Merit Badge Process
We often have a had a lot of questions regarding Merit Badges, so this page is to explain the process and clarify how and why it works the way it does. The Scout follows these steps:
1) The scout picks a merit badge that he would like to earn. There are over 135 merit badges to choose from on just about any topic you can think of… (see scouting.org)
2) The scout meets with his unit leader and asks about wanting to start the merit badge. In our Troop, the Scoutmaster serves in this role. (I prefer an initial email as meeting nights can be busy for me).
3) The Scoutmaster provides a Merit Badge counselor contact information (name, phone number) and a signed Blue Card to begin the badge.
4) The scout contacts the merit badge counselor and they work together to complete the requirements (2 or more scouts).
5) Once all the requirements are completed, the Scout returns the completed Blue Card to the Scoutmaster and the finished Blue Card is signed again. It is then turned into the troops Advancement Chair so that the badge can be awarded at the next Court of Honor.
Often, a parent and/or a scout will say to me “wouldn’t it be easier if…”
• Give all the scouts a stack of Blue Cards so they don’t have to ask each time?
• Have the MB counselor email addresses instead of the phone number of the so we don’t have to call?
• Publish the MB counselor list so we don’t have to ask?
• Complete the badge requirements on their own send in their work for approval?
and the answer would be “Yes, that would be easier”.
Scouting has a method to what they do… part of the merit badges and rank achievements is for the scout to learn something new… BUT the other part is for the scout to learn to follow a new process, gather approvals, make phone calls and maintain their records (this actually might be more important than anything else).
We understand that as parents we are anxious for our scouts to be successful. However, we need to make sure we are allowing our scouts to make their own choices. It is vital that a scout has the support of their parents and ASM’s. However, it is just as important to let the scouts work through the issues and figure things out. The lessons learned during these times will translate into that confident and independent leader.
So are you ready to become a Merit Badge Counselor? With 135 plus choices, one would think that each and every one of our parents could find something that they could teach. To become a counselor, please complete the merit badge counselor application and complete the BSA Youth Protection Training (on-line) and bring them to a meeting. We will have you complete a leader application and send it into Simon Kenton Council. This is a great way to participate in the program with out any type of major commitment.
• Simon Kenton Council has recently published an updated version of MB counselors (so the current list should now be up to date).
• Blue Cards are a 3 part card (one for the scout, one for the MB counselor, and one for troop).
• Earning Merit Badges and Rank Requirements are both fun and important parts of a Scouts career.
• As scouts progress they need to obtain merit badges as part of their rank requirements for Star(6), Life(5) and Eagle(21) ranks.
• 13 Merit Badges are required for Eagle Rank. These badge are typically more challenging and might more appropriate for older scouts.
• Merit Badge Counselor are a registered with the BSA and have completed Youth Protection Training
• Patrols can work together to earn merit badges. This is especially valuable for first and second year scouts as they learn the MB process.
Link to Youth Protection Training: https://www.scouting.org/training/youthprotection.aspx
Link to Merit Badges: https://www.scouting.org/Home/BoyScouts/GuideforMeritBadgeCounselors/IntroToMeritBadges.aspx