Return to Public Health Merit Badge Page



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 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 directions 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 Public Health Merit Badge Workbook to help get a head start and organize your preparation work. You can download the Scoutmaster Bucky Public Health 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.





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. Public Health Merit Badge Pamphlet

3. Scout Uniform

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

5. A positive Scouting focus and attitude

Following is an outline of the class to help you prepare.  Note that Scouts will be signed off only on those requirements that the Merit Badge Counselor determines meets the requirements; no more no less  This Merit Badge should not be expected to be earned without preparation and work


1. Explain what public health is. Explain how Escherichia coli (E. coli), tetanus, AIDS, encephalitis, salmonellas, and Lyme disease are contracted. Then, pick any four of the following diseases and explain how each one is contracted: gonorrhea, West Nile virus, botulism, influenza, syphilis, hepatitis, emphysema, meningitis, herpes, lead poisoning. For all 10 diseases, explain the type or form of the disease (viral, bacterial, environmental, toxin), any possible vectors for transmission, ways to help prevent the spread of infection, and available treatments.

This will take some time to complete and Scouts should have a majority if not all of this charted out prior to the class so that class discussion and explanation can take place to potentially complete this large requirement.  Preparation is a must and those Scouts who do not prepare ahead of time for this requirement will find it difficult if not impossible to complete this requirement in the class.  Be Prepared!.


2. Do the following:

a. Explain the meaning of immunization.

b. Name five diseases against which a young child should be immunized and two diseases against which everyone should be reimmunized periodically.

c. Using the diseases you chose for requirement 1, discuss the diseases for which there is currently no treatment or immunization.

Scouts should review this requirement and its components and be prepared to explain and discuss.  It is strongly recommended that Scouts bring any notes or supporting documents they may have to help show the counselor that they have prepared for discussion of these items.


3. Discuss the importance of safe drinking water in terms of the spread of disease. Then, demonstrate two ways for making water safe to drink that can be used while at camp. In your demonstration, explain how dishes and utensils should be washed, dried, and kept sanitary at home and in camp.

A portion of this requirement will be covered in the class with a counselor presentation, however Scouts still need to research and take note on many points in fulfilling this requirement.  Scouts should be prepared with notes or other items to show they are ready to discuss safe drinking water procedures, how disease is spread through water, and all scouts should come ready and knowledgeable on sanitary procedures for both home and at camp for their dishes and utensils.  After all most Scouts need to know this in order to gain rank advancement so it should already be known, but Scoutmaster Bucky recommends a strong review prior to class might serve all Scouts well.


4. Explain what a vector is and how insects and rodents can be controlled in your home, in your community, and at camp. Tell why this is important. In your discussion, explain which vectors can be easily controlled by individuals and which ones require long-term, collective action.

Scouts should first start by understanding the term vector as it pertains to Public Health.  Understanding what a vector is apply this to answering the other parts of this requirement and be prepared to discuss and explain your findings.  This will be a very difficult requirement to completed if you have not done some preparation work.  It is strongly recommended, but not required< that any notes or other supporting documentation or materials you might have should be brought with you to class to help show the counselor that you have prepared and researched this requirement. While this still does not guarantee you completion (since discussion and explanation are apart of the requirement as well) it will give you a better chance of completing the requirement during the class.


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

a. Visit a municipal wastewater treatment facility OR a solid-waste management operation in your community. Describe how the facility safely treats and disposes of sewage or solid waste. Describe how sewage and solid waste should be disposed of under wilderness camping conditions.

b. Arrange to meet with the food service manager of a food service facility (such as a restaurant or school cafeteria) and visit this establishment. Observe food preparation, handling, and storage, and learn how the facility keeps foods from becoming contaminated. Find out what conditions allow microorganisms to multiply in food and how conditions can be controlled to help prevent the growth and dissemination of microorganisms. Learn how microorganisms in food can be killed. Discuss what you learned with your counselor.

Requirement 5b will be completed in the class.


6. Do the following:

a. Describe the health dangers from air, water, and noise pollution.

b. Describe health dangers from tobacco use and alcohol and drug abuse.

Coupled with what Scouts already know on these subjects and a review of the merit badge pamphlet section on this requirement, Scouts should easily complete this requirement within the class.  Please note that a review of the merit badge pamphlet is stated, it will be quite evident to the counselor those Scouts who have not read the merit badge pamphlet and/or prepared for the class.  As such if preparation is not completed please do not be upset when completion of the requirement is not signed off.  Also remember, a Scout is Trustworthy.


7. With your parent's and counselor's approval, visit your city, county, or state public health agency. Discuss how the agency addresses the concerns raised in requirements 1 through 6 and how the services provided by this agency affect your family. Then do the following:

a. Compare the four leading causes of mortality (death) in your community for any of the past five years with the four leading causes of morbidity (incidence of disease) in your community. Explain how the public health agency you visited is trying to reduce the mortality and morbidity rates of these leading causes of illness and death.

b. Explain the role of the health agency you visited related to the outbreak of diseases.

c. Discuss the kinds of public assistance the agency is able to provide in case of disasters such as floods, storms, tornadoes, earthquakes, and other acts of destruction. Your discussion can include the cleanup necessary after a disaster occurs.

Scouts should be as prepared as possible with their preparation work for the class.  Scouts should bring any note or supporting documentation to assist them with their discussion points for this requirement in the class.  Some assistance will be given in the class on this requirement but those not coming prepared will find it difficult to complete this requirement in the class alone.


8. Pick a profession in the public health sector that interests you. Find out the education, training, and experience required to work in this profession. Discuss what you learn with your counselor.

Scouts should review this requirement and its components and be prepared to discuss.  It is strongly recommended that Scouts bring any notes or supporting documents they may have to help show the counselor that they have prepared for discussion of these items.


this page last reviewed and updated - December 2015