Merit Badges

What are merit badges?

Merit badges are awards earned by Scouts, based on activities within an area of study. 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. Originally, the program also introduced Scouts to the life skills of contacting an adult they hadn't met before, arranging a meeting and then demonstrating their skills, similar to a job or college interview. Increasingly, though, merit badges are earned in a class setting at troop meetings and summer camps. Each merit badge has a pamphlet (booklet) published by the Boy Scouts of America associated with it; the pamphlet contains information on completing the requirements for the badge. Scouts must meet up with their Scoutmaster to receive a signed blue card in order to begin working on a merit badge. The Scout then contacts an adult who is registered as a counselor for that merit badge in order to learn which badge requirements they must complete before meeting up with the counselor. Once these requirements are completed, the Scout meets with the counselor to demonstrate that he's completed the requirements. The counselor then signs off on each requirement. After completing all requirements, the Scout earns his merit badge patch. The award of a merit badge is represented by circular patch with an image representing the badge's topic. The patches for the Eagle-required merit badges are distinguishable by the silver ring on the outside edge. Merit badges are displayed on a sash which can be worn with the Boy Scout uniform on formal occasions.

Merit Badge Pamphlets