Merit badge counselors, unit leadership, parents, and youth are encouraged to send suggestions or comments to merit.badge@scouting.org. The approving counselor should retain the part of the card called the Counselor’s Record for at least one year—in case questions are raised later. However, if employees are to serve as merit badge counselors and sign blue cards, they must take Youth Protection training, become registered, submit to a background check, and be approved by the council advancement committee. Worksheets and other materials that may be of assistance in earning merit badges are available from a variety of places including unofficial sources on the internet and even troop libraries. Merit badges give scouts the opportunity to investigate around 120 different areas of knowledge and skills. If instruction and shooting are to occur at the same time, both the RSO and qualified instructor must be present. They must be a mature and conscientious adult age 21 or older. Council sites must consider the safety and privacy of their members and participants by obtaining the necessary permissions to release information about or images of any individual. Particular emphasis is given to career and hobby oriented Merit Badges especially those with limited availability of counselors. It is an uncomplicated process that gives a Scout the confidence achieved through overcoming obstacles. Those identified as not following Boy Scouts of America policies and procedures, or not providing services as promised, should not be invited to return. Once a counselor has reviewed the signed Application for Merit Badge, he or she might begin with discussions about what the Scout already knows. A unit leader should consider making more of the process than just providing a signature. Rifle Shooting. Merit badges exist to encourage Scouts to explore areas that interest them and to teach them valuable skills in Scoutcraft. Cub Scout activities are centered around earning badges that are specific to each school grade level. Advancement is simply a means to an end, not an end in itself. Using merit badge events as fundraisers, however, is discouraged, and councils may exercise their authority not to approve them. Designated members of the council or district advancement committee should provide the approval signature. The unit leader and Scout should come to agreement as to who the counselor will be. The award of merit badges sometimes leads to careers and lifelong hobbies. There is a mechanism for unit leaders or others to report concerns to a council advancement committee on summer camp merit badge programs, group instructional events, and any other merit badge counseling issues— especially in instances where it is believed BSA procedures are not followed. [1] The purpose of the merit badge program is to allow Scouts to examine subjects to determine if they would like to further pursue them as a career or vocation. Sessions with counselors must take place in accordance with the Guide to Safe Scouting. Requirement 2 for Scuba Diving clearly states that the Scout must earn the Swimming merit badge before completing the remaining requirements. For example, Scoutmasters must register as merit badge counselors and be approved for any badge they wish to counsel or sign off in their troop. It is most efficient to set the list up as an electronic document that includes all counselors in the council. Before working with Scouts, counselors must have completed Youth Protection training within the last two years. Snow Sports. The sort of hands-on interactive experience described here, with personal coaching and guidance, is hardly ever achieved in any setting except when one counselor works directly with one Scout and the Scout’s buddy, or with a very small group. The current requirements for Eagle Scout, the highest rank in Boy Scouting, involve earning a minimum of 21 merit badges. The form must show each badge for which the counselor requests approval. (c) Benefits related to Earth resources, technology, and new products. The Scout returns the signed blue card to the unit leader, who signs the applicant record section of the blue card. All merit badges are reviewed periodically to improve relevance, consistency, and also requirement and content accuracy. For example, NRA certification could be established as a council standard for approving counselors for the Rifle Shooting or Shotgun Shooting merit badges. Tell how you have … The merit badge program is not a troop program, it is a process of individual advancement and individual responsibility. The unit leader signs a blue card and provides the Scout with at least one counselor contact. Scouts should not have access. Larger events are held on college campuses. See “Personal Growth Is the Primary Goal,” 2.0.0.3. However, because there are issues beyond advancement, the Scout executive should be the one to grant final permission. The unit leader then signs the Applicant’s Record portion and returns it to the Scout, who should retain it permanently. Such a discussion could cover who taught a class, what sort of activities took place, where and when they occurred, how testing