Merit Badges

Here are a few great links to online Merit Badge information:

Cycling Merit Badge

posted Jun 15, 2011, 4:22 PM by Ronald Burke   [ updated Jun 15, 2011, 4:34 PM ]

We will be working on the Cycling Merit Badge during our June Cycling trip to Martha's Vineyard so take some time to review the requirements!

Note: Either the Cycling Merit Badge or Swimming Merit Badge or Hiking Merit Badge is Required to earn the Eagle Scout Rank

Requirements for the Cycling merit badge:

  1. Show that you know first aid for injuries or illnesses that could occur while cycling, including hypothermia, heat reactions, frostbite, dehydration, insect stings, tick bites, snakebite, blisters, and hyperventilation.
  2. Clean and adjust a bicycle. Prepare it for inspection using a bicycle safety checklist. Be sure the bicycle meets local laws.
  3. Show your bicycle to your counselor for inspection. Point out the adjustments or repairs you have made. Do the following:
    1. Show all points that need oiling regularly.
    2. Show the points that should be checked regularly to make sure the bicycle is safe to ride.
    3. Show how to adjust brakes, seat level and height, and steering tube.
  4. Describe how to brake safely with foot brakes and with hand brakes.
  5. Show how to repair a flat. Use an old bicycle tire.
  6. Take a road test with your counselor and demonstrate the following:
    1. Proper mount, pedal, and brake including emergency stops.
    2. On an urban street with light traffic, properly execute a left turn from the center of the street; also demonstrate an alternate left turn technique used during periods of heavy traffic.
    3. Properly execute a right turn.
    4. Demonstrate appropriate actions at a right-turn-only lane when you are continuing straight.
    5. Show proper curbside and road-edge riding. Show how to ride safely along a row of parked cars.
    6. Cross railroad tracks properly.
  7. Describe your state's traffic laws for bicycles. Compare them with motor-vehicle laws. Know the bicycle-safety guidelines.
  8. Avoiding main highways, take two rides of 10 miles each, two rides of 15 miles each, and two rides of 25 miles each. You must make a report of the rides taken. List dates, routes traveled, and interesting things seen. 
    The bicycle must have all required safety features. It must be registered as required by your local traffic laws.
  9. After fulfilling requirement 8, lay out on a road map a 50-mile trip. Stay away from main highways. Using your map, make this ride in eight hours.

Geocaching Merit Badge

posted Mar 31, 2011, 11:00 AM by Ronald Burke   [ updated Jun 15, 2011, 4:42 PM ]

The Geocaching merit badge was introduced in December 2010 and is the newest addition to your merit badge choices.

Requirements for the Geocaching Merit Badge:
  1. Do the following:
    1. Explain to your counselor the most likely hazards you may encounter while participating in geocaching activities and what you should do to anticipate, help prevent, mitigate, and respond to these hazards.
    2. Discuss first aid and prevention for the types of injuries or illnesses that could occur while participating in geocaching activities, including cuts, scrapes, snakebite, insect stings, tick bites, exposure to poisonous plants, heat and cold reactions (sunburn, heatstroke, heat exhaustion, hypothermia), and dehydration.
    3. Discuss how to properly plan an activity that uses GPS, including using the buddy system, sharing your plan with others, and considering the weather, route, and proper attire.
  2. Discuss the following with your counselor:
    1. Why you should never bury a cache.
    2. How to use proper geocaching etiquette when hiding or seeking a cache, and how to properly hide, post, maintain, and dismantle a geocache
    3. The principles of Leave No Trace as they apply to geocaching
  3. Explain the following terms used in geocaching: waypoint, log, cache, accuracy, difficulty and terrain ratings, attributes, trackable. Choose five additional terms to explain to your counselor.
  4. Explain how the Global Positioning System (GPS) works. Then, using Scouting’s teaching EDGE, demonstrate the use of a GPS unit to your counselor. Include marking and editing a waypoint, changing field functions, and changing the coordinate system in the unit.
  5. Do the following:
    1. Show you know how to use a map and compass and explain why this is important for geocaching.
    2. Explain the similarities and differences between GPS navigation and standard map reading skills and describe the benefits of each.
    3. Explain the UTM (Universal Transverse Mercator) system and how it differs from the latitude/longitude system used for public geocaches.
    4. Show how to plot a UTM waypoint on a map. Compare the accuracy to that found with a GPS unit.
  6. Describe the four steps to finding your first cache to your counselor. Then mark and edit a waypoint.
  7. With your parent’s permission*, go to www.geocaching.com. Type in your zip code to locate public geocaches in your area. Share the posted information about three of those geocaches with your counselor. Then, pick one of the three and find the cache. 
    *To fulfill this requirement, you will need to set up a free user account with www.geocaching.com. Ask your parent for permission and help before you do so.
  8. Do ONE of the following:
    1. If a Cache to Eagle® series exists in your council, visit at least three of the 12 locations in the series. Describe the projects that each cache you visit highlights, and explain how the Cache to Eagle® program helps share our Scouting service with the public.
    2. Create a Scouting-related Travel Bug® that promotes one of the values of Scouting. "Release" your Travel Bug into a public geocache and, with your parent’s permission, monitor its progress at www.geocaching.com for 30 days. Keep a log, and share this with your counselor at the end of the 30-day period.
    3. Set up and hide a public geocache, following the guidelines in the Geocaching merit badge pamphlet. Before doing so, share with your counselor a six-month maintenance plan for the geocache where you are personally responsible for the first three months. After setting up the geocache, with your parent’s permission, follow the logs online for 30 days and share them with your counselor.
    4. Explain what Cache In Trash Out (CITO) means, and describe how you have practiced CITO at public geocaches or at a CITO event. Then, either create CITO containers to leave at public caches, or host a CITO event for your unit or for the public.
  9. Plan a geohunt for a youth group such as your troop or a neighboring pack, at school, or your place of worship. Choose a theme, set up a course with at least four waypoints, teach the players how to use a GPS unit, and play the game. Tell your counselor about your experience, and share the materials you used and developed for this event.

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