I have just three words: "Camping Is Back!"
After staking out a spot in seventh or eighth place in popularity from 2014 to 2018, the Eagle-required Camping merit badge jumped to third place in the 2019 rankings, released this month. The 52,328 young people who earned Camping in 2019 accounted for a 5% increase over 2018’s total.
Still, that wasn’t enough to unseat the First Aid merit badge, which extended its reign at No. 1 to five years. Camping also couldn’t pass the Swimming merit badge, which picked up the silver medal.
2019 was a big year for the American Business and Backpacking merit badges, too. The pair saw their earn totals skyrocket by 166% and 78%, respectively. The news wasn’t so great for the Plant Science merit badge (down 21%) or Dentistry merit badge (down 22%), however. Let’s take a deep dive into the complete list — from 2019’s most popular merit badge to its rarest.
The actual top 10 merit badges in 2019 has something in common: it’s required to earn the Eagle Scout award, Scouts BSA’s highest honor.
The BSA didn’t select its Eagle-required badges at random. Together, they represent a set of essential skills for life.
Rank Merit Badge 2019 earned
1. First Aid - 62,352
2. Swimming - 59,074
3. Camping - 52,328
4. Citizenship in the World - 50,700
5. Personal Fitness - 49,802
6. Cooking - 49,039
7. Personal Management - 48,464
8. Citizenship in the Nation - 48,182
9. Communication - 48,117
10. Family Life - 47,788
The alternative top 10 (Now let’s grade on a curve). If we eliminate the Eagle-required merit badges from the list, which do Scouts earn most? You’ll find a common theme in the list below. These are offered at most summer camps, giving Scouts an excellent opportunity to complete them.
Rank Merit Badge 2019 earned:
1. Fingerprinting - 36,510
2. Rifle Shooting - 34,049
3. Archery - 31,934
4. Leatherwork - 31,397
5. Wood Carving - 28,599
6. Kayaking - 28,093
7. Chess - 25,999
8. Wilderness Survival - 25,863
9. Fishing - 23,589
10. Art - 23,074
Do you want to see the rankings of the Bottom 10 or the entire list? Just go to the following link to read the entire article: