Scout Badge Weekends

The Green Bank Observatory offers overnight badge weekends for Girl Scouts and Scouts BSA.

All educational activities are free for these weekends, but there are some costs if you’d like to stay overnight or purchase meals while here. In addition, there is a $5 per scout materials fee for the Scouts BSA Electronics badge.

If you have any questions not answered here, feel free to email us at gro.y1721233514rotav1721233514resbo1721233514bg@sn1721233514oitav1721233514reser1721233514.

Frequently Asked Questions

Girl Scouts: Juniors, Cadettes, and Seniors can earn their respective Space Science badges during the overnight. Younger scouts are welcome to do a day trip the Friday before or the Sunday of the Girl Scout Badge Weekend to earn their Space Science badge.

Scouts BSA: All Scouts BSA, Venture Scouts, and Sea Scouts can earn either the Astronomy or Electronics badges (depending on the weekend). Cub Scouts and Webelos are welcome, but must be accompanied by a scout master at all times.

Girl Scouts:

The Green Bank Observatory Girl Scout Weekend includes the Daisy Space Science Explorer, Brownies Space Science Adventurer, Juniors Space Science Investigator, Cadettes Space Science Researcher, Seniors Space Science Expert, and Ambassadors Space Science Master badges.

Scouts BSA:

The Green Bank Observatory Scouts BSA Weekend includes either the Astronomy or the Electronics Merit Badge.
Please note that there are separate weekends for the Astronomy and Electronics merit badge. Troops can choose which to complete by signing up for the date that badge is offered.

We host scout merit badge weekends for overnight trips on scheduled weekends only, our dates are listed below. Activities start at 9:00 am on Saturday and continue all day until 5:00 PM. We resume at 9:00 am on Sunday and finish between 11:00 am and 12:00 noon. If your troop is based a good distance from the Observatory, we recommend arriving Friday night.

2024 merit badge weekend dates:

  • 1/26 – 1/28: BSA Electronics FULL
  • 2/9 – 2/11: BSA Astronomy FULL
  • 3/15 – 3/17: Girl Scouts
  • 4/5 – 4/7: BSA Astronomy FULL
  • 5/3 – 5/5: BSA Astronomy FULL
  • 8/30 – 9/1: BSA Astronomy FULL
  • 10/4 – 10/6: Girl Scouts FULL
  • 11/1 – 11/3: BSA Astronomy FULL
  • 12/6 – 12/8: BSA Electronics FULL

Scout troops have two options for staying onsite: the bunkhouse and the campground. If you’re interested in staying onsite, make sure to select “Overnight Accommodations” in your GBORS request.

The bunkhouse costs $10 per person per night, with a $200 per night minimum (if you’re bringing twenty-one people, that is $210 per night, and so on). A $100 deposit is required. The bunkhouse can hold sixty scouts, and has two rooms for chaperones. It includes showers and bathrooms.

The campground costs $5 per person per night, with a $150 per night minimum. A $100 deposit is required. Please review the Comet Campground Policy before camping onsite.

The Green Bank Observatory has a cafeteria that can provide meals. If you are interested in this option, please select “Meal Services” in your GBORS request.

Breakfast is $8/person; lunch is $10/person; and dinner is $12/person.

Scouts BSA Astronomy and Girl Scouts have a limit of forty-five scouts, so get your requests in as early as possible! Scouts BSA Electronics has a limit of thirty-five scouts.

Use the Green Bank Observatory Reservation System (GBORS) to request a reservation. Make sure to select “Science Center & Educational Activities” when creating your request.

When making your reservation, please include an estimated headcount of scouts and chaperones that will be attending. In the “Details” section please include how many scouts you are requesting a reservation for. Be sure to make a reservation for the dates that align with your preferred badge weekend. Badge weekends do fill up quickly, so you are welcome to list multiple badge weekends in “Details” and we will do our best to get your troop fit into one of those weekends.

Reservation requests are not confirmation of registration for merit badge weekends. Please allow us up to two weeks from your initial request to get a response back to you.

We operate on a first-come first-serve basis. We will do our best to get your troop in on your preferred weekend!