Merit badges give scouts the opportunity to investigate around 130 different areas of knowledge and skills. The merit badge program plays a major role in the scouting advancement program and participation can begin as soon as a scout registers with a troop. Each scout can explore topics from American Business to Woodworking as they have interest. The only limitations are their ambition and availability of adult merit badge counselors to offer instruction.
Merit Badge Pamphlets: An official Boy Scouts of America merit badge pamphlet has been created for the BSA by topic authorities for each merit badge. The pamphlets contain requirements, introductory information and supplemental reference text. A scout can purchase pamphlets from BSA, find them in a troop library, or often-times check them out from a public library. There is also a Requirements Booklet with a merit badge list for quick reference.
Merit Badge Counselors: Merit badge counselors are volunteers that have been selected, trained, and approved by council or district committees. They are knowledgeable in the topic and understand the goals of scouting and the Scouting merit badge program. Many districts have a directory of counselors. See this page for more info on becoming a merit badge counselor.
Merit Badge Process: A scout decides they would like to earn a specific merit badge. They obtain approval to begin the merit badge from their Scoutmaster. The Scoutmaster identifies possible merit badge counselors. The scout identifies another scout, buddy, or family member that will be their partner to attend all meetings with the counselor to follow safe scouting guidelines. The scout then contacts the counselor to begin badge work. The counselor reviews the requirements with the scouts and they decide on projects to complete and a completion schedule. The counselor provides expertise, advice, guidance as needed until the scouts have completed the requirements. The merit badge counselor certifies completion of requirements and the merit badge patch is presented at a court of honor or troop meeting.See this page for more info on merit badges.
Required Merit Badges: A scout can begin taking merit badges as soon as they join a troop, but no merit badges are required for advancement until reaching First Class rank. Advancement to Star, Life, and Eagle all require completion of merit badges, service, and demonstration of responsibility. To reach Eagle rank, a scout must complete a total of at least 21 Boy Scout merit badges, 13 of which come from the Eagle-required merit badge list.
Request New Merit Badge TopicsIf you feel another topic or activity should be added, you need to tell the Boy Scouts of America directly.For new merit badge ideas, send your request to: email@example.com See section 220.127.116.11 of this page for more info.
Jan 30, 2016 - Scouter Paul@Kipp - A merit badge counselor usually accepts work completed under the guidance of a previous counselor - it happens all the time. See Section 18.104.22.168 of the Guide to Advancement.
Sep 28, 2016 - Scouter Paul@Gavin - There are only green or silver borders. The 4 historic merit badges available in 2010 had gold borders. If you see an image online of what appears to be a yellow border, it's just poor color display.
Apr 12, 2017 - Jeff MoultonLater this summer my son and I are going somewhere. We don't know where yet, but someplace he and I have never been. But we would like for him to work on a merit badge while we're gone. So what I'm looking for is a list of places that offer merit badge classes, or hard to obtain requirements for merit badges.For instance, on Tybee Island, Georgia (outside of Savannah), is the Tybee Island Marine Science Center, and in a two hour class, a boy can fulfill some of the requirements for the Oceanography Merit Badge - something that is a bit more difficult (though not impossible) to earn in the middle of Illinois farmland. I'm hoping someone out there has created a list of places like this that can be sorted or searched by location and/or merit badge, so that we can plan our adventure around him working towards a merit badge in an environment different from what we can provide here in central Illinois.
Mar 28, 2019 - JackieIs there a merit badge for faith? my boys just finished their confirmation through our church and they were wondering about a faith merit badge. If someone can let me know since I didn't see it in the above pg.
Oct 25, 2022 - Scouter Paul@Kathy - Typically, a scout identifies a merit badge to do and then does the requirements for it. Trying to find a merit badge to fit an activity that a scout did in the past is not the intent of the program. I can not think of any merit badge that has a requirement like you describe. 2b1af7f3a8