A Boy Scout can begin earning merit badges as soon as he joins a troop, but no merit badges are required for advancement until he receives his First Class rank. To earn Eagle Rank, a Scout must earn a specific number of Eagle required Merit Badges (13) and elective merit badges (8). All Eagle required merit badges must be earned with the troop, or at summer camp. One exception is that First Aid may be earned at the Aurora Medical Team BSA Merit Badge Course. This is a thorough course conducted by career medical technicians who have seen it all. BSA policy (national) on starting blue cards has been modified to require a Scoutmaster conference. Large troops like ours can delegate this to an ASM. Please call him ahead of time to get on the schedule. It is a casual conference to cover prerequisites, touch on requirements, and answer questions. If you decide to attend merit badge colleges, take care of your on-line sign ups. Most of them require blue cards. Contact the ASM Merit Badge Coordinator to schedule a conference and bring your enrollment print out.
RECOMMENDED MERIT BADGE PROCESS (adapted from the GUIDE TO ADVANCEMENT 2013)
- The Scout indicates an interest and discusses it with the Assistance Scoutmaster designated as Merit Badge Coordinator. The ASM will conduct a short conference with the Scout.
- The Merit Badge Coordinator signs a blue card and provides the Scout with at least one merit badge Counselor contact.
- The Scout contacts the Counselor.
- The Scout, his buddy, and the Counselor meet.
- The Scout completes the requirements. This will require reading the relevant BSA Merit Badge Pamphlet, and possibly filling out questions on a worksheet such as those available at meritbadge.org.
- The Counselor approves completion.
- The Scout turns in the signed blue card to the Troop Advancements Chair. The Advancements Chair passes blue cards on to the Scoutmaster, in groups, for signature in the applicant record section of the blue card.
- The Troop reports the merit badge to Council.
- The Scout receives his merit badge at the quarterly Court of Honor.
- Also at quarterly Court of Honor, the Scout receives the applicant record in an envelope with other merit badges, awards, etc.