This page is dedicated to helping Boy Scouts earn the Geology Merit Badge

Students and Beginners

Let's Go Rocking!
Rock Crafts for Fun
Crystal Growing
Make Your Own Fossils
Build an Erupting Volcano
Cub Scout Achievements
BSA Geology Merit Badge
Girl Scout Juniors
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AR Rock Clubs and Shows


What Geologists Do

Careers in Geology

Places To Go

Crater of Diamonds
Tourist Sites to See
Fee Pay Crystal Mines
Locations by County
Field Trips
Lake Ouachita Geofloat
Buffalo River

Famous and Historical Mineral Locations

Magnet Cove
Granite Mountain
Jeffrey Quarry


Boy Scout Geology Merit Badge

Welcome to Rockhounding Arkansas, and if you are just surfing in, you might like to have a look around.

geology merit badgeTHERE ARE thirteen requirements for the Geology badge, shown below in brown type. If you want to work on this badge, talk with your counselor, and we have provided the background information you will need to complete the steps listed.


1.Explain what geology means.

"Geo" means earth, and "logy" means science and study of. Geology is the science that studies the earth and the rocks it is made of, and the changes and processes the earth has had and is now experiencing.

Read A Geologist Talks to Webelos an explanation of why rocks and minerals are important.

Earth Materials

2. Make a collection of at least 10 different earth materials or geological specimens from your locality or an area of special interest to you. Label, to the best of your ability, classify, and explain the origin and use of the materials collected.

See the collection information for Wolf and Bear Cub Scouts, and Managing your collection for information on labeling and displaying your collection.

Alternatives: In place of requirement 2, you may present a collection of 10 different rocks, with specimens of sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rocks properly marked, cataloged, and displayed. Or you may present a collection of 10 different minerals (or ores) properly marked, cataloged, and displayed. Also identify each of the 10 minerals, and give their sources and possible uses.

3. Define rock. Discuss and define three classes of rocks. List the characteristics of each class, how they are formed, and how they are named.

4. Define mineral. Tell how to identify minerals. Tell how rocks and minerals differ. List five of the most common rock-forming minerals. Tell how they are identified. Tell how hardness, specific gravity, color, streak, cleavage, luster, and crystal form are useful in identifying minerals.

See the Basics of Rock and Mineral Collecting

Earth Processes

5. Secure a topographic map of your locality or an area of special interest to you. Explain the origin of the landscape, including any unusual features. Account for any influences of the landscape on the location of towns, parks, highways, railroads, airports, industries, or similar structures.

Maps are an essential part of a geologist's working tools. Topographic maps are very detailed and use lines to show contours, or the mountains and valleys, of an area. The USGS (United States Geological Survey) has very detailed maps. You can order them over the internet at and you can also find the local agency that sells topo maps in your area. Hikers, campers, fishermen... anybody who is outdoors off the beaten path will find topo maps useful.

6. Draw a diagram of the hydrologic cycle and discuss it and its effects with your counselor.

hydrologic cycle

7. Do ONE of the following:

a. Tell about the occurrence of volcanos on land and in the ocean. Describe the difference between intrusive igneous rocks and extrusive igneous rocks.
b. Describe the major steps in the geologic history of a mountain range. Describe the anticline, syncline, fault, strike, dip and an unconformity. Discuss the relationship between mountain building and erosion in forming the present landscape.
c. Describe the major features of an ocean floor between the shorelines on either side.

See How the Ouachita Mountains Formed
and Faults and earthquakes

Earth History

8. Make a chart showing the geological eras and periods and show in what geologic time the rocks in your region were formed.

See the Geologic Time Scale

9. Do ONE of the following:

a.Tell what fossils are and how they aid in understanding the story of the earth's history.
b. Make a collection of 10 different fossils and identify them to the best of your ability.
c. Discuss with your counselor the theory of continental drift.

Read The Stories Fossils Tell and
Our Changing Earth


Geology and People

10. Discuss two environmental problems related to geology. Tell how land-use planning relates to geology. Tell why faulting, landslides, waste disposal, pollution, water supply, and subsidence are important in land-use planning. Give an example of poor use of land in your area or an environmental hazard in your area related to geologic features or processes.

Read How Geology affects the Environment

11. Do ONE of the following:

a. Describe five energy sources, how they occur, and how they are used today. Describe the source of the products supplied by your local utilities. Tell which of these products are related to geologic processes.

b.Visit a mine, oil or gas field, gravel pit, stone quarry, or similar area of special interest to you. Make a collection of geologic specimens found at the site visited. Tell about the geology of the place.

Read Geology and sources of energy


Careers in Geology

12. Do ONE of the following:

a. Read a pamphlet about careers in geology. Tell what you learned.

See Careers in Geology

b.Visit with a geologist, other than your counselor. Tell what he or she does. Find out how he or she prepared for the job.

If you would like to visit some geologists by email, here are people who have agreed to help by telling you what they do:

Doug Hanson a former Boy Scout who works for the Arkansas Geological Survey. Put his name in the subject box when you contact him.
Gary Patterson Center for Earthquake Research and Information, Memphis TN
Bekki White A petroleum geologist who has worked in the oil fields of southern Arkansas
Mark Witherspoon an Eagle Scout who has his own geological consulting firm, and partner Dan McCullough, Little Rock, AR
Gary Robinson a geophysicist and scoutmaster with Troop 113 in Aurora, Colorado
Christian Maloney Cicimurri, educator and paleontologist, Curator of Education, Bob Campbell Geology Museum

13. Discuss with your counselor what you have learned about careers in geology and how to prepare for them.

Prepared by Darcy Howard
former Assistant Scoutmaster and Advancement Chair, but always an Eagle Scout mom

If you are looking for more merit badges to work on via the internet, visit the Merit Badge Research Center at