Forestry Merit Badge
Please arrive with ample time prior to the start time of your class for registration.  Remember there will be others checking in as well and depending on the size of the class, and the event the class is being held in conjunction with, that registration may take a little time.

You should bring a blue card filled out properly for this class. - Scoutmaster Bucky Online participants - you will not be allowed to participate if you have not provided your signed blue card prior to the class - you should have forwarded your blue card to Scoutmaster Bucky prior to the class via email or postal mail:
Scoutmaster Bucky - 5724 Aldrich Avenue South  Minneapolis, Minnesota  55419.

If you are not familiar with how to fill out a blue card, you should familiarize yourself with Scoutmaster Bucky's "How To Fill Out A Blue Card" document. Click here for Scoutmaster Bucky's "How To Fill Out A Blue Card".  Remember it is a Scout's responsibility to take care of their own blue card from beginning to end.
Your Scout Uniform is required to be worn for attending this Merit Badge session.   If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact Brian Reiners; Scoutmaster Bucky via email or on the phone at 612-483-0665.

Reviewing the merit badge pamphlet PRIOR to attending and doing preparation work will insure that Scouts get the most out of these class opportunities. The merit badge pamphlet is a wealth of information that can make earning a merit badge a lot easier. It contains many of the answers and solutions needed or can at least provide direction as to where one can find the answers.

It is NOT acceptable to come unprepared to a Scoutmaster Bucky event. You can (and should) use the Scoutmaster Bucky Forestry Merit Badge Workbook to help get a head start and organize your preparation work. Please note that the use of any workbook is merely for note taking and reference and completion of any Merit Badge workbook does not warrant, guarantee, or confirm a Scouts completion of any merit badge requirement(s). You can download the Scoutmaster Bucky Forestry Merit Badge Workbook by clicking here .   If this link is not working please check the internet for other merit badge workbook options.

It should be noted that this merit badge class is not meant for those who just want to come and see what they can get done. It is possible to complete this merit badge by being properly prepared and having done the preparation work prior to the class. Preparation is a MUST 
Forestry Merit Badge Current Requirements
Scoutmaster Bucky's - Forestry Merit Badge Workbook
Forestry Merit Badge and Merit Badge History Page

Forestry Merit Badge Things to remember to bring for this Merit Badge Class:

1. Merit Badge Blue Card properly filled out and signed off by your Scoutmaster

2. Forestry Merit Badge Pamphlet

3. Scout Uniform

4. Weather appropriate clothing for the time of year and location of the class for outdoor participation

5. Supporting documentation or project work pertinent to this merit badge which may also include a Merit Badge Workbook for reference with notes

6. A positive Scouting focus and attitude




1. Prepare a field notebook, make a collection, and identify 15 species of trees, wild shrubs, or vines in a local forested area. Write a description in which you identify and discuss the following:

a. The characteristics of leaf, twig, cone, or fruiting bodies

b. The habitat in which these trees, shrubs or vines are found.

c. The important ways each tree, shrub, or vine is used by humans or wildlife and whether the species is native or was introduced to the area. If it is not native, explain whether it is considered invasive or potentially invasive.

Scouts will need to develop and assemble a field notebook for completing this requirement as well as others. Not having a field notebook will not allow a Scout to satisfactorily complete many of the requirements; including this one.

While this requirement will be covered in the class, Scouts must make an effort to begin this requirement prior to the class with some review and preparation work. A Forestry Merit Badge Workbook will suffice as a field notebook supplement.  Scouts should make every effort to have as much of this requirement prepared for prior to the class as possible.


2. Do ONE of the following:

a. Collect and identify wood samples of 10 species of trees. List several ways the wood of each species can be used.

b. Find and examine three stumps, logs, or core samples that show variations in the growth rate of their ring patterns. In the field notebook you prepared for requirement 1, describe the location or origin of each example (including elevation, aspect, slope, and the position on the slope), and discuss possible reasons for the variations in growth rate. Photograph or sketch each example.

c. Find and examine two types of animal, insect, or disease damage to trees. In the field notebook you prepared for requirement 1, identify the damage, explain how the damage was caused, and describe the effects of the damage on the trees. Photograph or sketch each example.

The merit badge counselor/instructor will select one of the requirement components to complete within the class.  Scouts are still encouraged to review this requirement with the use of the Forestry Merit Badge pamphlet and have a working knowledge of the requirement and its components so as to more engagingly participate in this requirement during the class rather than just expecting to be spoon-fed the information and signed off.


