Merit Badge FAQ

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<center><big>Merit Badge resources include the [[Guide for Merit Badge Counselors]], [[Merit_Badges#Introduction|Introduction]], & [[Merit Badge FAQ|FAQ]].<br>The [[Merit Badge Worksheets|Merit Badge Worksheets & Requirements]] include the maps, checklists and other materials you need.<br>Other resources include the online [[Merit Badge Application]] and [[Merit Badges Earned|Most Popular Merit Badges]]<br>[[Merit Badges Requiring Prior Approval|Certain requirements need prior approval]] but most do not.<br></big></center>
<center><big>Merit Badge resources include the [[Guide for Merit Badge Counselors]], [[Merit_Badges#Introduction|Introduction]], & [[Merit Badge FAQ|FAQ]].<br>The [[Merit Badge Worksheets|Merit Badge Worksheets & Requirements]] include the maps, checklists and other materials you need.<br>Other resources include the online [[Merit Badge Application]] and [[Merit Badges Earned|Most Popular Merit Badges]]<br>[[Merit Badges Requiring Prior Approval|Certain requirements need prior approval]] but most do not.<br></big></center>
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{{Discussion|2597}}
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{{Checklist|[[Media:Merit Badge FAQ.pdf|Here is a one-page pdf ]] {{PDF}} with some of the most important Merit Badge Requirements and Policies.<br> Also see the [[Merit Badge Policies]].}}
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<Big>__TOC__</big>
 
