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Merit Badges at S bar F

Scouts who come to camp want to advance in rank.  At the Ranch we offer 24 merit badges.  We recommend that you don't take on more than three, because camp is geared for fun and not just advancement.  Many of the merit badges we offer have requirements that must, or should, be done at home before you arrive.  Some require a time-frame such as four weeks of observation; others require some written work.  Why take fun time to write a report when you could do it at home on your computer in less time?

We grouped merit badges below in recommended groups for first-year campers on up to veterans.  With the exception of those recommended for fourth-year campers, these are just recommendations.

Recommended for first-year campers: Basketry, Fishing, Indian Lore, Leatherwork, Mammal Study, Swimming, Wood Carving

Recommended for second-year campers: Camping, Canoeing, Cooking, Fish and Wildlife Management, Forestry, Lifesaving, Orienteering, Pioneering, Rowing, Wilderness Survival

Tougher badges recommended for third-year campers and older: Archery, Astronomy, Environmental Science, Rifle Shooting, Soil and Water Conservation

Badges which require you to be at least a fourth-year camper: Climbing, Horsemanship 

How to Schedule Your Time

OK, you've got all this information on merit badges.  Now how do you make it work?  We suggest that you build yourself a schedule.

  1. Decide what you really want to do and accomplish.
  2. Make sure that you plan to have some time just for fun.
  3. Check out your troop's time for instructional swim and free swim.  If you are going to earn Swimming or Lifesaving merit badge, this time is set for you.
  4. Fill in the times for your highest-priority badges first.

Archery Merit Badge

This is one of the tougher merit badges we offer.  It is also one of the most fun.  Although some Scouts will be natural shots, some will never shoot well enough to qualify.

We recommend this merit badge for Scouts who are in their third summer camp or beyond. But if archery is your hobby, you can sign up earlier.  We will teach you to shoot properly and safely.

To qualify, you must make at least one complete arrow and a bowstring.  We have the materials for purchase in the camp Trading Post.  You may bring your own personal archery tackle to camp.  However, we do not encourage you to do so; and if you do bring your own equipment, we are not responsible for it.  Bows may not exceed 40 pounds pull and they must be locked in the camp office when not in use.

Before camp:  Read the merit badge book and practice shooting if possible.

Times offered: 9:15 a.m. and 10:45 a.m.  Each session is  90 minutes long.





Astronomy Merit Badge

Here's another tough one. It is recommended for third-year campers and beyond.  But if astronomy is your hobby, come on down.  It is unlikely that you could qualify for this badge without prior work.

Before camp: The requirements that you should complete beforehand are 5b, 6, 7b and 9.  Read the merit badge pamphlet, and get plenty of skywatching. We suggest that you do 4c and 7a, which are easier done at home as well.

Times offered: 9:15 a.m. and 4 p.m. Sessions are one hour in the nature area, with evening stargazing out of your campsite as possible.

Basketry Merit Badge

Here's one that's a piece of cake.  You could actually do this one before you come to camp, or do it in your spare time.

This is a fine first-year camper badge open to all Scouts.  There are only three requirements.  You can purchase kits ahead of time at the Scout Shop or a hobby shop.  If you wait until you get to camp, you can buy the kits in the Trading Post for $15-$24, depending on which kits you choose to weave.

Times offered: 2 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. in the Scoutcraft Area.

Camping Merit Badge

Here's a great badge to earn at camp, and it's required for the rank of Eagle Scout.  You should have 20 days and nights of camping under your belt before you sign up for this one.

Before camp: Requirements 2 and 3 should either be done or prepared for.  These are bookwork-type requirements that will save you time at camp.  Requirements 8c, 8d and 9 must be done before camp.

Times offered: 9:15 a.m., 11:15 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the Scoutcraft area.

Canoeing Merit Badge

The Canoeing merit badge is great fun.  Canoeing and Swimming are our most-earned merit badges in camp.  You must be a swimmer before you can sign up.  Learn to paddle a canoe the right way.  Learn to save yourself and others in a boating accident.

Plan on taking some time in the afternoon to practice the skills that you learn in the morning sessions.  You will have to demonstrate your handling of the canoe in a number of situations. You will be required to carry a canoe and rescue a swamped canoe, which takes some strength.

