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Boy Scout Troop 288
(La Crescenta, California)
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Merit Badges

Boy Scouts can work on merit badges as soon as he joins a troop, but no merit badges are required for advancement until he receives his First Class rank. Advancement to Star, Life, and Eagle all require completion of merit badges. There are more than 130 merit badges. 

Pick a Subject. Talk to your unit leader (Scoutmaster) about your interest in earning a merit badge. Read the requirements of the merit badges you think might interest you. Choose one to earn. Your unit leader will give you a signed merit badge application (the "blue card") and the name and contact information of a merit badge counselor. These individuals have special knowledge in their merit badge subjects and are interested in helping you.

Merit Badge Booklets: A variety of merit badge booklets are available for scouts to borrow, ask our Librarian at a Troop Meeting. 

Use the Scout Buddy System.
You must have another person with you at each meeting with the merit badge counselor. This person can be another Scout, your parents or guardian, a brother or sister or other relative, or a friend.

Call the Merit Badge Counselor. Get in touch with the merit badge counselor and tell them that you want to earn the merit badge. The counselor may ask to meet you to explain what is expected and to start helping you complete the requirements. You should also discuss work that you have already started or possibly completed.

Unless otherwise specified, work for 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 obtain and read the merit badge pamphlet on the subject.

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.

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."  If you have already started working on a merit badge when a new edition of the pamphlet is introduced, you may continue to use the same merit badge pamphlet and fulfill the requirements therein to earn the badge. You do not need to start all over again with the new pamphlet and revised requirements.

Get the Badge. When the counselor is satisfied that you have met each requirement, they will sign your application (the "blue card"). Give the signed application to your unit leader so that your merit badge emblem can be secured for you.

Merit Badges & Requirements.  Follow this link to the BSA website and "scroll down" to see all the Merit Badges and most current and official requirements.

Merit Badge Workbooks.  Follow this link to and "scroll down" to see all the Merit Badge Workbooks.  You can download and print them, the worksheets help Scouts document their work and help them prepare for discussions with their Merit Badge Counselor.

Eagle Requirement (Earn 21 merit badges)

Merit Badge Counselor

We encourage adults within Troop 288 to become merit badge counselors, the more we have ... the better we can support our Scouts.  Talk to Mr. Sparks (Scoutmaster) or Mr. Kilgore (Volunteer Chair) or Mrs. Turner (Adult Trainer) if you are interested.

Merit Badge Counselors are key player in the Boy Scout advancement program. Whatever your area of expertise or interest—whether it is a special craft or hobby (basketry, leatherwork, coin collecting), a profession (veterinary medicine, aviation, engineering), or perhaps a life skill (cooking, personal management, communications)—as a merit badge counselor, you can play a vital role in stirring a young man's curiosity about that particular topic. By serving as a merit badge counselor, you offer your time, knowledge, and other resources so that Scouts can explore a topic of interest.

Merit Badge Counselor Specific Training is available online at and it takes about 20 minutes, it covers all the basic aspects of what is expected of a Merit Badge Counselor, the rules and recommendations for working with Scouts and a list of helpful resources.  All current MB Counselors are encouraged to take this short training as a refresher.  Log on to the website and sign-in or create an account.  This account keeps a record of all your BSA training.  Go to the tab "Training" and scroll down to the Merit Badge Counselor box.

Youth Protection Training is required training for every leader, and it must be renewed every two years.  You can take this training online at and it takes about 20 minutes.

Guide for Merit Badge Counselors

BSA Merit Badge Program Information

Icon File Name Comment  
Merit Badge Counselor Application.pdf Merit Badge Counselor application  
Merit BAdge Counselor Guide.pdf Merit Badge Counselor Guide  
Merit Badge Counselor Orientation PowerPoint.ppt Merit Badge Counselor Orientation PowerPoint