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=====Where are the Merit Badge Worksheets?=====
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All Scouts, leaders, and counselors are to follow the principles of the Scout Oath and the Scout Law at all times. Here are some of the key [[Boy Scout Requirements]] (BSR) and [[Advancement Policies]] (#33088) regarding merit badges. Please also see the See [[Merit Badge Policies#Introduction|Merit Badge Introduction]] and [[Guide for Merit Badge Counselors]].
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Right here: [[Merit Badge Worksheets]].
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=====What requirements and rules do we follow?=====
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__TOC__
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No. For Advancement under the BSA [[National Council]], the precedence of documentation is:
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:1. [[Bookshelf#Bylaws_and_Rules|Boy Scout Requirements #33215]] - make sure you have the current year
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:2. [[Bookshelf#Advancement_Policies|Advancement Policies #33088]] - policies for [[Boards of Review]], [[Eagle Projects]], [[Scoutmaster Conferences]], etc.
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{{Key Merit Badge Rules|Most common questions}}
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<br>
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==More questions about merit badges==
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;Are there additional rules for summer summer camps?
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*Yes. ''See [[Advancement in Summer Camp]].
 +
<br>
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;Can a merit badge be taken away?
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*A merit badge cannot be taken away once it has been earned, ''"provided the counselor is a registered counselor for the merit badge."'' - [[Advancement Policies|AP p.26]] Also a [[merit badge application]] can’t list the Counselor as “Pixley Fire Dept.” A fire department can’t be registered to counsel a merit badge.
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<br>
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==Common questions about merit badge counselors==
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;Does a counselor "cover" the requirements or does each Scout do each requirement himself?
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* ''"You are expected to meet the requirements as they are stated -- no more and no less. You are expected to do exactly what is stated in the requirements. If it says "show or demonstrate," that is what you must do." - [[Merit Badge Introduction|BSR p. 23]]
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* ''"In the end, the Scout must be reviewed individually by the counselor to ensure completion of the badges requirements."'' - [[Advancement Policies|AP p. 26]]
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<br>
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;Can a merit badge counselor add or remove requirements?
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* ''"Each counselor must maintain the exact standards as outlined in the merit badge requirements -- nothing deleted, nothing added..." '' - [[Advancement Policies|AP p. 34]]
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*''"No council, district, unit, or individual has the authority to add to or subtract from an advancement requirement."'' - [[Advancement Policies|AP p. 3, 23, 26, 34, etc.]]
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<br>
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;Can you modify requirements for a Scout with Special Needs? Who certifies Special Needs?
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*No. ''"Merit badges are awarded only when all requirements are met as stated."'' - [[Youth Members with Special Needs|AP p. 41]]
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* ''"Certification must be given by the appropriate local council..."'' - [[Youth Members with Special Needs|AP p. 42]]
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<br>
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;What are the requirements to be a merit badge counselor? Do you have to register again? Who approves you?
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* '''"Qualified:''' ''"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 the ability to work with Scout-age boys."'' - [[Merit Badge Policies|AP p. 13]]
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* '''"Registered:''' ''"All Merit badge counselors must…register as a merit badge counselor…"'' (Code 42). - [[Merit Badge Policies|AP pp. 13-14]]
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* '''"Approved:''' '' ...they must be approved...for each specific merit badge."'' - [[Merit Badge Policies|AP p. 13]]
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* '''"Trained:''' ''"in the aims of Scouting and in advancement procedures."'' - [[Merit Badge Policies|AP p. 13]]. See [[Merit Badge Counselor Orientation]].
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:''"All volunteers are expected to complete [[Youth Protection training]]...within 90 days..."'' - [http://www.scouting.org/search.aspx?q=Adult+Application Adult Leader Application 28-501]
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<br>
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;What requirements and rules do we follow?
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*For Advancement under the BSA [[National Council]], the precedence of documentation is:
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:1. [[Boy Scout Requirements]] - make sure you have the current year
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:2. [[Advancement Policies]] #33088 - policies for [[Boards of Review]], [[Eagle Projects]], [[Scoutmaster Conferences]], etc.
:3. Policy support documents such as the:
:3. Policy support documents such as the:
:: [http://www.nesa.org/trail/58-728.pdf Eagle Scout Application #58-728]
:: [http://www.nesa.org/trail/58-728.pdf Eagle Scout Application #58-728]
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:: [http://www.scouting.org/BoyScouts/GuideforMeritBadgeCounselors.aspx Guide for Merit Badge Counselors], etc.
:: [http://www.scouting.org/BoyScouts/GuideforMeritBadgeCounselors.aspx Guide for Merit Badge Counselors], etc.
:4. Handbooks such as the [[Boy Scout Handbook]] and [http://www.scoutstuff.org/BSASupply/ItemDetail.aspx?cat=01RTL&item=33009C Scoutmaster Handbook]
:4. Handbooks such as the [[Boy Scout Handbook]] and [http://www.scoutstuff.org/BSASupply/ItemDetail.aspx?cat=01RTL&item=33009C Scoutmaster Handbook]
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<br>
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=====Should Scouts really read the Merit Badge Book (Pamphlet)?=====
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;Is there a limit to how many merit badges can one person can counsel?
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:Yes. ''"You should read the merit badge pamphlet on the subject."'' (p. 22) See [[Merit Badge Policies#Introduction|Merit Badge Introduction]]. <ref name="#33215">[[Bookshelf#Bylaws_and_Rules|Boy Scout Requirements #33215]]</ref>
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*''"There is no restriction or limit on the number of merit badges an individual may counsel but they must be approved for each specific merit badge."'' - [[Merit Badge Policies|AP p. 13]]
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<br>
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=====Can a counselor change the requirements?=====
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;Can a merit badge counselor counsel their own son or relative?
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:''"No council, district, unit, or individual has the authority to add to or subtract from an advancement requirement."'' (p. 3, 23, 26, 34, etc.) See [[Boy Scout Advancement#Boy Scout Advancement|Boy Scout Advancement]] <ref name="#33088">[[Bookshelf#Advancement_Policies|Advancement Policies #33088]] </ref>
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*''"An approved counselor can counsel any youth member, including his or her own son, ward, or relative."'' - [[Merit Badge Policies|AP p. 13]]
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<br>
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=====Can summer camps or anyone else add age requirements to merit badges?=====
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;Can a someone under 18 teach merit badges?
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:No. ''" Any Boy Scout may earn any merit badge at any time."'' (p. 22) See [[Merit Badge Policies#Introduction|Merit Badge Introduction]]