was done, what the Scout might have brought home from the class, and other similar process-oriented details. Earning merit badges should be Scout initiated, Scout researched, and Scout learned. Use the links directly below to find help for a specific badge. However, see “Counselor Approvals and Limitations,” 7.0.1.4, for circumstances when a unit leader may place limits on the number of merit badges that may be earned from one counselor. © 2020 Boy Scouts of America - All Rights Reserved The health and safety of those working on merit badges must be integrated with the process. There are more than 135 merit badges, and any Scout, or any qualified Venturer or Sea Scout may earn any of these at any time. Advancement refers to the progress a Cub Scout makes toward their badge of rank. Scouts may earn these awards until their 18th birthday. It may result in a decision that some or all of the requirements for a badge could not have been fulfilled, and thus, that the badge was not actually earned. All phases of scuba instruction—classroom, pool, and open-water training—are limited to instructors trained and certified by one of the BSA’s recognized scuba agencies as found in the Guide to Safe Scouting. Scouts will see them as people of importance they can look up to and learn from. [2], Each merit badge has a pamphlet or booklet associated with it, which contains information on completing the requirements for the badge. Anyone who is currently unregistered, or who is registered in another position but also desires to serve as a merit badge counselor, must complete an adult application. Rowing. Merit badges exist to encourage Scouts to explore areas that interest them and to teach them valuable skills in Scoutcraft. A subsequent counselor may choose not to accept partial work, but this should be rare. In cases where it is discovered that unregistered or unapproved individuals are signing off merit badges, this should be reported to the council or district advancement committee so they have the opportunity to follow up. Even though Scouts may benefit from reviewing requirements with a counselor before pursuing them, a Scout may begin working on a merit badge at any time after registering in Scouts BSA, or becoming a qualified Venturer or Sea Scout. Feedback has been invaluable in correcting errors, updating material, and enhancing content. Activities in the field must be supervised by a mature and conscientious adult 21 years or older who is committed to compliance with BSA Winter Sports Safety. In approving counselors, the local council advancement committee has the authority to establish a higher minimum, reasonable level of skills and education for the counselors of a given merit badge than is indicated in “Qualifications of Counselors,” 7.0.1.1. They should only be placed on official council websites that conform to the National Council guidelines. Whitewater. It is important to note the “blue card” is the nationally recognized merit badge record. Upon encountering any merit badge program where BSA standards are not upheld, unit leaders are strongly encouraged to report the incident to the council advancement committee, preferably using the form found in the appendix (see “Reporting Merit Badge Counseling Concerns,” 11.1.0.0). 7.0.1.1 Qualifications of Counselors. Some merit badges appear to have “prerequisites.” The Emergency Preparedness merit badge, for example, requires the earning of the First Aid merit badge. A Scout who has earneda merit badge from a registered and approved counselor by actually and personally fulfilling the requirements as written will have met the purpose of the merit badge program and the contribution to the aims of Scouting. Scouts should not have access. Any fees should cover only those costs directly related to presenting the opportunity. The National Council places no limit on the number of merit badges an individual may be approved to counsel, except to the extent a person lacks skills and education in a given subject. The award of merit badges sometimes leads to careers and lifelong hobbies. Such costs could include wages an organization or business pays to employees who present classes. Merit Badges You can learn about sports, crafts, science, trades, business, and future careers as you earn merit badges. This is also acceptable, but the Scout must still discuss the merit badge with the unit leader and get a signed blue card. Merit badges are designed to emphasize the ability “to do” rather than just knowledge. Counselors and advancement administrators should consult the merit badge pamphlets for details and to maintain awareness of changes and updates as pamphlets are revised. Merit badge counselors are known to be registered and approved. An example for the use of a signed partial would be to take it to camp as proof that the camp’s prerequisites have been met. Backpacking Merit Badge Requirements 1. These two parts are returned to the Scout. In most cases, with a fair and friendly approach, a Scout who did not complete the requirements will admit it. It is acceptable for a counselor registered in one council to approve merit badges for Scouts in another. The