Virtual/Online and Local Merit Badge Listing

last revised June 10, 2024

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.

Other MB Resources for Scouts Nationwide
  • Scouts BSA merit badge opportunities Facebook group. If you are on Facebook, this is a great resource for virtual and in-person programs nationwide. Members have asked about “where to get badge X done in Y area” and will get very helpful replies from the 20K+ members.
Local In-Person 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!).

IMPORTANT!  Many Merit Badge fairs, colleges, and universities (including the Three Fires Council MBU) are NOT "classes." The badge will not be "taught," but rather Merit Badge Counselors will be on hand to discuss the requirements and complete some classroom activities. Sometimes the pre-requisites are nearly all of the requirements. If you do not complete the pre-requisites prior to the session, you may leave with only a partial which you will subsequently need to have signed-off locally.

  • Burpee Museum in Rockford offers a variety of nature-oriented in-person weekend merit badge workshops, with dates published through August 2024.
  • Camp Big Timber is again hosting Three Fires Council's summer merit badge series, with weeklong programs from July 15th through August 8th. Scouts can work on multiple badges throughout the week in a day-camp setting.
  • Canoeing MB and Paddle Craft Safety at Silver Springs State Park, Wednesday May 29th and Sunday June 9th.
  • Dresden Nuclear Power Station Merit Badge Clinic will take place the weekend of August 9-11, 2024. THere are dozens of merit badges offered and troops or individual scouts with parents can earn up to 2 camping nights. Plus, participants have an opportunity to tour the nuclear power plant.
  • 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 Forest Preserve of DuPage County offers weekend elective merit badge on a variety of nature and outdoor activity topics, scheduled through December 2023.
  • The Glenview BSA Tuesday Night Swim program has said they play to return in 2023-2024 with dates TBD. They offer three 10-week sessions at the OLPH (Our Lady of Perpetual Healing) pool in Glenview, 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. Dates have been confirmed for 2022-2023.
  • The Harley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee offers in-person Engineering Merit Badge Workshops on Saturdays.
  • Merit Badge Day at the Forge Adventure Park. Outdoor adventure badges offered on Saturday, May 8th.
  • Oak Brook Park District has a variety of nature and outdoor adventure merit badges scheduled for Saturday mornings through the end of 2023.
  • Rolling Meadows Park District has announced several Saturday morning electives through March 2024.
  • Shedd Aquarium periodically offers the Oceanography merit badge as a weekend afternoon session. Dates have been announced through December 2023.
  • Space Jamboree: This popular annual STEM-focused merit badge weekend is going virtual on August 3rd, 2024. They have historically offered a wide variety of merit badges.
  • Tech Badges at the Tech College in Waukesha, WI is a Saturday program featuring 10 elective hobbies, STEM, and trade badges.
  • Three Harbors Council has several weekend spring clinics including Small Boat Sailing, Motorboating, Coin Collecting and Law with dates announced through May 2024

Programs

  • Buffalo Grove Park District offers on-demand Archaeology and Indian Lore merit badge workshops.
  • 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.
  • Vertical Endeavors in Glendale Heights, IL also offers the Climbing Merit Badge with a minimum of 6 scouts enrolled.

