How to Earn a Merit Badge
Pick the Badge. Do you know what badges you can earn? Many badges correspond with what you are already doing, whether it is for school, at home or in your community. Look over the requirements for the different badges and select the one(s) that interest you. Keep in mind you MUST earn certain badges for advancement.
Get the Card. You must get a SIGNED blue card from a Troop leader (Scoutmaster, Troop Advancement Chair, Asst. Scoutmaster) for each merit badge you work on BEFORE you begin. Go the Manage button, members, Merit Badge Counselors for a list of MBCs. Let the Troop leader know which MBC you are going to use for your merit badge. There is also a district list under the Share button.
Contact the Counselor. Once you have your blue card get in touch with the merit badge counselor and tell him or her that you want to earn the merit badge. The counselor may arrange a meeting to explain what is expected and start helping you meet the requirements. Always check you are using requirements with the most current revision date.
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, a relative, or a friend. Try to meet in a public place, maybe before a regular Troop meeting or during a campout.
GO! When you understand what is expected, start to learn and do the things required for the badge. Remember your merit badge counselor is just one of the many resources you have available to you as you work toward completion of the badge requirements. Don’t be afraid to use teachers, parents, family friends and Troop leaders. If you get stuck on something or need ideas just ASK!
Be organized! You must meet the requirements exactly as they are stated -- no more and no less. 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," "collect," "identify," and "label." Keep everything together in a folder and use a worksheet such as the ones found on this CD or on the Internet at USScouts.org. You need to provide proof to the counselor you have completed the requirements.
Show Your Stuff. When you have completed the requirements, arrange with your counselor a time to review your work. Make sure to 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 review each requirement with you to make sure that you know your stuff and have done or can do the things required. You do not have to wait until all requirements are done before you ask your counselor to review your work.
Get the Badge! When the counselor is satisfied you have met each requirement he or she will sign your blue card. Give the signed blue card to a Troop leader – Scoutmaster, Advancement Chair, Asst. Scoutmaster. Congratulations! You r badge will be awarded at the next Court of Honor. In addition to the actual badge, you will receive a portion of your blue card for your records.
Update Your Records. Make sure you put your blue card copy in a safe location-you will need it for your Boards of Review for Star, Life and Eagle. Make note of the badge and date earned in your Scout Handbook. Sew your badge onto your merit badge sash.
NEXT! Get started on your next badge...
Merit Badge Worksheets
List of current Merit Badges
The following are all the Merit Badges currently offered by the Boy Scouts of America:
Everything you ever wanted to know about merit badges
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