Troop meetings are for group and team development and NOT generally for Merit Badge time. There is to be NO merit badge work during patrol meeting time, instructional time and patrol competitions. The only exception on Mondays is that a Scout can opt to work on Merit Badges during game time.
Scouts occasionally come forward to work on a Merit Badge without reading the whole Merit Badge book from cover to cover. This is not negotiable and it doesn’t matter where the Merit Badge was started or with whom. To complete Merit Badges, whether from summer camp or working “on your own”, please follow these simple rules:
- Read the book from cover to cover.
- Bring any completed paperwork to a meeting or Merit Badge Help Night (register with this link!) and coordinate an approved counselor from the Scoutmaster.
- Sit down with the counselor and explain, show or complete the requirements as detailed.
- It’s not a memory test – it is about comprehension and covering the material as stated.
If a scout knows the requirements from memory, then great. But if not, it is strongly suggested the scout to take notes about each requirement when reading the book. A very handy website that has a Word and PDF version “Merit Badge Worksheet” is the US Scouting Service Project. Print, take your notes, and bring it with you when meeting a Merit Badge Counselor!
One thing often asked is “Which events count as ‘tent camping nights’ for the camping Merit Badge? The chart below will help answer that:
|Troop tent-used campouts||Yes||each night|
|OA Ordeal||Yes||each night|
|Lock-In||No||not “under the stars”|
|USS Alabama||Yes||1 night|
|Ski Trips||No||not “under the stars”|
|Day Trips (Helen Tubing, Six Flags, etc.)||No||not “under the stars”|
|Summer Camp–Year 1||Yes||5-6 nights, depending on length of stay|
|Summer Camp–Subsequent years||No||N/A|
|NYLT, as participant||Yes||depending on length of stay|
|NYLT Staff||Yes||depending on length of stay|
|High Adventure (Philmont, Northern Tier, Sea Base)||Maybe||Only if no other long term used. Might be better to use than summer camp if more nights under stars, tent or hammock; but can only use as the one long term.|
|Other outings while a Boy Scout||Maybe||OA functions or other scouting events using tents or hammocks|