Gold Star Award
Scouting’s 100-year history has been marked by many changes in merit badges. Such badges as Cement Work, Farm Layout and Building Arrangements, and Interpreting bowed out long ago, while Climbing, Disabilities Awareness, and Nuclear Science have been added since the 1990s.
Four new merit badges coming in 2013
The 2010 changes affect all ranks from Tenderfoot through Eagle
Background and Purposes
As chartered by the Congress of the United States, the Boy Scouts of America is a movement dedicated to supplementing and enlarging the education of youth. The merit badge program, which provides opportunities for youth to explore more than 100 fields of skill and knowledge, plays a key role in the fulfillment of this educational commitment.
A vital part of the BSA's advancement plan, the merit badge program is one of Scouting's basic character-building tools. Through participation in the program (which may begin immediately upon registration in a troop or team), a Scout acquires the kind of self-confidence that comes only from overcoming obstacles to achieve a goal. Instruction is offered in everything from animal science and public speaking to swimming and communications, providing a young man with invaluable career, physical, and interpersonal skills.
How to fill out the Merit Badge Application (the "Blue Card")
Merit Badge Pamphlets
Each merit badge subject is outlined and explained in a pamphlet that contains short, introductory information written for Boy Scouts/Varsity Scouts by recognized authorities. More than a million pamphlets are sold yearly, and many are used as approved reference texts in libraries and school curricula.
Counselors - Jump to Troop Merit Badge Counselors or download the Troop Merit Badge Counselor Grouped by Merit Badge
Troop 1333 Merit Badge Counselor Training Presentation (April 24, 2010). File is in MS PowerPoint and is a very large file.
People who are knowledgeable about the various merit badge subjects are selected, approved, and trained by council and district advancement committees to serve as merit badge counselors. For example, a dentist might be asked to serve as a counselor for the Dentistry merit badge. A counselor must not only possess the necessary technical knowledge but have a solid understanding of the needs, interests, and abilities of Scouts. A counselor must also be a registered adult with the BSA.
When a Scout has an interest in earning a particular merit badge, he obtains his Scoutmaster's/Varsity Scout Coach's approval and identifies another Scout with similar interests to become his partner. They are then directed to the appropriate merit badge counselor. The counselor reviews the badge requirements with the young men and decides with them what projects should be undertaken and when they should be completed. After the counselor has certified that the Scouts have qualified for the merit badge, it is presented to them at a troop/team meeting and can be applied toward rank advancement.
Badges for Eagle
To qualify for the Eagle Scout Award, Scouting's highest advancement rank, a Scout must—along with meeting five other requirements—earn a total of 21 merit badges, including First Aid, Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation, Citizenship in the World, Communications, Personal Fitness, Emergency Preparedness OR Lifesaving, Environmental Science, Personal Management, Camping, Hiking OR Cycling OR Swimming and Family Life.
List of Merit Badges
HERITAGE (can be earned only during calendar year 2010, in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America)
Jump to Merit Badge patch graphics
Polaris District 2004 Charter Partner of the Year