Top Five Hardest Merit Badges to Earn
I too agree with Steven. Being a Divermaster under PADI, a Commercial diver from the Commercial Diving Center and a Century Cyclist. Cycling the final 50 mile bike ride is physically and mentally harder on most scouts.
I would agree with Steven, the requirements for the Personal Finance and Personal Fitness badges are not that strenuous but require some determination. Each Scout has different strengths and others can be much more challenging to complete. My son chose the Bicycling badge instead of the Swimming for his Eagle requirement because he physically is not able to be very buoyant and struggles with swimming.
I agree that getting a boy to commit to documenting three months worth of financial or fitness activity is not easy, but this does not make the personal management or personal fitness merit badges "hard to earn" in my opinion.
I teach the cycling merit badge and the boys must learn how to repair and maintain their bicycles and ride 150 miles with the last 50 of it being one ride in under 8 hours. There are very few of these merit badges handed out and for good reason. It is one of a trio of merit badges from which scouts must earn one to advance to Eagle. Most take the easier route and get swimming or hiking.
@Steven Haugen Im sorry but cycling takes less effort than the swimming merit badge. Cycling you can sit, use gears to adjust to the terrain, and can drink water while cycling. Also cycling you can stop to take a break, unlike the swimming merit badge where you have to swim 1 full mile, nonstop without touching the sides of a pool, or for rest. Swimming relies on how physical fit you are and doesn't use any type of mechanic to do the work for you.
Yes, SCUBA diving requires a lot of information, but the all that is required for this merit badge is to get certified. Sure, it costs a couple hundred dollars, but that does not make it hard to get.
@Steven Haugen Our scout group is doing their 2 open water dives for PADI certification today and tomorrow and a number of the kids did not pass the written test the first time around. If they don't pass the PADI test they will not earn the Scuba merit badge. More is required than just shelling out the money for the class