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All Eagle-Required Merit Badges ⚜️

Eagle Required Merit Badges Rank

Eagle-required merit badges are essential steps in a Scout’s journey, but some are more challenging than others. If you’re curious about how tough each badge is and when it’s best to try to earn them, you’ve come to the right place!

Certain Eagle-required badges are often earned during specific scouting activities or classes, which helps to determine their difficulty level. The higher the ranking, the more work you’ll probably need to do outside of regular scouting events. But don’t worry – just because a badge might be tough, that doesn’t mean it won’t also be fun and rewarding.

In this post, you’ll see short overviews of the 14 badges you need to become an Eagle Scout. We’ll also talk about how hard each badge is to get and give you useful links that show you how to complete each one.

So, whether you’re a younger scout or a more experienced one, this guide will help you navigate your way through these essential achievements.

Here are the 14 badges you need to become an Eagle Scout:

Are you wondering if there’s a good order to complete the Eagle-required merit badges? There is! As an Eagle Scout who has earned almost all of these badges, I have some strong suggestions on the best order to tackle them.

I’ll break down the 14 Eagle-required badges into three categories; Badges that are great for younger scouts (under 15), badges that are suitable for scouts around 15 years old, and badges that are best for older scouts (aged 15+).

Eagle-Required Merit Badges for Younger Scouts (Under 15)

For younger scouts under 15, it is suitable to take 4 of the 6 types of the merit badges. Starting from:

  • First Aid
  • Cooking
  • Camping
  • Swimming or Hiking or Cycling

1. First Aid

first aid eagle required merit badge

Overview: The First Aid merit badge is all about teaching scouts how to help if they see someone in a medical emergency. It’s often one of the first badges that scouts work on, and that’s important. Knowing First Aid makes all the activities in Scouting safer!

Overall Difficulty: 6 out of 10
First Aid isn’t too hard, but it’s not super easy either. You can usually finish it in troop meetings or Summer camp. There are 14 things to do, and most of them are about knowing things, not doing things. You won’t need to study too much.

Hardest Requirement: The toughest thing is showing how to do CPR on a practice thing that’s like a person. You’ll usually need to do this in a special CPR class. But don’t worry, this is just to make sure you really know how to help if someone needs it!

Here’s an easy way to understand the First Aid merit badge:

OverviewLearn how to help in a medical emergency; a common first badge for scouts.
General DifficultyIt’s middle-hard, with mostly knowing things and some showing things; you can do it in regular Scout meetings or camp.
Hardest RequirementShowing how to do CPR, which you usually learn in a special class.

This badge is all about knowing what to do if someone gets hurt or sick. It’s important for everyone, not just scouts, so it’s a great thing to learn check this for First Aid Merit Badge Guide!

2. Camping

camping eagle required merit badges

Overview: The Camping merit badge is a fantastic blend of outdoor activities and learning. Scouts will dive into outdoor ethics, camping safety, and planning for trips. Earning this badge is a sign that you’ve reached a higher level in Scouting. It’s all about having fun and knowing how to camp the right way.

Overall Difficulty: 7 out of 10
Camping might be a bit challenging, but it’s so much fun! If you’ve been a scout for about a year and a half, you’ve probably gone on enough camping trips to do the hardest part. The rest is about learning more about camping and getting even better at it.

Hardest Requirement: The trickiest thing is camping for 20 nights. That’s a lot! You’ll also need to try some cool camping activities like sliding down ropes (rappelling) or walking in special snow shoes. If you’ve been a scout for a while, though, this will probably be pretty fun and not too hard.

Here’s an easy way to understand the Camping merit badge:

OverviewLearn about outdoor fun, safety, and planning; show that you know how to camp well.
General DifficultyIt’s a bit hard but lots of fun; you’ll need to know things and show things; you can do it if you’ve been camping before.
Hardest RequirementCamping for 20 nights and trying some cool activities; it’s fun if you’ve been a scout for a while.

