Exploration Camp

During Spring, Fall and Winter Breaks - Featuring Scouts BSA Merit Badges

Exploration Camp is a fun and exciting daily program that will provide the opportunity for boys and girls, ages 11-18, to explore hobbies and educational interests during the various vacation weeks.

Topics include a variety of hobbies and interest, useful social and personal skills and more. Youth can register for full-day sessions. Pick one subject for one day or multiple days to work on multiple subjects.

Trained and qualified adult supervision is provided during all program hours at the Local Council Service Center in Modesto OR Camp McConnell in Livingston.

Class size will vary by session topic.

Lunch and an Exploration Camp water bottle will be provided for each participant.
Please indicate any special dietary restrictions or allergies in your online registration.

Daily Program - 9 am - 4:00 pm (check-in @ 8:50-9 am)

Registration is by day and session! NOT by week! Youth should pick one session per day when signing up.
$50 per full day session

Questions? - Scouts/Participants can email Exploration Camp co-Directors - Mimi Bauer- mimi.bauer@scouting.org or Michelle Behrendt- michelle.behrendt@scouting.org.

Merit Badge work is the responsibility of the Scouts, NOT the Parents. SCOUTS should be the ones emailing/calling with questions regarding Merit Badge work. Emails and Phone calls from parents will not be answered. All Scouts should CC. a parent or Unit leader in all emails.


Session Dates


March 25-28 - @ GYC Service Center - Modesto, CA

March 25 March 26 March 27 March 28
Citizenship in the Community/ Citizenship in the World Citizenship in the Nation/ American Heritage Game Design Communication/ Public Speaking
Crime Prevention/ Fingerprinting Safety/ Search and Rescue Personal Management First Aid
Emergency Preparedness Climbing Environmental Science Geology

April 22-25 - @ Camp Warren McConnell - Livingston, CA

April 22 April 23 April 24 April 25
Soil & Water Conservation Environmental Science Game Design Communication/ Public Speaking
Citizenship in the Community/ Citizenship in the World Citizenship in the Nation/ American Heritage Personal Management First Aid
Emergency Preparedness Signs, Signals and Codes Climbing Geocaching/Orienteering


Fall - November 25-27, 2019

Winter - Week 1 - TBD - Likely Dec 23-27, excluding Christmas Day.

Winter - Week 2 - TBD - Likely Dec 30 - Jan 3, excluding New Years Day.

Due to the nature of our registration system, each week of Exploration Camp has a different registration link. We apologize for any frustration or inconvenience.


Class availability and Waitlist Information

Those interested in being added to the wait list for a specific session please email mimi.bauer@scouting.org with the following: Scout Name, session, and phone number.

Session Full. Session Almost Full. 


Exploration Camp Staff Information

We are in need of hourly program staff during weekdays to teach Exploration session topics.

Staff interviews are held on an ongoing basis as needed.

Email Camp Directors, Mimi Bauer and Michelle Behrendt to set up an interview.

michelle.behrendt@scouting.org; mimi.bauer@scouting.org 



****Scouts BSA members - Due to the use of Merit Badge curriculum, current registered Scouts BSA members will have the opportunity to work on completing Merit Badge requirements for the Explorations they undertake.  Merit Badge subjects can be challenging, lengthy, and technical, therefore it is not guaranteed that Scouts will complete all the requirements for a selected Merit Badge in one day.

Information about requirements not being covered as well as prerequisite needs for each session will be included in the registration and posted here as it becomes available.


This may not be a complete list. Requirements covers may change depending on the group and how the session progresses through the day.

***Completion and Partial's Information is subject to change.




Art Exploration
Art Merit Badge
-Will not complete Req. 6 


Astronomy/Space Exploration
Astronomy Merit Badge
Req. 4a,b,c - Will need to complete nighttime sky observations outside of class. Bring them with you completed if possible. Instructor is looking at hosting a star party near the end of summer for those in this session to attend. More information TBD.
Req. 8 - Will not complete requirement 8 in class session.
Space Exploration Merit Badge
 Req. 3 - Rockets will be built but Scouts will need to attend a Rocket Launch with the Merit Badge counselor at a later date.



Athletics/Sports Exploration
Activities used in either Merit Badge cannot be used for the other so Scouts will need to complete several seasons of sports activities to fulfill both.
Athletics Merit Badge
-Will not complete Req. 3
-Will not complete Req. 6b
Sports Merit Badge
-Will not complete Req. 4 


Basketry Exploration

Basketry Merit Badge

-Basket projects will be started in class but need to be completed at home time permitting.


Chemistry Exploration

Chemistry Merit Badge

-May not be able to complete 2a experiment.

-Req. 7 may need to be completed on own.


Citizenship in the Community Merit Badge
-Cannot complete Req. 3, 4 or 7
Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge
-Cannot complete Req. 2 or 3

Climbing Exploration

Climbing Merit Badge

-It is suggested the Scouts come to the session having reviewed the following climbing knots, as learning them can be time consuming and cut into climbing time: figure eight on a bight, figure eight follow through, safety knot, double fisherman’s knot and the water knot (tied with webbing.)


Communication/Public Speaking Exploration
Communication Merit Badge
-Cannot complete Req. 4, 5, 7 and 8.
Public Speaking Merit Badge
-May not be able to complete Req. 4.



