Q: My scout wants to earn a particular merit badge, what do I do?
A: The parent should support the scout, but NOT try and do the work for him. The scout should contact one of the counselors on the Troop 658 list directly, or pick one listed on the troop website as willing to teach scouts outside of his/her troop. Your son’s initial consultation with the counselor is to see if that person is willing to work with him. Then, before starting the merit badge, he must share his plans with the Scoutmaster and request that the Scoutmaster sign a Blue Card as the authorization to begin the merit badge. This includes Cabrillo weekend and Summer Day Camps. Not all merit badges offered at Cabrillo and other camps are accepted in the Troop, see the Scoutmaster in advance before considering any Eagle required merit badges outside of the Troop. After the merit badge is completed and the Blue Card is completely filled out in ink and signed by the MB counselor, the scout should present the first two parts of the blue card to the Scoutmaster for signature and then give the card to the Advancement Chair for recording. Once issued by the Scoutmaster, the blue card is good indefinitely, do not lose it. Remember, each scout is held responsible for the material relating to the merit badge and program quality checks take place to ensure that the merit badge counselor has covered all of the material with the scout. The scout will not be retested. If meeting with a counselor in a counselor’s home, the counselor may require that another scout (buddy) attend with your scout or that a parent remain in the immediate area.
Merit Badge Facts
- Not required for advancement until going for Star Rank
- May be earned at any rank subject to the maturity level of the scout
- Eagle required MBs usually earned from Troop counselors or at Summer Camp
Steps to Earning Merit Badges
- Choose a MB and research its requirements on www.meritbadge.com
- Check Troop Website or inquire within the Troop about qualified counselors or select approved MBs from Summer Camp offering list
- Communicate with the Scoutmaster about working on a MB with a particular counselor
- If approved by the Scoutmaster and Counselor, a Blue Card will be issued
- Counselor will usually collect the Blue Card before allowing the scout to start the MB.
- Do not start work on a MB until you have met with your approved counselor and given the go ahead to start by the Scoutmaster unless you are working on a Summer Camp prerequisite
- Completed Blue Cards must be returned to the Scoutmaster for signature to verify completion of all requirements before being turned into Advancement Chair for recording.