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Fingerprinting Merit Badge

Scoutmaster Bucky Comments:

The Fingerprinting Merit Badge is a fun and easy merit badge that is a great activity to do if offered at Scout Camp or as a Patrol / Troop meeting with only a few supplies. A perfect first merit badge for new Boy Scouts to earn.

If you like the Fingerprinting Merit Badge, consider also doing Crime Prevention

Created   1938
Scoutmaster Bucky Workbook  

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Scoutmaster Bucky Class Preparation Page  

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Scoutmaster Bucky offered this merit badge:

Saturday March 10, 2012

Maple Plain, MN


24 Scouts

Saturday March 12, 2011

Richfield, MN


20 Scouts

Saturday May 1, 2010

Rum River Scout Camp


16 Scouts

Saturday March 6, 2010

Richfield, MN


12 Scouts




source: Boy Scout Requirements, 2015 Edition

1. Give a short history of fingerprinting. Tell the difference between civil and criminal identification.

2. Explain the difference between the automated fingerprint identification systems (AFIS) now used by some law enforcement agencies and the biometric fingerprint systems used to control access to computers and places like buildings and airports.

3. Do the following:

a. Name the surfaces of the body where friction or papillary ridges are found.

b. Name the two basic principles supporting the science of fingerprints and give a brief explanation of each principle.

c. Explain what it takes to positively identify a person using fingerprints.


4. Take a clear set of prints using ONE of the following methods:

a. Make both rolled and plain impressions. Make these on an 8-by-8-inch fingerprint identification card, available from your local police department or your counselor.

b. Using clear adhesive tape, a pencil, and plain paper, record your own fingerprints or those of another person.


5. Show your merit badge counselor you can identify the three basic types of fingerprint patterns and their subcategories. Using your own hand, identify the types of patterns you see.


this page last reviewed and updated - April 2015