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Commented vesion 12/16/97. So You Want To Be A Merit Badge Counselor? – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: EMC PowerPath


So You Want To Be A Merit Badge Counselor?


  • Know the purpose of the Merit Badge program
  • Who can be and know your role as a Merit Badge
  • Know the importance of the buddy system
  • Know the Merit Badge process
  • Know the Merit Badge Paperwork Requirements
  • Registering as a Merit Badge Counselor
  • Common Questions and Answers
  • References

Merit Badges Are Courses of Instruction for a
Particular Subject
  • Over 100 merit badges are offered, ranging from
    American Business to Woodwork.
  • Each merit badge has specific, detailed
    requirements for completion.
  • Scouts must earn a specified number of merit
    badges to earn the ranks of Star, Life, Eagle,
    and Eagle Palms.

Merit Badges Are Courses of Instruction for a
Particular Subject (Cont)
21 merit badges are required for the rank of
Eagle Scout, 12 of which are specifically
  • 1. Camping
  • 2. Citizenship in the Community
  • 3. Citizenship in the Nation
  • 4. Citizenship in the World
  • 5. Communications
  • 6. Family Life
  • 7. First Aid
  • 8. Emergency Preparedness OR Lifesaving
  • 9. Environmental Science
  • 10. Personal Fitness
  • 11. Personal Management
  • 12. Swimming OR Hiking OR Cycling

What Do The Badges Look Like? How Do I Tell Them
Eagle-required merit badges have a silver border
Electives have a green border
2010 Anniversary Electives have a tan border

Why The Merit Badge System?
  • Encourages self-confidence
  • Develops Scouts
  • Self-discipline and adherence to schedules and
  • Physical and mental skills
  • Personal and life-skills
  • Citizenship
  • Necessary for Advancement within Scouting Program
  • Demonstrates to the Scout options as to
  • Vocational and career paths
  • Develops hobbies which may be carried on through
    to adulthood

Who Can Be a Merit Badge Counselor?
  • Men or women of good character
  • Pass a background check
  • Trained and complete paperwork
  • Age 18 or older
  • Have the skills and/or education in the subjects
    they wish to teach, wither by training, vocation
    (job) or avocation (hobby)
  • Able to work with Scout-age boys
  • Does NOT have to be a registered BSA leader (as
    with a troop or crew)


The Roles of a Counselor
  • Counselor
  • Meets with the Scout and his buddy
  • Helps the Scout set short- and long-term goals
  • Follows-up with the Scout on his progress
  • Helps the Scout evaluate his work
  • Encourages the Scout to ask for help
  • Coach
  • Teaches the Scout the skills required
  • Gives the Scout an opportunity to practice the
  • Takes a genuine interest in the projects and
    encourages completion

The Roles of a Counselor (Cont)
  • Examiner
  • Uses most current requirements for the merit
    badge and follows these fairly and uniformly
  • Current Boy Scout Requirements book is the source
    for most up-to-date MB requirements
  • Insists that the Scout does exactly what the
    requirements call for no more and no less
  • Representative of the District and Council
  • Follow BSA policies
  • Notifies Troop or District advancement chairman
    if he/she no longer wants to be MB counselor
  • Follow youth protection guidelines


Effective Counseling
  • Counseling Techniques
  • Set a relaxing and inviting atmosphere
  • Put the Scout at ease during the initial meeting
  • Remember that younger Scouts (especially) will
    normally feel intimidated
  • You are more than likely a stranger to the Scout
  • Ask open ended questions
  • How did you get interested in Coin Collecting?
  • What have you particularly enjoyed about
  • Show the Scout something related to the
    particular Merit Badge, i.e., a coin collection


Effective Counseling
  • Counseling Techniques
  • Set a relaxing and inviting atmosphere
  • Ask the Scout to do a simple skill related to the


The Buddy System
  • Must be strictly adhered to!!!
  • Buddy can be
  • Fellow Scout
  • Parent or Guardian
  • Brother or Sister
  • Relative or Friend

The Merit Badge Process
  • How The Process Begins
  • Scout obtains name of appropriate Merit Badge
    counselor (available from Troop Advancement
  • Scout obtains a copy of the Merit Badge Pamphlet
    and starts reading the book
  • Scout calls counselor to set up initial meeting
  • Scout (AND BUDDY) meet counselor who coaches
    Scout as to requirements