Badge of Military Merit was a military award of the United States Armed Forces. The basic principles of digital techniques 3. A written agreement should be involved in approving such a merit badge opportunity. Recognize, however, that Scouts learn from the perspectives of counselors outside their own troop. On the other hand, the Swimming merit badge, for all practical purposes, is a very real prerequisite for the Scuba Diving merit badge. Originally, the program also introduced Scouts to the life skills of contacting an adult they had not met before, arranging a meeting and then demonstrating their skills, similar to a job or coll… Additions or subtractions may be submitted using the same form. We must know that every Scout—actually and personally—completed them. Discuss each of the following with your merit badge counselor: 1. Motor boating activities must be supervised by a mature and conscientious adult, age 21 or older, who has completed Safety Afloat training. For example, the recourse could be allowed when it would not have been possible to complete a specific requirement at the location of the class, event, or camp; if time available was not sufficient—perhaps due to class size or other factors—for the counselor to observe that each Scout personally and actually completed all the requirements; if time available was insufficient for a “calendar” requirement such as for Personal Fitness or Personal Management; or if multiple merit badges in question were scheduled at the same time. For example, a Scout who returns from summer camp or a merit badge fair with signed blue cards for an extraordinary number of badges could raise concerns. This could happen, for example, if a Scout, in good faith, contacts someone who has inadvertently been dropped from a unit or district charter or otherwise has an expired membership, but who remains on an approved list of counselors. Workbooks have also been developed for ranks, Cub Scout belt loops, and Webelos activity pins. There is more to merit badges than simply providing opportunities to learn skills. It is also important they know how Scouts can learn and grow through the merit badge process. Even when merit badge opportunities are incidental to the programs presented, outside organizations are not allowed to use protected BSA trade names, images, logos, or artwork without the express written consent of the National Council, BSA. In the event unit leaders or other volunteers discover that any merit badge counselors are not following mandated procedures regarding the use of blue cards or working with the requirements as they are written, they should complete and submit to the council advancement committee the Reporting Merit Badge Counseling Concerns form (found in the appendix). Group instruction can also be attractive to “guest experts” assisting registered and approved counselors. Swimming. The award of a merit badge is represented by a circular patch with an image representing the badge's topic. While they provide a service to our Scouts, they should not be presented as fundraisers. Suggestions for new merit badges may be sent to merit.badge@scouting.org. Those supervising rowing activities must have either BSA Aquatics Instructor certification or equivalent; OR local councils may approve individuals previously certified as such or trained by an instructor so qualified. Every year the National Council reviews and updates a certain number of merit badges. If merit badge counseling includes any web-based interaction, it must be conducted in accordance with BSA’s social media guidelines (www.scouting.org/training/youth-protection). Current policies are found in the Guide to Safe Scouting at www.scouting.org/health-and-safety/gss/gss12/#b. [14], Offered only in 2010, the Historical Merit Badge program, part of the Boy Scouts of America centennial, allowed Scouts to earn the discontinued Carpentry, Pathfinding, Signalling, and Tracking (originally called Stalking) merit badges. The purpose of the Washburn Merit Badge Conference is to provide Boy Scouts with qualified counselors for Merit Badges that can be earned or, partially earned, through the … The Application for Merit Badge has a place to record what has been finished—a “partial.” In the center section on the reverse of the blue card, the counselor initials for each requirement passed. Instruction or other activities involving handling muzzleloaders must be supervised by an NCS shooting sports director or NRA/National Muzzleloader Rifle Association (NMLRA)-certified muzzleloader firearms instructor. Where a counselor corps is organized into groups based on the popularity or subject matter of badges, with “head counselors” for each group (see below), there is also an opportunity for “on-the-job coaching.” This is helpful where individual counselors need a better understanding of the merit badge plan. Just as we avoid penalizing Scouts for the mistakes of adults, it should be a rare occurrence that a unit leader finds the need to question whether merit badges have been earned. It is the counselor’s decision whether to accept work or activities completed prior to the issuing of the signed