In 2017, I received a very sweet “Thank You!” card from the Arrowhead District of the Greater Alabama Council of the Boy Scouts of America:
The Arrowhead District serves Lawrence, Limestone and Morgan Counties in northern Alabama, and it invited me to come teach the Weather Merit Badge as part of their annual Merit Badge Academy. I was happy to oblige — I love teaching the Weather Merit Badge!
If you have a scout who is interested in weather, the summer break is a perfect time for them to work on and ultimately earn the Weather Merit Badge.
The majority of the requirements can be fulfilled on a scout’s own time by reading the official pamphlet/booklet issued by the Boy Scouts of America.
However, there are a few that require the scout speak with a registered merit badge counselor (like me!), and others that require meeting with a professional meteorologist (like myself and my colleagues at WHNT News 19):
Requirement 6: Draw a diagram of the water cycle and label its major processes. Explain the water cycle to your counselor.
Requirement 9b: Visit a National Weather Service office or talk with a local radio or television weathercaster, private meteorologist, local agricultural extension service officer, or university meteorology instructor.
Requirement 10. Do ONE of the following:
a. Give a talk of at least 5 minutes to a group (such as your unit or a Cub Scout pack) explaining the outdoor safety rules in the event of lightning, flash floods, and tornadoes. Before your talk, share your outline with your counselor for approval.
b. Read several articles about acid rain and give a prepared talk of more than 5 minutes about the articles to your unit. Before your talk, show your outline to your counselor for approval.
Requirement 11. Find out about a weather-related career opportunity that interests you. Discuss with and explain to your counselor what training and education are required for such a position, and the responsibilities required of such a position.
If your Boy Scout is interested in earning the Weather Merit Badge, feel free to reach out to me as a resource — I’d love to help! You can email me at email@example.com.
What about Girl Scouts?
I am passionate about volunteering with scouts because I was once a Girl Scout, too. In fact, I loved earning the Weather Watcher badge as a Junior Scout in the mid-90s!
But as of 2011, the Girl Scouts of USA has changed their program, and stand alone “weather badges” do not exist at this time. Senior Girl Scouts can work towards the “Sky Badge”; with that said, many troop leaders have been reaching to badge guidebooks of the past to help scouts earn “retro badges”. If this is something you and your Girl Scouts are interested in doing, I am happy to help them earn their “retro” Weather Watcher badge!