Recommending Merit Badge Counselors

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Merit Badge Plan

A part of the advancement program of the Boy Scouts of America, the merit badge plan is one of the most unique educational tools ever devised.

What Is a Merit Badge?

A merit badge is an award that is presented to a Scout when he completes the requirements for one of the merit badge subjects. The badge is only a small piece of khaki cloth with a design embroidered in color -- but its significance is as large as the interest of the merit badge counselor who helps a boy earn it.

Millions of Scouts "browse" among the more than 100 subjects, choosing those that seem most interesting to them. Some subjects are in craft work, some in vocational fields; some in service to others; many in cultural or self-improvement areas.

It is in the career fields that adults can make a vital impact on the life of a Scout by helping him with merit badges. Badges such as American Business, Drafting, Engineering, Chemistry, and many others are the finest kind of orientation toward a possible career for the Scout.

Service clubs, unions, and professional societies often support the merit badge program through their vocational guidance committees. Members offer their services as counselors, and the group as a whole helps in recruiting and training the counselor staff for a district or council.

Merit badge counselors supplement the efforts of the schools by providing the means for Scouts to explore many subjects not available to them otherwise. The Scout who has earned a number of merit badges gains confidence, finds greater purpose in life, and becomes a better person from his experience.

How to Recommend Merit Badge Counselors

Your neighbors, friends, and business associates are good prospects for counselors in the merit badge plan of the Boy Scouts of America.

Glance at the merit badge subjects listed in this web site and try to identify people you know with skills in these areas. For example, if you know a person who is an electrical engineer or electrician, they are a prospective counselor for the Electricity merit badge. Print out the Merit Badge Recommendation Form and fill it out with their name and address and the merit badge subject under the name.

Be certain to print your name and address in the spaces below the list before returning the form to a representative of the advancement or program committees or the council service center.

All recommendations will be considered by the advancement or program committees when they recruit counselors.

Merit Badge Counselor

The counselor is the key to success in the merit badge plan. They offer their time, experience, and knowledge to guide Scouts in one or more of the merit badge subjects.

The counselor's job is to:

  • Assist the Scout as he plans the assigned projects and activities to meet the merit badge requirements.
  • Coach Scouts through interviews and demonstrations on how to do the required skills of his own craft, business, or hobby.
  • Certify the Scout after determining if he is qualified for the merit badge.

Merit badge counselors are listed by the Scouting organization, so that Scouts may call for appointments.

The number of Scouts requesting help is usually no burden to the to the counselor, since the number of counselors is normally determined by the popularity of the badge. The counselor makes appointments at his or her convenience.

How You Can Help

The council advancement committee or program committee has the job of recruiting merit badge counselors. You can help these committees and boys by recommending men and women who are qualified to be counselors. The committee will personally contact them to find out whether they will be willing to serve.

Who Will I Recommend?

Choosing people who are qualified in various subjects is important. But, perhaps more important is being absolutely certain that the people you recommend are suited for the job.

Your son, along with a buddy, could be spending several hours for counseling with the people you recommend. Knowing this, recommend only those about whom you feel comfortable. All leaders in Scouting must be good role models, with unquestionable character.

What to Do Now

When you have offered names and addresses of potential counselors on the Merit Badge Recommendation Form, print your name, address, and phone at the bottom so that you may be contacted for further information if it is needed.

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