last revised Tuesday, May 25th, 2021
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.
- Rolling Meadows Park District has announced several Saturday morning electives through September 2021.
- Morton Arboretum is offering in-person Geocaching this spring, Programs are announced through late March, so check back for additional offerings.
- 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 mini-camp was run successfully in-person in the summer of 2020, so will definitely return in 2021. The event runs Friday August 6 to Sunday August 8th in Rantoul, IL.
- Three Harbors Council Online MB Clinics: Three Harbors Council in Milwaukee has resumed in-person, weekend elective badge programs including Motorboating, Sailing, and Dog Care.
- Calcasieu Council has a final virtual merit badge Saturday on May 22, including several Eagle and elective badges. They have no virtual programs on their summer calendar.
- Camp Fear Council is offering a one-day Merit Badge day on Saturday, May 22nd, as well as a two-week virtual Merit Badge College in June. Mix and match programs, with many Eagle badges included in the mix.
- Capitol Area Council/Lost Pines Scout Reservation: Elective-focused virtual merit badge weekends planned through October 2021.
- 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 the end of 2021.
- Daniel Boone Council is offering online programs weekly with many, many classes announced through the spring and summer.
- Epic Merit Badges: Epic offers a continuing series of online merit badges. Current offerings include Citizenship in the Nation and World, and they regularly rotate through many of the other Eagle badges. Sessions announced through mid-July. Please note: these classes are held at Hawaii Standard Time so make sure you check the time difference before enrolling!
- New England Base Camp: New sessions have been announced through mid-June; mostly electives with some Eagles in the mix.
- Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium: Wednesday evening and Sunday afternoon programs on outdoor-themed Eagle and elective throughout the spring and summer.
- Saint Louis Chess Club offers regular sessions for the Chess merit badge.
- Suffolk County Council Virtual Merit Badges: No summer programs on the calendar but planning to offer virtual programming in the fall.
- 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 2021, though badges have not yet been announced for later dates.
- 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.
- Mason-Dixon Council has announced the return of their CyberEquipe virtual program featuring 11 Eagle-required badges and over 20 electives. There are two week-long sessions in July.
- Palmetto Council is offering several weeklong afternoon elective badges throughout June.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- Narragansett Council has a few elective and Eagle programs left on its spring calendar with no virtual programs listed for the summer.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.