Camping is one of the best parts of being a scout. This badge helps you learn how to do it even better, so you can have more fun and stay safe!

3. Cooking

cooking campfire eagle required

Overview: Cooking isn’t just about making tasty meals; it’s also about understanding proper nutrition, how to keep food safe, and how to cook outdoors while camping. The Cooking merit badge is often the first one that scouts earn on their own, without help from troop classes or events. It’s a chance to show off your kitchen skills and learn new ones!

Overall Difficulty: 6 out of 10
Cooking might sound easy, but this badge asks you to cook different dishes in different ways. You’ll need to know about food safety too. If you’ve done some camping and cooking before, though, you should find it pretty fun and not too hard.

Hardest Requirement: The trickiest part is making three camp meals for your patrol or a group of up to 8 people. One of the meals must be cooked using a Dutch oven, foil pack, or skewers. Hope you’re ready to feed some hungry scouts!

Here’s a simple way to understand the Cooking badge:

OverviewLearn about good food, how to keep it safe, and how to cook in camp; show that you know how to make tasty meals.
Total DifficultyIt’s a bit tricky but tasty; you’ll need to cook different things and know about food safety; fun if you’ve cooked before.
Hardest RequirementCook three big meals for your friends; one has to be cooked in a special way; get ready to make some happy campers!

Learning to cook is a useful skill that you’ll use all your life. This badge helps you learn to do it the right way, whether you’re in your kitchen at home or around a campfire with friends!

4. Swimming or Hiking or Cycling

hiking eagle required

Overview: These three badges are all about testing your physical strength and stamina. They’re often done as group activities with your troop, but that doesn’t mean they’re easy! Each one offers a different challenge. Swimming might be the most accessible because classes are sometimes offered at summer camps.

Overall Difficulty: Swimming 6, Hiking 8, Cycling 9 out of 10
Swimming might be the easiest, but you still need to be a good swimmer. Hiking and Cycling require serious effort and preparation. These aren’t activities you can just decide to do on a whim; they’ll take some training.

Hardest Requirement: For Swimming, you’ll have to show off different strokes over 150 yards. If you can swim, it shouldn’t be too hard. Hiking requires a 20-mile hike, and Cycling needs a 50-mile bike ride. Both of those are serious physical challenges!

Here’s an easy way to understand:

OverviewThree badges that test your physical skills in different ways; often done with your troop, but still challenging.
Total DifficultySwimming is the easiest, but all three will test you; Hiking and Cycling are especially tough.
Hardest RequirementSwimming requires a 150-yard swim; Hiking needs a 20-mile hike; Cycling requires a 50-mile ride. Serious challenges for serious scouts!

These badges aren’t just about sports. They teach you about setting goals, training to meet them, and then pushing yourself to succeed. Whether you’re in the water, on a trail, or riding a bike, you’ll learn a lot about what you can do when you set your mind to it!

Eagle-Required Merit Badges for Around 15 Years Old

For scouts Around Age 15, it’s suitable to take 6 of the 8 types of the merit badges. Starting from :

  • Citizenship in the Community
  • Citizenship in the Society
  • Citizenship in the Nation
  • Citizenship in the World
  • Emergency Preparedness or Lifesaving
  • Environmental Science or Sustainability

1. Citizenship in the Community

citizen in the community eagle required

Overview: The Citizenship in the Community merit badge is about understanding how local government works and finding ways to help in your community. It’s a challenging badge but offers a great way to learn about the place you live and how you can make a positive difference.

Overall Difficulty: 8 out of 10
This is often seen as the toughest citizenship merit badge. You’ll need to complete specific projects, volunteer in your community, and understand various aspects of how local government and organizations function.

Hardest Requirement: Requirement 7 asks you to volunteer for a total of 8 hours with an organization that helps your community. You’ll also need to attend local events and create a presentation that highlights unique aspects of where you live.

