Merit Badges: Merit Badges are the second main area of the Scouts BSA advancement program (Rank Advancement is the first main area). There are over 135 merit badges in the Scouts BSA program. A sub-group of merit badges are known as ‘Eagle required’ merit badges (also known as ‘white rings’) and must be earned in order to meet the rank requirements for Eagle Scout. The remainder of the badges help with earning ranks past First Class, as well as Eagle Palms after the Eagle Scout award has been earned. Scouts may work on merit badges from the time they join a Scout troop until they turn 18 years old. There is no time limit for the completion of merit badges. The steps to obtain a merit badge during the troop year are as follows:
1. Pick a Subject. Talk to your Scoutmaster or the Merit Badge Coordinator about your interests. Read the requirements of the merit badges you think might interest you.
2. Contact the SM or Merit Badge Coordinator to obtain the name of the merit badge counselor for your chosen MB and a signed merit badge application, also known as a blue card. These counselors have special knowledge in their merit badge subjects and are interested in helping you.
3. Get in touch with the merit badge counselor and tell him or her that you want to earn the merit badge and set up a meeting
4. At the first meeting, you and your merit badge counselor will review and may start working on the requirements. In some cases, you may share with your counselor the work that you have already started or accomplished. 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 also read the merit badge pamphlet on the subject.
5. 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.
6. Get the Badge. When the counselor is satisfied that you have met each requirement, he or she will sign your application (blue card). Give the signed application to your Scoutmaster so that your merit badge emblem can be secured for you.
Requirements: You are expected to meet the requirements as they are stated — no more and no less. You are expected to 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.
Merit Badge Counselors: Contact Merit Badge Coordinator for specific MB Counselors. Merit Badge Counselors are volunteer adults, usually parents of Scouts that are interested in helping the Scouts obtain their Merit Badges and have enough background in a topic to lead the boys through a focused instructional program. The counselors do not need to be experts on the merit badge topic but must have a desire to work with the Scouts. BSA Merit Badge books contain all information needed to complete Merit Badge requirements; MB Counselors assist Scouts in understanding and mastering the information provided to fulfill requirements.
Scoutmaster Overview of Troop 1344’s Merit Badge Program: SEE LINK