Old Hickory Council - Hanging Rock District

Troop 444: Public Health Merit Badge


Public Health




  1. Explain what public health is. Explain how Escherichia colt (E. coli), tetanus, AIDS, encephalitis, salmonellosis, and Lyme disease are contracted. Then, pick any four of the following diseases and explain how each one is contracted: gonorrhea, West Nile virus, botulism, influenza, syphilis, hepatitis, emphysema, meningitis, herpes, lead poisoning. For all 10 diseases, explain the type or form of the disease (viral, bacterial, environmental, toxin), any possible vectors for transmission, ways to help prevent the spread of infection, and available treatments.
  2. Do the following:
        A. Explain the meaning of immunization.
        B. Name five diseases against which a young child should be immunized and two diseases against
              which everyone should be re-immunized periodically.
        C. Using the diseases you chose for requirement 1, discuss the diseases for which there is currently
              no treatment or immunization.
  3. Discuss the importance of safe drinking water in terms of the spread of disease. Then, demonstrate two ways for making water safe to drink that can be used while at camp. In your demonstration, explain how dishes and utensils should be washed, dried, and kept sanitary at home and in camp.
  4. Explain what a vector is and how insects and rodents can be controlled in your home, in your community, and at camp. Tell why this is important. In your discussion, explain which vectors can be easily controlled by individuals and which ones require long-term, collective action.
  5. With your parent's and counselor's approval, do ONE of the following:
        A. Visit a municipal wastewater treatment facility OR a solid-waste management operation in your
              community. Describe how the facility safely treats and disposes of sewage or solid waste.
              Describe how sewage and solid waste should be disposed of under wilderness camping conditions.
        B. Arrange to meet with the food service manager of a food service facility (such as a restaurant or
              school cafeteria) and visit this establishment. Observe food preparation, handling, and storage, and
              learn how the facility keeps foods from becoming contaminated. Find out what conditions allow
              microorganisms to multiply in food and how conditions can be controlled to help prevent the growth
              and dissemination of microorganisms. Learn how microorganisms in food can be killed. Discuss
              what you learned with your counselor.
  6. Do the following:
        A. Describe the health dangers from air, water, and noise pollution.
        B. Describe health dangers from tobacco use and alcohol and drug abuse.
  7. With your parent's and counselor's approval, visit your city, county, or state public health agency. Discuss how the agency addresses the concerns raised in requirements 1 through 6 and how the services provided by this agency affect your family. Then do the following:
        A. Compare the four leading causes of mortality (death) in your community for any of the past five years
              with the four leading causes of morbidity (incidence of disease) in your community. Explain how the
              public health agency you visited is trying to reduce the mortality and morbidity rates of these
              leading causes of illness and death.
        B. Explain the role of the health agency you visited related to the outbreak of diseases.
        C. Discuss the kinds of public assistance the agency is able to provide in case of disasters such as
              floods, storms, tornadoes, earthquakes, and other acts of destruction. Your discussion can include
              the cleanup necessary after a disaster occurs.
  8. Pick a profession in the public health sector that interests you. Find out the education, training, and experience required to work in this profession. Discuss what you learn with your counselor.

Public Health Worksheets for use in working on these requirements

Boy Scout Oath

On my honor, I will do my best

To do my duty to God and my Country and to obey the Scout Law;

To help other people at all times;

To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.

Boy Scout Law

A Scout Is...

A Scout tells the truth.
He keeps his promises.
Honesty is part of his code of conduct.
People can depend on him.
A Scout is true to his family, Scout leaders, friends, school, and nation.LOYAL
A Scout is concerned about other people. He does things willingly for others without pay or reward.HELPFUL
A Scout is a friend to all.
He is a brother to other Scouts.
He seeks to understand others.
He respects those with ideas and customs other than his own.
A Scout is polite to everyone regardless of age or position.
He knows good manners make it easier for people to get along together.
A Scout understands there is strength in being gentle.
He treats others as he wants to be treated.
He does not hurt or kill harmless things without reason.
A Scout follows the rules of his family, school, and troop.
He obeys the laws of his community and country.
If he thinks these rules and laws are unfair, he tries to have them changed in an orderly manner rather than disobey them.
A Scout looks for the bright side of things.
He cheerfully does tasks that come his way. He tries to make others happy.
A Scout works to pay his way and to help others.
He saves for unforeseen needs.
He protects and conserves natural resources.
He carefully uses time and property.
A Scout can face danger even if he is afraid.
He has the courage to stand for what he thinks is right even if others laugh at or threaten him.
A Scout keeps his body and mind fit and clean.
He goes around with those who believe in living by these same ideals.
He helps keep his home and community clean.
A Scout is reverent toward God.
He is faithful in his religious duties.
He respects the beliefs of others.