U. S. Scouting Service Project at http://usscouts.org


Effective: January 1, 1998

ussspdiv.gif (1704 bytes)

Environmental Science
Home Repair (1993)
Oceanography (1995)
Personal Management



Environmental Science:

The requirements have been completely revised and now read as follows: 

  • 1. Make a timeline of the history of environmental science in America. Identify the contribution made by the Boy Scouts of America to environmental science. Include dates, names of people or organizations, and important events.
  • 2. Define the following terms and describe the relationships among them: population, community, ecosystem, biosphere, symbiosis, niche, habitat, conservation, threatened species, endangered species, extinction.
  • 3. Do ONE activity in EACH of the following categories (using the activities in the merit badge pamphlet as the bases for planning and carrying out your projects), and record your findings:
    • (a) Ecology
      • (1) Conduct an experiment to find out how living things respond to changes in their environments. Discuss your observations with your counselor.
      • (2) Conduct an experiment illustrating the greenhouse effect. Keep a journal of your data and observations. Discuss your conclusions with your counselor.
    • (b) Air Pollution
      • (1) Perform an experiment to test for particulates that contribute to air pollution. Discuss your findings with your counselor.
      • (2) Conduct a study to test the effects of acid rain on plants. Discuss your findings with your counselor.
    • (c) Water Pollution 
      • (1) Conduct an experiment to show how living things react to thermal pollution. Discuss your observations with your counselor.
      • (2) Conduct an experiment to identify the methods that could be used to mediate (reduce) the effects of an oil spill on waterfowl. Discuss your results with your counselor. 
    • (d) Land Pollution 
      • (1) Conduct an experiment to illustrate soil erosion by water. Take photographs or make a drawing of the soil before and after your experiment, and make a poster showing your results. Present your poster to your patrol or troop. 
      • (2) Perform an experiment to determine the effect of an oil spill on land. Share your journal and discuss your conclusions with your counselor.   
    • (e) Endangered Species 
      • (1) Do research on one endangered species found in your state. Find out what its natural habitat is, why it is endangered, what is being done to preserve it, and how many individual organisms are left in the wild. Prepare a 100-word report about the organism, including a drawing. Present your report to your patrol or troop. 
      • (2) Do research on one species that was endangered or threatened but which has now recovered. Find out how the organism recovered, and what its new status is. Write a 100-word report on the species and discuss it with your counselor.   
    • (f) Resource Recovery 
      • (1) Perform an experiment on packaging materials to find out which ones are biodegradable. Discuss your conclusions with your counselor. 
      • (2) Find out if your local community has a recycling program in effect. If it does, find out what items are recycled, and who pays for recycling. If your community does not have a recycling program, write questions for and conduct a survey on recycling. Include questions about attitudes toward recycling, what should be recycled, and your community's willingness to support a recycling program. Discuss your findings with your counselor. 
  • 4. Build an ecosystem in a bottle. Include soil, plants, fungi, and small animals found in your local environment. Maintain the ecosystem for one week. Observe it daily, and keep a record of your observations. Discuss your observations with your counselor. 
  • 5. Choose an outdoor area to study. In your study area, do ONE of the following: 
    • (a) Mark off three study plots of four square yards each, and count the number of species found there. Then estimate how much space is occupied by each species found in the plots. Make a chart, graph, or table to compare the plots. Write a report that adequately discusses the biodiversity and population density of your study area. Discuss your report with your counselor. 
    • (b) Make four visits to the study area, staying for at least 30 minutes each time, to observe the living and nonliving parts of the ecosystem. Keep a journal of your observations, including a discussion of differences noted during the four visits. Write a report on your observations and discuss it with your counselor.    
  • 6. Propose a hypothetical construction project in your community and prepare a limited environmental impact statement for the project. Study the area to see what the impact of the project might be upon the living and nonliving parts of the ecosystem. 
  • 7. Develop a plan that would help solve an environmental problem, reduce an environmental impact, or affect environmental awareness in your community. Include plans for a specific project that could be done by your patrol or troop. 
  • 8. Discuss three possible careers in the field of environmental science. Identify the education that you would need to pursue ONE of these careers.