The Merit Badge Process (Cont)
  • The Initial Meeting
  • Counselor should evaluate the Scouts
  • Preparedness
  • Knowledge
  • Interest
  • Agreement reached on
  • Scouts understanding of requirements
  • Projects required
  • Short term and long term goals with completion
    dates discussed (realistic goals must be
  • Dates and times for future sessions


The Merit Badge Process (Cont)
  • In line with the schedule
  • Meetings as required are convened with the Scout
    and his buddy
  • Skills transfer is continual
  • Practice on skills


The Merit Badge Process (Cont)
  • Skills testing
  • Meetings as required are attended with the Scout
    and his buddy
  • The buddy must be present during any testing
    however the Scout is tested on INDIVIDUAL ability


The Merit Badge Process (Cont)
  • Skills testing (Cont) The Scout completes the
    requirements exactly as stated no more and no
  • Wording of requirements is precise
  • If it says show or demonstrate, that is what
    you must do. Just telling about it isnt enough.
    The same thing holds true for such words as
    make, list, in the field, and collect,
    identify, and label.
  • Scout may be encouraged to do more but they are
    not required to exceed the requirements


The Merit Badge Process (Cont)
  • Skills testing (Cont)
  • As a requirement is completed, the counselor
    initials and dates requirement on the back panel
    of the Blue Card
  • When all requirements are completed, Blue Card is
    signed by the counselor
  • Counselor keeps his/her portion of the Blue Card
  • Returns rest of the Blue Card to the Scout
  • Scout keeps Applicants portion of Blue Card
  • Scout gives front panel (Application for Merit
    Badge) to his Troop Advancement Adult

Application for Merit Badge (Blue Card)

The Merit Badge Process (Cont)
  • The importance of the BLUE CARD
  • An official completion record recognized by BSA
    National and Council PRIOR to recording and
    presentation of the Merit badge card.
  • The FINAL arbiter of dispute if all other records
    are missing including loss of the merit badge
  • Should be retained by the scout along with
    presented merit badge card for history purposes.
  • Counselors should keep their copy in a safe
    place, should a boy lose his blue card or merit
    badge card and need proof of completion.

Partial Merit Badge Completion
  • Only two documents can serve as proof of partial
  • Blue Card
  • A partial completion sheet issued by Boy Scout
    summer camp or other District or Council training
    event such as Green Bar or Merit Badge University
  • Documented in TroopMaster
  • A Scout CANNOT be re-tested on items proven as
    complete in the approved documentation

Partial Merit Badge Completion (cont)
  • There is NO time limit for completion of a Merit
    Badge other than a Scouts 18th birthday
  • New requirements (if the particular MB program
    has changed) must be met by the Scout
  • Retired Merit Badges are no longer attainable as
    of the day the Merit Badge is retired


Becoming a Merit Badge Counselor
  • Complete Following
  • Complete Youth Protection Training on
    Scouting.org website turn in Certificate
  • Fill out Adult application for Scouting
  • Shows interest in Scouting
  • Allows BSA to complete a background check
  • No dues required
  • Renewal yearly
  • Fill out a Merit Badge Counselor Application
  • Shows subject matter proficiency
  • Familiarize yourself with Scouting regulations
    (See references at end of briefing)


Becoming a Merit Badge Counselor (continued)
  • Familiarize yourself intimately with the
    requirements of the Merit Badge
  • It is your responsibility to remain abreast of
    requirements changes of your Merit Badge
  • A Scout CANNOT be penalized if outdated
    requirements and/or materials are used by you!!!
  • Either a Troop Counselor or if interested,
    District Counselor
  • If District may get calls from a Scout anywhere

