last revised Wednesday, June 22nd, 2022.
Note: this page is volunteer-maintained, and updated roughly monthly; it is NOT a comprehensive list and focuses on Council merit badge “days” and series of multiple sessions offered across several weeks. Individual merit badge counselors around the country are generously offering programs in their own areas of specialty but there are far too many to list and keep updated. Many pop up and are announced and completed in the space of less than a week. The best way to learn about these programs is to follow social media pages like the Virtual Merit Badge Classes Facebook group and the Illinois Merit Badge Finder Facebook page.
For all virtual merit badge programs, please make sure to check the time zone since these classes are offered virtually to scouts all over the country.
Scouts who have not earned the Cyber Chip for their grade are encouraged to attend one of Three Fires Council’s online safety programs.
Scouts signed up for individual in-person programs are encouraged to reach out to the Scoutmaster/Advancement Chair to look for carpooling opportunities to do this with a friend (or more!).
- Bristol Shooting Ranges offers the Rifle Shooting Merit badge throughout the year on the third Monday evening of the month (near Kenosha, WI) from April through October 2022.
- Burpee Museum in Rockford offers a variety of nature-oriented merit badge workshops on Saturdays. Programs are scheduled through mid-June 2022.
- Rainbow Council is again running their summer merit Dresden badge clinic, hosted at the Exelon nuclear plant in Dresden, IL from August 12-14. Many elective and Eagle badges available with an option for overnight camping.
- The Forest Preserve of DuPage County offers a monthly Saturday morning (9am-12noon) elective merit badge on a variety of nature and outdoor activity topics.
- The EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, offers the Aviation Merit Badge. This program provides a hands-on learning experience including fundamentals of flight and the basic concepts of piloting with EAA’s Aviation Merit Badge counselors. As part of the program, Scouts will conduct a pre-flight inspection in the EAA Aviation Museum and use flight simulators to fly a virtual course. Also included in the program is a tour of the EAA Aviation Museum, a collection of more than 200 historic airplanes along with world-class galleries and displays. This can be scheduled as a troop activity. This program was also historically available at the Wisconsin Aviation Heritage Center of Wisconsin in Sheboygan Falls and featured an actual flight experience for participating scouts.
- The Harley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee offers in-person Engineering Merit Badge Workshops on Saturdays.
- Morton Arboretum has an ongoing series of in person merit badge programs, with the Citizenship badges regularly in the rotation. as well as nature-oriented programs throughout the year. Most are offered in two sessions on weekend afternoons or weekday evenings, a month apart.
- Oak Brook Park District has a variety of nature and outdoor adventure merit badges scheduled for Saturday mornings through the end of 2022.
- Peoria Park District Summer Merit Badge Days will take place July 22-23 at Camp Wokanda in Peoria. Earn up to 3 merit badges including 6.Eagles on offer with an option for Friday evening family or troop camping.
- Rolling Meadows Park District has announced several Saturday morning electives through December 2022.
- Space Jamboree: Save the date for this annual STEM-focused merit badge weekend featuring camping, an a wide variety of merit badge programs including both robotics and pool robotics. This weekend mini-camp includes dozens of merit badges plus other fun activities. The 2022 event is scheduled for August 5th to 6th in Rantoul, IL
- Three Fires Council’s Camp Big Timber is hosting daily merit badge programs across 6 weeks at its day camp facility in Elgin, IL. Many Eagle and elective merit badges (though not Citizenship in Society, which is discouraged by BSA in camp settings).
- Three Harbors Council In-Person MB Clinics: Three Harbors Council in Milwaukee has resumed in-person, weekend elective badge programs with a few weekend sessions scheduled through August 2022.
- Three Harbors Council is also offering in-person Summer Camp Merit Badge day programs at their Camps Oh-Da-Ko-Ta and Indian Mound Reservation.
- Trout Unlimited offers fly fishing programs on the first Saturday of the month from May to August, plus September 17th in Lemont, IL.
- The Harley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee Engineering Merit Badge program can be booked as a troop activity.
- Upper Limits in Bloomington, IL offers the Climbing merit badge as a custom 4-6 hour program.
