Troop 157, 2011. ©

Merit Badges are what a Scout lives for and BSA has over 120 merit badges available to earn. From American Business to Woodworking, there are so many badges to choose from. See the complete list here. They are ways you can learn new skills that will help you in later life.

Scouts earn  a lot of their Merit Badges (MB) at summer camp, and then a few here and there throughout the year. Some of the merit badges offered at summer camp you will not see during the year, so plan accordingly. Also note, the Eagle Required MBs are a little more demanding (i.e. harder, more complex) so make a plan to determine when in your scout trail you want to start them. MBs are a lot more fun if you are working them together with a friend!

Two good sources for MB information (requirements and worksheets) are found on the Merit Badge site and on US Scouts.

In our troop, we expect every scout to be prepared when he works on a MB. Prepared means:
  1. Obtain a copy of the MB book (check with the Troop Librarian before buying one),
  2. Read the book, and
  3. Fill out the MB worksheet (Merit Badge or US Scouts).
Your MB counselor will also explain what they expect. Requirements for each merit badge are listed online (see #3 above) and in the front of each merit badge book.A merit badge counselor is a scouting volunteer who donates his/her time to work and meet with scouts.Counselors expect you to participate and be interested/engaged when they meet to discuss the MB.This is not a "lecture" where they feed you information.The meetings are a discussion of what you read and what you know. Merit Badge Counselors have a wealth of information and expertise to relate to you.

Troop 157 Merit Badge Procedures
Note:  The following steps are to be completed in order as follows:
  • Decide on a merit badge by reading the requirements and doing a little research. Talk to other scouts and leaders.
  • Consult the Troop Merit Badge Counselor list and select a counselor. If there isn't a MB Counselor for the badge you've chosen, please contact the Scoutmaster or the Troop Advancement Chairperson.
  • Contact the Scoutmaster, give him the name of your MB Counselor, and complete a merit badge “blue card”.
  • Scoutmaster will give the “blue card” to the Advancement Chair where it will be recorded as “open” and will then give the “blue card” to your MB counselor.
  • Meet with your counselor to work on the MB.  You;re not to start a MB unless you have coordinated with your Scoutmaster for a “blue card”.  There is no time limit for completing a MB, however, you must be finished before you turn 18.  Don’t languish; the longer this MB stays open the less likely you are to finish it. (A second scout, buddy, parent, or friend must be present with you at all meetings to adhere to the "Two Deep Leadership" rule in scouting.
  • When all requirements are done, your counselor will give the “blue card” to the Scoutmaster for final signature.
  • Scoutmaster will give “blue card” to Advancement Chair to record, purchase and present the MB.