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.
  • Aviation Merit Badge at Aurora Municipal Airport, Sunday May 19, 2024.
  • Blackhawk Council has announced a date for the spring Wanchanagi District Merit Badge Midway. The program will take place all day on April 20th in Pecatonica, IL.
  • Blackhawk Council's Sycamore District merit badge day has been announced for August 26, 2023, with details to follow.
  • 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.
  • Camp Long Lake in Wisconsin is hosting a Fall Merit Badge Camporee weekend October 13-15; only troop reservations are accepted (no individual scouts).
  • Chicagoland Lionel Railroad Club offers the Railroading merit badge each year (around June). 2024 date not yet announced.
  • The annual Dresden Merit Badge Clinic, organized by Rainbow Council and hosted at the Exelon nuclear plant in Dresden, IL has a placeholder in the calendar for August 11-13, 2023.  This event usually features many elective and Eagle badges available with an option for overnight camping. Details TBA.
  • Discovery World in Milwaukee offers weekend virtual Merit Badge programs with a few program scheduled through April 2022.
  • 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.
  • Illinois Railway Museum's one-day Railroading merit badge program returns on Saturday, September 9, 2023.
  • 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. The next session will take place on Saturday, March 2nd, 2024. Registration form must be received by February 23rd; space is limited.
  • Lake County Forest Preserve offers weekend nature programs through November 2022. 2023 scout programs through May do not currently include and Scouts BSA merit badges. Beware: some programs cover merit badge topics but are not designed to cover merit badge requirements, so read the course descriptions carefully.
  • Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE)'s STEM/Tech Merit Badge Day is scheduled for Saturday, March 22-23, 2024. Details to be announced.
  • Moraine Valley Community College in Palos Hills is hosting a Merit Badge College on Saturday, January 13, 2024.
  • 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. Dates have been announced through March 2024.
  • Morton College has announced a Merit Badge College in Cicero, IL on January 13, 2024.
  • Pathway to Adventure Council is hosting their annual merit badge clinic in Barrington on Saturday, August 5th. This is a sign-off session, not a teaching program.
  • 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.
  • Three Fires Council has suspended its Stamp Collecting program previously scheduled for November 18, 2023.
  • Three Fires Council's massive Merit Badge University has announced their two full-day Saturday sessions in 2024 on February 24th at York High School and May 4th at Camp Big Timber.  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!). Registrations are not yet open; Three Fires generally gives priority for Eagle badges is given to scouts who are First Class or higher.
  • 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 is also offering in-person Summer Camp Merit Badge day programs at their Camps Oh-Da-Ko-Ta and Indian Mound Reservation.
  • Three Harbors Council's Gateway Merit Badge Tech day has been announced for March 3, 2024.
  • The TriStar District of the Pathway to Adventure Council is offering a Ski Trip with a classroom session and on-slope options for the Snow Sports merit badge on January 13, 2024.
  • 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).
  • Trout Unlimited offers fly fishing programs on the first Saturday of the month from May to August, plus September 17th in Lemont, IL.
  • UC Riverside is hosting a STEM Merit Badge Day on Saturday, May 21st.
Term-Time/Ongoing Virtual Programs
These programs are typically evening or weekend workshops lasting a few hours long.

  • Burpee Museum in Rockford offers a variety of nature-oriented virtual merit badge workshops, on demand or on Sunday afternoons, with dates published through April 2024.
  • 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 . announced through December 2023.
  • Code Easily's Sunday STEM badges (scheduled through December 2023). NOTE: their program integrates content from multiple merit badges so it is not possible to opt out of one or more badges.
  • Daniel Boone Council is offering online programs weekly (mostly weekday afternoons) through January 2024..
  • Epic Merit Badges: Epic offers a continuing series of online merit badges. Current offerings a mix of Eagle and elective badges through November 2023. 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 the end of October 2023. Dates are added continuously, a few weeks in advance.
  • New England Base Camp: New sessions have been announced through the end of November 2023 with many Eagle and elective badges in the mix.
  • Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium: Wednesday evening and Sunday afternoon virtual (and in-person) programs on outdoor-themed Eagle and elective with dates announced through December 2023.
  • Saint Louis Chess Club offers regular sessions for the Chess merit badge through November 2023.
  • Merit Badges with Tim and LIsa is a Facebook page for two very generous volunteers who teach classes. Please read their pinned posts/FAQs so they are not answering the same registration questions over and over again. You need to ask to join their page and they you can see what they have coming up. They have announced classes through July 2024.
Virtual Summer Camps 2024
These programs are typically week-long programs during the summer, with an opportunity to work on 1-2 badges per day.

  • Buckeye Council's HomeScouting program is back for 2024. These programs are typically STEM-based and include a variety of Merit Badges, synchronous/asynchronous activities, videos, as well as Merit Badges. hey also offer several opportunities for science-minded scouts to pursue BSA's Nova Awards (for interest and passion; not for rank advancement).
  • Cape Fear Council is hosting a weeklong Virtual Summer Merit Badge College the week of July 15, 2024, featuring several Eagle and a few elective badges.
  • 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 late July and August 2024.
  • Verdugo Hills Council (right in the heart of Hollywood) has not yet posted any 2024 updates on its week-long Cyber Film Camp (typically late July or early August). Badges offered include MovieMaking, Animation, and Photography, and their staff often includes industry professionals.  Synchronous programs run 9am-12 noon Pacific Time, with optional programs from industry experts beginning 1pm Pacific.
Self-Paced Programs, Virtual Counselors, and Other Resources
Inactive Virtual Badge Programs Archive
These Councils have previously offered virtual summer camps or term-time 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.
  • Cape Fear Council is hosting a Virtual Merit Badge College on Saturday, January 27, 2024, featuring several Eagle and a few elective badges.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Dan Beard Council is offering Citizenship in the Nation as well as other programs on weekday afternoons in May.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Palmetto Council is offering several weeklong afternoon elective badges throughout June.
  • 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.
  • 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 2023; though badges have not yet been announced for later dates, the opening dates for registration can be found on their website.
  • Other Councils have created extensive listings of additional programs. These include Mount Baker Council.
Reference Materials