Template:Introduction to Merit Badges

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Once a Scout begins work, he may continue using the requirements he started with until completion of the badge. Alternatively, he may choose to switch to the revised requirements. Sometimes, however&mdash;especially for more significant changes&mdash;the <i>Boy Scout Handbook</i>, the <i>Boy Scout Requirements</i> book, [http://www.scouting.org/meritbadges www.scouting.org/meritbadges], or official communications from the [[National Council]] may set forth a different procedure that must be used. The National Council may establish a new date for when use of the existing requirements must cease.
Once a Scout begins work, he may continue using the requirements he started with until completion of the badge. Alternatively, he may choose to switch to the revised requirements. Sometimes, however&mdash;especially for more significant changes&mdash;the <i>Boy Scout Handbook</i>, the <i>Boy Scout Requirements</i> book, [http://www.scouting.org/meritbadges www.scouting.org/meritbadges], or official communications from the [[National Council]] may set forth a different procedure that must be used. The National Council may establish a new date for when use of the existing requirements must cease.
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There is no time limit for starting and completing a merit badge, but all work must be completed by the time a Scout turns 18.|[https://www.scouting.org/programs/boy-scouts/advancement-and-awards/merit-badges/ Merit Badges &ndash; Boy Scouts of America]}}
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There is no time limit for starting and completing a merit badge, but all work must be completed by the time a Scout turns 18.|<span class{{=}}plainlinks>[https://www.scouting.org/programs/boy-scouts/advancement-and-awards/merit-badges/ Merit Badges &ndash; Boy Scouts of America]</span>}}
{{Who can earn a merit badge}}
{{Who can earn a merit badge}}

Current revision


The official source for the information shown in this article or section is:
Boy Scout Requirements, 2018 Edition (BSA Supply SKU #641568)

You can learn about sports, crafts, science, trades, business, and future careers as you earn merit badges. There are more than 100 merit badges, and any Boy Scout or any qualified Venturer or Sea Scout may earn any of these at any time (see Boy Scouting Rank Advancement for Venturers).

Pick a Subject. Talk to your unit leader about your interests. Read the requirements of the merit badges you think might interest you, and pick one to earn. Your leader will give you the name of a person from a list of counselors. These individuals have special knowledge in their merit badge subjects and are interested in helping you.

Scout Buddy System. You must have another person with you at each meeting with the merit badge counselor. This person can be another Scout, your parents or guardian, a brother or sister, a relative, or a friend.

Call the Merit Badge Counselor. Get a signed Application for Merit Badge, No. 34124 (100-pack) or No. 618953 (25-pack), from your unit leader. Get in touch with the merit badge counselor and explain that you want to earn the badge. The counselor may ask to meet you to explain what is expected and to start helping you meet the requirements. You should also discuss work you have already started or possibly completed.

At the first meeting, you and your merit badge counselor will review and may start working on the requirements. In some cases, you may share the work you have already started or completed.

Unless otherwise specified, work on a requirement can be started at any time. Ask your counselor to help you learn the things you need to know or do. You should read the merit badge pamphlet on the subject. Many troops, schools, and public libraries have them. (See the Merit Badge revision dates list).

Show Your Stuff. When you are ready, call the counselor again to make an appointment. When you go, take along the things you have made to meet the requirements. If they are too big to move, take pictures or have an adult tell in writing what you have done. The counselor will test you on each requirement to make sure you know your stuff and have done or can do the things required.

Get the Badge. When the counselor is satisfied you have met each requirement, he or she will sign your application. Give the signed application to your unit leader so your merit badge emblem can be secured for you.

Merit badge requirements are revised as needed to reflect updated information and technology. Refer to the latest Boy Scout Requirements book for merit badge requirement updates. The current Boy Scout Requirements book is available from your local Scouting merchandise distributor. It may also be ordered online at ScoutShop.org.

Requirements. You are expected to meet the requirements as they are stated—no more and no less. You must do exactly what is stated in the requirements. If it says “show or demonstrate,” that is what you must do. Just telling about it isn’t enough. The same thing holds true for such words as “make,” “list,” “in the field,” and “collect,” “identify,” and “label.”

The requirements listed in the Boy Scout Requirements book are the current and official requirements of the Boy Scouts of America. Occasionally, the requirements will not match those in the printed Boy Scout Handbook and the merit badge pamphlets because of the timing of their printing schedules.

Once a Scout begins work, he may continue using the requirements he started with until completion of the badge. Alternatively, he may choose to switch to the revised requirements. Sometimes, however—especially for more significant changes—the Boy Scout Handbook, the Boy Scout Requirements book, www.scouting.org/meritbadges, or official communications from the National Council may set forth a different procedure that must be used. The National Council may establish a new date for when use of the existing requirements must cease.

There is no time limit for starting and completing a merit badge, but all work must be completed by the time a Scout turns 18.

Merit Badges – Boy Scouts of America
All Boy Scout awards, merit badges, badges of rank, and Eagle Palms are only for registered Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts, and Lone Boy Scouts; and also for qualified Venturers or Sea Scouts who are not yet 18 years old. Venturers and Sea Scouts qualify by achieving First Class rank as a Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, or Lone Scout. The only exceptions for those older than age 18 are related to Scouts registered beyond the age of eligibility (see “Registering Qualified Members Beyond Age of Eligibility,” 10.1.0.0) and those who have been granted time extensions to complete the Eagle Scout rank (“Time Extensions,” 9.0.4.0).
Guide to Advancement (2017), § 4.2.0.1 Scouting Ranks and Advancement Age Requirements
See:Merit Badges Requiring Prior Approval‎, Merit Badge Policies, and Merit Badge FAQ for more information.
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