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Merit Badge Procedures

Listed below are the procedures that a Scout must use to obtain a merit badge, in particular the processing of the Application for Merit Badge (aka the "Blue Card"). Please review the steps and if you have any questions, contact the Scoutmaster or an Assistant Scoutmaster.

  1. IDENTIFY MERIT BADGE
    • Scout identifies a merit badge he wants to start working on. Merit badge requirements can be reviewed at www.meritbadge.com.
  2. REQUEST A MERIT BADGE APPLICATION (BLUE CARD)
    • Scout notifies Scoutmaster or Assistant Scoutmaster that he wants to start a merit badge and obtains merit badge application (Blue Card).
    • The application card is signed by the leader which approves the Scout to begin working on the merit badge.
    • Cards can be picked up at regular Troop meetings or by contacting the Scoutmaster by phone to arrange for pickup of the blue card at their house.
    • Review the instructions for completing the Merit Badge Blue card which is a separate document.
  3. REQUEST A MERIT BADGE BOOK
    • Obtain a merit badge book from the Troop Librarian. If Troop does not have one on file, the Librarian can order it from the local Scout Shop.
  4. CONTACT A MERIT BADGE COUNSELOR
    • Select a merit badge counselor to work with. The Unit Leader can help you identify one.
    • Contact the counselor before you start and get their agreement to be your counselor. Review any details or special instructions that the counselor may require for the merit badge.
    • You need to contact the counselor before you start.
    • Counselors should make sure the Scout has a properly signed blue card before they start the merit badge.

    MERIT BADGES AT BOY SCOUT RESIDENT CAMPS: At Boy Scout resident camps the counselors keep the blue cards during the week and turn them in at one time to a Troop adult leader at the end of camp. The Troop attempt to review all the merit badge applications with the Scouts before leaving camp, so that if anything is missing we have a chance to fix it with the counselor before leaving camp.

  5. COMPLETE THE MERIT BADGE REQUIREMENTS
    • Write a plan and schedule for completing the merit badge requirements.
    • Work with the counselor to obtain sign-off for all the requirements. The counselor will inform the Scout how the communications should work between the two of you. All counselors work differently.
  6. SET APPOINTMENT TO MEET COUNSELOR
    • Meet with the merit badge counselor and be prepared to review each of the requirements. All meetings in Scouts are "Two Deep", so verify whether you need to bring a second person with you.
    • Obtain the counselor's signature in multiple locations on the Merit Badge Application (Blue Card) when the requirements are completed.
    • The Blue Card is separated into 3 parts: Application for Merit Badge, Applicants Record, and Counselor's Record.
    • When completed, the Counselor keeps the Counselor's Record portion of the card.
    • The Scout takes two parts with him, the Application for Merit Badge and Applicant's Record. Do not let the counselor keep these sections.
    • The signed merit badge card is your only record that you completed the merit badge. If you lose the card, you can not be awarded the merit badge.
  7. SUBMIT MERIT BADGE CARD TO ADVANCEMENT CHAIR
    • Arrange to turn in the Application for Merit Badge section to Troop Advancement Chair, currently Mike Garner, when the Merit Badge has been completed or at least one week before the Court of Honor.
    • Obtain the Advancement Chair person's signature on your Applicant's Record card using the line titled Signature of Unit Leader.
    • Store your part of the Blue Card in a safe place. In the event the application is lost in the Troop record keeping, the Scout has his Applicant's Record which indicates that the counselor signed off on the merit badge and the application was properly turned in. A copy of your Applicant's record can be resubmitted to verify that you completed the merit badge.
  8. RECEIVING THE MERIT BADGE
    • Each Scout will receive the merit badge at next Court of Honor.
    • There are three Courts of Honor each year so it is important to complete your merit badge in advance of the next Court of Honor, so plan ahead.
  9. FOLLOW UP IF MERIT BADGE WAS NOT AWARDED
    • Sometimes a Scout is expecting to receive a merit badge at a Court of Honor and does not receive it which can be disappointing.
    • It is important that the Application for Merit Badge be handed in the Advancement Chair person at least one week in advance of the Court of Honor. If a Scout hands the blue card in late, there may not be time to process it and purchase the merit badge.
    • As a Troop we need to use a consistent procedure so that we reduce these problems and make it easier for our Advancement Chairs who have a very important and difficult task of keeping the Scout's advancement records.
    • One of the important life skills we are trying to teach our Scouts is personal record keeping and accountability. The whole concept behind the three part merit badge application is just for this reason. Ultimately the record keeping is the responsibility of the Scout, and all the steps followed for obtaining a merit badge should be driven by the Scout.
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