Merit Badge Day

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Scouts BSA Advancement policies cover Merit Badges, Summer Camp,
Scout Spirit, Active, Special Needs, Eagle Projects, Scoutmaster Conferences,
Boards of Review, Appeals, Courts of Honor, Time Extensions, and more.

A Merit Badge Day may also be known as a:

⇿ Merit Badge Academy ⇿ Merit Badge Challenge ⇿ Merit Badge Clinic ⇿ Merit Badge College ⇿ Merit Badge Conference
⇿ Merit Badge Camp ⇿ Merit Badge Festival ⇿ Merit Badge Jamboree ⇿ Merit Badge Midway ⇿ Merit Badge Pow Wow
⇿ Merit Badge Seminar ⇿ Merit Badge University ⇿ Merit Badge Weekend ⇿ Merit Badge Workshop

Merit badge days are often hosted by local councils, districts, troops, civic groups, fraternities, or chartered organizations and held at a college campus, high school, civic area or during a camporee. Many merit badge events are held once a year as an indoor, outdoor, or combination event.

The largest merit badge event is the National Jamboree Merit Badge Midway, established at Fort A.P. Hill. Since 1981, this program has been held at each jamboree and is expected to feature hundreds of counselors offering nearly 100 merit badges to thousands of Boy Scouts at the 2010 National Scout Jamboree.

Since 1960, the Utah National Parks Council has sponsored a merit badge event called a Pow Wow. In 1970, the event began partnering officially with Brigham Young University. In 2009, over 4,300 scouts participated in earning merit badges at the event. In 2010, 32 different merit badges will be offered at this Pow Wow.



A merit badge event lets Scouts learn about sports, crafts, science, trades, business, and future careers. An event may focus on a single merit badge or a variety of fields that might not normally be available. Observatories, planetariums, parks, museums, ships, colleges, universities, as well as police and fire departments may offer special events available only to Scouts and only one day each year. Scouts might learn first-hand from dentists, veterinarians, doctors, lawyers, financial planners, engineers, chemists, artists, astronomers, scientists, firemen, policemen, and other experts.

Merit badge events may also offer training in Scout Skills through First Class with a schedule similar to an Advancement Campout. Adult training, and youth leader training are often offered as well. Regardless of the setting or topics, the goal is to have fun as you learn new skills and gain knowledge.

Often certain requirements must be completed outside of the merit badge event either as preparation or with a merit badge counselor at a later date. A merit badge event may focus on a single merit badge or offer a variety of topics such as:

Art Aviation Chemistry Citizenship in the Nation
Citizenship in the World Communication Digital Technology Crime Prevention
Dentistry Electricity Electronics Engineering
Emergency Preparedness Energy Fingerprinting Fire Safety
Leatherwork First Aid Indian Lore Medicine
Nuclear Science Personal Management Photography Plumbing
Public Speaking Radio Railroading Safety
Salesmanship Space Exploration Surveying Traffic Safety
Truck Transportation Veterinary Medicine Weather Wood Carving

Merit Badge Requirements and Policies

A one-page Merit Badge FAQ Adobe Acrobat PDF is available that summarizes the key policies that govern merit badge events.
Main:Merit Badge Policies
All Merit Badge Counselors must be
  • Qualified: "They must be men and women of good character, age 18 or older, and recognized as having the skills and education in the subjects for which they are to serve as merit badge counselors, as well as the ability to work with Scout-age boys. - Advancement Policies #33088, p. 13
  • Registered: "as a merit badge counselor" - Advancement Policies #33088, p. 13
  • Approved: "for each specific merit badge." - Advancement Policies #33088, p. 13
  • Trained: "in the aims of Scouting and in advancement procedures." - Advancement Policies #33088, p. 13
Each Scout is individually tested
  • "In the end, the Scout must be reviewed individually by the counselor to ensure completion of the badges requirements." - Advancement Policies #33088, p. 26
  • "You are expected to meet the requirements as they are stated -- no more and no less. You are expected to do exactly what is stated in the requirements." - Boy Scout Requirements p.23
  • "The Scout’s merit badge counselor teaches and tests on the requirements for merit badges. Advancement Policies #33088, p. 24

Each Scout demonstrates the skills and knowledge for each requirement. Many merit badge events use Merit Badge Worksheets to allow Merit Badge Counselors to offer group instruction but still test each Scout individually. The counselor can see who is understanding and who will need more time. Optional worksheets require the Scout to be an active listener, not just hearing words, but showing understanding of concepts.


Many merit badge events follow the Boy Scout Requirements and Advancement Policies. But some merit badge events instead state that it is the merit badge counselor, not the Scout, who is to demonstrate the skills and knowledge. They test the merit badge counselor, not the Scouts.

One event states that: "Counselors will do their best to complete requirements not listed as prerequisites."

Instead of each Scout being tested individually, at the $75 SeaWorld Boy Scout sleepover, every participant gets pizza, a t-shirt, and completes a merit badge: "Scouts who participate will receive certificate of completion for the Mammal Study merit badge , a complimentary t-shirt, pizza dinner and continental breakfast."

Cub Scout & Webelos Events

Similar Cub Scout events, sometimes called Loopapaloza's or Cub-O-Ree's, may include games and fun that often naturally lead into belt loops. These may be offered at the same time as a merit badge event or as a separate event. These events may focus on Cub Scout Academics belt loops such as Heritages, Language and Culture, Map and Compass, Science, and Weather. They might also cover Cub Scout Sports belt loops such as Badminton, Flag Football, Softball, Ultimate, and Volleyball. These events often use the Cub Scout Worksheets.