Home Repair

This Merit Badge was actually revised effective September 1, 1993, but not listed on the Inside Front Cover of that book. The requirements are as follows:

Complete 14 of the following repairs or installations:
  1. Install or build equipment for storing tools.
  2. Build a workbench.
  3. Maintain or recondition a garden tool.
  4. Locate a main switch box and know how to replace a fuse or reset a circuit breaker.
  5. Repair an electric cord, plug, or lamp socket.
  6. Clean a clogged drain or trap.
  7. Fix a leaky water faucet.
  8. Repair a flush toilet.
  9. Repair a leaky hose or connector.
  10. Clean or replace a sprinkler head.
  11. Install insulation in an attic, wall or crawl space.
  12. Caulk cracks or joints open to the weather.
  13. Paint a wall or ceiling. Clean equipment.
  14. Waterproof a basement.
  15. Lay new tile or linoleum, or repair a worn spot.
  16. Repair a break in a cement or asphalt surface.
  17. Repair the screen in a window or door.
  18. Replace a pane of glass.
  19. Repair or install drapery or curtain rods. Hang drapes or curtains.
  20. Replace blind cords.
  21. Repair or replace a window sash cord.
  22. Repair a picture frame.
  23. Mend an object made of china, glass, or pottery.
  24. Solder a broken wire or metal object.
  25. Repair a piece of furniture.
  26. Paint or varnish a piece of furniture, a door, or trim on a house. Clean the brush.
  27. Repair a sagging door or gate.
  28. Build or fix stairs or a rail.
  29. Repair a fence.

Personal Management:

The requirements have been completely revised and now read as follows: 

  • 1. Do the following: 
    • (a) Lead a discussion with your family to identify one family financial goal that must be saved for out of family income. Choose a goal that has strong personal interest for both you and your family (a family trip or vacation, a new VCR, or a family car, for instance). 
    • (b) Discuss the goal in detail (where to go on vacation, for example, or what kind of car to buy), the cost of the goal, and when you want to reach the goal. 
    • (c) Discuss how your family could accumulate funds to reach this goal, how the goal will affect the rest of the family budget, and how you could help your family achieve the goal. 
  • 2. Do the following:   
    • (a) Prepare a personal budget or spending plan for three months, including a "pay yourself first" savings plan. Keep track of everything you buy. Balance all income with expenses and savings at the end of each month. 
    • (b) Share your three-month budget with your merit badge counselor. Explain how you determined discretionary income (income not spent to meet fixed expenses), how much you saved, and what you spent money on. Did you spend more or less than you budgeted?   
  • 3. Do ONE of the following: 
    • (a) Identify a personal financial goal and make a plan to achieve that goal. 
      • (1) Write down the goal you want to achieve. (This may be a small, short-term goal such as buying clothes, or it may be a major long-term goal such as saving for college.) 
      • (2) Develop a financial plan to accomplish the goal. Determine how much the goal will cost, how much time you have to reach the goal, how you will earn money to pay for the goal, and what adjustments you could make if you cannot reach the goal in the desired time with the income you can earn. 
      • (3) Discuss your plan with your counselor.
    • OR: 
    • (b) Determine a spending/savings plan for living on your own. 
      • (1) Choose a realistic job based on your age, skills, education, and experience (working at a fast-food restaurant, movie theater, or college library, for example). Determine how much you would probably make per hour and how many hours you would work each week. Determine your spendable income (after taxes and other deductions are taken out) for a month. 
      • (2) Make a list of all basic monthly living expenses: rent, food, transportation, clothing, telephone, etc. Ask family or friends, or call sources to help determine costs. 
      • (3) Compare projected income with projected expenses. Would you have enough income to live on? Would any be left over for fun? For savings? 
      • (4) If expenses exceed income, determine what options you would have for bringing the two into balance. Could you reduce or eliminate expenses? Work more hours a week? Get a higher-paying job? 
      • (5) Discuss your final plan with your counselor.   
  • 4. Do the following: 
    • (a) Choose an item you would like to buy. Be specific. (For example, identify the brand name of a pair of shoes you want, or the title of a CD.) 
    • (b) Comparison shop for the item. Find out where you can buy the item for the best price. Call around; study ads. Look for a sale or discount coupon. 
    • (c) Consider alternatives. Could you buy the item used? Should you wait for a sale? 
    • (d) Discuss you shopping strategy with you counselor.   
  • 5. Do ONE of the following: 
    • (a) Visit a bank. Ask a bank representative to explain checking accounts, savings accounts, loans, and automated teller machines (ATMs). Explain to your counselor the difference between a checking account and a savings account. Discuss with your counselor the minimum requirements to open and maintain the accounts or take out a loan. 
    • OR: 
    • (b) Visit another type of financial institution, such as a stock brokerage firm or an insurance company. Ask a representative what the firm does and how it works with consumers. Explain to your counselor the differences in services offered by the following types of financial professionals: financial planner, stockbroker, insurance agent, accountant, tax preparer, banker, estate planning attorney.   
  • 6. Do the following: 
    • (a) Explain the difference between saving for a goal and investing for a goal. 
    • (b) Explain the two basic methods of investing: loaned and owned. 
    • (c) Explain the concepts of simple and compound interest and how compound interest can be used to increase your savings and investments more rapidly. 
    • (d) Explain the concepts of yield, profit, and total return, and how they are used to evaluate investment performance. 
    • (e) Explain the basic features of the following types of investment, including risks and rewards and whether they involve lending or owning: bank savings accounts, certificates of deposit, U.S. Savings Bonds, shares of stock, shares in a mutual fund, real estate. 
  • 7. Do the following: 
    • (a) Explain what a loan is, what interest is, and how the "annual percentage rate" measures the true cost of a loan. 
    • (b) Choose something that you want to buy or do, but currently cannot afford. Set up an imaginary loan so you can "achieve" that goal. Identify the "principal" amount, interest rate, and repayment schedule. Determine how it would affect your total cost if you paid back the same amount every two weeks instead of once a month. 
    • (c) Explain the differences between a charge card, a debit card, and a credit card. 
    • (d) Identify the factors that affect the cost of credit. Tell which factors can be controlled. 
    • (e) Explain credit reports and how personal responsibility can affect your credit record. 
    • (f) Describe ways to reduce or eliminate debt.   
  • 8. Do the following: 
    • (a) Explain the five ways to manage risk. 
    • (b) Explain the six basic types of insurance and why someday you might need one or more of them. 
    • (c) Define the two major types of life insurance (term and permanent) and compare their advantages and disadvantages.   
  • 9. Do the following: 
    • (a) Identify a job or career that interests you and do basic research about it at your library or through other information sources. Make a presentation to your troop or counselor about the job or career. Your report should include: 
      • (1) An explanation of your interest in the job or career (how you learned of it, what about it interests you, what its job prospects are, and how you think the job or career will change in the future) 
      • (2) Any qualifications required (education, skills, experiences) and how you might become qualified for the job 
      • (3) The job's functions and responsibilities (the duties of the job or career) 
      • (4) The organizations, trade associations, professional associations, governmental regulations, or licenses involved in the career field   
    • (b) Do ONE of the following: 
      • (1) Prepare a personal résumé for the job 
      • OR: 
      • (2) Interview someone in the job or career field and prepare a summary of the interview.   
    • (c) Discuss with your counselor your personal goals and ambitions in life. Relate these to your intellectual, physical, spiritual, and moral development. How has Scouting helped you in accomplishing your goals and ambitions? Share your thoughts with your family.