3. Do the following:

a. Describe the contributions forests make to:

1. Our economy in the form of products.

2. Our social well-being, including recreation

3. Soil protection and increased fertility.

4. Clean water.

5. Clean air. (carbon cycling, sequestration)

6. Wildlife habitat

7. Fisheries habitat

8. Threatened and endangered species of plants and animals

Scouts should come to the class with notes prepared for discussion on the contributions forests make to each of the Requirement 3a components. The class will offer discussion time for all Scouts to share their findings.

b. Tell which watershed or other source your community relies on for its water supply.

Scouts will need to do preparation work prior to the class in order to be considered for sign off on this requirement component. Scouts will need to research and discover their local watershed and other sources within their community. Only Scouts who have done their preparation work for this requirement component will have the opportunity to share their work and be considered for sign off. Be Prepared.


4. Describe what forest management means, including the following:

a. Multiple-use management

b. Sustainable forest management

c. Even-aged and uneven-aged management and the silvicultural systems associated with each.

d. Intermediate cuttings.

e. The role of prescribed burning and related forest management practices.

While the counselor will help facilitate the class discussion on this requirement and its components, Scouts will need to prepare by referencing the Forestry Merit Badge pamphlet section covering this topic. Additional resources may be utilized to prepare for class discussion. Only Scout that actively participate in the class discussion will be considered eligible for sign off on this requirement and its components by the counselor.


5. With your parent's and counselor's approval, do ONE of the following:

a. Visit a managed public or private forest area with the manager or a forester who is familiar with it. Write a brief report describing the type of forest, the management objectives, and the forestry techniques used to achieve the objectives.

b. With a knowledgeable individual, visit a logging operation or wood-using manufacturing plant. Write a brief report describing the following:

1. The species and size of trees being harvested or used and the location of the harvest area or manufacturer.

2. The origin of the forest or stands of trees being utilized (e.g., planted or natural)

3. The forest's successional stage. What is its future?

4. Where the trees are coming from (land ownership) or where they are going (type of mill or processing plant)

5. The products that are made from the trees

6. How the products are made and used.

7. How waste materials from the logging operation or manufacturing plant are disposed of or utilized.

c. Take part in a forest-fire prevention campaign in cooperation with your local fire warden, state wildfire agency, forester, or counselor. Write a brief report describing the campaign, how it will help prevent wildfires, and your part in it.

Requirement 5 will NOT be covered in the class HOWEVER, Scouts may choose one of the requirement components and bring their documented proof of work and completion for review and consideration with the counselor during the class. Scouts should consider bringing something to share and confirm their visit and active participation in their selected requirement component. If the work and knowledge shared by the Scouts meets the satisfaction of the merit badge counselor, Scouts will be signed off on this requirement during the class.


6. In your camp, local recreation area (park or equivalent), or neighborhood, inventory the trees that may be a hazard to structures or people. Make a list by area (campsite, road, trail, street, etc.). Note the species and hazardous condition, and suggest a remedy (removal or trimming). Make your list available to the proper authority or agency.

This requirement will be covered within the class.


7. Do the following:

a. Describe the consequences to forests that result from FIVE of the following elements: wildfire, absence of fire, destructive insects, loss of pollinating insect population, tree diseases, air pollution, overgrazing, deer or other wildlife overpopulation, improper harvest, and urbanization.

b. Explain what can be done to reduce the consequences you discussed in 7a.

c. Describe what you should do if you discover a forest fire and how a professional firefighting crew might control it. Name your state or local wildfire control agency.

This requirement and its components will be completed during the class. Scouts still need to be sure to review the Forestry Merit Badge pamphlet prior to the class to ensure they have a basic understanding of the requirement, its components, and the information provided in the pamphlet to help further the Scout's understanding. Only Scouts who clearly show they have prepared for this requirement AND actively participate in the class discussion will be considered for sign off on this requirement and its components.


8. Visit one or more local foresters and write a brief report about the person (or persons). Or, write about a forester's occupation including the education, qualifications, career opportunities, and duties related to forestry.

Requirement 8 will NOT be covered in the class HOWEVER, Scouts are encouraged to pick one of the two options within this requirement and complete ahead of time. The counselor will provide time for review of this requirement during the class for Scouts who have prepared ahead of time.  Time MAY be allotted within the class for Scouts to complete the forester occupation writing option, but time may not allow for this so do not plan on having a lot of time during the class for this.  The counselor will lead a discussion during the class about forester occupations that Scouts who come unprepared on this requirement can easily gain the insight and knowledge to complete this requirement and for those who have come prepared to complete the requirement.  Remember that regardless of which option a Scout chooses, there is a writing element involved in completing this requirement; no exceptions.

this page last reviewed / updated: April 2019