Return to Reptile and Amphibian Study 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 Reptile and Amphibian Study Merit Badge Workbook to help get a head start and organize your preparation work. You can download the Scoutmaster Bucky Reptile and Amphibian Study 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. Reptile and Amphibian Study 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. Describe the identifying characteristics of six species of reptiles and four species of amphibians found in the United States. For any four of these, make sketches from your own observations or take photographs. Show markings, color patterns, or other characteristics that are important in the identification of each of the four species. Discuss the habits and habitats of all 10 species

While some time will be allotted in the class for completin of this requirement, Scouts will find it most beneficial to have this requirement as complete as possible prior to the class.  Scouts should consider working on the sketches or taking pictures prior to the class in order to assure they have enough time to complete this requirement successfully.  The counselor will be bringing some reptiles and amphibians to the class, so at a minimum Scouts should consider bringing a digital camera or phone to take pictures durng the class if they are unable to fully prepare for this requirement ahead of time.


2. Discuss with your merit badge counselor the approximate number of species and general geographic distribution of reptiles and amphibians in the United States. Prepare a list of the most common species found in your local area or state

Scouts should consider utilizing the Reptiles and Amphibians Study Merit Badge pamphlet to prepare for this requirement prior to the class.  Other resources may be available (i.e. the internet - with your parent's permission) to also utilize for preparing for this requirement.  Only Scouts that actively participate in the class discussion for this requirement will be considered for sign off on this requirement.  Scouts should come to the class with a list of the most common species found in the local area.  The merit badge counselor will help supplement this list, but again, only Scouts who actively participate in the class discussion AND have made a list by the end of the class, to the satisfaction of the merit badge counselor, will be considered for sign off on this requirement.  Prepare accordingly..


3. Describe the main differences between

a. Amphibians and Reptiles

b. Alligators and Crocodiles

c. Toads and Frogs

d. Salamanders and Lizards

e. Snakes and Lizards

Scouts will find using the merit badge pamphlet helpful, if not easiest, to prepare for this requirement. It is highly recommended that Scouts make notes to help prepare themselves for discussion during the class on this requirement.


4. Explain how reptiles and amphibians are an important component of the natural environment. List four species that are officially protected by the federal government or by the state you live in, and tell why each is protected. List three species of reptiles and three species of amphibians found in your local area that are not protected. Discuss the food habits of all 10 species

Scouts will find the use of the merit badge pamphlet to be extremely helpful in preparing for this requirement.  It is strongly recommended that Scouts utilize a merit badge workbook to help organize their notes and findings for reference during class discussion.  Scouts should also consider having their lists prepared for ahead of time to insure they have the best chance of being signed off on this requirement.  Active participation in the class discussion is necessary for consideration in being signed off on this requirement.


5. Describe how reptiles and amphibians reproduce

Scouts should utilize the merit badge pamphlet or other sources to have a general understanding of the idfferences between reptiles and amphibians and how they reproduce and be prepared for discussion during the class..


6. From observation, describe how snakes move forward. Describe the functions of the muscles, ribs, and belly plates

Scouts may want to consider looking on the internet (with your parent's permission) at videos that can assist with this observation requirement.  THe counselor will have a snake at the class for observing, many Scouts will find it beneficial to have a basic understanding through video observations in preapration for the class.  THe counselor will help supplement and clarify your preparation during the class.


7. Describe in detail six venomous snakes and the one venomous lizard found in the United States. Describe their habits and geographic range. Tell what you should do in case of a bite by a venomous species

Scouts will find utilizing the Reptile and Amphibian Study Merit Badge pamphlet to be the easiest source to reference when preparing for this requirement.  Other sources, (like the internet - with your parent's permission) can also assist in preparing for this requirement. Scouts will have an opportunity in the class to share their findings for this requirement.  Scouts may find it easiest when preparing for this requirement to utilize a merit badge workbook or other note taking method to write down their research and findings for reference during the class.


8. Do ONE of the following:

a. Maintain one or more reptiles or amphibians for at least a month. Record food accepted, eating methods, changes in coloration, shedding of skins, and general habits; or keep the eggs of a reptile from the time of laying until hatching; or keep the eggs of an amphibian from the time of laying until their transformation into tadpoles (frogs) or larvae (salamanders)

b. Choose a reptile or amphibian that you can observe at a local zoo, aquarium, nature center, or other such exhibit (such as your classroom or school). Study the specimen weekly for a period of three months. At each visit, sketch the specimen in its captive habitat and note any changes in its coloration, shedding of skins, and general habits and behavior. Find out, either from information you locate on your own or by talking to the caretaker, what this species eats and what are its native habitat and home range, preferred climate, average life expectancy, and natural predators. Also identify any human caused threats to its population and any laws that protect the species and its habitat. After the observation period, share what you have learned with your counselor

This requirement will NOT be covered in the class, HOWEVER time will be allotted for those Scouts who have done their observation and made the appropriate records of their observations, to share their work with the counselor and class for consideration of sign off on this requirement.  Scouts may condiser using online web cams from zoos, nature centers, or other sources if they are not able to find a local observation point. Scouts attending the class will also be given resource points and ideas as to how they may go about completing this requirement after the class.


9. Do TWO of the following:

a. Identify at night three kinds of toads or frogs by their voices. Imitate the song of each for your counselor. Stalk each with a flashlight and discover how each sings and from where

b. Identify by sight eight species of reptiles or amphibians

c. Using visual aids, give a brief talk to a small group on three different reptiles and amphibians

While the class is structured to accommodate requirement component 9b during the class, Scouts will need to pick one of the other two components to consider preparing for prior to the class. Scouts hoping to get signed off on this requirement should bring their work to class and be prepared to share with the counselor and class for consideration of full sign off onthis requirement.


10. Tell five superstitions or false beliefs about reptiles and amphibians and give a correct explanation for each. Give seven examples of unusual behavior or other true facts about reptiles and amphibians.

While the merit badge counselor will help supplment this requirement during the class, Scouts must make some attempt to come to the class with at least part of this requirement preapred and worked on.  Scouts attending the class having done no preparation work will find it difficult, if not impossible to fully complete this requirement during the class.  Be prepared.  Again the Reptile and Amphibian Study merit badge pamhplet is the best source to reference for preparing for this requirement.


this page last reviewed and updated - February 2016