They should be encouraged to reach out. The Merit Badge Program. Note that commercial shooting ranges may provide RSOs. The card has three parts: the actual “Application for Merit Badge” portion, the “Applicant’s Record,” and the “Counselor’s Record.” It requires a total of four signatures—two each from the unit leader and a merit badge counselor. (c) Benefits related to Earth resources, technology, and new products. It is then the Scout’s decision whether or not to proceed with the merit badge. Get the best deals on Collectible Boy Scout Merit Badges when you shop the largest online selection at On the other hand, the Swimming merit badge, for all practical purposes, is a very real prerequisite for the Scuba Diving merit badge. To do so, they must be approved and registered as merit badge counselors, according to the procedures below. Additional details can be found below, and also in the Guide to Safe Scouting and the merit badge pamphlets. Units, districts, or councils shall not establish other expiration dates for partial merit badges. For example, the recreation center mentioned above would not be allowed to present a “Sports merit badge camp” without permission. The merit badge program plays a major role in the scouting advancement program and participation can begin as soon as a scout registers with a troop. Merit badge counselors, unit leadership, parents, and youth are encouraged to send suggestions or comments to 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. 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. Hobby-related badges are usually counseled at home. There is no time limit between starting and completing a badge, although a counselor may determine so much time has passed since any effort took place that the new requirements must be used. It is most efficient to set the list up as an electronic document that includes all counselors in the council. Venturing consultants are people whose special skills or talents are needed for a crew activity or project. The merit badge program is not a troop program, it is a process of individual advancement and individual responsibility. You don't need to have had rank advancement to be eligible. However, those requirements might not match those in the Scouts BSA Handbook, the merit badge pamphlets, and the requirements listed at because the Scouts BSA Requirements book is updated on an annual basis. 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. For low-demand subjects, counselors may appear on more than one district list. The invitational message or letter could include the following: The council or district advancement committee must assure counselors understand the Boy Scouts of America’s aims, methods, and mission. Other requirements could be learned and tested before this one. See “The Scout, the Blue Card, and the Unit Leader,” It is permissible for outside organizations or businesses to present various programs where fulfilling merit badge requirements is incidental. It should be hands-on and interactive, and should not be modeled after a typical school classroom setting. Not surprisingly, many of those requirements cover similar topics, such as camping and first aid, which raises questions about when and whether to let one activity satisfy more than one requirement Swimming. The guide can be downloaded from. The opportunity exists to provide inspiration and direction in a Scout’s life. Local council action on alternative merit badges does not require national approval. It is inappropriate to delay a Scout’s advancement with anything less than a prompt decision. Use of these aids is permissible as long as the materials can be correlated with the current requirements that Scouts must fulfill. 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. 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). A written agreement should be involved in approving such a merit badge opportunity. Motor boating activities must be supervised by a mature and conscientious adult, age 21 or older, who has completed Safety Afloat training. It would make sense that a counselor and a Scout would explore this knowledge first, but doing so is not mandated. Merit badges are designed to emphasize the ability “to do” rather than just knowledge. 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 NCS shooting sports director or NRA Shotgun Instructor or Coach. The Scout and unit leader discuss the Scout’s interest in the merit badge. 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. Larger events are held on college campuses. 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. The unit leader should discuss any concerns related to working on the merit badge and provide appropriate counseling. They should only be placed on official council websites that conform to the National Council guidelines. Merit badges exist to encourage Scouts to explore areas that interest them and to teach them valuable skills in Scoutcraft. Snow Sports. It is the counselor’s decision whether to accept work or activities completed prior to the issuing of the signed blue card. Establishing it as a spreadsheet or database can allow sorting for counselors willing to serve at the council, district, or unit level. If the Scout did not complete all the requirements, the counselor initials those that were fulfilled in the spaces provided on the back of the Applicant’s Record part. The National Council does not place a limit on the number of merit badges a youth may earn from one counselor. Whatever the source, all merit badge counselors must be registered and approved for the merit badges they counsel. A parent or an assistant unit leader should attend as an observer. 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 is also acceptable, but the Scout must still discuss the merit badge with the unit leader and get a signed blue card. All physical activities presented in any Scouting program must be conducted in accordance with “The Sweet Sixteen of BSA Safety.” These 16 points, embodying good judgment and common sense, can be found at. Archery. Because background checks, Youth Protection training, and merit badge program quality control are involved, BSA registration and council advancement committee approval are mandated procedures. Any guest experts or guest speakers, or others assisting who are not registered and approved as merit badge counselors, do not accept the responsibilities of, or behave as, merit badge counselors, either at a group instructional event or at any other time. In considering whether to approve outside organizations, businesses, or individuals for the presentation of merit badge opportunities, the same limitations should be placed on fees. People serving as merit badge counselors must maintain registration with the Boy Scouts of America as merit badge counselors and be approved by their local council advancement committee for each of their badges. The following merit badges have special qualifications or certifications for either the merit badge counselor or the supervisor of certain activities that may be involved. Demonstrations or activities in or on the water must be supervised by a mature and conscientious adult, age 21 or older, with certification in Red Cross First Aid/ CPR/AED or equivalent, and as a BSA Lifeguard or Aquatics Instructor or equivalent. See “Counselor Approvals and Limitations,”, and “Registration and Reregistration,” The unit leader and Scout should come to agreement as to who the counselor will be. More recently, worksheets have given way to workbooks with added graph paper, blank maps and diagrams, logs, charts, checklists, links, and other resources as needed. Appropriate credentials include instructor certification with a recognized sailing agency or school, US Sailing, or the American Sailing Association for sailing experience with different hull types including the rig being used for instruction; OR local councils may approve individuals previously certified as such, or trained by an instructor so qualified. This is done through the National Advancement Program Team. Do the following: (a) Explain to your counselor the hazards you are most likely to encounter while participating in wilderness survival activities, and what you should do to anticipate, help prevent, mitigate, or lessen these hazards. For others like Rowing, Rifle Shooting, or Geocaching, learning could occur in the field where special facilities or an appropriate venue are available. Appropriate credentials include current or previous certification by an organization (such as the National Safe Boating Council, the United States Power Squadrons, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, or the US Powerboating component of US Sailing) that meets the voluntary National On-Water Standards for Powerboating or the NASBLA national boating education standards for powerboating; OR local councils may approve individuals previously certified as such, or trained by an instructor so qualified. It all begins with a Scout’s initial interest and effort in a merit badge subject, followed by a discussion with the unit leader or designated assistant, continues through meetings with a counselor, and culminates in advancement and recognition. Group instruction can also be attractive to “guest experts” assisting registered and approved counselors. Remember that counselor recruiting is an ongoing responsibility. Merit badges are awards earned by members of the Boy Scouts of America, based on activities within the area of study by completing a list of periodically updated requirements. It is one of several methods designed to help unit leadership carry out the aims and mission of the Boy Scouts of America. Due to concerns about merit badge counselor privacy, and since Scouts should receive the names and contact information from the Scoutmaster, unit counselor lists should not be made available to Scouts. 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. It is also important they know how Scouts can learn and grow through the merit badge process. That counselors are present, however, and blue cards may be signed, does not make the program a Scouting activity. Merit badges exist to encourage Scouts to explore areas that interest them and to teach them valuable skills in Scoutcraft. 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