Climbing Merit Badge
Activity Guide for Patrol Leaders
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ClimbingMerit Badge C) Prerequisites - Scouts
Work to be done prior to program start:

    Print Merit Badge Workbook
    One copy for each scout. And don't forget to have ready your Merit Badge Blue Card - (home printer version.)
    One copy for each scout.

    Req #9-11: Field Trip
    Discuss with your Patrol Leaders what your group can do to cover two or more of the requirements for #9 - #11 (see below).

ClimbingMerit Badge D) Study Hall

The purpose of this section is to facilitate an opportunity for scouts to research and learn about key concepts relevant to this subject. They need to be prepared to explain these to the counselor.

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.

There are a few very important climbing knots that they should practice before going out into the field.

    Req #1: Climbing First Aid

      a. Show that you know first aid for and how to prevent injuries or illnesses that could occur during climbing activities, including heat and cold reactions, dehydration, stopped breathing, sprains, abrasions, fractures, rope burns, blisters, snakebite, and insect bites or stings.
      b. Identify the conditions that must exist before performing CPR on a person.
      Scout First Aid Test PDF - 25 point multiple question review of scouting first aid basics. All scouts should score 20 points or better.(Credit: / Warning: Answer Key attached.)

    Req #2: Outdoor Code
    Learn the Leave No Trace principles and Outdoor Code, and explain what they mean.

    Req #4: Location
    Do the following:

      a. Explain how the difficulty of climbs is classified, and apply classifications to the rock faces or walls where you will demonstrate your climbing skills.
      b. Explain the following: top-rope climbing, lead climbing, and bouldering.
      c. Evaluate the safety of a particular climbing area. Consider weather, visibility, the condition of the climbing surface, and any other environmental hazards.
      d. Determine how to summon aid to the climbing area in case of an emergency.

    Req #5: Verbal Signals
    Explain the importance of using verbal signals during every climb and rappel, and while bouldering. With the help of the merit badge counselor or another Scout, demonstrate the verbal signals used by each of the following:

      a. Climbers
      b. Rappellers
      c. Belayers
      d. Boulderers and their spotters

    Req #6: Rope
    Do the following:

      a. Describe the kinds of rope acceptable for use in climbing and rappelling.
      b. Show how to examine a rope for signs of wear or damage.
      c. Discuss ways to prevent a rope from being damaged.
      d. Explain when and how a rope should be retired.
      e. Properly coil a rope.


ClimbingMerit Badge E) Climbing Knots Activity Session

    Req #3: Outdoor Gear
    Present yourself properly dressed for belaying, climbing, and rappelling (i.e., appropriate clothing, footwear, and a helmet; rappellers and belayers must also wear gloves).

    Req #7: Knots
    Demonstrate the ability to tie each of the following knots. Give at least one example of how each knot is used in belaying, climbing, or rappelling. (Click the Link to see a graphical demonstration of each.)

    Req #8: Harnesses
    Correctly put on at least ONE of the following:

      a. Commercially made climbing harness
      b. Tied harness

    Req #12: Storage
    Demonstrate ways to store rope, hardware, and other gear used for climbing, rappelling, and belaying.

F) Field Trip
This activity could be done at a pre-approved outdoor location, scout camp climbing wall or indoor gym. Note that a regular climbing facility will usually spread this activity out over 3 days because of the time and physical demands.

    Req #9: Belay 3 Climbers & 3 Rappellers

      a. Explain the importance of belaying climbers and rappellers and when it is necessary.
      b. Belay three different climbers ascending a rock face or climbing wall.
      c. Belay three different rappellers descending a rock face or climbing wall using a top rope.

    Req #10: 3x Route Climbs

      a. Show the correct way to tie into a belay rope.
      b. Climb at least three different routes on a rock face or climbing wall, demonstrating good technique and using verbal signals with a belayer.

    Req #11: Rappeling

      a. Using a carabiner and a rappel device, secure your climbing harness to a rappel rope.
      b. Tie into a belay rope set up to protect rappellers.
      c. Rappel down three different rock faces or three rappel routes on a climbing wall. Use verbal signals to communicate with a belayer, and demonstrate good rappelling technique.

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

J) Climbing Famous Quotes:

    “Every mountain top is within reach if you just keep climbing.” (Barry Finlay, Kilimanjaro and Beyond)
    Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory.” (Ed Viesturs, No Shortcuts to the Top: Climbing the World's 14 Highest Peaks)
    "Because it's there.” (George Mallory)

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