Scouting/BSA/Orienteering Merit Badge

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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.

Requirement 1[edit | edit source]

Explain what orienteering is.

Requirement 2[edit | edit source]

Point out and name five major terrain features on a map and in the field.
Point out and name 10 symbols often found on a topographic map.

Requirement 3[edit | edit source]

Explain how a compass works. Describe the features of an orienteering compass and their uses.
In the field, show how to take a compass bearing and how to follow one.

Requirement 4[edit | edit source]

Explain the meaning of declination. Tell why declination must be taken into consideration when using map and compass together.
Provide a topographic map of your area with magnetic north-south lines.
Show how to transfer a direction on a map to your compass.

Requirement 5[edit | edit source]

Show how to measure distances, using a scale on an orienteering compass.
Set up a 300m pace course. Figure out your running pace for 100 meters.

Requirement 6[edit | edit source]

Explain a descriptive clue. Tell how it is used in orienteering.
Explain how to use an attack point. Describe the offset technique. Tell what is meant by collecting features.

Requirement 7[edit | edit source]

Take part in three orienteering events. One of these must be a cross-country course.
After each course, write a report with a copy of the master map and descriptive clues, 2. a copy of the route you took on the course, a discussion of how you could improve your time between points, and list of your major weaknesses on this course. Describe what you could do to improve.

Requirement 8[edit | edit source]

Set up a cross-country course of at least 2,000 meters long with five control markers. Prepare the master map. Mark the descriptive clues.
Set up a score-orienteering course with 12 points and a time limit of 60 minutes. Prepare the master map. Set the descriptive clues and point value for each control on this course.

Requirement 9[edit | edit source]

Act as an official during an orienteering event. (This may be during the running of the course you set up for requirement 8.)

Requirement 10[edit | edit source]

Teach orienteering techniques to your patrol, troop or post.

External Links[edit | edit source]

Using a Shadow to Find Directions[edit | edit source]

1. Find a straight stick, preferably one about a meter long.

2. Find an area to place your stick. This area ahould be as open as possible, free of brush or trees. It should also be as level as possible.

3. Place the stick in the ground sticking up.

4. Mark the tip of the shadow cast by the stick.

5. Wait for fifteen or twenty minutes until the shadow has moved noticeably.

6. Mark the tip of the shadow again.

7. Draw a line between these two marks. The first mark is west and the second is east.

8. If you stand with the first mark directly to the left of the second mark you will be facing north.

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