Summer Camp Merit Badge Program Outlines
NOTE: The Boy Scouts of America wrote this document to assist summer camp staffs. However, with a little adjustment, these outlines could easily be used at merit badge clinics and midways, camporees, and even in the troop program.
The summer camp merit badge program must be a quality experience for the Scouts who attend your camp. All too often, Scouts are not given the best possible program because of lack of planning on the part of the merit badge counselor.
Merit badge counseling in a summer camp setting is an opportunity for young men to really have a "hands-on" experience. Nine months out of the year these Scouts spend time in a classroom with a one-way conversation and learning experience. Merit badge activities should provide fun with a purpose and practical experience.
The program outlines included in this pamphlet are designed to assist merit badge counselors at summer camp with a daily outline of activities to support the respective merit badge. It is important that the merit badge counselors become familiar with the merit badge they will be working with at summer camp as soon as they are recruited. Staff training week is too late to prepare for merit badge counseling.
Troop leaders must be notified of any merit badges that cannot be completed during the time at camp. In many cases, a Scout can prepare for these merit badges before arriving at camp. Any Scout who does not complete all the requirements should receive credit for the requirements he did complete. This information should be given to the Scoutmaster.
All merit badge applications must be signed by the Scoutmaster before a Scout starts a merit badge. Those cards should be collected on the first day of your merit badge session. Merit badge counselors must be at least 18 years old to sign the merit badge application. All summer camp merit badge counselors should be approved by the council advancement committee.
How to Develop a Merit Badge Teaching/Learning Plan
The merit badge requirements in this booklet may have changed due to recent revisions. Check the Boy Scout Requirements book (current year), No. 33215, to be sure you are using the most current requirements. Amend the lesson plan accordingly.
Divide the requirements into daily segments. Start with those requirements in which direct instruction is needed. Introduce requirements that take more time to complete, and encourage Scouts to begin working on these. Coach them to develop a plan.
Next, move to those requirements best accomplished as a group. Scouts might be involved in a discussion related to the merit badge requirements. Include time for Scouts to work on shorter projects, and allow time to continue work on more lengthy, ongoing projects. Be sure to notify the Scoutmaster as early as possible if it appears unlikely that a Scout will master the merit badge.
Finally, wrap up with those requirements a Scout needs to do on his own. The Scout should demonstrate his knowledge and skill in achieving these requirements.
Generally the requirements should follow a pattern of teaching/learning, demonstrating, and letting Scouts to do the projects to complete the merit badge. Be sure that the Scout satisfies the requirements as stated without requiring more or allowing less.