Merit Badges

What is a Merit Badge? A Merit Badge is a learning opportunity. There are many Merit Badges that cover topics like: Sports, Hobbies, Recreation, Professions, Family, and Citizenship. Merit Badges range from easy to challenging, from short to long, from simple to complex.

Selecting which Merit Badge to do is a personal choice for the optional badges. There are a category of Merit Badges that are Eagle-required which are needed to advance in Rank along with some optional badges. Refer to the Scout Handbook for the specifics.

The Merit Badge process is a growth opportunity for each Scout. The Scout is required to call an adult, called a Merit Badge Counselor, who they may not know, and make an appointment. During the visit they learn from someone on a one-on-one basis about their specific expertise or profession following the requirements of the selected Merit Badge. There will be multiple visits with the Merit Badge Counselor with the scout doing the required work, learnings, or paperwork on their own. The parent role is to provide support of the process, provide transportation, and guide the scout as needed. The parent should leave the teaching of the Merit Badge topic to the Merit Badge Counselor.


No merit badge work should be done until the scout has been in contact with his Merit Badge counselor.

Scout Buddy System

A Scout must have a buddy with him at each meeting with a Merit Badge Counselor. A Scout's buddy can be another Scout, a parent or guardian, a brother or sister, or a relative or friend.

Troop 154 Merit Badge Process

  1. Determine which Merit Badge you want.

  2. Ask the Scoutmaster for a Blue Card (Merit Badge Tracking Card). Write in the Scout information on all sides of the card. Then return to the Scout Master.

  3. The Scout Master will review the list of APPROVED Merit Badge Counselors for the selected Merit Badge and write it on the Blue Card and give it back to the scout.

  4. The Scout is now responsible for making the appointment with their assigned Merit Badge Counselor. The Scout should also obtain the latest version of the Merit Badge Book. There are on-line resources to get a list of specific requirements but having the Merit Badge Book is very useful and provides most of the background information needed to complete the badge. Check the Troop Library or books can be purchased at the Scout Store.

  5. After all the requirements are complete; the Merit Badge Counselor will sign the Blue Card and return it to the Scout.

  6. Have the Scoutmaster sign the blue card as the Unit Leader.

  7. Give all completed Blue Cards to the Advancement Chairman for processing at the council office. The Merit Badge will be award as soon as possible.

  8. After receiving the Merit Badge the Scout should sew it onto their Scout Sash and wear it proudly.


  • The exception to this Merit Badge process is for Summer Camp. At Summer Camp all Merit Badge Counselors are part of the summer camp staff and the scout does not need to make an appointment and they will be attending the Merit Badge session with other scouts. View the Merit Badges available at Summer Camp.

  • The Westchester-Putnam BSA Council does not support out of council “merit badge clinics”, Troop fundraisers associated with completion of merit badges or merit badge in a day programs. Parents should not sign up their scouts for these programs without discussion well in advance with the Scoutmaster.

  • Multiple Merit Badges can be worked on at one time. Scouts should be guided not to take on too many badges at one time, or ones too advanced for their maturity, age or ability.

  • There is no time limit for completion of merit badges other than age 18.


The attached merit badge guide should be very helpful when working with your sons on which Merit Badge to work on. This list is from the Web and not an 'official' list but is a great overview of all the Merit Badges. What is especially helpful is that it lists the difficulty and expected duration it should take to accomplish each badge. The newest scouts should target the 'easy' merit badges as it will give them a sense of accomplishment and introduce them to the process.

If any of these merit badges are in an area that you are knowledgeable about, please let us know; we would love to sign you up to be a Merit Badge Counselor for our Troop. You have the option to be on the council list or just for our Troop. There is training available on how to conduct the sessions. Let us know, we would really like to have more Troop Merit Badge Counselors. It is a good way to make a difference in a young man' s life by sharing your passion, hobby or profession. Thank you for your contributions.

Updated: January 2017 Troop Committee Meeting