click on the badge to go to the requirements
Merit Badges – Frequently Asked Questions
How do I decide on which badge to work on?
135 merit badges covering a wide range of interests. Take a look through the merit badge list and find something you will enjoy. You will be surprised to see how many of the things you do in your daily life -- sports, taking care of your dog, working on family projects or reading -- fulfill merit badge requirements.
How many merit badges do I need to earn?
21 merit badges are required for Eagle, 12 are specific "Eagle-required" badges. Of these, 6 (4 required) will be earned for Star and 5 more will be earned for Life (3 additional required).
Can I work on a merit badge on my own?
Yes! Summer Camp, troop-run programs and Merit Badge College help, but you should work on badges on your own. You should always have one or two badges that you are actively working on and when you finish one, find another on which to start. You will be surprised how fast that sash fills up!
What is the process?
- Review the list of merit badges and badge requirements to select a badge.
- See the Scoutmaster or Advancement Chair to obtain a signed “Blue Card”
- Use the Merit Badge Counselor List to select a counselor. (List in the Troop Library.)
- Get a copy of the Merit Badge Book, from the scout store or borrowed from our Library.
- Contact the counselor and ask them if he or she is willing to work with you.
- Meet with the counselor to discuss the requirements and completion steps.
- Meet with your counselor as needed to review your completed requirements.
- The counselor will sign the blue card indicating his or her approval.
Return the completed card to the Scoutmaster or Advancement Chair for signature.
- Receive your merit badge at a future meeting or Court of Honor.
Where do I find the requirements?
For each merit badge there is a merit badge book to guide you through the requirements. The books are for sale at the Scout Store. You can borrow from another scout or you may be able to borrow one from the Troop Library. As a quick reference, the Scout Store also sells the Boy Scout Requirement book. You can also find a wealth of information including the requirements and various help resources at www.meritbadge.org or www.usscouts.org/mb/ . Be sure to make sure that the requirements you are using are the current requirements by checking with www.meritbadge.com.
How do I find a counselor?
A new Merit Badge Counselor Book has been updated and released in 2012. Mr Hill has the updated book. The list is in the Troop Library. Once you have a name, you should contact the counselor to make sure that they have time available to assist you. Counselors from other troops in the council are also available, if you can not find a counselor within the troop. You can ask for help from Mrs. Schoch or the Troop Librarian to find a counselor.
When do I meet with the counselor?
Each counselor will handle things a little differently. You may meet a couple times, once at the beginning and once at the end when you are done your work. In other cases you may meet several times. You should work this out with your counselor and find a convenient time to meet.
Who attends the meeting with the counselor?
Scouts should never attend a meeting with a counselor without a parent or another adult or a buddy. Doing so is a violation of Scouting’s Youth Protection Guidelines. For fun and to satisfy these guidelines, we strongly encourage you to find another scout interested in working on the same badge at the same time.
What is a “Blue Card”?
Before you meet your counselor you must obtain a Blue Card from the Scoutmaster. It is a three-part card that your counselor will use to record your achievements. The Scoutmaster must sign the blue card, indicating that you are ready to work on the badge. Once you have completed the requirements, the counselor will return two sections of the card to you. You must ask the Scoutmaster to sign off on completion on the scout's portion of the card. You should then submit the remaining section to the Advancement Co-Chair, Ms. Jas.
How do I wear the merit badges?
Badges will be awarded at scout meetings and Courts of Honor once the Advancement Chair has received the completed Blue Card. Badges are displayed on the merit badge sash worn over the right shoulder.
What is an Eagle Palm?
Eagle Palms are awarded for each 5 merit badges you earn beyond the 21 required for Eagle. You can earn as many as you want. I have heard that there are scouts who have earned every badge. Go for it!
What is a “partial”?
Often at summer camp or other group events, you will start a badge with a counselor but then not complete the badge. They will return the Blue Card to you, signing off on those requirements that are complete. It is up to you to complete the remaining requirements on your own and find a counselor to review your work.
I have a partial from 3 years ago. The requirements have changed. What do I do?
You have two choices. You may complete the merit badge using all the old requirements or you may complete the merit badge using all the new requirements. Often newer requirements are written so that the older requirements may fulfill them, but you must complete one set or the other. Work with your counselor or the Advancement Co-Chair to figure out which situation is easier for you.
How do I become a counselor?
Adults with an appropriate interest or skill are encouraged to become registered as a merit badge counselor. It is a wonderful way to share your expertise, have fun with a topic you enjoy and help the scouts and the Troop. Periodically we will run counselor training and other counselors are always available to give you advice. Contact Kate Schoch for information about how to apply to become a counselor.
Can a parent sign off on requirements?
Like other requirements in Scouting, parents are not allowed to sign off on requirements. Encouragement, supervision and even light coaching is appropriate, depending on the requirements. There will be requirements intended for completion in the home or with family and a parent may be asked to certify that it was indeed completed. The only exception to this rule is when a parent teaches a class that includes his or her son and only when the son fulfills the requirements in the same manner as others in the class.
Donate Your Old Books!
If you have completed a badge and no longer have use for your book, please consider donating it to Troop 18 so we can build up a sharing library for other scouts to use.
Recommended Merit Badge Process
- The Scout develops an interest in a merit badge and may begin working on the requirements.
- The Scout and unit leader discuss the Scout’s interest in the merit badge.
- The unit leader signs a blue card and provides the Scout with at least one counselor contact.
- The Scout contacts the counselor.
- The counselor considers any work toward requirements completed prior to the initial discussion with the unit leader.
- The Scout, the Scout’s buddy, and the counselor meet (often several times).
- The Scout finishes the requirements.
- The counselor approves completion.
- The Scout returns the signed blue card to the unit leader, who signs the applicant record section of the blue card.
- The unit leader gives the Scout the applicant record.
- The unit reports completion of the merit badge.
- The Scout receives the merit badge.