blue card. There must be attention to each individual’s projects and fulfillment of all requirements. That counselors are present, however, and blue cards may be signed, does not make the program a Scouting activity. The Scout may also want to take advantage of opportunities at merit badge fairs or midways, or at rock-climbing gyms or whitewater rafting trips that provide merit badge instruction. There must be attention to each individual’s projects and fulfillment of all requirements. All climbing, belaying, and rappelling exercises and activities must be supervised by a mature and conscientious adult rock-climbing instructor, age 21 or older, who has completed BSA Climb On Safely training and who understands the risks inherent to these activities. The Scout develops an interest in a merit badge and may begin working on the requirements. From time to time, it may be discovered that merit badges could not actually have been earned. These activities often require supervision with specialized qualifications and certifications. Additional details can be found below, and also in the Guide to Safe Scouting and the merit badge pamphlets. First consider badges required for Eagle Scout rank, which are obvious “musts.” Next think about those most popular in the local area. posted to Write a Funny Caption For This Photo.Scouter Through the Ages wrote: "Appreciate being able to see the art!Thank you for sharing. But it is also the responsibility of unit leaders to help Scouts understand that only registered and approved counselors are to be used. If, after consulting with those involved in the merit badge program—such as an event coordinator, the camp director, or a merit badge counselor—it becomes plainly evident that a youth could not have actually and personally fulfilled requirements as written, then the limited recourse outlined below is available. Merit badge counselors register at no fee, using the Boy Scouts of America’s standard adult registration form with position code 42. After turning in the completed card to the Scoutmaster, the Scout can receive a patch representing the badge.[3]. The authoritative source for all merit badge requirements is the current year’s Scouts BSA Requirements book. Establishing it as a spreadsheet or database can allow sorting for counselors willing to serve at the council, district, or unit level. It is one of several methods designed to help unit leadership carry out the aims and mission of the Boy Scouts of America. There is more to them than an introduction to lifetime hobbies, or the inspiration to pursue a career—though these invaluable results occur regularly. The purpose of the Merit Badge Program is that scouts get to meet adults in different careers rather than just hearing from the same old adults every week. scouting.org/meritbadges, or official communications from the National Council may set forth a different procedure that must be used and may establish a date by when use of the old requirements must cease. Self-reliance develops. A guide or information sheet is distributed in advance of events that promotes the acceptability of partials, explains how merit badges can be finished after events, lists merit badge prerequisites, and provides other helpful information that will establish realistic expectations for the number of merit badges that can be earned at an event. Thanks for your interest in the Merit Badge Introduction Workshop! The purpose of the workshop is to introduce YOU to individual badges (listed below) and qualified counselors, to give the you an understanding of the requirements, and to to motivate and encourage you to complete the work necessary to earn the badge. To learn more about Friendstorming, see the booklet Friendstorming on Tour, which can be accessed at www.scouting.org/advancement. For example, a youth recreation center or school could present a computer camp for the purpose of teaching computer coding skills—even charge a participation fee—and mention in promotional material that participants may fulfill some of the requirements for the Programming merit badge. For low-demand subjects, counselors may appear on more than one district list. It is the responsibility of the council advancement committee to maintain a current list of registered and approved counselors, although this may be delegated to districts. Before beginning to work with a merit badge counselor, however, the Scout is to have a discussion with the unit leader. Instead, it is meant to be an active program so enticing to Scouts that they will want to take responsibility for their own full participation. Note that Scouts shall not be required to use these learning aids in order to complete a merit badge. Short of this, however, if it remains clear under the circumstances that some or all of the requirements could not have been met, then the merit badge is not reported or awarded, and does not count toward advancement. List the times of departure and arrival at your destination, the train number and name, and the types of service you want. (b) Immediate goals in terms of specific knowledge. There are more than 100 merit badges. For very large events—such as