Scouting/BSA/Geocaching Merit Badge

< Scouting‎ | BSA
The requirements to this merit badge are copyrighted by the Boy Scouts of America. They are reproduced in part here under fair use as a resource for Scouts and Scouters to use in the earning and teaching of merit badges. The requirements published by the Boy Scouts of America should always be used over the list here. If in doubt about the accuracy of a requirement, consult your Merit Badge Counselor.
Reading this page does not satisfy any requirement for any merit badge. Per National regulations, the only person who may sign off on requirements is a Merit Badge Counselor, duly registered and authorized by the local Council. To obtain a list of registered Merit Badge Counselors, or to begin a Merit Badge, please contact your Scoutmaster or Council Service Center.
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Requirement 1Edit

Do the following:

A. Explain to your counselor the most likely hazards you may encounter while participating in geocaching activities and what you should do to anticipate, help prevent, mitigate, and respond to these hazards.
B. Discuss first aid and prevention for the types of injuries or illnesses that could occur while participating in geocaching activities, including cuts, scrapes, snakebite, insect stings, tick bites, exposure to poisonous plants, heat and cold reactions (sunburn, heatstroke, heat exhaustion, hypothermia), and dehydration.
C. Discuss how to properly plan an activity that uses GPS, including using the buddy system, sharing your plan with others, and considering the weather, route, and proper attire.

Requirement 2Edit

Discuss the following with your counselor:

A. Why you should never bury a cache.
B. How to use proper geocaching etiquette when hiding or seeking a cache, and how to properly hide, post, maintain, and dismantle a geocache.
C. The principles of Leave No Trace as they apply to geocaching.

Requirement 3Edit

Explain the following terms used in geocaching: waypoint, log, cache, accuracy, difficulty and terrain ratings, attributes, trackable. Choose five additional terms to explain to your counselor.

Requirement 4Edit

Explain how the Global Positioning System (GPS) works. Then, using Scouting’s Teaching EDGE, demonstrate the use of a GPS unit to your counselor. Include marking and editing a waypoint, changing field functions, and changing the coordinate system in the unit.

Requirement 5Edit

Do the following:

A. Show you know how to use a map and compass and explain why this is important for geocaching.
B. Explain the similarities and differences between GPS navigation and standard map reading skills and describe the benefits of each.
C. Explain the UTM (Universal Transverse Mercator) system and how it differs from the latitude/longitude system used for public geocaches.
D. Show how to plot a UTM waypoint on a map. Compare the accuracy to that found with a GPS unit.

Requirement 6Edit

Describe the four steps to finding your first cache to your counselor. Then mark and edit a waypoint.

Requirement 7Edit

With your parent’s permission, go to www.Geocaching.com. Type in your zip code to locate public geocaches in your area. Share the posted information about three of those geocaches with your counselor. Then, pick one of the three and find the cache.

Requirement 8Edit

Do ONE of the following:

A. If a Cache to Eagle® series exists in your council, visit at least three of the 12 locations in the series. Describe the projects that each cache you visit highlights, and explain how the Cache to Eagle® program helps share our Scouting service with the public.
B. Create a Scouting-related Travel Bug® that promotes one of the values of Scouting. "Release" your Travel Bug into a public geocache and, with your parent’s permission, monitor its progress at www.geocaching.com for 30 days. Keep a log, and share this with your counselor at the end of the 30-day period.
C. Set up and hide a public geocache, following the guidelines in the Geocaching merit badge pamphlet. Before doing so, share with your counselor a six-month maintenance plan for the geocache where you are personally responsible for the first three months. After setting up the geocache, with your parent’s permission, follow the logs online for 30 days and share them with your counselor.
D. Explain what Cache In Trash Out (CITO) means, and describe how you have practiced CITO at public geocaches or at a CITO event. Then, either create CITO containers to leave at public caches, or host a CITO event for your unit or for the public.

Requirement 9Edit

Plan a geohunt for a youth group such as your troop or a neighboring pack, at school, or your place of worship. Choose a theme, set up a course with at least four waypoints, teach the players how to use a GPS unit, and play the game. Tell your counselor about your experience, and share the materials you used and developed for this event.

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