50 Creative Spots to Earn Cub Scout Badges and Girl Scout Badges in Chicagoland

Resources for Families

Scouting helps kids build confidence, strengthen social skills, and learn about new interests as they explore the outdoors and volunteer in their communities. Local organizations are filled with experts in their fields who are happy to help scouts dive into topics and earn badges. Some programs match every badge requirement, some only touch on part of the requirements, and others are simply offering an extra enrichment experience.

Not every scout meeting needs to be a field trip, but these outings are fun ways to keep scouts entertained and engaged. We’ve put together this resource for scout leaders and parents looking for awesome activities and ways to earn Cub Scout badges and Girl Scout badges.

Outdoor Cub Scout Badges and Girl Scout Badges

Forest Preserve District of Will County, Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, and Forest Preserve District of Kane County all offer both indoor and outdoor scout programming for all ages.

Both BSA and GS offer Geocaching badges. Use our list of Best Trails for Kids to start your adventures.

The nature centers run by Forest Preserve District of Cook County can be a supplement to almost any badges. A favorite spot of ours is The Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, which would be good for Nature and Hiking.

Cosley Zoo in Wheaton hosts a variety of badges for Daisies, Brownies and Juniors, along with Tiger, Wolf, Bear, and Webelo Scouts. Meet various badge requirements while learning about ways to help all of the animals that call Cosley Zoo home.

Cantigny Park and Lincoln Marsh, both in Wheaton, offer various outdoor programming to earn cub scouts badges and girl scouts badges. Pricing varies by topic and group size.

Red Oak Nature Center in Batavia offers programming that meets the requirements for select outdoor badges earned in Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts.

Double J Riding Club in Countryside and Normantown Equestrian Center in Plainfield are among some of the local facilities offering horseback riding opportunities.

Morton Arboretum offers both self-guided and guided programming for scout groups. Offerings vary by season. Morton Arboretum would be a great spot to try out the Birds, Nature and Gardening merit badges.

Primrose Farm in St. Charles welcomes Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts as they look to earn outdoor badges related to farming and farm animals.

Lyman Woods in Downers Grove offers quite a few programs to earn cub scouts badges and girl scouts badges. Their overnight adventures include customized options such as tent rentals, lawn games, food and more. This is a great option for troops that are just getting started with camping.

Earn the Kayaking merit badge at one of these Scenic Spots with Canoe, Paddleboard, and Kayak Rentals.

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Chicago offers Scout Workshops.

Schaumburg Park District offers over 20 Cub Scout programs and over 30 Girl Scout programs. Some only run seasonally, while others happen year-round.

Reach new heights at Go Ape’s scout programs in Western Springs.

The Forge: Lemont Quarries offer scout packages for an afternoon of outdoor adventures including archery, climbing, water sports, and more.

Indoor Cub Scout Badges and Girl Scout Badges

Check out one of these indoor swim facilities for the BSA Swimming badge. Oak Brook Park District offers Scout Swim Parties to help with water safety guidelines and swim assessment guidelines. Select Goldfish Swim locations offer a free Community W.A.T.E.R. Safety Program for scouts.

Interested in a Personal Fitness Merit Badge? Take your scouts to a local high school football game, attending a martial arts class or other local fitness centers to review the Sports and Athletic badges. You could even go and visit the Cubs for a Ballpark Tour!

Xtreme Dance Center in Naperville offers free Dancer badge workshops. Dreams Dance Academy in St. Charles hosts a variety of badges for Girl Scouts, too.

AIR Aerial Fitness has private aerial classes geared specifically towards Daisy, Brownie, Junior, and Cadet trooops to earn “Purple Teal”, “Brownie Dancer”, “Staying Fit”, and “Entrepreneur” badges.

Kidz Kabaret in Naperville offers a 2-hour workshop for scouts, including their own badge.

Check out our list of Kid’s Cooking Classes for places you may be able to earn your Cooking merit badge.

Dive into history at the Preservation Partners of Fox Valley in St. Charles. They’ve developed their own programming to teach scouts about local history.

Check your local Fire Department for Fire Safety and First Aid. Take a tour of your local police station to review Traffic Safety, Crime Prevention, Safety merit badges.

The Village of Montgomery offers scout groups the opportunity to tour Village Hall, participate in city council meetings, learn local history, and more. Contact your own municipal government to see if they can do something similar.

Naperville Area Humane Society offers their own scout program, or visit a local Animal Humane Society to review Dog Care.

DuPage County Historical Museum offers programs for Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors, as well as Cub Scouts.

The Arlington Heights Historical Museum has programs for all levels of Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. Visit their website for information on their offerings for each group.

Get creative but keep the mess contained at Studio Nafasa in Aurora, Studio 60 Art Center in Oswego or Art Fuzd in Schaumburg. Looking for an art studio near you? Check our list of Art Classes to see if they offer special programming for scouts.

a boy showing off his cub scout badges

STEM Cub Scout Badges and Girl Scout Badges

Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Arts in Oak Brook offers a variety of scout badges, and discounted admission for all scout groups.

Legoland Discovery Center in Schaumburg offers special scout group pricing.

Fermilab has previously offered scout programs. Contact their office to see when tours and programming will be available.

STEM Scout programming offered through DuPage Children’s Museum in Naperville includes all materials and extra time to play in the museum.

Go dozing with the dinosaurs at the Field Museum or camp out at Lincoln Park Zoo.

Dive into STEM topics and explore the grounds at Naper Settlement’s scout programs.

AnimationDigital Technology merit badges, along with the Girl Scout coding badges, can be supplemented with programs offered through an Apple Store Field Trip.

The Shedd Aquarium hosts Scout Events throughout the year, including oceanography and marine biology. Keep an eye on their calendar for offerings.

Local planetariums, such as the Waubonsie Valley HS Planetarium or the Elgin School District U-46 Planetarium offer Scout programming, or can be supplemental to the Astronomy or Space Exploration Merit Badge.

Other Resources

Girl Scouts in the Chicagoland are a part of one of two councils: Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana or Northern Illinois. Councils host their own special programming or badge workshops to help you complete official Girl Scout badges.

Cub Scouts can also seek the help of their councils: Three Fires Council, Northeast Illinois Council, Pathway to Adventure Council, or Rainbow Council.

Are your children in scouts? What was their favorite activity? Leave us a note in the comments section!

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