Earning the Boy Scout Climbing Merit Badge
• All technical equipment
• Maximum 5:1 Scout/adult ratio
• Two 6-7 hour days of instruction, verification, and climbing
Our two-day curriculum gives Scouts with little to no climbing experience the opportunity to learn essential climbing skills and prove competency with the requirements of the Rock Climbing merit badge. While most troops do this as a weekend program, it can be split into two days, weeks or months apart, if you prefer. *Scouts must have their First Aid merit badge (not included) to meet Climbing merit badge requirements.*
Scouts show up with varying knowledge levels and we get everyone on the same page through a progression of experiential lessons and information sessions. We know Scouts don't want to sit around listening to lectures, so we stay active and involved as much as possible, mixing the informational portions of the Climbing merit badge into the more practical, active aspects. Pricing $75/scout/day for groups of 10 or more.
Prepare for a Successful Training Weekend
Scoutmasters planning a climbing event should review the Boy Scout climbing merit badge requirements well ahead of time to set your boys up for success. We can address all merit badge requirements during our program except 1b and 1c, which are better handled in advance through First Aid training.
Many climbing merit badge requirements ask for Scouts to explain concepts or demonstrate procedures individually to a merit badge counselor. To accommodate these requirements, it helps if the Scouts have learned them (or at least been exposed to them) ahead of time. If possible, try to find a local climber or gym instructor who you can meet with ahead of time to get a start with.
BSA Climbing Merit Badge Requirements
The below requirements come directly from the BSA website:
"Climbing is not a sport that requires tremendous muscular strength; it demands mental toughness and the willingness to practice hard to master a set of skills. The adventure of climbing can also provide a new way to enjoy the outdoors.
1. Do the following:
- Explain to your counselor the most likely hazards you may encounter while participating in climbing and rappelling activities and what you should do to anticipate, help prevent, mitigate, and respond to these hazards.
- Show that you know first aid for and how to prevent injuries or illnesses that could occur during climbing activities, including heat and cold reactions, dehydration, stopped breathing, sprains, abrasions, fractures, rope burns, blisters, snakebite, and insect bites or stings.
- Identify the conditions that must exist before performing CPR on a person.
2. Learn the Leave No Trace principles and Outdoor Code, and explain what they mean.
3. Present yourself properly dressed for belaying, climbing, and rappelling (i.e., appropriate clothing, footwear, and a helmet; rappellers can also wear gloves).
4. Location. Do the following:
- Explain how the difficulty of climbs is classified, and apply classifications to the rock faces or walls where you will demonstrate your climbing skills.
- Explain the following: top-rope climbing, lead climbing, and bouldering.
- Evaluate the safety of a particular climbing area. Consider weather, visibility, the condition of the climbing surface, and any other environmental hazards.
- Determine how to summon aid to the climbing area in case of an emergency.
5. Verbal signals. Explain the importance of using verbal signals during every climb and rappel, and while bouldering. With the help of the merit badge counselor or another Scout, demonstrate the verbal signals used by each of the following:
- Boulderers and their spotters
6. Rope. Do the following:
- Describe the kinds of rope acceptable for use in climbing and rappelling.
- Show how to examine a rope for signs of wear or damage.
- Discuss ways to prevent a rope from being damaged.
- Explain when and how a rope should be retired.
- Properly coil a rope.
7. Knots. Demonstrate the ability to tie each of the following knots. Give at least one example of how each knot is used in belaying, climbing, or rappelling.
- Figure eight on a bight
- Figure eight follow-through
- Water knot
- Double fisherman's knot (grapevine knot)
- Safety knot
8. Harnesses. Correctly put on at least ONE of the following:
- Commercially made climbing harness
- Tied harness
9. Belaying. Do the following:
- Explain the importance of belaying climbers and rappellers and when it is necessary.
- Belay three different climbers ascending a rock face or climbing wall.
- Belay three different rappellers descending a rock face or climbing wall using a top rope.
- Show the correct way to directly tie into a belay rope.
- Climb at least three different routes on a rock face or climbing wall, demonstrating good technique and using verbal signals with a belayer.
- Using a carabiner and a rappel device, secure your climbing harness to a rappel rope.
- Tie into a belay rope set up to protect rappellers.
- Rappel down three different rock faces or three rappel routes on a climbing wall. Use verbal signals to communicate with a belayer, and demonstrate good rappelling technique.
12. Demonstrate ways to store rope, hardware, and other gear used for climbing, rappelling, and belaying."