Merit Badge Procedure
Recommended process for earning merit badges
- The Scout selects a merit badge of interest.
- The Scout identifies a merit badge counselor. (see Merit Badge Counselors section below)
- The Scout speaks with the Scoutmaster and informs him of his plans to begin working on the merit badge.
- The Scoutmaster provides the Scout with a signed Merit Badge Application #34124 known as a "blue card".
- The Scout then meets with the merit badge counselor to go over the merit badge requirements and the projects needed to complete the requirements.
- The Scout is expected to be prepared, polite, and dressed in a Class A uniform when meeting with the merit badge counselor.
- The merit badge counselor signs off on requirements as they are completed (or may decide to sign off on all requirements at once). The merit badge counselor may or may not keep the Counselor’s Record portion of the blue card.
- When the merit badge class is over, it is the Scout’s responsibility to verify:
- the merit badge counselor has signed and dated the blue card, the side opposite of where it says “Application for Merit Badge”.
- the merit badge counselor has indicated what requirements were completed, the side opposite of where it says “Applicants Record”. (this is your proof the requirements were completed)
- the rest of the sections are completed: name of merit badge, Unit information (Boy Scout, Troop, 44), District (Mattabassett), and Council (CT Rivers)
- The Scout turns in the remaining blue card sections to the Advancement Chairperson (Mrs. Wall) who will record the Merit Badge completion in the Troop Records.
- The Advancement Chairperson (Mrs. Wall) will return the Applicants Record portion of the blue card to the Scout and the Scout will retain this portion for their records. MAKE SURE YOU KEEP THIS PORTION FOR YOUR RECORDS.
- When the Scout receives the next Individual History Report from the Advancement Chairperson, he needs to verify the merit badge data is correct. If there are discrepancies, the Scout needs to meet with the Advancement Chairperson at the next Troop meeting and bring the appropriate records.
- The Scout will receive his official Merit Badge card and patch at the next Court of Honor.
Blue card possession responsibility
Throughout the process, until the completed & signed off blue card is turned in, the Scout is fully responsible for the blue card (though the counselor may choose to retain the card until completion). Scouts should keep both the Applicant’s Record portion of the blue and the official merit badge card in a safe place after it has been awarded. That way, should anything ever happen to the official records of the Scout, especially during the Eagle process, the blue card and official merit badge Card will serve as proof of earning the merit badge towards the Eagle rank. All Merit Badge Cards and each portion of the blue card should be retained until the Scout turns 18 or is awarded the rank of Eagle.
Uncompleted Merit Badges
It is far better to walk away from a merit badge class with a completed Merit Badge. Scout should be aware that leaving even one requirement incomplete means the Scout will need to find a merit badge counselor when the Scout returns from the merit badge class to sign off that last requirement. There is NO DEADLINE for earning a Merit Badge, except the Scout's 18th Birthday. Once a Scout has started working on a Merit Badge, he may continue using those requirements until he completes the badge or turns 18. To maximize the completion of all merit badge requirements the Scout should be sure to complete the necessary prerequisite work specified by the sponsoring entity. If the Scout is unsure what that work is, they should contact the merit badge counselor and ask.
District/Council-sponsored merit badge opportunities
Troop 44 Scouts often participate in various merit badge classes coordinated by the council or district or some other BSA entity, or BSA-affiliated entity. Troop 44 will modify its merit badge procedure for these classes based on the procedures of the sponsoring entity. However, the spirit and intent of the standard merit badge procedure will be maintained.
The general idea is:
- Before a Scout leaves for a merit badge class he has spoken to the Scoutmaster and received a signed blue card.
- The Scout has followed all registration rules for the merit badge class.
- The Scout has reviewed the Merit Badge requirements and completes the necessary prerequisite work specified by the sponsoring entity.
- The Scout attends the classes as scheduled by the sponsoring entity and insures his name is on the ‘roll call’ for class attendance.
- Before finishing and leaving the final merit badge class he should understand his completion status for the merit badge.
Merit Badge Counselors
Merit badge counselors must maintain registration with the BSA as Merit badge counselors. This is accomplished by submitting the Merit Badge Counselor Information Form to the Council. Merit badge counselors also must register at no fee, using the Boy Scouts of America’s standard adult registration form with position code 42. Before working with Scouts, all merit badge counselors must have completed Youth Protection training within the last two years. They must be men or women of good character, age 18 or older, and recognized as having the skills and education in the subjects they cover. It is important, too, they have good rapport with Scout-age boys and unit leaders.