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*''"Camp staff members who are qualified in the subject and are younger than age 18 may assist the merit badge counselor with instruction...However regardless of the class format, each Scout must be tested individually by the counselor to ensure completion of the badge's requirements."'' - [[Advancement in Summer Camp|AP p. 34]]
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<br>
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=====Are there additional rules for summer summer camps?=====
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==Questions about units==
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:Yes, added rules but no exceptions. See [[Advancement in Summer Camp]]
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;Do we have to turn in an Advancement Report to buy merit badges?
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*''"Badges of rank, merit badges, and Eagle Palms are restricted items. These items may not be sold or distributed unless the [[Advancement Report]], has been properly filled out and has been submitted to the local council office."'' - [[Merit Badge Policies|AP p. 34]]
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=====Can a counselor modify a requirement for a Scout who has a disability?=====
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<br>
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:No. See [[Youth Members with Special Needs]]
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;Should we wait until the next court of honor to present the merit badge?
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*''"Presentation of merit badges and rank badges should not wait until the next [[court of honor]]; awards and badges should be presented at the next meeting after they have been earned."'' - [[Merit Badge Policies|AP p. 25]]
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=====Can a counselor declare a Scout to have Special Needs?=====
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:No. See [[Youth Members with Special Needs]]
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=====Do Scouts have to use a Merit Badge Application?=====
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:Yes. ''"Get a signed [[Merit Badge Application]] from your [[Scoutmaster]]."'''(#33215 p. 22) <ref name="#33215"/> ''"...partial credit should be noted on the [[Merit Badge Application|Application for Merit Badge]]..."'' (#33088 p. 34) <ref name="#33088"/> #34124 is not specified.
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=====Does work have to be done after the [[Merit Badge Application]] is started?=====
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:No. Under Boy Scout Advancement, the Four Steps of Advancement section shows that: ''"1. The Boy Scout learns. 2, The Boy Scout is tested..."'' (p. 24) <ref name="#33088"/> [[Merit Badges Requiring Prior Approval|Some Merit Badges Require Prior Approval]] before starting certain requirements. Most requirements have no such requirement. Unless stated otherwise, there is no requirement that work must be done since a merit badge was started, or since becoming a Scout, etc. " Any Boy Scout may earn any merit badge at any time." - [[Bookshelf#Bylaws_and_Rules|Boy Scout Requirements]] p. 22. No one can add requirements. (p. 26) <ref name="#33088"/>
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=====Can a merit badge be taken away?=====
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:No. A merit badge cannot be taken away once it has been earned, ''"provided the counselor is a registered counselor for the merit badge."'' (p. 26) <ref name="#33088"/> Also a [[merit badge application]] can’t list the Counselor as “Pixley Fire Dept.” A fire department can’t be registered to counsel a merit badge.
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=====Do all merit badge counselors have to be trained & approved?=====
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:Yes. ''"All merit badge counselors, even those who serve only one unit, must be trained and approved by the Council and District advancement committees and be registered with the council."'' (p.14) <ref name="#33088"/>
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=====Must registered adult leaders register again to also be merit badge counselors?=====
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:Yes. ''"All Merit badge counselors must…register as a merit badge counselor…"'' (Code 42). (p. 13-14) <ref name="#33088"/>
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=====Who selects a counselor?=====
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:''"Your Scoutmaster will give you the name of a person from a list of counselors."'' (#33215 p. 22) <ref name="#33215"/>
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=====Is there a limit to how many merit badges can one person can counsel?=====
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:No. ''"There is no restriction or limit on the number of merit badges an individual may counsel but they must be approved for each specific merit badge."'' (p. 13) <ref name="#33088"/>
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=====Can a merit badge counselor counsel their own son or relative?=====
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:Yes. ''"An approved counselor can counsel any youth member, including his or her own son, ward, or relative."'' (p. 13) <ref name="#33088"/>
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=====Can a Scout under 18 teach merit badges?=====
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:Yes. ''"Camp staff members who are qualified in the subject and are younger than age 18 may assist the merit badge counselor with instruction...However regardless of the class format, each Scout must be tested individually by the counselor to ensure completion of the badge's requirements."'' (p. 34) <ref name="#33088"/>
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=====Can someone require or prohibit Merit Badge Workbooks?=====
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:No. Requiring or prohibiting Merit Badge Workbooks is adding a requirement.(p. 26) <ref name="#33088"/>
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=====If a counselor covers a requirement does a Scout still have to be tested?=====
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:Yes. ''"In the end, the Scout must be reviewed individually by the counselor..."'' (p. 24). <ref name="#33088"/>
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=====Must a Scout complete all merit badge requirements within a year?=====
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:No. ''"Any registered Boy Scout or Varsity Scout may earn these awards until his 18th birthday."''(p. 24). <ref name="#33088"/>
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:Also, ''"There is no time limit for completion of merit badges other than age 18."''(p. 34). <ref name="#33088"/>
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=====Can Scouts earn partial credit for a merit badge at a [[summer camp]]?=====
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:Yes. ''"Partial completion of merit badges should be credited to a Scout on the [[Merit Badge Application|Application for Merit Badge]] and given to the Scoutmaster at the end of the week."'' (p. 34) <ref name="#33088"/>
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=====Do we have to turn in an Advancement Report to buy merit badges?=====
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:Yes. ''"Badges of rank, merit badges, and Eagle Palms are restricted items. These items may not be sold or distributed unless the [http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/34403.pdf Advancement Report, No. 34403B], has been properly filled out and has been submitted to the local council office."'' (p. 34) <ref name="#33088"/>
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=====Should we wait until the next court of honor to present the merit badge?=====
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:No. ''"Presentation of merit badges and rank badges should not wait until the next [[court of honor]]; awards and badges should be presented at the next meeting after they have been earned."'' (p. 25) <ref name="#33088"/>
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<big>References</big>
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----
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<references/>
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<big>See Also</big>
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==See Also==
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----
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{{Merit Badge See Also}}
{{Merit Badge See Also}}
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{{Advancement navbox}}
{{Advancement navbox}}
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[[Category:Advancement]] [[Category:Merit Badges]] [[Category:Merit Badge counseling]]
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[[Category:Advancement]] [[Category:Merit Badge-related]] [[Category:Merit Badge counseling]]
{{Protected policy lock}}
{{Protected policy lock}}
</noinclude>
</noinclude>

