There is more to merit badges than simply providing opportunities to learn skills. There is more to them than an introduction to lifetime hobbies, or the inspiration to pursue a career—though these invaluable results occur regularly.
Troop 11 has a library of Merit Badge Pamphlets that scouts can access.
Elective Merit Badges
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.
Pick a Subject. Talk to your unit leader about your interests. Read the requirements of the merit badges you think might interest you, and pick one to earn. Your leader will give you the name of a person from a list of counselors. These individuals have special knowledge in their merit badge subjects and are interested in helping you.
Scout Buddy System. You must have another person with you at each meeting with the merit badge counselor. This person can be your parent or legal guardian, or another registered adult.
Call the Merit Badge Counselor. Get a signed Application for Merit Badge, No. 34124 or No. 34130, from your unit leader. Get in touch with the merit badge counselor and explain that you want to earn the badge. The counselor may ask to meet you to explain what is expected and to start helping you meet the requirements. You should also discuss work you have already started or possibly completed.
At the first meeting, you and your merit badge counselor will review and may start working on the requirements. In some cases, you may share the work you have already started or completed.
Unless otherwise specified, work on a requirement can be started at any time. Ask your counselor to help you learn the things you need to know or do. You should read the merit badge pamphlet on the subject. Many troops, schools, and public libraries have them.
Show Your Stuff. When you are ready, call the counselor again to make an appointment. When you go, take along the things you have made to meet the requirements. If they are too big to move, take pictures or have an adult tell in writing what you have done. The counselor will test you on each requirement to make sure you know your stuff and have done or can do the things required.
Get the Badge. When the counselor is satisfied you have met each requirement, he or she will sign your application. Give the signed application to your unit leader so your merit badge emblem can be secured for you.
Merit badge requirements are revised as needed to reflect updated information and technology. Troop 11 has a list below for your access.
Requirements. You are expected to meet the requirements as they are stated—no more and no less. You must do exactly what is stated in the requirements. If it says “show or demonstrate,” that is what you must do. Just telling about it isn’t enough. The same thing holds true for such words as “make,” “list,” “in the field,” and “collect,” “identify,” and “label.”
The requirements listed below are the current and official requirements of the Boy Scouts of America. Occasionally, the requirements will not match those in the printed Scout Handbook, the annual Scouts BSA Requirements book, or some merit badge pamphlets because of the timing of their printing schedules.
If a new edition of a merit badge pamphlet is introduced with updated requirements after the Scouts BSA Requirements book has been released, a Scout who is starting the badge may choose to follow either set of requirements until the end of the year. At the start of the new year, Scouts who are beginning must use only the new requirements.
If a Scout has already started working on a merit badge when a new edition of the pamphlet is introduced, they may continue to use the same pamphlet and fulfill the requirements therein to earn the badge. They need not start over again with the new pamphlet and revised requirements.
There is no time limit for starting and completing a merit badge, but all work must be completed by the time a Scout turns 18.