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Introduction to Merit Badges

Boy Scouts Advancement Towards Eagle

You can learn about sports, crafts, science, trades, business, and future careers as you earn merit badges. There are more than 130 merit badges. Any Boy Scout may earn a merit badge at any time. You don't need to have had rank advancement to be eligible.  The most updated list of merit badges can be found at the Boy Scouts of America site www.Scouting.org/MeritBadgesExternal Link.

Pick a Subject. Talk to your unit leader (Scoutmaster) about your interest in earning a merit badge. Read the requirements of the merit badges you think might interest you. Choose one to earn. Your unit leader will give you 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.

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.

Persons serving as merit badge counselors must be registered as a merit badge counselor with the Boy Scouts of America.  They must be men and women of good character, age 18 or older, and recognized as having the skills and education in the subjects for which they are to serve as merit badge counselors, as well as having the ability to work with Scout-age boys. 

Applicants must submit a Merit Badge Counselors Application to the council service center. If the person is not a registered adult with the Boy Scouts of America, an Adult Application must also be submitted. There is no registration fee required for those choosing to only register as a Merit Badge Counselor.  

All merit badge counselors are required to own the most current printing of the Merit Badge Pamphlet of all the merit badges for which they are counseling. These are available at the Council Service Center Scout Shop. 

District Advancement Chairmen can provide lists of available counselors within the district.

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.

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 secured for you.

The current Boy Scout Requirements book is available from your local Scouting merchandise distributor. It may also be ordered online at www.scoutstuff.org.External Link Merit badge requirements are revised as needed to reflect updated information and technology. Click here to view new and recently revised merit badges.

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."

The requirements listed here are the official requirements of the Boy Scouts of America. However, the requirements presented here might not match those in the Boy Scout Handbook and the merit badge pamphlets, because these publications are updated only when the Boy Scout Requirements book is updated.

If you have already started working on a merit badge when a new edition of the pamphlet is introduced, you may continue to use the same merit badge pamphlet and fulfill the requirements therein to earn the badge. You do not need to start all over again with the new pamphlet and revised requirements.

Merit Badge Requirements

Below is a list, in alphabetical order, of all of the current merit badge subjects. Click each subject to see the requirements for that merit badge.





Art




Law
 
 
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