Here’s an easy way to understand:

OverviewUnderstanding local government and identifying ways to contribute to your community.
Total DifficultyChallenging at 8, with a mix of projects, volunteering, and learning.
Hardest RequirementVolunteering for 8 hours, attending local events, and creating a presentation about your community.

The Citizenship in the Community badge isn’t just about earning a badge; it’s about becoming a more informed and engaged member of your community. You’ll learn about the people and organizations that make your community what it is, and find ways to contribute positively.

Whether it’s through volunteering, attending local events, or simply understanding how things work at a local level, you’ll come away with a richer understanding of the place you call home.

2. Citizenship in the Society

Overview: Citizenship in Society is an important merit badge that guides scouts in recognizing their part in their community and country. This badge emphasizes the principles of ethical leadership, embracing diversity, and the dangers of prejudice.

Overall Difficulty: 5 out of 10
The badge is considered moderate in difficulty. While it doesn’t require strenuous activities, it does need careful thought, understanding, and some research.

Hardest Requirement: Requirement 7 challenges you to find and interview a person who has shown strong moral values in your community or study a historical figure who has demonstrated these values.

Here’s an easy way to understand:

OverviewLearning about ethical leadership, valuing diversity, and understanding the harmful effects of prejudice.
Total DifficultyModerate at 5, mostly involving understanding and thoughtful contemplation.
Hardest RequirementInterviewing or researching someone who has demonstrated moral courage and leadership.

Citizenship in Society is a profound badge that instills the values of moral courage, leadership, and community responsibility. It guides scouts to reflect on their role as responsible citizens, to appreciate the diverse views that make up their community, and to recognize and stand against prejudice.

By engaging with these principles, scouts are better prepared to navigate the complex social landscape with integrity and empathy.

3. Citizenship in the Nation

citizen in the nation eagle required

Overview: The Citizenship in the Nation merit badge is designed to teach scouts about their rights and duties as citizens. This badge helps them learn about the American government’s history and current functions at the national level.

Overall Difficulty: 7 out of 10
This badge falls into the moderately difficult category. It requires understanding the fundamental aspects of the government and working on projects like exploring a national center or writing a letter to an elected official.

Hardest Requirement: Requirement 8, which involves writing a letter to an elected official in your district, can be the most challenging part. You’ll also need to discuss any responses you receive with your counselor.

Here’s an easy way to understand:

OverviewLearning about citizens’ rights, responsibilities, and understanding the American government on a national level.
Total DifficultyModerate at 7, mainly focusing on comprehension and engagement with government principles.
Hardest RequirementWriting a letter to an elected official and discussing their response with a counselor.

Citizenship in the Nation encourages scouts to understand their vital role as citizens. By exploring the history and present functions of the American government, they develop a foundation that helps them appreciate the rights and responsibilities of being a part of the nation.

The badge is best suited for older scouts, around the age of 15, who have some background in world history and civics, as it complements the learning they may have already started in school.

4. Citizenship in the World

citizenship in the world eagle required

Overview: The Citizenship in the World merit badge introduces scouts to organizations that promote international law, as well as different cultures and worldwide events. The badge aims to foster a more open-minded and accepting view of the diverse world we live in.

Overall Difficulty: 6 out of 10
This badge is considered to be on the easier side among the Citizenship merit badges, focusing on comprehension and awareness. A committed scout could potentially study and complete the entire badge in a single sitting.

Hardest Requirement: Requirement 3 might be the most challenging part. It involves researching a current global issue and understanding the different countries involved. This will require some understanding of geography and politics.

Here’s an easy way to understand:

OverviewLearning about international law, cultures, and global events to become more accepting of people worldwide.
Total DifficultyRated 6, this badge mainly tests the ability to comprehend global concepts and connections.
Hardest RequirementResearching a current world issue and understanding the involved countries, requiring knowledge in geography and politics.

Citizenship in the World teaches scouts about the interconnectedness of nations and the importance of international cooperation. By exploring different cultures and understanding how global organizations work, scouts become more open-minded and accepting of diverse perspectives.

