Gardening Merit Badge
Activity Guide for Patrol Leaders
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    Gardening Merit Badge

    Aids for the Boy-Led Scout Troop

    Gardening Merit Badge can help scouts learn about taking care of our planet and doing work. Frequently many scouts do some form of garden project for their Eagle Rank service project.

    Sample Activity Plan

    Garden Pre-requisites

    Whereas some scout families may not have access to a plot of land to dig in on their own, Gardening Merit Badge could make for a great short-term or long-term group project for these scouts to work a shared plot at a friend's home or in a community garden.


    Gardening Merit Badge A) Make Your Plan
    The Trail to Adventure Fun!

      1. Merit Badge Activity Preview

      2. Sample Plan Outline
      Note: This Plan is a Draft - Some dates, events and activities may change after reviewing it with your leaders.

      • Make draft of Event Flyer (See Example Here).
      • Each Participant to be notified that he needs:
      • Event Dates / Places / Dress Code / Supplies / Etc.
      • Gardening Pre-requisites - Review list of needed gear and where to put this garden?
      • Other Related Activities? (See Extra Credit)

      3. Meet the Merit Badge Counselor
      Review your plan with the merit badge counselor. Some activities require his advance approval. The Scoutmaster should be able to recommend a counselor to you.

      4. Patrol Leader Council
      Present Activity Proposal to your fellow patrol leaders and scoutmaster. Make assignments as needed.

      5. Field Trip Plan

      • Contact the destination venue. Confirm that they can assist with the Field Trip Requirements. Reserve your Event Dates.
      • Troop Historian should be ready to take pictures on this activity to report back on the next troop blog, newsletter or court of honor.

      6. Announce & Start Activity

      • Get final approval from your scoutmaster.
      • Update event flyer (#2) above.
      • Distribute event flyer / Begin Introduction


    B) Introduction
    Present the plan to your patrol or troop (Either at your first activity meeting or sometime earlier.)

    Here are some ideas to show why this activity will be both fun and important.

    Home garden projects help families build unity, teach scouts about hard work, adds to family self-sufficiency, saves on their budget, and teaches about health. A garden reminds us of the beauties of this world that God has created for us, and it can give us hours of instruction and pleasure as we witness the miracle of growth.


    Patricia Boudier of Peaceful Valley Farms explains how to start a simple vegetable garden from scratch.
    Show on Laptop or portable TV & crank up the sound!


    Gardening Merit Badge C) Study Hall

    Purpose: Help each Patrol Member learn key concepts on this subject. Include the following resources:

      Req #1: Gardening Hazards


        a. Explain to your counselor the most likely hazards associated with gardening and what you should do to anticipate, help prevent, mitigate, and respond to these hazards.
        b. Discuss the prevention of and treatment for health concerns that could occur while gardening, including cuts, scratches, puncture wounds, insect bites, anaphylactic shock, heat reactions, and reactions from exposure to pesticides and fertilizers.

      Req #3: Nutritional Value

        Give the nutritional value of the following:
        a. Three root or tuber crops.
        b. Three vegetables that bear above the ground.
        c. Three fruits.

      Req #6: Pollinators

        Explain to your counselor how and why honeybees are used in pollinating food crops and the problems that face the bee population today. Discuss what the impact to humanity would be if there were no pollinators.

      Req #7: Garden Pests

        Identify five garden pests (insects, diseased plants). Recommend two solutions for each pest. At least one of the two solutions must be an organic method.


    Gardening Merit Badge D) Gardening Activities

    After preparing and planting your garden projects below - you will need to establish a daily maintenance schedule to water plants and remove weeks.

      Req #2: Garden Crops


        a. Grow six vegetables, three from seeds and three from seedlings, through harvest.
        b. Grow six flowers, three from seeds and three from seedlings, through flowering.

      Req #4: Plant 100 Seeds

        Test 100 seeds for germination. Determine the percentage of seeds that germinate. Explain why you think some did not germinate.

      Req #8: Garden Project

        Do ONE of the following:

          a. Build a compost bin and maintain it for 90 days.
          b. Build a vermipost bin (worm compost bin) and maintain it for 90 days.
          c. Build a hydroponic garden containing three vegetables or herbs, or three ornamental plants. Maintain this garden through harvest or flowering, or for 90 days.
          d. Build one water garden, either in a container (at least 12 by 6 inches and 6 inches deep), or in the ground as a small, decorative pond no larger than 6 by 3 feet and 24 inches deep. Maintain the water garden for 90 days.
          e. Prepare a honey super for use on a hive or colony. Remove a filled honey super from the hive or colony and prepare the honey for sale


    E) Garden Tour

      Req #5: Garden Tour

        Visit your county extension agentís office, local university agricultural college, nursery, or a botanical garden or arboretum. Report on what you learned.


    F) Merit Badge Final


    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.

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    Alan Alda (His whitewater movie, White Mile was excellent!)
    ORIGINALITY is unexplored territory. You get there by carrying a canoe...you can't take a taxi.
    Pierre Elliott Trudeau - What sets a Gardening expedition apart is that it purifies you more rapidly and inescapably than any other travel. Travel a thousand miles by train and you are a brute; pedal five hundred on a bicycle and you remain basically a bourgeois; paddle a hundred in a canoe and you are already a child of nature. --

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