last revised Monday, January 4th, 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. Sessions are currently available the evening of January 11th and 21st.
Programs with multiple Eagle options:
- Three Fires Council MB Universities: This is usually the largest in-person Merit Badge University in the greater Chicagoland area. This year they are offering two virtual sessions, scheduled for Saturday January 30th and February 27th, 2021 (registration is anticipated to open on or after January 7th). For additional information including FAQs, please visit the MBU website.
- Circle Council Virtual Online Merit Badge University: over a dozen badges including Cooking, and multiple sessions of Personal Management and Citizenship in the Community between January 19 and 31.
- Three Harbors Council Online MB Clinics: Three Harbors Council in Milwaukee is hosting a series of weekend merit badges. Most are electives, though they are offering Communications on Saturday, January 23rd. Multiple classes have been announced through the end of January.
- Circle Ten Council’s Duck Creek Merit Badge Mania: Nearly 3 dozen badges offered on Saturday, January 30th including al three Citizenships, Communication, Family Life, and Personal Management.
- 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 May 2021, though badges have not yet been announced for later date.
- Mason-Dixon Council 2021 Merit Badge College: over a dozen merit badges will be offered beginning January 8th, 2021. Most of the Eagle badges are sold out but some spots remain.
- Colorado Adventure Point: dozens of Eagle and elective badges including weekend and weekday afternoon programs scheduled through February 2021.
- Morton Arboretum Online Merit Badges: All three Citizenships are being offered virtually. Geology and Geocaching are on the schedule for February through April, in-person.
- Alamo Council Spring Merit Badge University: Held Saturday May 1st 2021. Details TBA.
- 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.
- Lord Baden Powell Council (New York): Virtual Merit Badge programming throughout January including many electives as well as all three Citizenships. Read the calendar carefully, as some programs are in-person and not virtual or online.
- Sagamore Council (Kokomo, IN) Virtual University of Scouting Spring Semester Merit Badges: Download the leader guide for course details. This will be held Saturday, February 27, 2021. Offerings include several electives as well as Citizenship in the World and Community, Emergency Preparedness, Communications, Sustainability, Family Life, and Personal Fitness.
- 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. Please note: these classes are held at Hawaii Standard Time so make sure you check the time difference before enrolling!
More elective-focused programs:
- New England Base Camp: New online and in-person sessions will be announced on January 5th and registration will open on January 8th for our Winter session running from January 10th through April 15th.
- Garden State Council: Elective merit badges offered in the evening.
- Mid America Council Virtual Merit Badge Programs: Check their calendar for programs offered periodically including Personal Management on December 17th. They have several merit badge colleges/universities planned in early 2021, though they are currently listed as in-person.
- Self-paced Google Classroom programs: a variety of electives offered.
- Lost Pines Scout Reservation/Capitol Area Council: None currently scheduled.
- Camp Lanoche/Central Florida Council: None currently scheduled.
- Suffolk County Council Virtual Merit Badges: Winter programs not yet announced.
- Heartland of America BSA ScoutConnect (self-paced videos).
- Illowa BSA Merit Badge Mondays (20-30 minutes self-paced videos).
- 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.
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.