There are more than 100 merit badges in a broad range of areas. Although merit badges are an important part of the Boy Scout advancement program, Scouts are encouraged to take advantage of the merit badge program by earning merit badges that go above and beyond the requirements of the advancement program.
You can learn about sports, crafts, science, trades, business, and future careers as you earn merit badges. There are more than 100 merit badges in a broad range of subject areas. Any Boy Scout may earn any merit badge at any time. You don’t need to have had rank advancement to be eligible. Here’s how:
- Pick a Subject
- Choose a merit badge to earn – any Scout can earn any merit badge.
- Discuss the merit badge you would like to earn with the Scoutmaster and work with him to find a counselor
- Find a merit badge counselor:
- Work with the Scoutmaster to find a merit badge counselor
- Some merit badge counselors are affiliated with the Troop and are not on the Carroll District merit badge list – the Troop merit badge counselor list is on the Troop website
- Have the Scoutmaster sign your merit badge card (often called a “blue card”)
- Scout Buddy System
- Remember: you must have another person with you at each meeting with the merit badge counselor. This person can be another Scout, your parents or guardian, a brother or sister or other relative, or a friend.
- Call the Counselor
- Get in touch with the merit badge counselor and tell him or her that you want to earn the merit badge. The counselor may ask to meet you to explain what is expected of you and to start helping you meet the requirements. You should also discuss work that you have already started or possibly completed.
- Unless otherwise specified, work for a requirement can be started at any time. Ask your counselor to help you learn the things you need to know or do. You should read the merit badge pamphlet on the subject. You can get a copy of the merit badge pamphlet from the Troop Librarian. Many Troops and school or public libraries have them.
- Show Your Stuff
- When you are ready, call the counselor again to make an appointment to meet the requirements. When you go, take along the things you have made to meet the requirements. If they are too big to move, take pictures or have an adult tell in writing what you have done. The counselor will ask you to do each requirement to make sure that you know your stuff and have done or can do the things required.
- Get the Badge
- When the counselor is satisfied that you have met each requirement, he or she will sign your blue card – and he/she will keep 1/3 of the blue card for his/her recordkeeping. (The 1/3 he/she keeps is clearly marked.)
- Bring the other 2/3 of the card to the Scoutmaster for the 2nd Scoutmaster signature.
- Once signed by the Scoutmaster, give the blue card to your Mrs. Knies so that your merit badge emblem can be secured for you. It is your responsibility to get the merit badge card to Mrs. Knies – if she does not have the card in her hand, the advancement will not be recorded.
Many people find the merit badge worksheets at www.meritbadge.org to be helpful. This site also lists the most current badge of rank requirements.