Scouting/BSA/Personal Fitness 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.

Merit Badge Requirements

If meeting any of the requirements for this merit badge is against the Scout’s religious convictions, it does not have to be done if the boy’s parents and the proper church officials state in writing that: * To do so would be against religious convictions. * The parents accept full responsibility for anything that might happen because of such exemption. They release the Boy Scouts of America from any responsibility.

1) A) Before you try to meet any other requirements, have your health-care provider give you a thorough examination using the Scout medical examination form. Describe the examination. Tell what questions you were asked about your health. Tell what health or medical recommendations were made and report what you have done in response to the recommendations. Explain the following: 1) Why physical exams are important 2) Why preventative habits are important in maintaining good health 3) Diseases that can be prevented and how 4) The seven warning signs of cancer 5) The youth risk factors that affect cardiovascular fitness in adulthood B) Have an examination made by your dentist. Get a statement saying that your teeth have been checked and cared for. Tell how to care for your teeth.

2) Explain to your merit badge counselor verbally or in writing what personal fitness means to you, including: A) Components of personal fitness B) Reasons for being fit in all components C) What it means to be mentally healthy D) What it means to be physically healthy and fit E) What it means to be socially healthy. Discuss your activity in the eight areas of healthy social fitness F) What you can do to prevent social, emotional, or mental problems

3) With your counselor answer and discuss the following questions: A) Are you free from all curable diseases? Are you living in such a way that your risk of preventable diseases is minimized? B) Are you immunized and vaccinated according to the advice of your health-care provider? C) Do you understand the meaning of a nutritious diet and know why it is important for you? Does your diet include foods from all four groups? D) Are your body weight and composition what you would like them to be and do you know how to modify it safely through exercise, diet, and behavior modification? E) Do you carry out daily activities without noticeable effort? Do you have extra energy for other activities? F) Are you free from habits relating to nutrition and the use of alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and other practices that could be harmful to your health? G) Do you participate in a regular exercise program or recreational activities? H) Do you sleep well at night and wake up feeling refreshed and energized for the new day? I) Are you actively involved in the religious organization of your choice, and do you participate in their youth activities? J) Do you spend quality time with your family and friends in social and recreational activities? K) Do you support family activities and efforts to maintain a good home life?

4) Explain the following about physical fitness: A) The components of physical fitness B) Your weakest and strongest component of physical fitness C) The need to have a balance in all four components of physical fitness D) How the components of personal fitness relate to the Scout Laws and Scout Oath

5) Explain the following about nutrition: A) The importance of good nutrition B) What good nutrition means to you C) How good nutrition is related to the other components of personal fitness D) The three components of a sound weight (fat) control program

6) Before doing requirements 7 and 8, complete the aerobic fitness, flexibility, muscular strength, and body composition tests as described in the Personal Fitness merit badge pamphlet. Record your results and identify those areas where you feel you need to improve.

Aerobic Endurance Test Record your performance on one of the following tests: A) Run/walk as far as you can in nine minutes B) Run/walk one mile as fast as you can

Flexibility Test Using a sit-and-reach box constructed according to specifications in the merit badge pamphlet, complete four full repetitions and record the fourth reach. This last reach must be held for 15 seconds to qualify.

Muscular Strength Test You must use the sit-up test and EITHER the pull-up or push-up test. A) Sit-ups. Record the number of sit-ups done correctly in 60 seconds. The sit-ups must be done in the form explained and illustrated in the merit badge pamphlet. B) Pull-ups. Record the total number of pull-ups completed consistent with the procedures presented in the merit badge pamphlet. C) Push-ups. Record the total number of push-ups completed consistent with the procedures presented in the merit badge pamphlet.

Body Composition Test Have your parent, counselor, or other adult take and record the following measurements: A) Circumference of the right upper arm, midway between the shoulder and the elbow, with the arm hanging naturally and not flexed. B) Shoulders, with arms hanging by placing the tape two inches below the top of the shoulder and around the arms, chest, and back during breath expiration. C) Chest, by placing the tape under the arms and around the chest and back at the nipple line during breath expiration. D) Abdomen circumference at navel level (relaxed). E) Right thigh, midway between the hip and the knee.

  • If possible, have the same person take the measurements whenever they are recorded.

7) Outline a 12-week physical fitness program using the results of your physical fitness tests. Be sure your program incorporates the endurance, intensity, and warm-up guidelines discussed in the Personal Fitness merit badge pamphlet. Before beginning your exercises, have the program approved by your counselor and parents

8) Complete the physical fitness program you outlined in requirement 7. Keep a log of your fitness program activity (i.e., how long your exercised; how far your ran, swam, or biked; how many exercise repetitions you completed; your exercise heart rate; etc.). Repeat the aerobic fitness, muscular strength, and flexibility tests every two weeks and record your results. After the 12th week, repeat all four tests, record your results, and show improvement in each one. Compare and analyze your pre-program and post-program body composition measurements. Discuss the meaning and benefit of your experience.

9) Describe your long-term plans regarding your personal fitness.

External links[edit | edit source]

Earning Merit Badges in the Boy Scouts of America
Merit Badges Required to Attain Eagle Scout
Camping | Citizenship in the Community | Citizenship in the Nation | Citizenship in the World | Communications | Cooking | Cycling OR Hiking OR Swimming | Emergency Preparedness OR Lifesaving | Environmental Science OR Sustainability | Family Life | First Aid | Personal Fitness | Personal Management |
Earning Merit Badges in the Boy Scouts of America
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