Chesapeake offers many opportunities for Scouts to earn merit badges.  Here are just a few suggestions:


Since 1911, hundreds of thousands of Scouts have made the most of their two-wheel adventures by earning the Cycling merit badge. Whether you just got your first bicycle or have been cycling for years, you will learn more about your bike and what it can do by working on the requirements for this badge on The Great Dismal Swamp Canal Trail.  The trail is a former section of Virginia State Rt. 17, now a multi-use trail open to bicycling, walking, running, horseback riding, and boating. The north trailhead is located at the intersection of Dominion Blvd and Old Route 17 in Chesapeake, VA, and runs south 8.5 miles, adjacent to the Dismal Swamp Canal.  The Dismal Swamp Canal Trail is an historic, environmental and outdoor recreation delight. Open to bicyclists, the 8.5-mile trail can provide a 17-mile bike loop.

Bird Study

Birds are among the most fascinating creatures on Earth. Many are beautifully colored. Others are accomplished singers. Many of the most important discoveries about birds and how they live have been made by amateur birders. In pursuing this hobby, a Scout might someday make a valuable contribution to our understanding of the natural world.  Explore the world of birding and earn your merit badge at Bells Mill Park.  Enjoy a leisurely hike around the park's 2.5 mile perimeter trail, as you watch and listen for 80 different species of birds commonly found in and around the park.


For several centuries, the canoe was a primary method of travel for explorers and settlers. Today, it remains an important part of the wilderness experience and an enjoyable leisure activity that teaches communication, teamwork, and physical fitness.  Earn your merit badge at Chesapeake's Northwest River Park.  This park sits on 763 acres of pristine wetland and forest habitat bordering the Northwest River, one of the last undeveloped river corridors on the East Coast!  Canoes are available for rental from the camp store.  An adult, age 18 or older, must be on each boated rented.


In working through the Forestry merit badge requirements, Scouts will explore the remarkable complexity of a forest and identify many species of trees and plants and the roles they play in a forest's life cycle.  They will also discover some of the resources forests provide to humans and come to understand that people have a very large part to play in sustaining the health of forests.  Earn your merit badge at the Great Dismal Swamp Wildlife Refuge.  The refuge consists of almost 107,000 acres of forested wetlands.  A refuge orientation, film presentations, slide programs and outdoor classroom activities are available.  Advance reservations are required for all programs.

Contact: Chesapeake Conventions & Visitors Bureau
Jeff Bunn
860 Greenbrier Circle, Suite 101
Chesapeake, VA 23320
Phone: (888) 889-5551