Q: How do
I get started with a new merit badge?
A:Scouts seeking to start a new merit badge must first see the Troop's Scoutmater
for permission and to obtain a signed "blue card".
Q: What is a "Blue Card"
A: A blue card is a BSA Merit Badge card, blue in color, which is used by the scout and merit badge counselor to track the progress of the boy working on the specific merit badge.
Q:What do I do once I obtain a blue card?
A:Once you receive the signed blue card from the Scoutmaster, he will give you the name of a merit badge counslor who you will then contact to set up a first meeting. Do NOT start your merit badge work until you first meet with the counslor, as you risk having to start over again.
Q: What do merit badge counslors do?
A: A merit badge counslor is a volunteer, who has been authorized by BSA to meet with Boy Scouts for the purpose of guiding and testing the scouts on the requirements for that specific merit badge, in accordance to the official BSA merit badge requirements. The merit badge counslor must maintain their YPT (Youth Protection Training) every 2 years to be able to stat active as counslor.
Q: Where can I meet with my merit badge counslor?
A: You can meet a merit badge counslor anywhere there are at least 2 adults present at all times. Never meet an adult alone! Troop 59 recommends meetings with one adult to be done in a public place, like Dunkin Donuts or similar.
Q: What if I partially complete my merit badge work but move or my counslor is no longer available?
A: If you have completed some of the requirements, but not all, and you have meet with your counslor to be tested on these, bring your blue card to the meeting so he/shee can write down and sign off on specific requirements that you completed. There is a space on the blue card for the individual requirement numbers to be written, dated and signed. The scout always keeps the blue card until completion.
Q: What if I get a partial at summer camp?
A: At summer camp, if you only complete some of the requirements, you will also get a partial complete and the partial will be sent to the troop advancement chair for tracking. You can then ask the Troop Scoutmaster
for a local merit badge counslor so you can complete that badge in the troop, or you can wait till next year to complte it at sumer camp.
Q: What do I do once I complete my merit badge?
A: Once you're complete, you have your final meeting with your merit badge counselor, who signs off on the card. He/she takes 1/3 of the card for their records, and the other 2/3s you take and hand into the advancement chair person. That person will process and record your completion and arrange for you merit badge patch. We recomment you photo copy your complete merit badge forms before submitting.
Q:What if I'm taking a merit badge at summer camp, but it has 12 weeks of prequisits?
A: If your merit badge requires any prequisits, like in Physical Fitness MB needing 12 weeks of tracking a fitness program, start and complete this work prior to summer camp. Bring your worksheets to summer camp. For camping MB or others requiring proof of completion of something (e.g. - 20 nights of camping), get those records printed out and signed by the appropriate troop leader (or other).
Q: How do I become a merit badge counselor?
A: You must be 18 years of age, and possess ample knowledge adequate to teach and guide the scout for that topic (e.g. - engineering or swimming). You don't have to be an Expert, but should have some life experience to draw upon. If you are interested, contact the Troop Committee Chair person
for a Merit Badge Application
and Adult Application
. You will receive a call from BSA district wh
o will ask you your experience. Once approved, you will take a 15-20 minute YPT online class
. That's it!