Before camp:  Read the merit badge pamphlet.  Practice your swimming.  To complete this badge, you must come to camp with a completed "red card" indicating that you have the necessary CPR instruction.  (See your Scoutmaster for more information.)  This badge requires some strength in moving and lifting a canoe and the ability to climb back into a canoe from the water.  Study requirements 4, 5 and 10.

Times offered: 9:15 a.m., 10:15 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. in the boating area.

Climbing Merit Badge

This one is limited to eight older Scouts from each camp.  You must be a fourth-year camper or older to sign up. It is also part of our Older Scout program.

This merit badge is strenuous, so you need to be in good condition.

Before camp:  Pre-camp sign-up is necessary (see your Scoutmaster).  Read the merit badge pamphlet to become familiar with the equipment and terminology.  A "red card" for CPR will help.  Visiting a climbing facility before camp will help. As climbing is strenuous, you will need to be in good physical condition. We suggest that you learn and practice the required knots.

Times offered:  Wednesday morning and all day on Thursday.  Meet at the Older Scout area.

Cooking Merit Badge

This is a merit badge which requires a lot of pre-work to complete.  The good news is that your Scoutmaster is your counselor on your campsite, so you and he can be flexible with your scheduling.

Before camp:  Read the merit badge pamphlet.  Bring your "red card" for requirement 1.  Also complete requirements 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7.

Times offered: It's up to you and your Scoutmaster.

Environmental Science Merit Badge

This is a good camp merit badge, but requires a lot of pre-camp work to complete.  It is also another badge that's required to become an Eagle Scout.  Sessions for this badge are held for two hours each day.  We recommend that you be at least a third-year camper for this badge.

Residents of Missouri can receive (free of charge) the excellent magazine Missouri Conservationist.  Simply send your written request with your name, full address, city, state and zip code to:

     Missouri Conservationist
     P.O. Box 180
     Jefferson City, MO 65102-0180

Illinois residents can subscribe to Outdoor Illinois Magazine for $10 per year.

Before camp: Read the merit badge pamphlet.  It is recommended that you complete requirements 3 and 5.  To complete this badge, you must come with requirement 3f completed.

Times offered: 10:15 a.m. and 2 p.m. Remember that these are two-hour sessions and this is a time-consuming merit badge.  It is an important badge to earn if you want to become an Eagle Scout.

Fishing Merit Badge

Here's the perfect badge to complete before you get to camp, and all you have to do is fish!

Bring your fishing gear and the pictures of fish that you've caught in the past.  Bone up on the bookwork requirements and parts of the tackle and you're home free.

Before camp:  Fish, fish, fish.  You can fish at camp as well.  But if they're not bitin'???  Read the merit badge pamphlet and come ready to answer the questions every fisherman should know.

For requirement 7 involving state fishing regulations, visit these web sites:

Times offered: 9:15 a.m., 10:15 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. on Monday and Tuesday in the Scoutcraft area.

Forestry Merit Badge

This is a merit badge for those who love trees and forests and want to learn more.  Recommended for second-year campers and older, this is a badge that is better researched before coming to camp.

Before camp:  Requirement 5 must be done, and we strongly recommend that you complete requirement 7 as well.

Read the merit badge pamphlet and start assembling your collections. A tree identification guide and spiral notebook will be helpful.

Times offered:  Forestry is a two-hour merit badge offered two days from 3 to 5 p.m. in the nature area.  You may sign up for Monday & Tuesday or Wednesday & Thursday.

Horsemanship Merit Badge

This merit badge is reserved exclusively for veteran campers who are attending their fourth year of camp or more.  We are limited to six Scouts per camp on this badge, and there is an additional charge of $15 to cover horse expenses.  Sign-up for this badge prior to camp by using the Older Scout Registration form available from your Scoutmaster and in his Leaders Guide for camp.

You will need long pants and boots with heels.  We recommend that you bring along a bandanna to wear under your helmet to keep the helmet dry for those riding after you. Physical strength is necessary for this badge.

Before camp: Read the merit badge pamphlet and be able to complete requirements 1, 2 and 5.

