The 7 Objectively Weirdest Boy Scout Merit Badges

Dec 02, 2014 at 7:39 AM ET

As of this month, 14-year-old Josh McCoy of Alexandria, Virginia, has earned every last one of the 135 merit badges awarded by the Boy Scouts of America. We guarantee that this impressive accomplishment wasn’t nearly as much fun as your nostalgia-addled brain might lead you to believe—merit badges can’t all be archery, kayaking and wilderness survival.

What about stamp collecting? And sustainability? It gets weird out there. Here are seven of the very strangest pieces of sash flair on offer.


Maybe this will finally put a stop to the string of unsolved murders terrorizing your summer camp.


“Make a model tooth out of soap, clay, papier-mâché, or wax. Using a string and a large hand brush, show your troop or a school class proper toothbrushing and flossing procedures.”


Unabashedly throwing a bone to the indoor kids.

American Labor

“With your counselor’s and parent’s approval and permission, visit the office or attend a meeting of a local union, a central labor council, or an employee organization, or contact one of these organizations via the Internet.”

Truck Transportation

Assume that you are going to ship by truck 500 pounds of goods (freight class 65) from your town to another town 500 miles away. Your shipment must arrive within three days. Explain in writing…”

Nuclear Science

“Obtain a sample of irradiated and non-irradiated foods. Prepare the two foods and compare their taste and texture.”

Pulp and Paper

The perfect choice for Scouts who find the composite materials badge just a little too exciting.