As of 2015, common Boy Scout merit badges include "First Aid," "Swimming" and "Camping," while common Girl Scout badges include "Cookies and Dough," "Creative Cooking" and "Camping." These badges have all been consistently popular for at least a decade; however, the list of Boy Scout and Girl Scout badges has changed over time. The Boy Scouts added kayaking in 2012, while the Girl Scouts added several "21st-century skills" badges, including a science and technology badge.
The most popular Boy Scout badges are typically those required to reach Eagle Scout, the highest rank in a Boy Scout troop. In 2015, the Boy Scouts launched changes to their Eagle Scout requirements, leading to the cooking badge's increased popularity.
Girl Scout badges vary according to rank, with Brownies, Juniors, Cadets, Seniors and Ambassadors earning slightly different badges. However, the groups frequently share similar categories, such as cookie-selling, camping and fashion.
In 2013, the Girl Scouts correlated their badges with the requirements of the U.S. Common Core Standards for public schools. This change ensures that Girl Scouts who earn badges in their age range also develop grade-appropriate proficiencies in English language arts and mathematics. The Girl Scouts website currently lists the specific Common Core Standards associated with each badge.