Times offered: 9:15 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. in the corral area at the north end of the camporee area near the Camp Famous Eagle entrance sign.  Each session is 90 minutes long.  Scouts attending Camp Sakima should plan on hiking, riding your own bike or arranging a ride.

Indian Lore Merit Badge

The Indian Lore merit badge is a good one that can be completed at home prior to camp. That allows you more time to take part in the fun Native American skills and games that we will show you in the Scoutcraft area.  Any Scout can sign up for Indian Lore.  Are you a member of an Order of the Arrow ceremonial team? Then this one may be right for you.

Before camp:  Requirement 2 must be done, and we highly recommend that you complete requirement 1 as well.

Times offered: 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. in the Scoutcraft area.

 Leatherwork Merit Badge
Leatherwork Merit Badge

This merit badge is open to all Scouts and is a great one for camp. We provide leatherworking tools and advice.  You may purchase your kit materials prior to camp at the Scout Shop or a leather craft store.  If you purchase them at camp, plan on spending $7-$14, depending on your choice of kits.

Before camp: Read the merit badge pamphlet. Bring to camp your personal item to show for requirement 3; and if you choose options a, b or d in requirement 5, you'll need to complete them before camp as well.

Times offered: 10:15 a.m., 11:15 a.m. or 4 p.m. in the Scoutcraft area

Lifesaving Merit Badge

Here's a great badge that gets you in the water every day and may help you save your or someone else's life in the future. This merit badge is also an alternate required merit badge (with Emergency Preparedness) for Eagle Scout rank.  Although you are not required to, you should have first earned the Swimming merit badge.  You must be a strong swimmer before coming to camp, as requirement 1 requires you to swim 400 yards using four different strokes in a strong manner.

Before camp:  Swim, swim, swim,  and then read the merit badge pamphlet.  You must have completed those requirements for Second and First Class regarding swimming.  You must also have completed the "red card" CPR training prior to camp to complete this badge.  (See your Scoutmaster for details.)  You will need a long-sleeved shirt and long pants (not blue jeans).

Times offered:  During your troop's Instructional Swim at either 9:15 a.m., 10:15 a.m. or 11:15 a.m.  See your Scoutmaster about the specific time -- it is in his Leaders Camp Guide.  If there is a conflict with this time and another of your merit badges, come down and visit with our Lifesaving merit badge counselor.

Mammal Study Merit Badge

Mammal Study is a good badge for any Scout, especially first-year Scouts.  This is definitely one in which you should do the paperwork and research before you come to camp.

Before camp:  We highly recommend that you complete requirements 3 and 4.

Residents of Missouri can receive (free of charge) the excellent magazine Missouri Conservationist.  Simply send your written request with your name, full address, city, state and zip code to:

     Missouri Conservationist
     P.O. Box 180
     Jefferson City, MO 65102-0180

Illinois residents can subscribe to Outdoor Illinois Magazine for $10 per year.

Times offered: 2 p.m., 3 p.m. or 4 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday in the Nature Area.

Nature Merit Badge

This outdoor merit badge is recommended for third-year campers and older.  It is a great way to learn about the world around us.

Before camp: We recommend completing requirement 4.

Times offered: 9:15 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the Nature Area.

Orienteering Merit badge

This is a great camp badge, recommended for second-year Scouts and beyond.  Orienteering is like a treasure hunt with a map and compass.  It is the largest participant sport in the Nordic countries.

You will need your compass and sturdy shoes or boots for running.

Before camp:  Requirements 7, 8, 9 and 10 are recommended.  If you don't do most of these requirements, you will find the merit badge tough to complete.  Read the merit badge pamphlet.

For other available events, check out the St. Louis Orienteering Club's website, This club has great events that can help you qualify for requirement 7; and if you contact and assist them, you can complete requirement 9.

Times offered: 9:15 and 10:15 am in the Scoutcraft area.

Pioneering Merit Badge

This Scoutcraft merit badge is recommended for second-year campers and beyond.  Building towers and bridges is a lot of fun, but you need to know your knots and learn to lash.  The Scoutcraft area has all the spars and ropes that you will need.