NOT CURRENTLY SCHEDULED:
- Alpha Phi Omega, an inclusive, co-ed service-oriented fraternity/sorority at Northwestern offers an annual (in non-COVID years) First Aid and Emergency Preparedness program (choose one) which has been very well received. For Emergency Preparedness instead of learning about emergencies in a classroom, they run simulated disaster drills..
- Discovery World in Milwaukee offers weekend virtual Merit Badge programs with a few program scheduled through April 2022.
- Evanston Environmental Association offers a variety of Eagle and nature-oriented merit badges on two consecutive Monday afternoons, one program per month during the school year (search Keywords for “merit badge”). These programs do fill up, and there is a lag between when you request login credentials and when they are available to use for registration, so do not wait for the last minute.
- The Glenview BSA Tuesday Night Swim program offers three 10-week sessions, usually beginning October, January, and March. Scouts can earn Swimming or Lifesaving Merit Badge (but not both in the same session) and also get basic swimming skills instruction in this very reasonably-priced 10-week program.
- Illinois Railway Museum’s one-day Railroading merit badge program returns on Saturday, May 14, 2022.
- Lake County Forest Preserve offers weekend nature programs.
- Lake County Courthouse in Waukegan offers am annual (in non-COVID times) one-day merit badge program which features real judges presiding over a mock court, as well as a tour of the Lake County courthouse facility, a jail, and the canine unit. There is no 2022 date on their website, and it currently says “early 2023” for the next session.
- Shedd Aquarium periodically offers the Oceanography merit badge as a weekend afternoon session.
- Three Fires Council’s massive Merit Badge University is back with two full-day Saturday sessions in 2022 on February 12th and May 7th. They offer over 90 merit badges and welcome over 2000 scouts. It is possible to earn up to 4 merit badges in a day, but please read the pre-requisites carefully as they are often very extensive (as much as the whole badge!). Sign-ups open December 17th and priority for Eagle badges is given to scouts who are First Class or higher.
- Troop 67’s Home Improvement Camp-O-Ree offers an opportunity to earn two of ten merit badges including Citizenship in Society and a number of home improvement badges, May 13-15 at Indian Mound Scout Reservation in Wisconsin. THIS EVENT INCLUDES OVERNIGHT CAMPING AND IS A TROOP-ONLY EVENT (no individual reservations).
- Cape Fear Council is hosting a Virtual Merit Badge College (June 6-10) including First Aid, Emergency Preparedness, Communication, Citizenship in the Nation and Citizenship in the World, along with several elective badges.
- The Cell Virtual Merit Badge Clinics: these free clinics are offered in sessions of two consecutive Saturday mornings. Upcoming programs include Emergency Preparedness and Citizenship in the Nation. Monthly sessions have been announced through mid-May 2022.
- Code Easily’s Sunday STEM badges (scheduled through August 2022.
- Daniel Boone Council is offering online programs weekly (mostly weekday afternoons) through the end of August.
- Erin Foster’s Virtual Merit Badge Classrooms (Facebook group). Ongoing classes in Sustainability, Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Citizenship in the World, and Soil and Water Conservation.
- Epic Merit Badges: Epic offers a continuing series of online merit badges. Current offerings a mix of Eagle and elective badges through the end of 2021. Please note: these classes are held at Hawaii Standard Time so make sure you check the time difference before enrolling!
- The Harley Davidson Museum is now offering their Engineering Merit Badge program virtually on Saturday mornings and Tuesday evenings.
- MeritBadgeCourses.com offers a variety of Eagle-required badges (including all 4 Citizenships, Family Life, and Personal Management) as well as a variety of electives with dates scheduled through June.
- New England Base Camp: New sessions have been announced through May 2022 with many Eagle and elective badges in the mix.
- Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium: Wednesday evening and Sunday afternoon programs on outdoor-themed Eagle and elective throughout September 2022.
- Saint Louis Chess Club offers regular sessions for the Chess merit badge.
- UC Riverside is hosting a STEM Merit Badge Day on Saturday, May 21st.
- Western Los Angeles County Council: a monthly weekend Virtual Merit Badge University program featuring roughly a dozen badges (elective and Eagle) across Saturday and/or Sunday. Sign-ups typically go live about a week in advance, so check back for course offerings and registration. Weekends are scheduled through the end of 2022, though badges have not yet been announced for later dates.
