What are Merit Badges?
Boy Scouts earn merit badges in order to develop skills and learn about things such as careers, science, trades, business, crafts, recreation and sports. There are approximately 120 different merit badge subjects to pick from. Scouts must earn merit badges in order to advance to the ranks of Star, Life and Eagle Scout, and to earn Eagle Palms.
What Merit Badges are required to become an Eagle Scout?
- First Aid
- Citizenship in the Community
- Citizenship in the Nation
- Citizenship in the World
- Emergency Preparedness or Lifesaving
- Environmental Science
- Personal Management
- Personal Fitness
- Swimming or Cycling or Hiking
- Family Life
Plus any other 9 merit badges of your choosing to make a total of 21.
What does it take to earn Merit Badges?
Pick something that you are interested in or choose one of the 12 merit badges that are required in order to advance to the Eagle Scout rank. Talk to your Scoutmaster and ask him to provide you with a Merit Badge Application, also known as a Blue Card. Print your name, address, city, Unit number (Troop123), District name (Great Lakes Field Service Council) and Council name (Michigan Crossroads Council) on the application. Have your Scoutmaster sign and date it. Print your name and the name of the merit badge in all 3 places on the back of the application. Have your Scoutmaster help you find a counselor who can help you earn the merit badge. Obtain the merit badge pamphlet from the troop librarian. Read all of the requirements. Make sure you can demonstrate the skills that are required. Contact the counselor and tell him you would like to earn the merit badge. The counselor will be able to explain to you what the requirements are and how you can fulfill them. Be sure to ask if there is any work you should bring with you to the first appointment. Meet with the counselor (be sure to have a buddy or parent with you) and show him the signed Blue Card. Start learning and completing the requirements. When you have completed them, meet with the counselor again so you can demonstrate your knowledge and show him what you have done. When the counselor is satisfied that you have met the requirements, then he will sign off your merit badge application. Give the signed application to your Scoutmaster so that your merit badge emblem can be awarded to you. Be sure to keep the Applicant Record portion of the Blue card in a safe place! This is your proof that you have completed the requirements for the merit badge.