07.Merit Badges

Merit Badge Program:

    The merit badge program provides opportunities to explore more than a

hundred fields of knowledge and skill from American Business to Woodwork. It

plays a key role in the fulfillment of Scouting’s educational commitment and is

one of Scouting’s basic character-building tools.

    Through participation in the merit badge program, a Scout acquires self-

confidence that comes only from overcoming obstacles to achieve a goal.

Instruction is offered in a wide variety of academic, athletic, career, civics, and

environmental disciplines and providing a Scout with invaluable career,

interpersonal, physical skills. Some merit badges will be done by the entire Troop

or by patrols, others are done at summer and weekend camps, and others may be

done individually by Scouts based on their individual interests.

Merit Badge Procedure:

    The first step for working on a merit badge is to get a Blue Card from the

Scoutmaster and to “register” it with the Advancement Chair.

    When a Scout shows an interest in earning a particular merit badge, he can

identify another Scout with similar interests to become his partner. The Scouts

are then directed to the appropriate merit badge counselor. Some are within the

Troop. Others aren’t. The buddy system must be used when meeting with a merit

badge counselor. One-on- one meetings with a merit badge counselor aren’t

allowed as part of the BSA youth protection program. A counselor may meet with

a Scout if a parent or other adult or another Scout not working on that merit

badge is present. The merit badge counselor reviews the badge requirements

with the Scouts and decides with them what projects should be undertaken and

when they should be completed to earn the badge. After the counselor has

certified that the Scouts have qualified for the merit badge, it’s presented to them

at a Court of Honor and can be applied toward rank advancement. Merit badges

are also part of the summer camp experience and may be offered at Troop

meetings and on campouts.

Merit Badge Pamphlets:

    Each merit badge subject is outlined and explained in a booklet that

contains short, introductory information written for the Boy Scouts of America by

recognized authorities. Troop 1 has a library of merit badge booklets available

from the Troop Librarian. Scouts may check them out when working on a merit

badge. If the Troop Library doesn’t have a booklet, Scouts may request it.

Scouts are always welcome to go to the Scout Shop and buy one if they would

like to keep it. The Troop encourages Scouts to donate used merit badge

pamphlets to the Troop Library.

Merit Badge Counselors:

    Only registered merit badge counselors are permitted to sign off on merit

badge requirements. Persons who are knowledgeable about a merit badge

subject are approved by the District Advancement Committee to serve as a merit

badge counselors. For example, a doctor, nurse, or emergency medical

technician may be asked to serve as counselor for the Emergency Preparedness

or First Aid merit badge. A counselor must not only have the necessary technical

knowledge but must also have a solid understanding of the abilities, interests,

and needs of Scouts. A counselor must also be a registered adult with the BSA

and follow youth protection requirements. Parents are strongly encouraged to

sign up as a counselor for their fields of expertise. Please see the Scoutmaster,

Assistant Scoutmaster, or Assistant Advancement Chair to for the list of currently

registered merit badge counselors.

Courts of Honor:

    Courts of Honor are special occasions when Scouts receive recognition of

rank and merit badges that they have earned during the previous months. Courts

of Honor are generally held three or four times each year. It’s very important that

parents attend all Courts of Honor, not only to recognize your own Scout’s

accomplishments, but also to recognize the accomplishments of your son’s

fellow Scouts. The Troop hopes to start awarding badges at least once per

month at Troop meetings and to recognize badges more formally at Courts of

Honor.

Badges required for Eagle Scout rank:

    Along with meeting five other requirements, to qualify for the Eagle Scout

Award a Scout must earn a total of 22 merit badges. Thirteen are required:

 Camping (may be earned at Many Point, counselors in the Troop)

 Citizenship in the Community (offered every third year at Merit Badge

Camp)

 Citizenship in the Nation (offered every third year at Merit Badge Camp)

 Citizenship in the World (offered every third year at Merit Badge Camp)

 Cooking (may be earned at Many Point, counselors in Troop)

 Communications (offered every third year at Merit Badge Camp)

 Cycling (occasionally offered by Troop), Hiking (occasionally offered by

Troop), or Swimming (may be earned at Many Point, counselors in the

Troop, the Troop generally swims once per month in late winter)

 Emergency Preparedness or Lifesaving (may be earned at Many Point)

 Environmental Science (may be earned at Many Point)

 Family Life (offered every third year at March Merit Badge Camp)

 First Aid (may be earned at Many Point, counselors in the Troop)

 Personal Fitness (counselors in the Troop)

 Personal Management (offered every third year at Merit Badge Camp)

    For badges that have an alternate (e.g. Emergency Preparedness or

Lifesaving and Cycling, Hiking, or Swimming) one or both can be applied towards

Star or Life Rank but only one can be applied toward Eagle Rank. The alternate

badge may be applied toward one of the elective badges for Eagle.

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Parent Participation:

    Active parent participation is encouraged in Troop 1. Your participation

helps your Scout know that you’re interested in what he’s doing and this will be a

big factor in what he accomplishes as a Scout. Parents may participate by

becoming Troop Committee Members, Assistant Scoutmasters, Merit Badge

Counselors, or taking on a specific task like driving to and from camp,

fundraising, or organizing a special event.
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