Boy Scouts of America

Boy Scouts of America Collage

The Boy Scouts of America was incorporated on 08 February 1910 and Chartered by Congress in 1916. Its stated purpose is to: “Provide for boys and young adults an effective educational program designed to build desirable qualities of character, to train in the responsibilities of participating citizenship and to develop in them personal fitness.

The Kansas Society of Land Surveyors (KSLS) Board of Directors officially formed a Boy Scout Merit Badge Committee in July 2004, however, many surveyors across Kansas have been actively involved in teaching the Surveying Merit Badge requirements for many years.

There are 8 Merit Badges relating to Professional Societies including: Engineering, Architecture, Geology, and Surveying. There are also several Merit Badges indirectly tied to surveying such as Orienteering, Astronomy, and others.

This Surveying Merit Badge (Badge #109) is one of the original Badges approved in 1911 by the Boy Scouts of America and has undergone several revisions to keep pace with current technology utilized in surveying. The most recent change in requirements occurred in 2004. Some of the merit badge requirements are performing a field traverse through 5 points using current technology, running a level loop through the same 5 points, drawing a plat of the field survey, learning about GPS technology, researching a deed description, and discussing the Surveying profession with a licensed surveyor. The project is designed to acquaint Scouts with the different instruments utilized by surveyors, the educational and professional requirements for surveyors, as well as the various types of career opportunities available in surveying and mapping. (See Career and Employment Opportunities for more information.)

BSA promotes character growth and acceptance of personal responsibility. “To help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight” is part of the Scout Oath. The Scout Law states “A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.” And of course, one of the most recognized mottos in the world is “Be Prepared.” It goes without saying that many of these characteristics fall directly in line with the values inherent in the time-honored profession of surveying.

In order to earn the Merit Badges, a Scout must find a Certified Merit Badge Counselor for the badge he wants to earn. A licensed surveyor is required in order to earn the Survey Merit Badge (#8 in the new requirements).

For more information or to request that a certified counselor work with a group of scouts in your area, please contact:

Richard Iman, CILS
Leavenworth County
Stan Lloyd, RLS
Shafer Kline and Warren

Merit Badge Requirements:

Adult Leader Application:

Merit Badge Counselor Application:

Merit Badge Counselors (Excel spreadsheet)

Converting between Azimuths and Bearings

Field Note Paper (Excel Spreadsheet)


Boy Scouts of America Surveying Merit Badge (#109) Quiz

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