- Buckeye Council’s HomeScouting program is back. These programs are typically STEM-based and include a variety of Merit Badges, synchronous/asynchronous activities, videos, as well as Merit Badges. The 2022 “Below the Surface” track includes both Eagle-required Sustainability and Environmental Science options. They also offer several opportunities for science-minded scouts to pursue BSA’s Nova Awards (for interest and passion; not for rank advancement).
- Mason-Dixon Council has announced the return of their CyberEquipe virtual program featuring 10 Eagle-required badges and over 20 electives. There are two week-long sessions in July.
- Verdugo Hills Council (right in the heart of Hollywood) is offering a week-long Cyber Film Camp from July 5 to 9, including MovieMaking, Animation, and Photography Merit Badges. Synchronous programs run 9am-12 noon Pacific Time, with optional programs from industry experts beginning 1pm Pacific.
- Self-paced Google Classroom programs: a variety of electives offered.
- Heartland of America BSA ScoutConnect (self-paced videos).
- Edmond Historical Society in Oklahoma offers self-paced Citizenship, Emergency Preparedness, Environmental Science, Family Life, and Personal Management as well as several electives in a self-paced format.
- Illowa BSA Merit Badge Mondays (20-30 minutes self-paced videos).
- If you are looking to connect directly with virtual merit badge counselors to start or complete a badge, you can always reach out to the Advancement Chair, check out Scoutbook, or post a request on the Virtual Merit Badge Classes Facebook group.
- Central Florida Council’s Camp Lanoche, a pioneer in online merit badges has a series of merit badge workshops scheduled through July including Environmental Science, Camping, and all three Citizenships.
- Connecticut Rivers Council’s Camp Kinda-Like-a is back with two weeks of programming in July featuring First Aid, Emergency Preparedness, and Personal Fitness along with a dozen or so electives.
- Palmetto Council is offering several weeklong afternoon elective badges throughout June.
These Councils have previously offered programs but do not appear to have any currently on the calendar:
- Alamo Area Council Spring Merit Badge University: Held Saturday May 1st 2021. No virtual programs planned for the summer.
- Baden-Powell Council (New York): Virtual Merit Badge University featuring many electives on March 20th.
- Calcasieu Council virtual programs announced through the end of 2021, including several Eagle and elective badges. Two more sessions left for 2021.
- Chickasaw Council has a variety of evening programs on the calendar through early April.
- Colorado Adventure Point: dozens of Eagle and elective badges including weekend and weekday afternoon programs scheduled through April 2021.
- Dan Beard Council is offering Citizenship in the Nation as well as other programs on weekday afternoons in May.
- Garden State Council: Elective merit badges offered in the evening. Programs announced through May.
- Iowa State University is offering Citizenship in the World and Sustainability along with several electives across two weekends in April.
- Montana Council Virtual Merit Badge University at MSU-Billings. Registration closes January 31st for February 26th classes. Several Eagle and dozens of electives. Email for details (no online registration).
- Narragansett Council has a few elective and Eagle programs left on its spring calendar with no virtual programs listed for the summer.
- Suffolk County Council Virtual Merit Badges: Virtual Merit Badges (mostly elective) held through November 2021.
- Three Harbors Council Online MB Clinics: Three Harbors Council in Milwaukee offered online merit badges including evening and weekend programs during spring 2021.
- Other Councils have created extensive listings of additional programs. These include Mount Baker Council.
- Troop 109 in New Jersey has many merit badge pamphlets (the full pamphlet, not just the requirements) available on their website for download. Not all of these are current, but will cover much of the relevant material. This is a great option if you cannot get to the physical pamphlets in the troop room.
- BSA has also made many merit badge pamphlets available via Kindle app, priced competitively with physical pamphlets from the scout store.
- If you are not in a hurry, many libraries have merit badge pamphlets available to borrow; Glencoe does not have any in its holdings but you can request most of them via inter-library loan (just check the publication year before requesting)
- BSA National has posted a 31-day Scouts BSA Challenge featuring a daily merit badge “teaser” activity on their Scouting at Home page.
- Scouting Magazine published a list of gear for merit badges at home including kits available at ScoutShop.org to help complete the Basketry, Leatherwork, Robotics, and Woodcarving merit badges.
- For background, you can check out Bryan on Scouting’s post on Everything You Need to Know About Virtual Summer Camps for Cub Scouts and Scouts.