Merit badges are awards that concentrate on a particular field of expertise or a specific skill and can be earned by Scouts in cooperation with a merit badge counselor. Each merit badge has an accompanying booklet that can be borrowed from the Troop library (if available), or purchased at the Scout Shop. There are over 100 merit badges available, and some are required before a Scout can earn his Star, Life, or Eagle. The required merit badges can be earned in any order. Consult the Boy Scout Handbook for information on which merit badges are optional and which are required.
Merit Badge Process
The Scout develops an interest in a merit badge and may begin working on the requirements. *It is suggested to wait to begin working on requirements until after speaking to the counselor.*
The Scout and unit leader discuss the Scout’s interest in the merit badge.
The unit leader (Scoutmaster) signs a blue card or otherwise documents the conversation.
The Scout locates and contacts the counselor. For help locating a Merit Badge Counselor, please contact our Merit Badge Coordinator (email@example.com).
The counselor considers any work toward requirements completed prior to the initial discussion with the unit leader.
The Scout, the Scout’s buddy (all meetings should be in line with 2-deep protocols), and the counselor meet (often several times).
Partial progress is recorded as requirements are completed.
The Scout finishes the requirements.
The counselor approves completion.
The Scout gives the blue card or other evidence of completion to the unit leader (Scoutmaster). The unit leader signs the applicant record section of the blue card or otherwise documents completion of the merit badge.
The Scout submits the completed, signed blue card to the Advancement Chairperson.
The Advancement Chair documents and reports completion of the merit badge. The unit reports completion of the merit badge.
The Scout receives the merit badge and the applicant record portion of the blue card for the Scout to keep for their records at the next Court of Honor.
**Merit Badge College, virtual camp and other prearranged options should not be the primary way to earn a merit badge. It's an alternative to the traditional and intended merit badge process and should be used sparingly. In all cases, a discussion with the Scoutmaster to obtain a blue card should be done prior to contacting a counselor or signing up for a prearranged program.**
Merit Badge Pamphlets
Each merit badge has a corresponding merit badge pamphlet that lists the requirements for that particular merit badge as well as study material for the merit badge.
We have many of the pamphlets available in our troop library. If the pamphlet is not in our library (or is signed out already by another scout) you may purchase the books at any Scout Shop, or at selected retail locations. Always check to see if the pamphlet is the most recent edition available. We have an updated list on our site, and you can also find an updated list at usscouts.org.
If you purchase a merit badge book and would like to donate it to our troop library once you have completed the merit badge your donation will be greatly appreciated.
Please contact the troop librarian for more information.
Merit Badge Counselors
Merit badges counselors are the heart and soul of the merit badge program. A merit badge cannot be earned without the guidance and approval of a counselor. The list of counselors contains the names of individuals who have volunteered to aid the boys in their quest for knowledge. For help locating a Merit Badge Counselor, please contact our Merit Badge Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Are you a person with specialized knowledge who could serve as a merit badge counselor? Take a look at the list of merit badges (there are over 130 of them). if your profession, hobbies or life skills have given you an understanding in one of these areas, then you may be the ideal candidate to be a counselor. If you are approved, you can limit your work to this troop only, or serve a greater good and make yourself available to any boy who contacts you. The amount of time spent being a counselor is minimal, but the rewards you reap are tremendous.
This is an excellent way for parents who have limited time to get involved with the troop and make a difference.
Below is a link to the Greater Hudson Valley Council web page which explains the process to become a merit badge counselor:
Please keep a full copy of your application and supporting materials for your records. If you have any questions, please contact our Committee Chair (email@example.com).