The badge encourages scouts to recognize their place in a global community and is recommended for those who have already taken classes in world history and geography. This foundational knowledge aids in understanding the broader context of the global issues they will explore.

5. Emergency Preparedness or Lifesaving

emergency preparedness for natural disaster

Scouts often have the option to work on either the Emergency Preparedness merit badge or the Lifesaving merit badge. Here’s a simple explanation to help you understand the difference between the two:

  • Emergency Preparedness: This badge focuses on how to react and stop various kinds of problems. Most of it is about knowing what to do, but you’ll also need to earn the First Aid merit badge first. The hardest part is getting the First Aid badge and doing a special project with your Scout group or a community agency.
Difficulty Level6 out of 10
Key FocusResponding to emergencies
Hardest PartEarning the First Aid merit badge and participating in an emergency solution project
  • Lifesaving: This badge is about dealing with water emergencies. It’s often done in a pool with someone who knows about lifeguarding. It teaches you how to swim and rescue people in the water. It’s harder than the Swimming merit badge. The toughest part is swimming 400 yards and showing you can do different kinds of rescues in the water.
Difficulty Level7 out of 10
Key FocusWater rescue
Hardest PartSwimming 400 yards and completing various water rescue exercises

Both of these badges can be good to have, but they focus on different things. Emergency Preparedness is more about knowing things, while Lifesaving is more about doing things, especially in the water. Choose the one that interests you the most!

6. Environmental Science or Sustainability

Environmental Science Eagle Required Merit Badges

The Environmental Science and Sustainability merit badges are options for scouts who want to learn about taking care of nature and using resources wisely. Here’s a simple breakdown of the two:

  • Environmental Science: This badge teaches you about how people and nature affect each other. You’ll learn through experiments and reports, making you understand how what we do can change the environment. The hardest part might be requirements 3 and 4, where you’ll either have to conduct experiments or write reports, and observe a plot of land for at least a week.
Difficulty Level8 out of 10
Key FocusHuman interaction with nature
Hardest PartExperiments or reports, observing land for a week
  • Sustainability: This badge is more about cutting down on waste at home, like using less water or throwing away less food. It helps you plan how to make things last and not use them up too fast. The toughest part is Requirement 2, where you’ll need to make and carry out plans to use less water, food, and energy at home. This could take at least a month to do.
Difficulty Level9 out of 10
Key FocusReducing waste at home
Hardest PartPlanning and implementing ways to use resources wisely for a month

Both badges are about taking care of the Earth, but they focus on different parts of that big job. Environmental Science is more about learning how things work, while Sustainability is about using things in a way that they’ll be there for the future. Both can be a bit tricky, but they offer valuable lessons on how to live in harmony with nature.

Eagle-Required Merit Badges for Older Scouts (Aged 15+)

A quick note, I have actually saved these badges for older precursors since they’re typically done individually and handle subjects that are much more complex and also ‘adult’.

You earn merit badges to learn life abilities, so to get the most out of Scouting, I ‘d very recommend you wait up until you’re 15 before beginning any one of the following badges.

For older scouts over 15, it is suitable to take 4 types of merit badges. Starting from:

  • Personal Management
  • Personal Fitness
  • Family Life
  • Communication

1. Personal Management

The Personal Management merit badge helps scouts learn how to manage their money and finances, skills that are vital for young people. This badge requires careful tracking of a personal budget over three months, understanding various financial terms, and completing several projects. It’s considered one of the most useful and also one of the hardest Eagle-required merit badges to earn.

OverviewTeaches scouts how to manage finances, including budgeting and understanding financial terms
Total DifficultyRated 8, requires initiative and understanding of financial concepts and the completion of a few detailed projects
Hardest RequirementCreating and tracking a personal budget over 13 consecutive weeks, plus hours of research on financial concepts

Requirement 2, which involves creating a budget and tracking expenses for 13 consecutive weeks, is particularly challenging. In addition, scouts must invest time in researching various financial knowledge requirements.