Group Instruction Policy
"To the fullest extent possible, the merit badge
counseling relationship is a counselor-Scout
arrangement in which the boy is not only judged
on his performance of the requirements, but
receives maximum benefit from the knowledge,
skill, character, and personal interest of this
counselor. Group instruction and orientation are
encouraged where special facilities and expert
personnel make this most practical, or when
Scouts are dependent on only a few counselors for
assistance. However, this group experience should
be followed by attention to each individual
candidate's projects and his ability to fulfill
all requirements emphasis added. In harmony
with this policy, a troop or team may use merit
badge counselors in unit meetings
Common Questions and Answers
Why does it matter that merit badge counselors be
registered separately?
  • Because its BSA policy.
  • Because BSA requires a background check of all
    adults who participate in Scouting.
  • Because merit badge counselor is a completely
    separate position from a unit or district
    position you might already hold.
  • Because official merit badge counselor records
    are maintained by the district and council not
    the unit.
  • Because the district and council must approve
    merit badge counselors.
  • Because a Scout is Trustworthy. Someone from
    your unit attests to the following statement on
    the Advancement Report every time advancement
    badges are bought at the Scout Shop
  • To Council Advancement Committee
  • I certify that the following record of
    advancement is correct and that it meets the
    standards and requirements of the Boy Scouts of
    America, and that merit badge counselors are
    registered adult members of the BSA emphasis

Even if I only want to work with Scouts in my
troop, do I still have to register as a merit
badge counselor?
  • Yes.

Is there a limit to the number of merit badges a
person can register to counsel?
  • No. The only limit is by qualification
    counselors must be qualified by training,
    vocation (job) or avocation (hobby).
  • It is important that applicants provide a short
    summary of why they believe they are qualified,
    so that the district/council advancement
    committees (which reviews and approves merit
    badge counselors) has enough information on which
    to judge an applicants merits.

Does a Scout need to be a certain rank before he
can begin working on merit badges?
  • No. For most merit badges, a Scout can work on
    any one at any time, subject to approval by his
  • Note that there are some exceptions.
  • For example, earning the First Aid merit badge is
    requirement 1 for the Emergency Preparedness
    merit badge.

Is there a time limit, from start to finish, for
completing a merit badge?
  • The only time limit is the Scouts 18th
  • There is no BSA policy that stipulates that a
    Scout must complete all requirements for a merit
    badge within a stipulated time period (e.g.,
    within 6 months) or he must start over again.
  • The only exception relates to disabled Scouts
    with prior approval, via the procedures outlined
    in BSAs Advancement Policies and Procedures

Can Scouts work on more than one merit badge at a
  • Yes. There is no limitation on how many merit
    badges a Scout can work on at any given time,
    subject to following the proper process.

Can Scouts work with me as their counselor for a
lot of their merit badges?
  • Yes. There is no limit on the number of merit
    badges a youth may earn from one counselor.

Can a knowledgeable Scout be a merit badge
  • No. The minimum age for a merit badge counselor
    is 18.
  • A Scout may assist in merit badge sessions, but a
    registered adult counselor must supervise these

Can a person be a merit badge counselor for
his/her son?
  • Yes. An approved merit badge counselor may
    counsel any youth member, including his or her
    own son, ward, or relative.
  • Since one of the benefits of the merit badge
    program is association with adults with whom the
    Scout might not be acquainted, many troops
    routinely assign a merit badge counselor other
    than a parent.
  • However, an excellent way to involve parents (as
    merit badge counselors) and their sons is for the
    parent to teach a group session where his or her
    son is involved with other Scouts.
  • Troop 321 Policy
  • Highly discouraged gives a perception of pushing
    Scout along and may not be as though a job.
  • May work with son, but other MB Counselor reviews
    work/signs card

How do I handle partials that were completed with
another counselor?
  • If the previous counselor signed off the Scout,
    this indicates that the requirement was done to
    his/ her satisfaction.
  • Therefore, the Scout does not re-do the

Thanks for Making a Difference in the Life of a

Course References
  • Boy Scout Requirements 2010 BSA Publication No.
  • Advancement Policies and Procedures Committee
    Guide (33088C).
  • Pamphlet, Merit Badge Counseling
  • Application for Merit Badge (Blue Card)
  • Boy Scout Handbook, 2010 Edition


Course References
  • National Website
  • http//www.bsa.scouting.org/
  • Scouting Forms
  • http//usscouts.org/
  • Plenty of helpful links here
  • http//www.pacsky.org/scouting/forms/f.html
  • General site
  • http//inet1.com/bsa/index.htm


Course References
  • Gulf Coast Council Website (links to District
  • http//www.gulfcoastcouncil.org/
  • Guide to Safe Scouting
  • http//bsa.scouting.org/scoutsource/HealthandSafet
  • http//bsa.scouting.org/Training/YouthProtection.a
  • Merit Badge Requirements
  • http//www.meritbadge.com/home.htm

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