Merit Badge Day

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Boy Scout 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 Clinic ⇿ Merit Badge College ⇿ Merit Badge Conference
⇿ Merit Badge Camp ⇿ Merit Badge Festival ⇿ Merit Badge Jamboree ⇿ Merit Badge Midway
⇿ 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 days are held once a year, often in the fall, winter, or spring.

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.



A merit badge day let's Scouts learn about sports, crafts, science, trades, business, and future careers. A merit badge day 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, 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, veterinaries, doctors, lawyers, financial planners, engineers, chemists, artists, astronomers, scientists, firemen, policemen, and other experts.

Many merit badge events also offer training in the skills needed through the First Class Rank as well as adult and youth leader training. Regardless of the setting or content, 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 day either as preparation or in completing the work with a merit badge counselor back home. A merit badge day might include four 2-hour sessions. Depending on the content, one merit badge might require one, two or all four sessions.

Boy Scout Requirements

Most merit badge events follow the Boy Scout Requirements and Advancement Policies.

The official source for the information shown in this article or section is:
Boy Scout Requirements, 2014 Edition (BSA Supply SKU #637685)

  • "Any Boy Scout may earn any merit badge at any time. You don't need to have had rank advancement to be eligible."
  • "Unless otherwise specified, work for a requirement can be started at any time."
  • "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. 22 - 23.

Advancement Policies

Main article: Advancement Policies

The official source for the information shown in this article or section is:
Guide To Advancement, 2011 Edition (BSA Supply SKU #637685)

Group Instruction

…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.

In the end, the Scout must be reviewed individually by the counselor to ensure completion of the badges requirements.

Advancement Policies #33088, p. 26)


Persons serving as merit badge counselors must be registered as a merit badge counselor with the Boy Scouts of America. 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.

Register merit badge counselors by using the adult leader application. All merit badge counselors must be approved by the council advancement committee. Merit badge counselors are not required to pay a fee if they are only registered as merit badge counselors.

There is no restriction or limit on the number of merit badges an individual may be approved to counsel for, but they must be approved by the committee for each specific merit badge.

All merit badge counselors must be trained in the aims of Scouting and in advancement procedures.

Advancement Policies #33088, p. 13)

Merit Badges Offered

A merit badge day may focus on a single merit badge or offer a variety of fields to explore that might not normally be available.

Merit Badges offered might include:

Art Aviation Chemistry Citizenship in the Nation
Citizenship in the World Communications Computers 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 Worksheets

Merit Badge Worksheets 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. Worksheets require the Scout to be an active listener not just hearing words but understanding concepts.

Cub Scout Belt Loop Days

There are also many Cub Scout events that are sometimes called Loopapaloza's or Cub-O-Ree's that include games and fun that often naturally cover 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.

In two morning and two afternoon sessions, Cub Scouts may earn up to four Belt Loops. Cub Scout Worksheets are also available for all belt loops and pins.

Here are some Cub Scout Events:

Webelos Days

Similarly, a Webelos Day or Webelos Workshop may be scheduled to 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.

Scouting Magazine Articles

Scouting Magazine has featured numerous merit badge events in its articles for adult leaders:

  • 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 in a special advancement program.
  • 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 troop's annual 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, the national service fraternity, hosts a day on the University of Texas campus in Austin for Boy Scouts and Venturers to 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 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 a first mega-camporee dedicated to learning about law enforcement.
  • News Briefs - Georgia Merit Badge University Looks to Repeat Success
  • Rendezvous at Ripley - Five Scout councils team with a National Guard facility to host 9,000 campers at a mega camporee filled with history themes, 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 personally experience the impact of different physical handicaps and also 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.


All Merit Badge Counselors must be
Each Scout is individually reviewed
  • "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. 22 - 23.

Many merit badge events publicly state that they follow the Boy Scout Requirements or Advancement Policies. They require that all Merit Badge Counselors be specifically registered as merit badge counselors as the BSA requires. and have been approved to work with Scout-age boys for these specific merit badges. New merit badge counselors are required to submit to a background check before meeting with a Scout.

registered For instance the BSA states that:

In the end, the Scout must be reviewed individually by the counselor to ensure completion of the badges requirements.
Advancement Policies #33088, p. 26)

Some merit badge events instead state that it is the merit badge counselor, not the Scout, who is to demonstrate the skills and knowledge. The merit badge counselor is tested, not the Scouts. was in the room at the same time the merit badge counselor demonstrated the skills and knowledge, the Scout has mastered the skill as well by watching the counselor.

See also

Boy Scout portal
Varsity Scout portal
Venturing portal
General Merit Badge information

External Links

Merit Badge Events With Stated Policies that Follow BSA 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."
"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."

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