I counsel the Boy Scout Astronomy merit badge.  This is an introduction for Boy Scouts who would like to complete this merit badge. I can also help you with the First Class Requirement #1, which includes using astronomy to find your way.

You may have found this link if you met me in a class I present at a Scout event or a Rappahannock Astronomy Club event, or if you started the merit badge at summer camp and are looking for a counselor to finish it up.

Astronomy is a big topic. To complete the merit badge, you will gain a hobby-level familiarity with the night sky and other astronomy topics.

You learn it my doing and practicing. You will need to go outside and look up at the sky many times to learn the constellations and stars that the merit badge asks you to identify. You can’t do it all in a one-day workshop, or in one night at a star party. Scout camps teach it at summer camp, but few of them get through all of the information in a week. I suggest you plan to invest at least a month working on the merit badge. If you enjoy looking at the night sky, it will be a fun month for you.

I also suggest you hang out at as many star parties as you can. They are fun,
and you get to use a lot of different telescopes and hear a lot of different
people sharing the sky.

You can find the current requirements at the BSA Web site.  That link has many good resources, including worksheets to help you write up your
answers for the requirements.

The Astronomy merit badge includes some requirements to look at the sky and some requirements to demonstrate that you know things about astronomy. You need to first learn the information, and then show your Astronomy merit badge counselor that you can answer the questions in the requirements.

I suggest you come to a class for the merit badge, read the merit badge pamphlet, and use a worksheet to write up your own answers to the requirements and email them to me.

The requirements you can complete under the night sky at a star party or in your own back yard are

  • parts of 2
  • 4
  • parts of 5, 6, and 7

The requirements you need to learn from the class or book and write up are

  • 1
  • parts of 2
  • 3
  • parts of 5, 6, and 7
  • 9

The requirements that involve projects and will require some time at home are

  • parts of 5 and 6
  • 8

Requirement 8 requires choosing a project and coordinating with your counselor before carrying out the project.

During my class for the merit badge, we will discuss the information you need in order to complete all the requirements.  Feel free to send me questions about anything.

I will not communicate privately with any youth – I will copy a parent’s email address on anything I send in email.  If you send email to me, please include not only your email address but a parent’s address. Thanks.

I have more resources to help you complete the merit badge here. You can find more about me here.

Glenn Holliday [email protected]