Before camp:  Complete requirement 6 and 7 prior to camp and bring rope machine and model to camp. The Trading Post will have twine to purchase for using with your ropemaking machine if you wait until camp to try it out.  Read the merit badge pamphlet.

Times offered: 9:15 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sessions are two hours long.



Pulp and Paper

Reptile and Amphibian Study Merit Badge

This badge is offered to second-year campers and older. If you like things that crawl, jump and swim, chase this badge.

Before camp:  Requirement 8 must be completed.  Bring your records with you to camp. If you complete requirements 1 and 4, you will be well on your way.

Times offered: 10:15 a.m., 11:15 a.m. and 3 p.m. in the Nature Area

Rifle Shooting Merit Badge

This merit badge is a lot like Archery and is a lot of fun.  Some Scouts pass the shooting requirement with no problem; other Scouts never seem to get the hang of it.  Ammunition is .22 caliber single shot, and bolt action rifles are used for option A.  You may not bring your own rifle or ammunition to camp.

This merit badge is recommended for third-year campers and older.  But if you are a marksman or hunter, and have your Scoutmasters' and the rifle range directors' permission, you may sign up.

For a portion of requirement 1 regarding hunting laws, visit these websites: for Missouri residents or for Illinois residents.

Before camp: Read the merit badge pamphlet and practice shooting if possible.  Even if it is with a BB gun, it will help you prepare.

Times offered: 9:15 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. Sessions are one hour and a half and are held at (you guessed it) the Rifle Range.


Rowing Merit Badge

Here's another fun aquatic merit badge.  It's not required but we recommend that you earn the Canoeing merit badge first.  You must be a swimmer to sign up.  This is a recommended merit badge for second-year campers and beyond.

Before camp:  Read the merit badge pamphlet. Earn the "red card" for CPR instruction.  Be prepared for requirements 4, 5d and 10.  Practice your swimming skills.

Times offered: 9:15 a.m., 10:15 a.m. and 11:15 a.m.

Swimming Merit Badge

Swimming and Canoeing are the most earned badges in summer camp.  This one's for you if you are a first-year camper and a swimmer.  It is lots of fun, and you swim everyday. Surface dives, different swimming strokes and using mask, fins and snorkel are just a few of the skills that you will learn. 

Before camp: Read the merit badge pamphlet and practice your swimming.  Requirement 10c should be completed prior to camp. To complete at camp, you must have your signed "red card" that shows you have completed the CPR instruction.  You must have completed requirement No. 3 in your troop, which qualifies you for the Second and First Class swimming requirements, before you can sign up for this merit badge.

Times offered: At your troop Instructional Swim time, 9:15 a.m., 10:15 a.m. or 11:15 a.m. See your Scoutmaster for your time.

Weather Merit Badge

This interesting badge teaches you skills that you can use the rest of your life. Weather is recommended for Scouts in their third year of camp or older.

Before camp: We recommend that you do the drawings in requirement #6.  Requirement #8 must be completed prior to camp and brought with you.

Times offered: 11:15 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the Nature Area.

Wilderness Survival Merit Badge

Do you really like roughing it?  Then try Wilderness Survival.

Recommended for second-year campers, this badge will have a survival overnight.

Before camp: Read the merit badge pamphlet.  Make your own survival kit for requirement 5, and practice your fire-building for 6.  Be prepared to answer questions on 1, 2, 4 and 7.

Times offered: Monday or Tuesday at 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. (three-hour sessions) with an overnight.

Wood Carving Merit Badge

Wood Carving is a great merit badge for all Scouts in camp. It also is a great one to start before you get here.  Step one is to get the merit badge pamphlet and read it.  Next, get a pocketknife with a small blade.  Sharpen the blade so that it is very sharp, and then take your time carving the two projects that you will need to complete requirements 6 and 7.

You can buy neckerchief slide blanks at any Scout Shop.  For relief carving, most Wal-Mart stores have basswood (or lindenwood) in their hobby/crafts area.  Most hobby shops will have carving wood as well. Anticipate spending $5-$10 at camp.

Visit your local library for whittling or carving books for ideas.

Before camp: Equipment and instruction is available in the Scoutcraft area.

Times offered: 9:15 a.m., 10:15 a.m. and 11:15 a.m.