Merit Badge Requirements Merit Badge History
Exploration Merit Badge Workbook
This Scoutmaster Bucky Merit Badge Workbook is based off the 2021 Scouts BSA Requirements.
Type your work on this page or download the Exploration Workbook PDF.

Consider also using the Exploration merit badge class preparation page for clarification and expections when participating in a Scoutmaster Bucky merit badge opportunity (online or in-person).

Scout's Name:
Requirement 1: **General Knowledge.** Do the following:
Requirement 1a: Define exploration and explain how it differs from adventure travel, trekking or hiking, tour-group trips, or recreational outdoor adventure trips.
Requirement 1b: Explain how approaches to exploration may differ if it occurs in the ocean, in space, in a jungle, or in a science lab in a city.
Requirement 2: **History of Exploration.** Discuss with your counselor the history of exploration. Select a field of study with a history of exploration to illustrate the importance of exploration in the development of that field (for example, aerospace, oil industry, paleontology, oceanography, etc.).
Requirement 3: **Importance of Exploration.** Explain to your counselor why it is important to explore. Discuss the following:
Requirement 3a: Why it is important for exploration to have a scientific basis
Requirement 3b: How explorers have aided in our understanding of our world
Requirement 3c: What you think it takes to be an explorer
Requirement 4: **Real-Life Exploration.** Do ONE of the following:
Requirement 4a: Learn about a living explorer. Create a short report or presentation (verbal, written, or multimedia slide presentation) on this individual's objectives and the achievements of one of the explorer's expeditions. Share what you have learned with your counselor and unit.
Requirement 4b: Learn about an actual scientific exploration expedition. Gather information about the mission objectives and the expedition's most interesting or important discoveries. Share what you have learned with your counselor and unit. Tell how the information gained from this expedition helped scientists answer important questions.
Requirement 4c: Learn about types of exploration that may take place in a laboratory or scientific research facility (medicine, biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, etc.). Explain to your counselor how laboratory research and exploration are similar to field research and exploration.
Requirement 5: **Exploration in Lab and Field.** Do ONE of the following, and share what you learn with your counselor:
Requirement 5a: With your parent's permission and counselor's approval, visit either in person or via the internet an exploration sponsoring organization (such as The Explorers Club, National Geographic Society, Smithsonian Institution, Alpine Club, World Wildlife Fund, or similar organization). Find out what type(s) of exploration the organization supports.
Requirement 5b: With permission and approval, visit either in person or via the internet a science lab, astronomical observatory, medical research facility, or similar site. Learn what exploration is done in this facility.

As you work on the Exploration merit badge, remember to always use the buddy system. Whether you are out in the field or meeting with your merit badge counselor, having a buddy will help ensure everyone's safety. You and your buddy can watch out for each other wherever you may be or whatever you may be doing.

Requirement 6: **Expedition Planning.** Discuss with your counselor each of the following steps for conducting a successful exploration activity. Explain the need for each step.
Requirement 6a: Identify the objectives (establish goals).
Requirement 6b: Plan the mission. Create an expedition agenda or schedule. List potential documents or permits needed.
Requirement 6c: Budget and plan for adequate financial resources. Estimate costs for travel, equipment, accommodations, meals, permits or licenses, and other expedition expenses.
Requirement 6d: Determine equipment and supplies required for personal and mission needs for the length of the expedition.
Requirement 6e: Determine communication and transportation needs. Plan how to keep in contact with your base or the outside world, and determine how you will communicate with each other on-site.
Requirement 6f: Establish safety and first aid procedures (including planning for medical evacuation). Identify the hazards that explorers could encounter on the expedition, and establish procedures to prevent or avoid those hazards.
Requirement 6g: Determine team selection. Identify who is essential for the expedition to be successful and what skills are required by the expedition leader.
Requirement 6h: Establish detailed recordkeeping (documentation) procedures. Plan the interpretation and sharing of information at the conclusion of the expedition.
Requirement 7: **Prepare for an Expedition.** With your parent's permission and counselor's approval, prepare for an actual expedition to an area you have not previously explored; the place may be nearby or far away. Do the following:
Requirement 7a: Make your preparations under the supervision of a trained expedition leader, expedition planner, or other qualified adult experienced in exploration (such as a school science teacher, museum representative, or qualified instructor).
Requirement 7b: Use the steps listed in requirement 6 to guide your preparations. List the items of equipment and supplies you will need. Discuss with your counselor why you chose each item and how it will be of value on the expedition. Determine who should go on the expedition.
Requirement 7c: Conduct a pre-expedition check, covering the steps in requirement 6, and share the results with your counselor. With your counselor, walk through the Sweet Sixteen of BSA Safety for your expedition. Ensure that all foreseeable hazards for your expedition are adequately addressed.
Requirement 8: **Go on an Expedition.** Complete the following:
Requirement 8a: With your parent's permission and under the supervision of your merit badge counselor or a counselor-approved qualified person, use the planning steps you learned in requirement 6 and the preparations you completed in requirement 7 to personally undertake an actual expedition to an area you have not previously explored.
Requirement 8b: Discuss with your counselor what is outdoor ethics and its role in exploration and enjoying the outdoors responsibly.
Requirement 8c: After you return, compile a report on the results of your expedition and how you accomplished your objective(s). Include a statement of the objectives, note your findings and observations, include photos, note any discoveries, report any problems or adverse events, and have a conclusion (whether you reached your objective or not). The post-expedition report must be at least one page and no more than three; one page can be photos, graphs, or figures.
Requirement 9: **Career Opportunities.** Identify three career opportunities in exploration. Pick one and explain to your counselor how to prepare for such a career. Discuss what education and training are required, and why this profession might interest you.