badges and scouts may work on merit badges from they time they join the Troop until they turn 18 years old. There is no time limit for completion of merit badges other than age 18.

Quick Links:  Counselors  |  Workbooks  |  Pamphlets  |  Uniform Sash

Earning Merit Badges

It's important to follow the Merit Badge "Blue Card" Process described below but before you get to that you'll need to choose a merit badge to work on. A complete list of badges are in the sidebar on the right.  Click on each to view the requirements for that merit badge and optionally download its workbook and pamphlet.  Trouble choosing a Merit Badge? Click here to view Mr D's merit badge reviews.

Merit Badge "Blue Card" Process
  1. BEFORE you begin work on a merit badge, you must request approval from the Scoutmaster and get a merit badge Blue Card.  

  2. On the front of the Blue Card fill in your Name, Address, City, Troop, Troop number, District and Council.

    Portsmouth Troop 164
    Historic District
    Daniel Webster Council

    Merit Badge Example - Front 
    (Front of Blue Card)

  3. On the back of the Blue Card fill in the Merit Badge name (three places), the Applicants name (two places), the Unit Number (164) and check the Troop checkbox.

    Blue Card Example - Back 
    (Back of Blue Card)

  4. Ask your Scoutmaster sign and date the front of the Blue Card in the appropriate place and you're ready to start!

  5. You are now ready to work with a Merit Badge Counselor to complete the requirements of the merit badge. The Counselor will fill in, date, and initial the requirements section of the card as each requirement is completed; however some Counselors will just write COMPLETE on this section of the card.

  6. The Counselor should fill in their information in the first section on the back of the Blue Card with their Name, Address, Phone Number, and sign and Date upon completion.

  7. The Counselor should also fill in the completed date and sign the Applicant’s Record portion of the card.

  8. The Counselor's Record section of your Blue Card may be kept by the Counselor for their records.

  9. Once the merit badge is completed and your Blue Card is signed by the Counselor, turn it into your Scoutmaster.  He'll keep the Application for Merit Badge section for the Troop’s records and return the Applicant’s Record along with the Merit Badge itself to the Scout at the next Court of Honor

    IMPORTANT NOTE: Hold onto the Applicant's Records of you Blue Card and Merit Badge as they can be requested by the Eagle Board of Review. 

Merit Badge Counselors

Merit Badge Counselors are volunteers that are knowledgeable in the topic and understand the goals of scouting.  A Merit Badge Counselors role is to assist a Scout over the hurdles of the merit badge requirements and increase his awareness in the deeper aspects of the subject from their knowledge and experience. 

If you're interested in becoming a counselor download and complete the Merit Badge Counselor Application at the bottom of this page and contact the Troop 164 Scout Master at  Like all scout leaders and adult volunteers, counselors must take the online Youth Protection Training each year.

Merit Badge Workbooks

Merit badge workbooks are forms Scouts can use to organize notes and document their work.  These can be downloaded from the merit badge requirement link on the right. Workbooks can either be printed out completed with pen/pencil or you can type right into them on a computer and then print it.  Workbooks are not required for some merit badges but we highly recommend using them to stay organized.

Merit Badge Pamphlets 

Merit badge pamphlets are guidebooks to assist Scouts in completing merit badge requirements.  Use of pamphlets is not required but they can be a great source of information.  Our troop has a small collection of workbooks in the Scout Room you can take home or you can purchase your own from the Scout Store in Manchester NH or order online from

Digital Merit Badge Pamphlets NEW!

The BSA has recently introduced new digital pamphlets for about 20 merit badges including all of the Eagle Required merit badges.  These are interactive versions of the traditional paper pamphlets. They contain more material than the printed pamphlet, as well as multimedia and interactive content and can be used from a computer, tablet or smartphone. Click here to watch an informational YouTube video about the new Digital Merit Badge pamphlets.

