Merit badges give Scouts the opportunity to learn about sports, crafts, science, trades, business, and future careers. There are more than 100 merit badges, with new and updated badges coming every year. Any Scout or qualified Venturer or Sea Scout may earn any merit badge.
Group Merit Badge Instruction
In an effort to give an appropriate amount of oversight to our districts to provide a quality merit badge program for our scouts, the following policy regarding merit badge group instruction is established by the council advancement and recognition committee.
- A troop or crew can use group instruction of merit badges within their unit without seeking approval from the council or district.
- If a unit decides to offer a merit badge opportunity to Scouts outside their unit, an individual counselor solicits scouts, or the district sponsors such an event, they must get district advancement committee approval to conduct the event. This affords the district advancement committee the opportunity to ensure compliance with the GTA guidance on group instruction.
- Council level groups such as Aquatics, Shooting Sports, any religious committee, and STEM must get approval from either the Council Advancement Chair, Council Merit Badge Dean, or NCAC Advancement Committee Staff Advisor.
- Outside organizations to the BSA must always receive council approval from one of the aforementioned positions.
Reporting Merit Badge Counseling Concerns
In the event unit leaders or other volunteers discover that any merit badge counselors are not following mandated procedures such as working with the requirements as they are written, they should complete and submit to the council advancement committee the Reporting Merit Badge Counseling Concerns form found in the appendix (See GTA 184.108.40.206). Unit leaders should regularly review the policies and procedures related to the merit badge process with Scouts, parents, guardians, and leaders, and counsel them on proper methods as the need arises.