Current revision

Merit Badge resources include the Guide for Merit Badge Counselors, Introduction, & FAQ.
The Merit Badge Worksheets & Requirements include the maps, checklists and other materials you need.
Other resources include the online Merit Badge Application and Most Popular Merit Badges
Certain requirements need prior approval but most do not.


Here is a one-page pdf Adobe Acrobat PDF with some of the most important Merit Badge Requirements and Policies.
Also see the Merit Badge Policies.


All Scouts, leaders, and counselors are to follow the principles of the Scout Oath and the Scout Law at all times. Here are some of the key Boy Scout Requirements (BSR) and Advancement Policies (#33088) regarding merit badges. Please also see the See Merit Badge Introduction and Guide for Merit Badge Counselors.

Contents


Most common questions

"Any Boy Scout may earn any merit badge at any time. You don't need to have had rank advancement to be eligible. " - BSR p. 22
  • When can you start? "Unless otherwise specified, work for a requirement can be started at any time." - BSR p. 22 Some Require Prior Approval‎
  • Where are the answers? The merit badge pamphlets (book) are full-color quick references with the answers, photos, and diagrams you need.
"You should read the merit badge pamphlet on the subject." - BSR p. 22
You can buy a merit badge pamplet (book) at your local Scout Shop or you can buy them online at:http://www.scoutstuff.org/.
  • Are worksheets requried? No. Merit Badge Worksheets are options tools to help you organize your work and include the logs, diagrams, and checklists you need.
  • Do you need a buddy? "You must have another person with you at each meeting with the merit badge counselor." - BSR p. 22
  • How are you tested? ""In the end, the Scout must be reviewed individually by the counselor to ensure completion of the badges requirements." - AP p. 26
"You are expected to meet the requirements as they are stated—no more and no less." - BSR p. 23
  • How do you get credit? "When the counselor is satisfied that you have met each requirement, he or she will sign your application." - BSR p. 23
'"There is no time limit for completion of merit badges other than age 18." - AP p.34
"Partial completion of merit badges should be credited to a Scout on the Application for Merit Badge..." - AP p.34
  • What if you have Special Needs? "Merit badges are awarded only when all requirements are met as stated." - AP p.41

See the Merit Badge FAQ and the Merit Badge Policies for more.

