Merit Badges and how to earn them
Merit Badges are the second main area of the Scouts BSA advancement program. Unlike ranks, there is a degree of choice in the merit badge program. There are more than 120 Merit Badges that scouts can earn. Merit badges cover a wide range of topics including skills, sports, crafts, trades, future careers, and can help a Scout discover abilities they didn't know they had, and fields of interest they have barely heard of.
Scouts may work on merit badges from they time they join a Scout troop until they turn 18 years old. There is no time limit for completion of merit badges other than age 18. Some Merit Badges Require Prior Approval before starting certain requirements. Most do not. There will be opportunities for your Scout to earn merit badges as a group, but many are individual choices done with a counselor, see the steps below.
How Merit Badges are Earned:
1 - Find one you would like to earn in your Scout Book or on the BSA site
2 - With the Scoutmaster discuss the badge you want to earn and if it approved have him sign it
3 - Find a counselor designated for that merit badge using the list provided by your Scoutmaster
4 - Contacts the counselor, indicating which merit badge is desired to be earned
5 - Meet and learn from the counselor what are the expectations for this merit badge
6 - Completes the requirements as clearly listed for each merit badge. The counselor determines when each requirement is fulfilled
7 - Has the blue merit badge card signed by the counselor
8 - Scout delivers completed blue merit badge card to Scoutmaster who will provide final signature
9 - The Advancement Coordinator updates the BSA Advancement records, and purchases the badge from the Council Scout Store
10 - Scout will be awarded this merit badge at the next Troop meeting and the blue card returned to him (required as part of Eagle Scout Rank advancement in the future)
An Eagle Scout must earn at least 21 merit badges, with 12 of these from a required list. The remainder of the badges help with earning ranks as well as Eagle Palms after the Eagle Scout award has been earned. A Scout learns and grows with each merit badge that they successfully complete. Achieving the rank of Eagle is the ultimate goal for a Scout. Be sure to check out our Eagles Nest to see the Scouts that have achieved Eagle from our Troop.
Blue Cards and how to fill them out
The “blue card” is the nationally recognized merit badge record. It has been updated from time to time and carries the information needed for proper posting and for evidence and reference as needed later. The card has three parts: the actual “Application for Merit Badge” portion, the “Applicant’s Record,” and the “Counselor’s Record.”
How to fill out the blue card:
1 - On the front side of the card go to the right section and start at the top with your full name and address
2 - Then move down and check the box for Boy Scout, fill in Troop and our unit number 98, and we are in the East district of Simon Kenton Council
3 - Turn the card over to the back side, go to the left section and fill in the merit badge the blue card you are working on. Then go to the middle section and fill in your full name and the merit badge again. Next in the right section add your full name, check Troop fill in our unit number 98, and the name of the merit badge
4 - Now that you have finished filling out all the sections you need to take the blue card to the Scoutmaster so they can sign and date the signature of unit leader on the front of the blue card
5 - The Scout and the blue card are now ready to visit the counselor and begin work on the merit badge
“Boys can see adventure in a dirty old duck puddle, and if the Scoutmaster is a boys’ man he can see it, too.” -Robert Baden-Powell