Aviation Merit Badge
Activity Guide for Patrol Leaders
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C) Prerequisites - Scouts
Start working your Merit Badge here:

    Print Merit Badge Workbook - One copy for each scout. And don't forget to have ready your Merit Badge Blue Card - (home printer version.)
    Complete Req #1a - Define Aircraft
    Select Field Trip Goals - Patrol Leader Council Meeting - several options to choose from here!

    Purchase 9" Foam Plates for Activity Req #3b and print related instructions.
    Special Permission Forms - May be required for some air flight services.
    Field Trip Group RSVP -

    Check your Field Trip destination. Many aviation museums will have a certified counselor on staff.

Genealogy Merit Badge D) Study Hall

Learn important key concepts
Any Safety Requirements?
Start family research reports
Prepare for your Field Tour
Art Merit Badge

While some scouts may be adept at self-study, others may do better in a small group setting and taking notes on worksheets. You can facilitate discussion by asking them why each of the principles intruduced here would be relevant.

    Req #X: Patrol Planning Meeting:
    Patrol leaders meet to plan details for Patrol Activity and Field Trip suggested below.

    Req #1 : How do Aircraft Fly?
    Project Articulate has a great presentation for studying basic principles of Art.

      Aviation M.B. Resource - Great Power Point guide created by J.H. Welsch. Great for explaining how planes fly.

    Req #2c & 2e : Aircraft Operations
    Optional: Skip this section if your Field Trip will otherwise cover Requirement #2.

E) Patrol Activity
For Requirement #3, scouts must choose either to operate a remote control aircraft or build their own aircraft. This would make for another cool patrol activity night. Optional: include competition and prizes for best design and longest flight, acrobatic tricks, etc. This may be combined with your overnight field trip below.

    Req #3a: Operate a Remote Control Aircraft: Many R.C. Aircraft are available from our sponsor.
    Req #3b: Build & Fly a FPG-9: 9" Foam Plate Gliders!!! Certainly a more frugal option. Complete instructions found here.

F) Field Trip
Certainly the highlight of this adventure, each of the suggested options can be done as an daytrip or camping overnighter:

USS Midway F1) Aircraft Carrier Museum Tour
Several large carriers have been converted into floating museums and most hold regular scouting events including Aviation Merit Badge Seminars, Tours and Overnight Camping onboard. Check out the following USS Midway (San Diego CA), USS Lexington (Corpus Christi TX), USS Yorktown (Charleston SC), USS Intrepid (New York City NY), USS Hornet (Alameda CA). Look for the following tour activities:

    Reg #4a - Airport Tour
    Reg #4c - Aviation Museum Tour
    Reg #4c - Air Show
    Overnight Camping
    Req #2d - Flight Simulator
    Req #5 - Aviation Professional Career Interview
    Citizenship in the Nation * - Merit Badge (Required for Eagle) - National Landmark Field Trip (Req #2)


National Aerospace Museum F2) Aviation Museum Tour
Aerospace museums are very popular and located in several major cities. They also sometimes feature special programs for scouts. The biggest one is the National Aerospace Museum (located in Washington DC). The last time I was there we stayed two whole days.

Noteworthy Museum merit badge programs are found at Redwood City CA, Pearl Harbor HI, Garden City NJ, Santa Rosa CA, Ashland NE Birmingham AL, however, there are many more similar programs!

Look for the following tour activities:

    Reg #4a - Airport Tour - Many aviation museums are located next to an airport
    Reg #4c - Aviation Museum Tour
    Overnight Camping - ? Some maybe in close proximity to a camping facility.
    Req #2d - Flight Simulator
    Req #5 - Aviation Professional Career Interview

National Aerospace Museum F3) Glider School Airborne Tour
Many Glider and Flight Schools feature 30+ minute aircraft rides for scouts. In one great example, Aviation is the most popular merit badge offered at Camp Mataguay, (San Diego-Imperial Council BSA) which has successfully teamed up with a nearby glider school as part of their summer camp program. Look for the following tour activities:

    Req #2a - Aircraft Flight
    Req #2b - Preflight Inspection
    Reg #4a - Airport Tour -
    Overnight Camping - ? Some maybe in close proximity to a camping facility.
    Req #5 - Aviation Professional Career Interview

Charter Flight F4) Remote Charter Tour
Some troops have successfully chartered medium size air transport / cargo planes to fly them and their gear out to a remote camping destination and then a return flight the next day.

    Req #2a - Aircraft Flight
    Req #2b - Preflight Inspection
    Reg #4a - Airport Tour -
    Overnight Camping - Something near a remote wilderness airstrip? Maybe on a island even?
    Cooking MB - Outdoor Meal - Call it a rugged-O.
    Req #5 - Aviation Professional Career Interview

Aviation Merit Badge G) Program Debriefing

After completion of the above activities you may need a work session to finish completion of the merit badge worksheet to document the results of your visits, activities and the people you interviewed about potential career opportunities in this field.


H) Extra Credit

Never add to or take away from the stated merit badge requirements. The material presented below is intended only to add fun for the patrol by way of either activity or community service.

Utah Scout Camp Fun Bear Lake Aquatics Base

Located on the eastern shore of Utah's Bear Lake, this camp features many watersport scouting activities not available anywhere else in Utah: large boat sailing, water skiing, catamarans, snorkeling or the ever popular canoe outpost!

This boy scout camp also features helicopter rides and the opportunity for scouts to earn the Aviation Merit Badge. New programs also include Robotics and Search & Rescue.

I) Aviation Famous Quotes:

    That's not flying, that's just falling with style. Woody, from the 1996 movie Toy Story, regarding Buzz Lightyear.
    There is an art to flying. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss. Douglas Adams, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galax
    Lady, you want me to answer you if this old airplane is safe to fly? Just how in the world do you think it got to be this old? Anon
    The scientific theory I like best is that the rings of Saturn are composed entirely of lost airline luggage. Mark Russel

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