2020 Merit Badge Ranking List Rewritten by the Pandemic

The pandemic didn’t stop Scouts from earning merit badges in 2020, but it did cause a dramatic shift in which merit badges Scouts earned most.

Ever since 2012, when the merit badge rankings where first published, the top of the list has been dominated by merit badges that are both on the list of Eagle-required merit badges and offered at most council summer camps.

But everything changed in 2020.

With the majority of summer camps not operating, the popularity of those merit badges fell. In their place, we saw an unprecedented rise in the popularity of merit badges that can be earned at home, often with a Scout’s family.

More than 1.1 million merit badges were earned in 2020 — and there’s a story behind each one.

Click here to look more closely at the numbers.