2013 Boy Scout Requirement Changes

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Highlights of the Boy Scout Requirements changes for 2013 are below. You can also go directly to the updated requirements pages:

Boy Scouts
 Rank changes:  Second Class  First Class  Star  Life
 Eagle Scout  Eagle Scout rank alternative requirements
 Merit Badge changes:  Astronomy  Automotive Maintenance  Bird Study
 Chess  Citizenship in the Community  Communication
 Composite Materials  Dog Care
 Emergency Preparedness  Fire Safety  Fishing
 Gardening  Hiking  Home Repairs  Law
 Oceanography  Orienteering  Photography  Safety
 Wilderness Survival  Wood Carving
 New Merit Badges:  Kayaking  Search and Rescue

2013 Boy Scout Requirements

The requirements for rank advancement, Eagle Palms, and merit badges are effective January 1, 2013, through December 2013. The requirements listed in this book are the official requirements of the Boy Scouts of America. However, the requirements on the following pages might not match those in the Boy Scout Handbook and the merit badge pamphlets, because this publication is updated only on an annual basis. These merit badge requirements also appear on the BSA’s official website (http://www.scouting.org). The requirements posted on the website will coincide with this publication and will be updated at the same time, only on an annual basis.

If a Scout has already started working on a merit badge when a new edition of the pamphlet is introduced, he may continue to use the same merit badge pamphlet and fulfill the requirements therein to earn the badge. He need not start over again with the new pamphlet and possibly revised requirements.

No council, district, unit, or individual has the authority to add to, or to subtract from, any advancement requirements. For more detailed information, see the Guide to Advancement.

MeritBadgeDotOrg Editor's note

Unlike merit badges, modifications to rank requirements become effective immediately upon release from the National Council. If you have not yet had your Board of Review for one of the above ranks, you must meet the new/changed requirements.

New Sustainability Merit Badge to Be an Eagle-Required Option

Starting in summer 2013, when the Sustainability merit badge becomes available, those working toward the Eagle Scout rank may choose to earn either the Sustainability merit badge OR the Environmental Science merit badge. Earning one or the other merit badge will be required. Scouts who have already earned Environmental Science may also earn Sustainability, but only one of the two merit badges will count as “Eagle-required.” The other may count as an elective merit badge necessary to reach the total of 21 required merit badges.

Starting Jan. 1, 2014, Cooking Merit Badge to Be Required for Eagle.

Effective Jan. 1, 2014, the Cooking merit badge will be required to obtain the Eagle Scout rank. Regardless of when a Scout earned the Life rank or began working toward Eagle, unless he fulfills all the rank requirements—with the exception of his board of review—before Jan. 1, 2014, he must earn the Cooking merit badge to become an Eagle Scout.

Rank requirement changes for

  • Second Class—See requirements 3e, 3f, and 3g.
  • First Class—See requirement 4a.
  • Star—See requirement 5.
  • Life—See requirement 5.
  • Eagle—See requirements 4 and 7.
  • Eagle Scout rank alternative requirements

Minor merit badge requirement updates for

  • Astronomy (3b, 9)
  • Automotive Maintenance (1, 8d)
  • Bird Study (7b)
  • Chess (3)
  • Citizenship in the Community (3a)
  • Communication (1a, 1b)
  • Composite Materials (1)
  • Dog Care (10)
  • Emergency Preparedness (2b)
  • Fire Safety (7c)
  • Fishing (1)
  • Gardening (1, 3, 6)
  • Hiking (5, 6)
  • Home Repairs (1, 6b)
  • Law (11)
  • Oceanography (8b)
  • Orienteering (6c)
  • Photography (3)
  • Safety (6, 7)
  • Wilderness Survival (1)
  • Wood Carving (1)


  • 2013 Boy Scout Requirements
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