BSA Radio Merit Badge

Radio Merit Badge is happy to help you earn your BSA Radio Merit Badge! Radio is a fascinating science, hobby, and career choice. Learning to use radios for two-way communication can help you be prepared for emergencies by providing reliable communications when telephone systems fail or where they do not reach. You can even use radio to communicate from remote areas when backpacking or camping, and participate in many other fun and valuable activities in your community!

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You can earn your FCC Amateur Radio Technician License and become a license ham radio operator. Earn your merit badge and you are part way there. Keep studying for your license!

The BSA Radio Merit Badge was first offered way back in 1919. Radio technology and use has grown quite a lot since those days, and this site will help you to learn all about it. This site will help you get a good introduction to radio while earning your merit badge, but don’t stop there! With just a little more study you can earn your FCC Amateur Radio Technician License and become a ham radio operator, able to talk around the world with other operators. It’s a lot of fun, so let’s get going!


Let’s Get Going!

Here’s how to get started with your Radio Merit Badge:

  1. You should get a copy of the newest BSA Radio Merit Badge pamphlet, the 2008 color edition.

    Radio Merit Badge Pamphlet

    It has very good information about radio and the merit badge requirements. Use it along with this web site to really understand radio!
  2. Be sure that your troop or your Scoutmaster has connected you with a BSA Radio Merit Badge Counselor in your area. Frequently the merit badge counselor will be a licensed amateur (ham) radio operator who is affiliated with your troop or with the local council. You or your Scoutmaster may contact a local amateur radio club to find a volunteer counselor for you if one is not already available.
  3. Also be sure that you print a copy of the Radio Merit Badge workbook that provides an outline of the requirements and space to write about the requirements as you learn from this web site and the Radio Merit Badge pamphlet. Here is a link to the Radio Merit Badge workbook.
  4. This web site has some links to other web sites that we do not control. Make sure that your parents approve of you going to those other Internet sites before starting. We link to those other sites because they provide excellent explanations and additional learning materials that will help you to better understand radio. If you find a broken link, please email us to let us know at Thank you!

Ready? Get your materials together and let’s get going! Start by clicking on the BSA Radio Merit Badge requirements below and start learning about radio! Good luck!

Requirement 1   Explain what radio is.
Requirement 2   Sketch a diagram of radio waves traveling & explain DX, FCC, and ITU.
Requirement 3   Draw EM spectrum chart, label it, and locate radio services on it.
Requirement 4   Explain how radio waves carry information.
Requirement 5   Explain & draw block diagram, schematic symbols, & circuits.
Requirement 6   Explain safety precautions with radio gear.
Requirement 7   Visit a radio station and discuss it.
Requirement 8   Find out about radio careers.
Requirement 9a   Amateur Radio Service.
Requirement 9b   Broadcast Radio Service.
Requirement 9c   Shortwave listening.