Orienteering 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 Orienteering 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 Orienteering 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 
Other Orienteering MERIT BADGE PAGES
Orienteering Merit Badge Current Requirements
Scoutmaster Bucky's - Orienteering Merit Badge Workbook
Orienteering Merit Badge and Merit Badge History Page

Orienteering 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. Orienteering Merit Badge Pamphlet

3. Scout Uniform

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

5. A compass; if you have one

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

7. A positive Scouting focus and attitude




1. Show that you know first aid for the types of injuries that could occur while orienteering, including cuts, scratches, blisters, snakebite, insect stings, tick bites, heat and cold reactions (sunburn, heatstroke, heat exhaustion, hypothermia), and dehydration. Explain to your counselor why you should be able to identify poisonous plants and poisonous animals that are found in your area.

Scouts should review this requirement and its elements and be prepared to discuss, demonstrate, explain, and show as necessary their first aid knowledge and proficiency as it applies to this merit badge as well as the ability to identify hazards likely to be encountered while orienteering


2. Explain what orienteering is.

Scouts should review the Orienteering Merit Badge pamphlet and be prepared to share their findings during the class


3. Do the following:

a. Explain how a compass works. Describe the features of an orienteering compass.

Scouts will find that reviewing the Orienteering Merit Badge pamphlet will aide significantly in preparing for the class on this requirement component. Scouts should be prepared to describe their knowledge in the class.

b. In the field, show how to take a compass bearing and follow it.

Scouts will have an opportunity to show the counselor their ability to use a compass correctly. Be Prepared.


4. Do the following:

a. Explain how a topographic map shows terrain features. Point out and name five terrain features on a map and in the field.

b. Point out and name 10 symbols on a topographic map.

c. Explain the meaning of declination. Tell why you must consider declination when using map and compass together.

d. Show a topographic map with magnetic north-south lines.

e. Show how to measure distances on a map using an orienteering compass.

f. Show how to orient a map using a compass.

Scouts will spend a good portion of the class working on this requirement and its components, however only Scouts who have reviewed the Orienteering Merit Badge pamphlet and other sources will find it possible to complete this requirement. The components of this requirement are as much skill-based as performing the tasks. Scouts will find it difficult to complete this requirement in the class if they do not have a base-understanding of the terms, methods and practices involved to complete each component


5. Set up a 100-meter pace course. Determine your walking and running pace for 100 meters. Tell why it is important to pace-count.

Scouts will work with the counselor and other Scout class participants in the class to complete this requirement


6. Do the following:

a. Identify 20 international control description symbols. Tell the meaning of each symbol.

b. Show a control description sheet and explain the information provided.

c. Explain the following terms and tell when you would use them: attack point, collecting feature, catching feature, aiming off, contouring, reading ahead, handrail, relocation, rough versus fine orienteering.

Scouts will need to do some research and reading in order to prepare for each of the components of this requirement. It is recommended that Scouts make notes of their findings to help show the counselor their efforts in preparing for the class. These notes can also serve to help Scouts successfully perform their identification, explanation, and showing their understanding as the requirement components describe. It will be very difficult for Scouts who do not come prepared to successfully complete the requirement in the class.


7. Do the following:

a. Take part in three orienteering events. One of these must be a cross-country course. BSA Youth Protection procedures call for using the buddy system. Requirement 7a can be completed by pairs or groups of Scouts.

b. After each event, write a report with (1) a copy of the master map and control description sheet, (2) a copy of the route you took on the course, (3) a discussion of how you could improve your time between control points, and (4) a list of your major weaknesses on this course. Describe what you could do to improve.

This requirement will obviously not be able to be completed in the class, however Scouts having previously participated in any orienteering events may bring their report with all of the required items for review by the counselor. If time and weather permits, it is planned to complete Requirement 8 which will count towards one of the three orienteering events.


8. Do ONE of the following:

a. Set up a cross-country course that is at least 2,000 meters long with at least five control markers. Prepare the master map and control description sheet.

b. Set up a score-orienteering course with at least 12 control points and a time limit of at least 60 minutes. Set point values for each control. Prepare the master map and control description sheet.

Scouts will spend a large portion of the class time working on this requirement, as directed by the merit badge counselor. This requirement will obviously take place outdoors and only Scouts with proper outdoor clothing for the weather conditions will be allowed to partake. (Scouts not having proper outdoor clothing will spend their time indoors waiting for the rest of the class to return - no indoor activity is planned for those not participating in the outdoor portion of this class)

Scouts will need to have a strong understanding of the basic for setting up and documenting a course. Scouts who utilize the Orienteering merit badge pamphlet will find all they need to be prepared ahead of the class for this requirement.


9. Act as an official during an orienteering event. This may be during the running of the course you set up for requirement 8.

All Scouts participating in requirement 8 will have an opportunity to serve as an official on the course in order to complete this requirement.


10. Teach orienteering techniques to your patrol, troop, or crew.

This requirement will NOT be completed as a part of the class. Scouts will need to make arrangements with the merit badge counselor or another counselor after the class and after doing this requirement to receive sign off on this requirement.

this page last reviewed / updated: February 2020