The Soil and Water Conservation Merit Badge is one of the required and / or elective merit badges to earn one of the William T Hornaday Awards for Boy Scouts

The Soil and Water Conservation Merit Badge is one of the merit badges required to earn the World Conservation Award for Boy Scouts.

Consider working on the Soil and Water Conservation Merit Badge BEFORE or ALONG WITH the Gardening Merit Badge or even ALONG WITH the Plant Science Merit  Badge.  Good Scout Camp merit badge if offered.


Scoutmaster Bucky offered this merit badge:

Saturday May 23, 2015

Minneapolis, MN


4 Scouts

Saturday March 16, 2013

Maple Plain, MN


11 Scouts

Saturday May 1, 2010

Rum River Scout Camp
Ramsey, MN


14 Scouts








Scoutmaster Bucky Class Prep Page:

click here



Scoutmaster Bucky Workbook:

click here



Soil and Water Conservation Merit Badge History Page:

click here






source: Boy Scout Requirements, 2015 Edition


1. Do the following:

a. Tell what soil is. Tell how it is formed

b. Describe three kinds of soil. Tell how they are different

c. Name the three main plant nutrients in fertile soil. Tell how they can be put back when used up


2. Do the following:

a. Define soil erosion

b. Tell why it is important. Tell how it affects you

c. Name three kinds of soil erosion. Describe each

d. Take pictures or draw two kinds of soil erosion


3. Do the following:

a. Tell what is meant by conservation practices

b. Describe the effect of three kinds of erosion-control practices

c. Take pictures or draw three kinds of erosion-control practices


4. Do the following:

a. Explain what a watershed is

b. Outline the smallest watershed that you can find on a contour map

c. Then outline on your map, as far as possible, the next larger watershed which also has the smallest in it

d. Explain what a river basin is. Tell why all people living in a river basin should be concerned about land and water use in it


5. Do the following:

a. Make a drawing to show the hydrologic cycle

b. Show by demonstration at least two of the following actions of water in relation to soil: percolation, capillary action, precipitation, evaporation, transpiration

c. Explain how removal of vegetation will affect the way water runs off a watershed

d. Tell how uses of forest, range, and farmland affect usable water supply

e. Explain how industrial use affects water supply


6. Do the following:

a. Tell what is meant by "water pollution"

b. Describe common sources of water pollution and explain the effects of each

c. Tell what is meant by "primary water treatment," "secondary waste treatment," and "biochemical oxygen demand"

d. Make a drawing showing the principles of complete waste treatment


7. Do TWO of the following:

a. Make a trip to TWO of the following places. Write a report of more than 500 words about the soil and water and energy conservation practices you saw

1. An agricultural experiment

2. A managed forest or woodlot, range, or pasture

3. A wildlife refuge or a fish or game management area

4. A conservation-managed farm or ranch

5. A managed watershed

6. A waste-treatment plant

7. A public drinking water treatment plant

8. An industry water-use installation

9. A desalinization plant

b. Plant 100 trees, bushes, and/or vines for a good purpose

c. Seed an area of at least one-fifth acre for some worthwhile conservation purpose, using suitable grasses or legumes alone or in a mixture

d. Study a soil survey report. Describe the things in it. On tracing paper over any of the soil maps, outline an area with three or more different kinds of soil. List each kind of soil by full name and map symbol

e. Make a list of places in your neighborhood, camps, school ground, or park that have erosion, sedimentation, or pollution problems. Describe how these could be corrected through individual or group action

f. Carry out any other soil and water conservation project approved by your merit badge counselor


this page last reviewed and updated - December 2015