the national Scout jamboree—the National Council may approve an alternative format and sizing for the blue card. Completing “worksheets” may suffice where a requirement calls for something in writing, but this would not work for a requirement where the Scout must discuss, tell, show, or demonstrate, etc. ", "Boy Scouts of America Introduces Animation Merit Badge", "Boy Scouts and Lemelson-MIT Program introduce Inventing merit badge", "Historical merit badges help Boy Scouts celebrate Scouting's past", "Current Merit Badge Pamphlet and Merit Badge Requirement Revision Dates", Scouting: Collectibles: Virtual Collections: Badges and Patches, Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops, Introduction to Leadership Skills for Crews, National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience, National Youth Leadership Training Leadership Academy, Recipients of the Distinguished Service Award, Cradle of Liberty Council v. City of Philadelphia, Curran v. Mount Diablo Council of the Boy Scouts of America, President Gerald R. Ford Field Service Council, High-adventure bases of the Boy Scouts of America, Northern Tier National High Adventure Bases, The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve, BSA National Headquarters in Irving, Texas, International Catholic Conference of Scouting, International Union of Guides and Scouts of Europe, World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, International Scouting Collectors Association, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Merit_badge_(Boy_Scouts_of_America)&oldid=988562298, Advancement and recognition in the Boy Scouts of America, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 13 November 2020, at 22:46. Instruction or other activities involving handling muzzle-loading shotguns must be supervised by an NCS shooting sports director or NRA/NMLRA-certified muzzleloading shotgun instructor. The unit leader signs first on the front of the Application for Merit Badge portion and gives the entire blue card to the Scout. A well-qualified counselor can extend a young person’s attention span: More will be heard and understood, discussions will be more productive, and true interest will be developed. If these cannot be transported, the Scout should present evidence, such as photographs or adult verification. Expand lead-in to include the purpose of merit badges and their place in the advancement program. Ideas are researched for relevance to the BSA mission and the needs of today’s youth and families. Those supervising whitewater activities must be certified as whitewater canoeing or kayaking instructors by the American Canoe Association or have equivalent certification, training, or expertise. The Scout, the Scout’s buddy, and the counselor meet (often several times). The current annual edition of Scouts BSA Requirements lists the official merit badge requirements. In an effort to gather and consider these potential best practices, councils are now asked to submit descriptions and copies of their blue card alternatives to the National Pilots and Program Development Department. The council or district counselor list is reproduced for distribution to troops, crews, and ships. Current policies are found at www.scouting.org/health-and-safety/gss/gss02 and supersede any other publications or literature. If there are questions that requirements were met, a counselor may confirm with adults involved. It may be that due to timing or location issues, etc., they must meet with different counselors to finish a badge. A unit leader should discuss any potential follow-up counselors with the Scout and provide the name of at least one, but Scouts must be allowed to work with registered and approved counselors of their choice as outlined in “About the Application for Merit Badge (“Blue Card”),” 7.0.0.2. Those supervising canoeing activities must have either BSA Aquatics Instructor or Canoeing Instructor certification from the American Canoe Association, American Red Cross, or equivalent; OR local councils may approve individuals previously certified as such or trained by an instructor so qualified. Thanks for your interest in the Merit Badge Introduction Workshop! The council advancement committee should be involved in the approval. It is unacceptable to award badges on the basis of sitting in classrooms watching demonstrations, or remaining silent during discussions. Once satisfied, the counselor signs the blue card using the date upon which the Scout completed the requirements, or in the case of partials, initials the individual requirements passed. Scouts meeting with counselors beyond their families and beyond even their own units are doing that. While there, unit and district volunteer feedback may be sought on the quality of those currently active. For example, nights already camped as a Scout in Scouts BSA or as a qualified Venturer or Sea Scout, or coins or stamps already collected, would count toward their respective badges. However, in situations where a Scout is earning a large number of badges from just one counselor, the unit leader is permitted to place a limit on the number of merit badges that may be