You can learn about sports, crafts, science, trades, business and future careers as you earn merit badges. There are more than 100 merit badges. Any Boy Scout may earn any merit badge at any time. You don't need to have had rank advancement to be eligible. There are 11 merit badges that are Eagle required. You must also earn at least 10 more of your choosing for advancement to Eagle (see Scout handbook).
Pick a subject. Read the requirements of the merit badge you think might interest you. When you have made the decision that you want to work at earning the merit badge, contact either your troop's Merit Badge Coordinator or the Scoutmaster to obtain a merit badge application ("blue card"). It is at this time that your Merit Badge Coordinator will give you the telephone number for the Counselor for your merit badge. The merit badge application is your "ticket" to your merit badge. Do not lose it. Present this to your Scoutmaster, tell him that you are interested in earning the merit badge and obtain his signature. The Scoutmaster and Counselor will help you decide if the merit badge is age appropriate. You must have a blue card for all merit badges that you are earning; this includes scout camp and Advance-a-rama. You need to obtain these before attending as there may be requirements you need to complete ahead of time.
Scout Buddy System. The BSA's Youth Protection Guidelines require us to use the Buddy System. You must have another person with you at each meeting with the merit badge counselor. This person can be another Scout who is interested in the same merit badge, your parent or guardian, a brother or sister, a relative or a friend. Troop 576 encourages you to interest another Scout to attend with you.
Call the Counselor. After the Scoutmaster signs your merit badge application, get in touch with the Merit Badge Counselor and tell him or her that you want to earn the merit badge. It is your responsibility to make this call… not your parents'. The Counselor may ask you to come and see him or her to discuss what is expected and start helping you meet the requirements. (Always remember to be courteous and friendly to your Counselor. You represent Troop 576. Don't forget to thank him or her for their time.)
When you know what is expected, start to learn the things you need to know or do. You should read the merit badge book on the subject. Merit badge books may be borrowed from the troop library or purchased at the scout store or online.
Show your stuff. When you are ready, call the Counselor again to make an appointment to meet the requirements. When you go, take along the things you have made to meet the requirements. The Counselor will ask you to do each requirement to make sure that you know your stuff and have done or can to the things required. Working with another Scout is encouraged, but remember this should be your own work.
Get the Badge. When the Counselor is satisfied that you have met each requirement, he or she will sign your merit badge application. The Counselor is to keep their portion of the blue card. You are to keep the middle portion. This is your personal record of having completed the merit badge. The third portion of the blue card is to be given to the Scoutmaster so that your merit badge emblem can be obtained for you.
If you complete all merit badge requirements at scout camp, a copy of your completed requirements will be given to you for your personal records. If you complete all merit badge requirements at Advance-a-rama, give the record of completed requirements to the Scoutmaster who will provide a copy for your personal records. If you do not meet all requirements, contact your Merit Badge Coordinator for a Counselor to help you complete the remaining requirements.
Merit badge emblems will be awarded at the next Court of Honor.
- Troop 576 Merit Badge Coordinator- Suzanne Morgan (404) 483-0124