More questions about merit badges

Are there additional rules for summer summer camps?


Can a merit badge be taken away?
  • A merit badge cannot be taken away once it has been earned, "provided the counselor is a registered counselor for the merit badge." - AP p.26 Also a merit badge application can’t list the Counselor as “Pixley Fire Dept.” A fire department can’t be registered to counsel a merit badge.


Common questions about merit badge counselors

Does a counselor "cover" the requirements or does each Scout do each requirement himself?
  • "You are expected to meet the requirements as they are stated -- no more and no less. You are expected to do exactly what is stated in the requirements. If it says "show or demonstrate," that is what you must do." - BSR p. 23
  • "In the end, the Scout must be reviewed individually by the counselor to ensure completion of the badges requirements." - AP p. 26


Can a merit badge counselor add or remove requirements?
  • "Each counselor must maintain the exact standards as outlined in the merit badge requirements -- nothing deleted, nothing added..." - AP p. 34
  • "No council, district, unit, or individual has the authority to add to or subtract from an advancement requirement." - AP p. 3, 23, 26, 34, etc.


Can you modify requirements for a Scout with Special Needs? Who certifies Special Needs?
  • No. "Merit badges are awarded only when all requirements are met as stated." - AP p. 41
  • "Certification must be given by the appropriate local council..." - AP p. 42


What are the requirements to be a merit badge counselor? Do you have to register again? Who approves you?
  • "Qualified: "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 the ability to work with Scout-age boys." - AP p. 13
  • "Registered: "All Merit badge counselors must…register as a merit badge counselor…" (Code 42). - AP pp. 13-14
  • "Approved: ...they must be approved...for each specific merit badge." - AP p. 13
  • "Trained: "in the aims of Scouting and in advancement procedures." - AP p. 13. See Merit Badge Counselor Orientation.
"All volunteers are expected to complete Youth Protection training...within 90 days..." - Adult Leader Application 28-501


What requirements and rules do we follow?
  • For Advancement under the BSA National Council, the precedence of documentation is:
1. Boy Scout Requirements - make sure you have the current year
2. Advancement Policies #33088 - policies for Boards of Review, Eagle Projects, Scoutmaster Conferences, etc.
3. Policy support documents such as the:
Eagle Scout Application #58-728
Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project Workbook #18-927
Guide for Merit Badge Counselors, etc.
4. Handbooks such as the Boy Scout Handbook and Scoutmaster Handbook


Is there a limit to how many merit badges can one person can counsel?
  • "There is no restriction or limit on the number of merit badges an individual may counsel but they must be approved for each specific merit badge." - AP p. 13


Can a merit badge counselor counsel their own son or relative?
  • "An approved counselor can counsel any youth member, including his or her own son, ward, or relative." - AP p. 13


Can a someone under 18 teach merit badges?
  • "Camp staff members who are qualified in the subject and are younger than age 18 may assist the merit badge counselor with instruction...However regardless of the class format, each Scout must be tested individually by the counselor to ensure completion of the badge's requirements." - AP p. 34


Questions about units

Do we have to turn in an Advancement Report to buy merit badges?
  • "Badges of rank, merit badges, and Eagle Palms are restricted items. These items may not be sold or distributed unless the Advancement Report, has been properly filled out and has been submitted to the local council office." - AP p. 34


Should we wait until the next court of honor to present the merit badge?
  • "Presentation of merit badges and rank badges should not wait until the next court of honor; awards and badges should be presented at the next meeting after they have been earned." - AP p. 25


See Also

Boy Scout portal
Varsity Scout portal
Venturing portal
General Merit Badge information




Advancement Policies
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Rules and Regulations First Class-First Year Eagle Scout Project
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When is a Scout in Uniform? Boards of Review - Appeals Merit Badges, Events & FAQ
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