Tracking Merit Badge Requirements and Worksheet

Tracking Merit Badge

Tracking Merit Badge

April, 2010

Tracking was one of four Historic Merit Badges reintroduced during 2010 for the BSA Centennial celebration and is no longer available to be earned.
Some additional restrictions include:

Requirements for the Tracking merit badge:

  1. Demonstrate by means of a tracking game or otherwise, ability to track skillfully in shelter and wind, etc., showing how to proceed noiselessly and "freeze" when occasion demands.
  2. Know and recognize the tracks of ten different kinds of animals or birds in his vicinity, three of which may be domestic.
  3. Submit satisfactory evidence that he has trailed two different kinds of wild animals or birds on ordinary ground far enough to determine the direction in which they were going, and their gait or speed. Give the names of animals or birds trailed, their direction of travel, and describe gait and speed; or submit satisfactory evidence that he has trailed six different kinds of wild animal or birds in snow, sand, dust, or mud, far enough to determine the direction they were going and their gait or speed. Give names of animals or birds, their direction of travel, and describe gait and speed.
  4. Submit satisfactory evidence that he has tracked a human being and deducted from the trail whether it was man or woman, young or old, the gait or speed, and also give any other information deduced.
  5. Submit evidence that he has scored at least 30 points from the following groups: Group (f) and 4 of the 5 groups (a), (b), (c), (d), (e) must be represented in the score of 30 and at least 7 points must be scored from (a), (b), or (c).
    Make a clear, recognizable photographs of:
    1. Live bird away from nest - 4 points each
    2. Live woodchuck or smaller wild animal - 3 points each
    3. Live wild animal larger than woodchuck - 4 points each
    4. Live bird on nest - 3 points each
    5. Tracks of live wild animal or bird - 2 points each
    6. Make satisfactory plaster cast of wild animal or bird tracks with identification imprint on back of cast - 2 points each

 Jul 02, 2013 - Alex Eisiminger
As an Eagle Scout, I wish that I had the opportunity to earn this merit badge.  As an adult, I realize that the subject of tracking assists in training/teaching cognitive and mental acuity, situational awareness, attention to detail, and patience.  The fundamentals of scouting have not changed in significant detail since being founded by BP, it would be nice to maintain Scouting's historical roots and keep active merit badges/awards that were initially established in the beginning of scouting.  Focus can be given on redefining merit badge requirements/skillsets, versus retirement of merit badges that people believe no longer applies.  

Please Bring this merit badge back as a permanent addition to the Scouting Program of Instruction/ Outdoor Skillset.

Jul 02, 2013 - Yukon Jack
@ Alex.  As an eagle scout from the window when this badge was not offered (1953-2009), I agree completely.  My wife and I were the only certified instructors of this MB (and 2 other centennial badges) in our state in 2010 and it was the most fun I've ever had as a MB councilor.  The skills taught are invaluable and old school.  But remember, the skills can still be learned even without a badge.  I still have all 3 pamphlets we taught and all the supporting materials and still teach the material to scouts as part of other MBs like hiking, camping, and wilderness survival.  Enjoy!
Nov 14, 2013 - Donald Judeikis
I agree with Alex.  tracking is the basic fundemental of scouting. This merit badge is one that I had the most fun with.  I even show my grandchildren how to track animals in the woods to get a closer view.  Bring back this merit badge and keep scouting alive.
Dec 28, 2013 - James Lehman
When I instruct in IOLS,  I always tell our nascent Scouters, that it is our goal to have our boys SEE, not merely look, to HEAR, not merely listen, and to FIGURE OUT, not merely memorize....
Feb 05, 2014 - G Peter Schmitt Sr.
As a Sportsman, Hunter, Paramedic, Fire Fighter and Veteran tracking is a basic fundamental skill of Scouting, Emergency Services, LIFE and should be brought back to scouting. The skills taught are invaluable to the Scout and apply to many other Merit Badges (Search & Rescue, Emergency Preparedness, Mammal Study, Wilderness Survival) just to name a few... Bring Tracking back to Scouting.  

Mar 20, 2014 - Bill Burd
This is a key skill that lasts a lifetime. I spent many hours with a family friend, older than me by several years(also very active in Scouting) walking the woods around their house. We helped each other identify the sounds of the forest, small birds, big birds, small animals and larger animals. These skills are very transferable to urban environments too! Bring it Back.
Feb 08, 2015 - david dupree
As a hunter and outdoorsman, and the father of a boy scout that also loves the outdoors, I would like to see this merit badge reintroduced.  I agree with all of the above comments about this skill that is losing ground in todays society.  I, too, was a scout, although I didn't achieve high ranking.  I do believe it taught me enough to make me the successful person that I am today.  To me, the tracking badge would enhance the skills needed in everyday life, such as paying attention to detail and being aware of your surroundings. Please bring it back.
Mar 27, 2015 - bryce sweeney
this badge should be reintroduced this would be very interesting and I would definitely earn it

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