By Maloree Anderson
Sep 09, 2017

Turn up the Heat and Complete the Welding Merit Badge

Sparks will literally fly when Scouts work diligently to complete the Welding Merit Badge. This unique, elective merit badge is currently only available at Maple Dell Scout Camp during regular summer camp and is one of the more popular classes being offered, (with limited space). This merit badge not only gets the Scouts to work with their hands but to learn the science behind fusing metal together and how it all works.

What does this smoking merit badge have to offer?

Safety First!

The merit badge of course first instructs boys to review the hazards of welding and how one can prevent an incident or how to predict when one would occur. Scouts must also demonstrate that they could preform first aid to injuries that might happen while welding such as electrical shock, eye injuries, burns, fume inhalation, dizziness, skin irritation, and exposure to hazardous chemicals, including filler metals and welding gases.

Protective Gear

Just like participating in any other activity, welding comes with its own set of protective gear that is specific to it. The next section of the Welding Merit Badge covers this. It has the boys learn what Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) means and the importance of it, what protective gear to wear, and the proper storage of equipment and said gear.

Even better, Scouts must present themselves in full welding attire to their counselor – welding hood, shoes, jacket, etc.

Science and Terminology

To best know how to do something you must know how it all works. Science is happening when you start fusing two metals together. In order to complete the Welding Merit Badge Scouts need to be able to describe the welding process and how heat is generated. Also, they will need to talk with their counselor on what kind of filler metal is added (if any), and what protects the molten metal from the atmosphere.

In addition, Scouts will need to know what terminology is being used when talking about welding. Here are some of the following terms that the boys will need to define:

  • Welding
  • Electrode
  • Slag
  • Oxidation

Welding Process

Next, the Scouts will need to discover the welding processes like naming the different mechanical and thermal cutting methods. They will also need to select two welding processes, and make a list of the different components of the equipment required for each process.

Then, boys will choose one of the welding processes and set it up. This will include gas regulators, work clamps, cables, filler materials, and equipment settings. The counselor should inspect and approve the boy’s set up.


Finally, it’s time to weld! Now that the young men have built a foundation of knowledge they can work on the last stage of the Welding Merit Badge which is welding! Below are the different welding techniques that Scouts will need to accomplish:

  • After successfully completing requirements 1 through 5, use the equipment you prepared for the welding process in 5b to do the following:
    • Using a metal scribe or soapstone, sketch your initial onto a metal plate, and weld a bead on the plate following the pattern of your initial.
    • Cover a small plate (approximately 3” x 3” x ¼”) with weld beads side by side.
    • Tack two plates together in a square groove butt joint.
    • Weld the two plates together from 6c on both sides.
    • Tack two plates together in a T joint, have your counselor inspect it, then weld a T joint with fillet weld on both sides.
    • Tack two plates together in a lap joint, have your counselor inspect it, then weld a lap joint with fillet weld on both sides.

Career Opportunities

The last part of the merit badge is to research three career opportunities in the welding industry; pick one and learn about end education, training, and experience required for this profession. They will then need to talk to their counselor about why this profession might interest them.

Finally, Scouts will discuss with their counselor the role of the American Welding Society in the welding profession.

Welding isn’t just slapping two pieces of metal together and calling it good. It is learning how materials work together. It’s taking nothing and creating something. It is an art form.

The Welding Merit Badge allows Scouts to learn more about the particular welding artistry. By hosting this class, Maple Dell Scout Camp will spark young men’s interest to try out a new technical ability that they could use for the rest of their lives. They will be gaining extraordinary life skills for their future.

To learn more about the Welding Merit Badge click here or learn more about the Welding Merit Badge Class at Maple Dell Scout Camp contact Dave Johnson at 801.717.5624.


Author: Maloree Anderson | is a photographer, graphic designer, mom of one, friend of Scouting and Marketing Specialist with the Utah National Parks Council, Boy Scouts of America.

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