This analysis was originally prepared as a service to Scouts and Scouters nationwide by:
Bruce E. Cobern
Advancement Chairman
Founders District
Queens Council
Greater New York Councils
Boy Scouts of America

The information was edited, rearranged, and converted to HTML by:
Paul S. Wolf
Advancement Committee
Winding Rivers District
Greater Cleveland Council
Boy Scouts of America

Copies may be freely distributed, so long as the author and editor are acknowledged.

Page updated on: November 28, 2017

Materials found at the U. S. Scouting Service Project, Inc. Website ©1997-2007 may be reproduced and used locally by Scouting volunteers for training purposes consistent with the programs of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) [Links to BSA Sites] or other Scouting and Guiding Organizations. No material found here may be used or reproduced for electronic redistribution or commercial or other non-Scouting purposes without the express permission of the U. S. Scouting Service Project, Inc. (USSSP) or other copyright holders. USSSP is not affiliated with BSA and does not speak on behalf of BSA. Opinions expressed on these web pages are those of the web authors.

The U.S. Scouting Service Project is maintained by the Project Team. Look at our Web Stats. Please use one of our Contact Forms to communicate with us. All holdings subject to this Disclaimer. The USSSP is Proud to be hosted by Data393.com.



Support the US Scouting Service Project Websites with your donation. With your help we can continue to serve the Scouting Community.
The US Scouting Service Project, Inc. is a Not-for Profit Corporation chartered in the State of Missouri. The IRS has not recognized the USSSP as a 501(c)(3) organization, so donations may not be tax deductible.

To donate, click on the icon below.

Visit Our Trading Post