Merit badges are the second main area of Scout advancement. Unlike ranks, there is a degree of choice in the merit badge program. There are 136 merit badges. A sub-group of merit badges are known as Eagle required merit badges. To earn Eagle Scout, most of these badges must be earned, although some are "either/or" badges. The remainder of the badges help with earning ranks as well as Eagle Palms after the Eagle Scout award has been earned. Scouts can learn about sports, crafts, science, trades, business, future careers and many other areas as they earn merit badges. Scout need not have any particular rank to earn merit badges.
THE MERIT BADGE PROCESS:
Pick a Subject: Talk with your Scoutmaster (unit leader) about your interest in earning a merit badge. Read the requirements of the merit badges you think might interest you.
Choose one to earn: You can get from your unit leader a signed Merit Badge Application (the "blue card") and the name and contact information of a Merit Badge Counselor. These individuals have special knowledge in their merit badge subjects and are interested in helping you. To obtain Blue Cards, Scouts must call or speak in person with the Scoutmaster.
NOTE: Scouts may not begin working on a merit badge without a signed Blue Card from the Scoutmaster (or permission to take a class using electronic blue cards), who has discretion to deny permission for a badge. In Troop 71, a Scout may not sign up for or earn the Camping Merit Badge until he has completed twenty nights of camping as per requirement 9a. Long term camping - such as summer camp - counts up to a maximum of six nights one time only. Cabin stays - e.g. Greenkill & Dippikill - do not count as a camping night. Also, Scouts are discouraged from taking Personal Management and Communication until reaching at least the 9th Grade.
Use the Scout Buddy System: 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 Merit Badge Counselor: Get in touch with the Merit Badge Counselor and tell them that you want to earn the merit badge. The counselor may ask to meet you to explain what is expected and to start helping you complete 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 obtain and read the merit badge pamphlet on the subject.
Show Your Stuff: When you are ready, call the counselor again to make an appointment. 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 test you on each requirement to make sure you know your stuff and have done or can do the things required.
Requirements: You are expected to meet the requirements as they are stated—no more and no less. You must do exactly what is stated in the requirements. If it says "show or demonstrate," that is what you must do. Just telling about it isn't enough. The same thing holds true for such words as "make," "list," "in the field," and "collect," "identify," and "label."
Get the Badge: When the counselor is satisfied that you have met each requirement, they will sign your application (the "blue card"). Give the signed application to your unit leader so that your merit badge emblem can be processed and obtained for you.
Merit badge requirement books are available from a local Scout merchandise shop or online at www.scoutstuff.org.
Before purchasing a merit badge book, speak with our Troop Librarian about whether one is available to borrow from the Troop. To keep our Library stocked, please donate any used merit badge books. Thank you.
Click here for the merit badge requirements and worksheets.
Cooking MB Handbook Scouting Heritage MB Handbook