  Digital Merit Badge Pamphlets 

Merit Badge Sash

The merit badge sash is like a trophy case you can wear.  The sash is the place to display merit badges and activity or special event patches and insignia.  Each tiny circle represents one of more than 130 interest areas a Boy Scout has conquered.

Sash's may be purchased online from or at the Scout Store in Manchester at Camp Carpenter.  They may also be purchased from Kittery Trading Post in the scouting section of Hiking and Camping department.

Merit Badge Sash Placement

Eagle Required Merit Badges

A sub-group of 17 merit badges are known as the Eagle Required merit badges. To earn Eagle Scout, most of these badges must be earned although some are "either/or" badges.  The Eagle required merit badges are:
  1. American Business
  2. American Cultures
  3. American Heritage
  4. American Labor
  5. Animal Science
  6. Animation 
  7. Archaeology
  8. Archery
  9. Architecture
  10. Art
  11. Astronomy
  12. Athletics
  13. Automotive Maintenance
  14. Aviation
  15. Backpacking
  16. Basketry
  17. Bird Study
  18. Bugling
  19. Camping *
  20. Canoeing
  21. Chemistry
  22. Chess
  23. Citizenship in the Community *
  24. Citizenship in the Nation *
  25. Citizenship in the World *
  26. Climbing
  27. Coin Collecting
  28. Collections
  29. Communication *
  30. Composite Materials
  31. Cooking *
  32. Crime Prevention
  33. Cycling *
  34. Dentistry
  35. Digital Technology 
  36. Disabilities Awareness
  37. Dog Care
  38. Drafting
  39. Electricity
  40. Electronics
  41. Emergency Preparedness *
  42. Energy
  43. Engineering
  44. Entrepreneurship
  45. Environmental Science *
  46. Family Life *
  47. Farm Mechanics
  48. Fingerprinting
  49. Fire Safety
  50. First Aid *
  51. Fish and Wildlife Management
  52. Fishing
  53. Fly Fishing
  54. Forestry
  55. Game Design
  56. Gardening
  57. Genealogy
  58. Geocaching
  59. Geology
  60. Golf
  61. Graphic Arts
  62. Hiking * 
  63. Home Repairs
  64. Horsemanship
  65. Indian Lore
  66. Insect Study
  67. Inventing
  68. Journalism
  69. Kayaking
  70. Landscape Architecture
  71. Law
  72. Leatherwork
  73. Lifesaving *
  74. Mammal Study
  75. Medicine
  76. Metalwork
  77. Mining in Society
  78. Model Design and Building
  79. Motorboating
  80. Movie Making
  81. Music
  82. Nature
  83. Nuclear Science
  84. Oceanography
  85. Orienteering
  86. Painting
  87. Personal Fitness *
  88. Personal Management *
  89. Pets
  90. Photography
  91. Pioneering
  92. Plant Science
  93. Plumbing
  94. Pottery
  95. Programming
  96. Public Health
  97. Public Speaking
  98. Pulp and Paper
  99. Radio
  100. Railroading
  101. Reading
  102. Reptile and Amphibian Study
  103. Rifle Shooting
  104. Robotics 
  105. Rowing
  106. Safety
  107. Salesmanship
  108. Scouting Heritage
  109. Scholarship
  110. Scuba Diving
  111. Sculpture
  112. Search & Rescue
  113. Shotgun Shooting
  114. Signs, Signals and Codes
  115. Skating
  116. Small-Boat Sailing
  117. Snow Sports
  118. Soil and Water Conservation
  119. Space Exploration
  120. Sports
  121. Stamp Collecting
  122. Surveying
  123. Sustainability *
  124. Swimming *
  125. Textile
  126. Theater
  127. Traffic Safety
  128. Truck Transportation
  129. Veterinary Medicine
  130. Water Sports
  131. Weather
  132. Welding
  133. Whitewater
  134. Wilderness Survival
  135. Wood Carving
  136. Woodwork
* Eagle Required Merit Badges
† Digital Pamphlet Available

Troop 164 Portsmouth NH,
Nov 11, 2016, 11:43 AM