Merit Badge Procedure
1. The Scout selects a merit badge of interest. The Scout should make sure that the requirements of
the merit badge are within his capabilities. For example, it may be for the Scout that the
Chemistry merit badge is best obtained after taking high school chemistry.
2. The Scout identifies a buddy. A Scout must have a buddy with him at each meeting with a merit
badge counselor. A counselor cannot, by Boy Scout regulations, meet with a Scout (other than
his/her own son) without another person present. The Scout's buddy can be another Scout
interested in earning the merit badge with the Scout, a parent or guardian, a brother or sister, or a
relative or friend.
3. The Scout obtains a blue card (Application for Merit Badge) and arranges to meet with the
Scoutmaster or the Scout’s (ASM)/Patrol Advisor.
Before meeting with the Scoutmaster/
the Scout is expected to have the name of the buddy identified as well as have the
front part of the Application for Merit Badge section completed (exclusive of the date and
4. After discussing the merit badge with the Scout and approving work on the badge, the
Scoutmaster or ASM either fills out the reverse side of the Application for Merit Badge section
with the name, address, and phone number of the counselor or supplies a list of approved merit
badge counselors with contact information from which the Scout may select a counselor, in which
case the Scout completes that section after contacting the counselor.
5. The Scoutmaster signs the blue card before the merit badge counselor AND again at the
completion of the merit badge requirements.
6. The Scout and his buddy then meet with the merit badge counselor to go over the merit badge
requirements and the projects needed to complete the requirements. When the Scout meets with
the counselor, he is expected to be prepared, polite, and dressed in a Class A uniform.
7. The merit badge counselor will sign off on completed requirements. When the final requirement is
completed, the merit badge counselor fills in the rest of the blanks and signs and dates the blue
card. The date of completion is the date it is considered earned. This is the date recorded on all
Scout records, including the advancement order form and the final Merit Badge Card. The merit
badge counselor will then keep the Counselor's Record portion, and give the other 2 portions to
8. The Scout turns in the remaining blue card sections to the Advancement Committee/Person (Mr. Bell) who will
record the Merit Badge completion in the Troop Records (Troop Master), order the merit badge
and Merit Badge card.
9. The Scout updates their Scout’s Handbook and keeps the remaining Applicants Record portion
for their records. When the Scout receives the next Individual History Report from the Troop, he
needs to verify the data is correct. If there are discrepancies, the Scout needs to meet with the
Advancement Committee at the next Troop meeting and bring the appropriate records.
10. The Scout receives his Merit Badge at the next Court of Awards.
Throughout the process, until the completed & signed off blue card is turned in, the Scout is fully
responsible for the card (though the counselor may choose to retain the card until completion). Once
merit badges are awarded, Scouts should keep the Applicant’s record of the blue cards separate from the
Merit Badge cards. That way if one is lost, the other can replace it. If anything should ever happen to the
official records of the Scout, the blue cards or Merit Badge cards will serve as proof of earning the merit
badge towards the Eagle rank. The Merit Badge Card and each portion of the blue card and should be
retained until the Scout turns 18 or is awarded the rank of Eagle.
Completion Time frame
There is NO DEADLINE for earning Merit Badges, except the Scout's 18th Birthday. Once a Scout has
started working on a Merit Badge (i.e. obtained a signed Blue Card Application for Merit Badge from the
Scoutmaster, had an initial discussion with a merit badge Counselor, and started working on the
requirements change while a Scout is working on the badge, he may continue to use the OLD
requirements until he completes the work, or he may use the new requirements if he wishes. It is HIS
choice, and his alone.
THERE IS NO TIME LIMIT ON SO-CALLED "PARTIALS" See discussion on Summer Camp.
Discontinued Merit Badges
If a Merit Badge is discontinued, Scouts working on the badge when it is removed from the Boy Scout
Requirements booklet may continue to work toward completing the badge, and get credit for earning the
badge, until they turn 18. However, it may not be possible to obtain an actual merit badge patch, once the
local council's supply is exhausted.
If a discontinued Merit Badge is replaced with one or more other Merit Badges covering the same or
similar topics (such as Rifle and Shotgun Shooting MB which was replaced by Rifle Shooting MB and
Shotgun Shooting MB), a Scout that has earned the discontinued badge may also earn the new badge or
badges. If the badge is simply renamed (such as Firemanship MB which was changed to Fire Safety MB),
Scouts may NOT earn the badge again. If the badge number in BSA's numbering system is the same
before and after the change, it is a renaming. If a new number is assigned, it is a replacement.
Merit Badge Advancement at Camps (Summer or Winter)
Many Boy Scout advancement opportunities take place during ‘long term’ camps (Summer or Winter
camps). Troop 208 often participates in these camps that offer merit badge classes. These camps may
be sponsored by Seneca Waterways Council or other BSA councils across the country. In either case, the
procedures for advancement in summer camp are established by the council advancement committee for
the council that sponsors the camp in cooperation with the committee responsible for summer camp, the
camp director, and the program director for the summer camp in question. These procedures are typically
given to the troop as part of pre-camp orientation.
Troop 208 will modify its merit badge procedure for summer camps based on camp procedures.
However, the spirit and intent of the standard merit badge procedure will be maintained.
The general idea is:
1.) Before a Scout leaves for camp, he has been approved by the Scout Master to attend the merit
badge and has followed the appropriate registration rules
2.) The Scout has reviewed the Merit Badge requirements and completes the necessary prerequisite
work specified by the camp.
3.) The Scout attends the classes as scheduled by the camp and insures his name is on the ‘roll
call’ for class attendance.
4.) Before the Scout leaves camp, he should meet with the Merit Badge Counselor and understand
his completion status for all of the merit badges started during the camp.
5.) The troop will receive a ‘troop report’ (for all participating scouts and their MB status) as they
leave the camp. This information will be updated into Troopmaster and distributed to the scouts
as soon as possible. Sometimes, there are requirements that must be completed in advance --
unless the Scout does this, he will leave camp with a "partial".
To maximize the number of badges completed at summer camp, Scouts should look carefully at the
requirements and complete as much in advance as possible (at least any stated “prerequisite”
requirements have been met. Leaving even one requirement incomplete means the Scout will need to
find a counselor approved by the Scoutmaster when the Scout gets home to sign off that last
requirement. It is far better to walk away from camp with a completed Merit Badge.