These practical abilities in managing money will serve scouts well in their future lives, helping them to make wise financial decisions and live within their means.

2. Personal Fitness

The Personal Fitness merit badge is an insightful journey into the world of health and physical well-being. It provides scouts with the knowledge and practice of maintaining a fit body, making nutritious food choices, and establishing consistent health habits.

While this badge may take time, those who are active in school sports or physical education classes may find parts of it familiar and easier.

OverviewTeaches scouts the importance of taking care of their body, understanding nutrition, and maintaining regular exercise.
Total DifficultyRated 8, most of the badge focuses on personal activities and knowledge. The real challenge is maintaining consistency over an extended period.
Hardest RequirementCreating and sticking to a fitness routine for 12 weeks, while maintaining a detailed log of activities and improvements in various fitness areas.

The most challenging aspect for many scouts is Requirements 7 and 8, where they need to design a fitness routine and follow it diligently for 12 weeks. During this period, scouts must keep a detailed log, capturing their activities and noting their progress in different fitness areas. If you take the PE class, these requirements become much easier to complete.

3. Family Life

The Family Life merit badge focuses on teaching scouts the importance of working together within a family and building essential skills needed for future family responsibilities. It’s best suited for older scouts who are taking on more responsibilities both inside and outside their homes.

OverviewEmphasizes family cooperation and provides insights into responsibilities required in family life.
Overall DifficultyRated 7, requires discussions with parents, tracking household chores, creating a family project, and holding a family meeting.
Hardest RequirementRequirement 3 involves tracking and completing at least 5 regular chores for at least 90 days, demanding strong organizational skills.

The Family Life merit badge helps scouts appreciate the dynamics of family cooperation and the vital roles everyone plays in maintaining harmony. The most challenging part, Requirement 3, asks scouts to track and complete household chores for at least 90 days, instilling discipline and organizational skills.

This badge doesn’t just concern housework; it’s about understanding what it takes to be a responsible and contributing member of a family.

By staying engaged with family members, actively participating in household duties, and even leading a family project, scouts learn valuable lessons that prepare them for their future roles in their families and communities. It emphasizes communication, leadership, responsibility, and the importance of family in a well-rounded life.

4. Communication

The Communication merit badge guides scouts in structuring their thoughts and expressing themselves clearly. It’s more than just talking; it’s about effective communication through presentations, interviews, and written content.

OverviewTeaches scouts to communicate effectively, understand different styles of communication, and present on behalf of their troop.
Overall DifficultyRated 9, considered one of the most challenging merit badges due to the requirement of scripting, planning events, and giving multiple presentations.
Hardest RequirementRequirements 2-8 involve scripting and planning events, attending local meetings, and presenting on various occasions.

The Communication merit badge is often one of the last ones that Eagle Scouts earn because of its difficulty. This badge is not just about talking; it’s about engaging the audience, understanding the context, and conveying a message effectively.

Through exercises in presenting, interviewing, and writing, scouts learn how to express themselves clearly and persuasively. These are life skills that will benefit them in many areas, from school and work to personal relationships.

The challenges of this badge help to instill a sense of confidence and competence in communication, preparing them for leadership roles and public speaking in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How many Eagle Required Merit Badges must be earned?

To become an Eagle Scout, a scout must earn a minimum of 21 merit badges, 14 of which are required Eagle badges.

Who approves the completion of a merit badge?

A merit badge counselor who is registered and approved by the local BSA council must review and approve the completion of the merit badge.

What if I lose my merit badge card?

If a merit badge card is lost, you should contact your Scoutmaster or local council office for assistance. They may have a record or can help you obtain a replacement.

Can a scout continue to earn merit badges after reaching the Eagle Scout rank?

Yes, an Eagle Scout can continue to earn additional merit badges and receive recognition through Eagle Palms.

I'm a Mechanical Engineer and lifelong Eagle Scout. My passion for scouting guides my writing, aiming to inspire fellow Scouts on their path. Thanks for reading, and best wishes on your journey to Eagle!