A Webelos Day or Webelos Workshop may also coincide with other events or as a separate event. For indoor settings, Webelos might work on Readyman, Citizen, Scientist, Craftsman, or Engineer. In outdoor settings, Webelos Days might include Outdoorsman, Aquanaut, Naturalist, Forester, or Geologist. Webelos Worksheets for all 20 Activity Badges. Webelos Worksheets can also help.

See also

Scouts BSA portal
Venturing portal
Sea Scout portal
General Merit Badge information

Scouting Magazine Articles

Scouting Magazine has featured numerous merit badge events:

  • Astronomy for Scout Groups - Observing the stars and planets makes a great group activity.
  • Merit Badges and Five Arrows- South Florida Council's annual college, 900 Scouts earn all or part of more than 2,800 merit badges, while another 400 Scouts work toward First Class.
  • Days of Discovery - Missouri merit badge college
  • Troop 73's 2,500-Mile Learning Adventure - Scout Spirit Days& - a special Walt Disney World program for earning merit badges.
  • High-Tech Badges and High-Ideal Lives - The annual merit badge weekend at the U.S. Naval Academy lets Scouts and midshipmen share good times and common values.
  • Partnerships for Learning - Merit badge clinics and Webelos Scout workshops presented at the St. Louis Science Center.
  • Tools of the Trade - A Wisconsin Home Improvement Camporee gives Scouts hands-on experience in the building trades while they perform a service project.
  • Great Times at Merit Badge U - Alpha Phi Omega hosts a day on the University of Texas campus in Austin for work on merit badges and other outdoor skills.
  • What a Blast! - Hands-on experience, quality instructors, great facilities, and fun have made this Utah merit badge event a soaring success for 48 years.
  • Trek Into History - The Henry Ford Museum serves as the ideal vehicle for a weekend of learning and fun for Detroit-area Scouts.
  • A Garden State First - New Jersey State Police team with five local Scout councils to host 6,100 campers for mega-camporee dedicated to learning about law enforcement.
  • News Briefs - Georgia Merit Badge University Looks to Repeat Success
  • Rendezvous at Ripley - Five councils team with a National Guard facility to host 9,000 campers at a mega camporee filled with history, action centers, and merit badge workshops.
  • A Boost Toward Eagle - A council's special camp helps older Scouts move up the Trail to Eagle by offering instruction in required merit badges - plus a healthy dose of high adventure.
  • Seeing Beyond Disabilities - A special camporee lets Scouts see the impact of different handicaps and realize that such limitations need not keep a person from living a full life.
  • To God and Country - Georgia and Alabama Scouts convene at a site rich in historical significance for a weekend focusing on issues of citizenship and the importance of spirituality in their lives plus American Cultures and American Heritage merit badges.

External Links

Merit Badge Events With Stated Policies of Testing Each Scout
"The Scout needs to have read the merit badge pamphlet BEFORE the session and be prepared for each of the requirements."
"The purpose of the Boy Scout Merit Badge sessions is to test the Scout to determine if the requirements are fulfilled."
"You must also be able to demonstrate the necessary knowledge for ALL of the requirements."
"Only Scouts who complete all Merit Badge requirements individually and completely with the degree of proficiency required by the instructor will have their Merit Badge card signed upon completion."
"Scouts are strongly encouraged to read the Merit Badge Pamphlet and finish any pre-requisites before attending Merit Badge Day..."
"Class work will be followed by individual Scout’s projects and his ability to fulfill all requirements."
"Have the Scouts study the merit badge pamphlets prior to attending the University."
"Note: remember attendance in class does not mean a Scout will complete the Merit Badge."
"Scouts that do not complete all of the requirements for a particular merit badge at the Eagle Quest will need to complete the badge with a registered merit badge counselor approved for that particular badge back in their unit."
"Each instructor will issue assignments to be completed by the Scout between session."
"Scouts should review their merit badge book thoroughly prior to attending the class."
"Scouts should research and prepare all required reports prior to attending the class. "
"For this reason, it is very important that you complete any requirements for your chosen merit badge listed in this brochure prior to your arrival. "
"Be certain the Scouts of your unit understand their obligation to fulfill the latest requirements and are in possession of the latest edition of merit badge books."
"Study carefully the merit badge pamphlet (s) prior to coming to Merit Badge Mania."
"The Scout must have completed all at-home requirements for this badge, and must be prepared to demonstrate any necessary skills or show any required materials to the Merit Badge Counselor."
"For Boy Scouts, we offer badge work opportunities…all of which are led by our certified Merit Badge Counselors."
"Each of the programs below was developed to meet the needs of the respective badges, and staff at the Foundation are certified merit badge counselors. Some merit badges require more than one visit to the Foundation or extra activities to be done by the individual scout."
"As outlined in the Climbing Merit Badge Requirements booklet, all skills must be satisfactorily completed before obtaining the badge. "
"Inability to answer questions or show proficiency of skills will result in non-receipt of the Merit Badge. In such a case there will be no refund of any fees. Scouts who do not receive the badge on their first attempt can return within 4 months for a fee of $10.00."
"To earn your merit badge, you will have to answer the questions posed in this booklet. Members of Alpha Chi Sigma, the professional chemistry fraternity, will aid you by leading discussions of the topics, answering questions, performing demonstrations, and helping you to do experiments."
"The scout’s knowledge and ability will be tested to BSA standards. Each scout will be interviewed by a counselor. Only the requirements met will be signed off."
"Merit Badge College is not a program that guarantees advancement. But, rather, it is an opportunity for Scouts to meet with qualified counselors, to help them earn the merit badges they need for advancement."
"Be certain the Scouts of your unit understand their obligation to fulfill the latest requirements and are in possession of the latest edition of merit badge books. "
"The MBC is a very resource intensive program and requires that we have at least one volunteer/instructor per 4 boys for each registered unit."

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