What are merit badges?
There are 137 different merit badges covering topics in Science, Sports, Hobbies, and Life Skills. A merit badge is earned after all the requirements for the badge have been completed. Among other requirements, to reach the rank of Eagle, a Scout must earn 21 merit badges and 13 of those must be from the list of Eagle-required merit badges.
What is a blue card?
This is the official merit badge record. Before a Scout starts a merit badge, the Scout must first approach the Scoutmaster and discuss which badge. The Scoutmaster will sign the blue card on the front and recommend at least one merit badge counselor for the Scout. After the Scout completes the requirements for the merit badge to the satisfaction of the merit badge counselor, then the counselor will sign. The blue card then goes back the Scoutmaster for a second signature and is then turned in to the troop Advancement Chair who will make sure the Scout’s completion of the badge is recorded and that the Scout is recognized and presented the merit badge at the next court of honor. For more information, see this link.
What are merit badge pamphlets?
For each merit badge, there is a related pamphlet. It is an incredibly valuable resource to have with you while working on any badge. The pamphlet provides context, examples, and further explanation of the topics covered by the requirements. These merit badge pamphlets can be borrowed from our troop library, purchased at Scout Shops, or purchased online here. Digital versions of the pamphlets for Kindle devices are also available through Amazon.
Note well: the requirements listed at the front of each merit badge pamphlet may not be the most recent requirements, which may change due to corrections, a change in emphasis, clarifications, adding options, etc. The most recent, correct, and accurate versions of requirements for each merit badge may be found on the scouting.org website.
How can Scouts earn merit badges to become Eagle Scouts when there are so many other activities going on?
Scouts have the opportunity at summer camp to earn a number of badges as well as at Merit Badge University/College which is offered by the local Scout council. In addition, the troop has occasionally offered the opportunity at meetings to work on badges as a troop. Lastly, the troop maintains a list of merit badge counselors who could help Scouts with badges when called by individual Scouts. Fairfax County ParkTakes also offers classes and activities to work on and complete merit badge requirements.
What are merit badge worksheets?
Worksheets lay out merit badge requirements and give you a place to document your work. Worksheets are not endorsed by BSA, not required for any merit badge and counselors are not allowed to require their use. However, worksheets can be helpful as a study aid prior to meeting with a counselor. Note that many merit badge requirements include directions to “tell”, “discuss”, “show”, “demonstrate”, etc. Those sorts of requirements are not ones that can be satisfied merely by writing in a worksheet. Worksheets (also called workbooks) are available from the U.S. Scouting Service Project.