Crime Prevention/Fingerprinting Exploration
Crime Prevention Merit Badge
-Req. 4 - Complete Inspection of neighborhood and checklist survey of your home for discussion during class.
-Req. 7 - May not be completed.



Emergency Preparedness Exploration
Emergency Preparedness Merit Badge
-Req. 1 must be completed on own.
-Req. 2c must be done with family following session.
-Will not complete req 6c.
-Req 7a and 7b must be done on own. (7b – Troop mobilization plan)
-Req. 8b must be done on own with family. Must prepare both a personal emergency service (backpack size) pack and larger family kit (suitcase or box).



Environmental Science Exploration

Environmental Science Merit Badge

-Time permitting Req.3a-g may not all be covered.

-Req. 4 must be completed on own.


Energy Exploration
Energy Merit Badge
-Scouts should complete Req. 4 and bring to class for discussion or will need to complete following the Exploration

-Req. 6 may need to be done outside of session.


Fire Safety Exploration

Fire Safety Merit Badge

- Req. 6a must be done at home and brought

-Req. 9a may not be completed pending availability of a lawn mower


First Aid Exploration
First Aid Merit Badge

It is preferred that Scouts are First Class rank to attend this session having learned the first aid requirements for Req. 1
-Req. 2d must be completed on own. Guidance can be given in class.


Game Design Exploration
Game Design Merit Badge

This Exploration is lead with the idea of designing board games and card games, etc. NOT Video Game Design.
(NOT PREREQUISITE- CANNOT BE STARTED BEFOREHAND)-Req. 5, 6 and 7 - May be started in class but will undoubtedly need time to finish after the session on own.


Graphic Arts Exploration

Graphic Arts Merit Badge

Please Note: A few computers and laptops(for Graphic Arts) and camaras(for photography) will be available for use but it may help for Scouts to bring personal laptops and camaras if possible.

-Req. 3 – Scouts will be designing a flyer so may want to bring information about an upcoming event.






Leatherwork Exploration

Leatherwork Merit Badge

-Leatherwork project will be started but may need to complete the leatherwork project at home as time permits



Personal Management Exploration
Personal Management Merit Badge


Must be 14 years or older to attend this Exploration.
-Read over the requirements online or from your Merit Badge Book. 
-Req. #1: Bring your notes of Family discussion and documentation of research. 
-Req. #2: Bring your expected income and expenses tracking form and your actual income and expense tracking form, if started.
-Req. #5: Bring printed stock exchange listings.
-Req. #8: Bring the time management tools you use presently, i.e. planner, calendar, or PDA to document requirement.
-Req. #10: Be prepared to discuss, bring the required info about your chosen field. 


Photography Exploration

Photography Merit Badge

-Req. 7 – picture story may need to be completed outside of session.


Safety/Search and Rescue Exploration

Safety Merit Badge

-Must prepare Req. 1 notebook on own.

-Req. 2a, 2b, 3b and 4 must be done with family outside of session.

-Req. 6 must be done on own.

Search and Rescue Merit Badge

-Req. 6 may need to be done on own.


Signs, Signals and Codes Exploration
Signs, Signals and Codes Merit Badge 
-cannot complete Req. 7 during session. Must be done “On a Troop Outing…”


Wood Carving Exploration


Wood Carving Merit Badge

-Carving projects will be started but may need to be finished outside of session.




Digital Technology Exploration

Digital Technology Merit Badge

-Req. 6 may need to be completed outside of class.


Human and Family History Exploration
Genealogy Merit Badge
Req. 3- Choose a relative to contact during class. Alert that person beforehand that they you would like to interview them on that day. (There will be time during class from about 10 am - 11 am to spend contacting interviewees. Each Scout should have the contact information and if possible, a cell phone to facilitate contact.
Req 4B - Bring item with you.
Req  6 and 7 - Bring as much information as possible about your family tree (at least two generations back) and information detailing family members (born, where born, married, when married, etc.)
Archeology Merit Badge
-Req 8 - may not be completed


Journalism Exploration
Journalism Merit Badge
-Cannot complete Req 2a2 or 2b2. 


Law Exploration

Law Merit Badge

-Req. 4 and 6 must be done outside of session.

-Req. 7 may need to be done outside of session.


Mathematics Exploration
Mathematics STEM NOVA Award
-Req. 1 - Scouts will complete 1 of 3 hours.
-Req. 2 - Scouts must earn topical Merit Badge on own
-May not complete Req 4  


Radio Exploration
Radio Merit Badge
-cannot complete Req. 7 


Science Exploration
Science STEM NOVA Award
-Req. 1 - Scouts will complete 1 of 3 hours.
-Req. 2 - Scouts must earn topical Merit Badge on own  


Technology Exploration
Technology STEM NOVA Award
-Req. 1 - Scouts will complete 1 of 3 hours.

-Req. 2 - Scouts must earn topical Merit Badge on own.


Textiles Exploration
Textiles Merit Badge 

-Scouts should attempt to find and bring samples of the following types of fabric (clothing, pillowcases, etc.):
-100% cotton, linen, wool, silk (no blends)
-nylon, polyester, acrylic, olefin, or spandex
-rayon, acetate and lyocell.