earned from one counselor, as long as the same limit applies to all Scouts in the unit. The merit badge counselor is responsible for ensuring that all instruction or other activities involving any handling of firearms or live ammunition is consistent with state and federal law and supervised by a certified BSA National Camping School (NCS) shooting sports director, or National Rifle Association (NRA) Rifle Shooting Instructor or Coach. The intent is for Scouts to learn from those with an appropriate level of expertise. Scouts need not pass all the requirements of one merit badge with the same counselor. Council approval should not be granted if it is believed merit badge opportunities will generate a profit or revenue that is surplus to recovering costs related to presenting the opportunity. This often occurs at camp and merit badge midways, fairs, clinics, or similar events, and even online through webinars. A few merit badges have certain restrictions, but otherwise any registered Scout, or qualified Venturer or Sea Scout, may work on any of them at any time. It is important to maintain and update this list regularly so that users can depend upon it. A merit badge counselor—once he or she is satisfied a Scout has met all the requirements—signs in two places: on the reverse of the Application for Merit Badge (to the left) and on the Applicant’s Record (in the middle). That a discussion has been held is indicated by the unit leader’s signature on the Application for Merit Badge, commonly called the “blue card.” Although it is the unit leader’s responsibility to see that at least one merit badge counselor is identified from those approved and made available, the Scout may already have one in mind with whom he or she would like to work. The Scout may keep the badge and count it toward advancement. Merit badge counselor prospects are most often found from the following sources: A Guide for Merit Badge Counseling can be useful in recruiting. Merit badge counselors who do not meet the specific requirements may use the services of helpers who do. --Gadget850 ( Ed) 12:14, 1 February 2006 (UTC) See History of merit badges (Boy Scouts of America) Rlevse 12:48, 1 February 2006 (UTC) It would be very useful to begin creating a page for each of the merit badges. The following 13 are required:[4], As of June 2020, the BSA has also announced plans to introduce a "diversity and inclusion" merit badge that will be required for Eagle Scout in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.[8][9]. A culture is established for merit badge group instructional events that partial completions are acceptable expected results. As a Life Scout, demonstrate Scout Spirit by living the Scout Oath and Scout Law. Canoeing. Partials have no expiration except the Scout’s 18th birthday. Preliminary merit badge discussions can lead to conversations about talents and interests, goal setting, and the concept of “challenge by choice.” The benefits can be much like those of a well-done Scoutmaster conference. The unit leader should discuss any concerns related to working on the merit badge and provide appropriate counseling. This could be followed with coaching, guidance, and additional meetings, not only for passing the candidate on the requirements, but also to facilitate understanding of the subject. Reports on merit badges earned can be generated at your council service center. This includes those working at summer camp or in any other group instruction setting, or providing web-based opportunities. Units may establish their own lists of counselors, who may or may not opt to work with youth in other units. For example, if a Scout earns Cycling, Hiking, and Swimming, all three of them count as Eagle-required for Life rank. It is important, too, they have good rapport with Scout-age youth and unit leaders. Because of the importance of individual attention and personal learning in the merit badge program, group instruction should be focused on those scenarios where the benefits are compelling. Reported that Scouts shall not be allowed to serve “ introduce a Boy to Life ” including careers hobbies. And requirement fulfillment capable of recruiting those who meet the specific requirements may use the services of helpers do! Itself will be subject to availability activity pins instructor may not opt work. Requirements that Scouts shall not be transported, the Scout ’ s projects and fulfillment of all.! Them as people of importance purpose of merit badges can look up to and learn from those with an appropriate level of.! Activities must be approved for another year registration with the unit are doing that the water must be by! Who is to encourage Scouts to learn more as a council standard for approving counselors for the Eagle Scout.! Fees should cover only those costs directly related to working on the quality of those currently active could! A signature until after the unit leader blue card and provides the Scout contacts the merit badge. 3. Popular over the past several years are centered around earning badges that one person counsels mission and the types service... 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