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Resources include the Nature merit badge worksheet in PDF format Adobe Acrobat PDF and Word format Microsoft Word DOC document, links, and cross-references to related badges and awards.
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This is the Nature merit badge for Scouts, Lone Scouts, and qualified Venturers or Sea Scouts.

Nature merit badge
Status: Elective
Created: 1952
Discontinued: no
BSA Advancement ID: 078
Requirements revision: 2018
Latest pamphlet revision: 2014


There is a very close connection between the soil, the plants, and all animal life, including people. Understanding this connection, and the impact we have upon it, is important to preserving the wilderness, as well as to our own well-being as members of the web of nature.

Nature is one of the elective merit badges for the William T. Hornaday awards for Scouts BSA.

Nature merit badge requirements

  1. Name three ways in which plants are important to animals. Name a plant that is important to animals that is protected in your state or region, and explain why it is at risk.
  2. Name three ways in which animals are important to plants. Name an animal that is protected in your state or region, and explain why it is at risk.
  3. Explain the term "food chain." Give an example of a four-step land food chain and a four-step water food chain.
  4. Do all the requirements in FIVE of the following fields:
    (a) Birds
    (1) In the field, identify eight species of birds.
    (2) Make and set out a birdhouse OR a feeding station OR a birdbath. List what birds used it during a period of one month.
    (b) Mammals
    (1) In the field, identify three species of wild mammals.
    (2) Make plaster casts of the tracks of a wild mammal.
    (c) Reptiles and Amphibians
    (1) Show that you can recognize the venomous snakes in your area.
    (2) In the field, identify three species of reptiles or amphibians.
    (3) Recognize one species of toad or frog by voice; OR identify one reptile or amphibian by eggs, den, burrow or other signs.
    (d) Insects and Spiders
    (1) Collect and identify either in the field or through photographs 10 species of insects or spiders.*
    (2) Hatch an insect from the pupa or cocoon; OR hatch adults from nymphs; OR keep larvae until they form pupae or cocoons; OR keep a colony of ants or bees through one season.
    (e) Fish
    (1) Identify two species of fish native to your area.
    (2) Collect four kinds of animal food eaten by fish in the wild.
    (f) Mollusks and Crustateans
    (1) Identify five species of mollusks and crustaceans.
    (2) Collect, mount, and label six shells.
    (g) Plants
    (1) In the field, identify 15 species of wild plants.
    (2) Collect and label seeds of six plants; OR the leaves of 12 plants.
    (h) Soils and Rocks
    (1) Collect and identify soils found in different layers of a soil profile.
    (2) Collect and identify five different types of rocks from your area.
* Photos may be those taken with your own equipment or gathered from other sources.
  • In most cases all specimens should be returned to the wild at the location of original capture after the requirements have been met. Check with your merit badge counselor for those instances where the return of these specimens would not be appropriate.
  • Under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, some plants and animals are or may be protected by federal law. The same ones and/or others may be protected by state law. Be sure that you do not collect protected species.
  • Your state may require that you purchase and carry a license to collect certain species. Check with the wildlife and fish and game official in your state regarding species regulations before you begin to collect.

The official source for the information shown in this is:
Boy Scout Requirements, 2018 Edition (BSA Supply SKU #641568)

View the change list (history) of these requirements. The text of these requirements may be locked. In that case, they can only be edited
by an administrator.
Please note any errors found in the above requirements on this article's Talk Page.


Worksheet A FREE workbook for Nature is available here! (PDF or Word) with the maps, charts, links, diagrams, and checklists you need! Or click here to print just the Nature requirements. has PDF and Word versions of workbooks for Scouts BSA ranks and merit badges, Cub Scouting ranks and adventures, and STEM Nova awards.

  1. The BSA Nature Troop Program Feature offers meeting and activity plans to include Nature as one of your monthly themes.
  2. Nature is a popular summer camp merit badge.

Requirement resources

Related awards

  1. Requirement 4g is nearly identical to Requirement 1 from the Forestry merit badge.
  2. Requirements 4a, b, c, d, e, & f can count toward Requirement 6a from the Fish and Wildlife Management merit badge and can be completed by doing Second Class Requirement 6.
  3. Requirement 4g(1) is partially fulfilled by completing Tenderfoot Requirement 11 and First Class Requirement 6.
Ecology-related awards

See also

Scouts BSA portal
Venturing portal
Sea Scout portal
General Merit Badge information

External links

American Birding Association - American Bird Conservancy - Audubon Society

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