Climbing Merit Badge Program

Climbing Merit Badge Opportunity

February 2018, the COPE and Climbing Committee will teach the Climbing merit badge in a two part course. Leaders will also have training and participation opportunities.

A Classroom training session will be held on Wednesday February 14 followed by a day at DOK’s Tower on Saturday March 3. An optional event will be held February 24 at Bull Creek Park to provide additional instruction as needed with a chance to see climbing gear used in a natural area. Participant pool will be limited to 14 youth.


  • An adult leader from the participant’s troop is required to teach the pre-course work to prepare scouts for the Wednesday classroom instruction. This includes requirements; 1a, 1b, 2, 3 & 7. All of the requirements are listed below with links to teaching resources.
  • Practice ropes and the merit badge pamphlet will be available at the scout office after signup.
  • Participants who do not have access to the training required outside of the Wed/Sat sessions can complete those items at the optional Bull Creek session.
  • The troop’s adult leader is not required to have any prior knowledge or experience with climbing.
  • The $30 per-participant fee covers the merit badge pamphlet and rope for knot tying practice.
  • The Bull creek session will also afford scouts an opportunity to climb on natural rock. This is not a requirement but a new dimension of challenge in the program, and fun!
  • Medical Forms: all participants need a copy of a current A & B medical form. Participants attending the Bull Creek session will need parts A, B & C completed.
  • The course is available to Boy Scouts 13 years and older. Only 4 youth per troop can participate.
  • Dates:
    • February 14, 7-9:30 pm – Classroom instruction at the Fickett Center – Required
    • February 24 , 10-12 pm- Basic instruction at Bull Creek – Optional
    • March 3, 8-4 pm – Climbing at DOK’s Tower at Lost Pines – Required
  • Register here at: DoubleKnot.
  • Please contact David Reck at for additional information.

Training Opportunities for leaders on Saturday:

  • You will have the opportunity to do training in: CPR, Climb On Safely and earn a “CAC Belayers card”.
  • After signup, you will be provided with a list of requirements to cover, the knots that must be MASTERED by the participants.
  • Supply packages will be made available at the scout office containing the Merit Badge pamphlet, practice rope, webbing and a copy of the requirements worksheet.

Merit Badge Requirements: Blue text indicates pre-course work

  1. Do the following:
    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 reactionsdehydrationstopped breathingsprainsabrasionsfracturesrope burnsblisterssnakebite, and insect bites or stings.
    b. Identify the conditions that must exist before performing CPR on a person.
  2. Learn the Leave No Trace principles and Outdoor Code, and explain what they mean.
  3. Present yourself properly dressed for belaying, climbing, and rappelling (i.e., appropriate clothing, footwear, and a helmet).
  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.
  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
  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.
  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.
    a. Figure eight on a bight
    b. Figure eight follow-through
    c. Water knot
    d. Double fisherman’s knot (grapevine knot)
    e. Safety knot
  8. Harnesses. Correctly put on a commercially made climbing harness
  9. Belaying. Do the following:
    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.
  10. Climbing. Do the following:
    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.
  11. Rappelling. Do the following:
    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.
  12. Demonstrate ways to store rope, hardware, and other gear used for climbing, rappelling, and belaying.