All Scouts should adhere to the buddy system throughout the camp. Scouting’s buddy system calls for Scouts to pair up with a friend or two for all activities. This helps ensure safety and accountability and teaches Scouts to have responsibility for others. No Scout should ever be found wandering through camp alone. It can be difficult to implement the buddy system when a Scout does not schedule classes with fellow members of their troop. Troop leaders are encouraged to pair Scouts in classes as much as possible. If this is not feasible, the Scout should walk with other Scouts in the class to the location of the merit badge class. Due to the number of Scouts and the short amount of time between classes, this should be a relatively simple exercise.
Prerequisites, Requirements Not Covered and Partials
Attending a merit badge class does not guarantee that a Scout will complete the merit badge, but it is an opportunity for Scouts to meet with qualified counselors, to help them work on the requirements needed to complete a merit badge. The merit badge fair should not be considered another school where the pupils sit and stare for hours on end. Scouts should come prepared to participate. The counselor's job is to encourage self-discovery and then check that each Scout has the minimum knowledge and does the requirements. Scouts should be ready to take notes and come prepared with notetaking materials and writing utensils. Remember one goal of the merit badge advancement system is to develop individual growth and initiative.
Prerequisites: All Scouts are to read the merit badge book prior to the Merit Badge Fair. Merit Badge books can be purchased at an area Scout Shop. Scouts are to be prepared to answer the questions to each of the requirements before the merit badge fair; Scouts are highly encouraged to print and complete the worksheets available at http://usscouts.org/usscouts/mb/worksheets/list.asp to help them prepare. Some merit badges require additional prerequisites to be must be completed before the merit badge fair.
Merit Badge Worksheets
Requirements not covered: Some of the requirements cannot be completed during the class. The Scout should bring documentation of requirements not covered. Scouts are encouraged to complete requirements not covered before the merit badge fair and bring proof of completion; otherwise, the Scout will receive a partial.
Partials: If the Scout does not complete the requirements not covered and bring documentation to the class, the Scout will receive a partial completion of the merit badge. The partial completion will be noted on the blue card, given to the Scout at the completion of the class. Scouts will need to complete the badge with a registered merit badge counselor approved for that particular badge back with their unit. Merit badge counselors are not usually available to serve as a counselor after merit badge fair ends unless arrangements are made. Find a list of merit badge counselors by logging into http://scoutbook.scouting.org with your my.scouting userID and password, click on My Dashboard, Administration, your unit and scroll down the page. Remember that a youth member must not meet one-on-one with an adult. Sessions with counselors must take place where others can view the interaction, or the Scout must have a buddy: a friend, parent, guardian, brother, sister, or other relatives—or better yet, another Scout working on the same badge.
An Application for Merit Badges (blue cards) is not required.
A few weeks after the event, all of the completed requirements will be posted directly into Scoutbook by the merit badge counselor. How to pull advancement reports.
How to Register or Update a Registration
Merit Badge Counselors
Merit badge counselors are needed to run the merit badge classes. Merit badge counselors must be registered with the council and have up-to-date Youth Protection Training. YPT can be taken at myScouting.org. It is our goal for the Scouts to be afforded opportunities to share resources from other troops with diverse occupations and skills. Participants will be expected to complete all the requirements as indicated by the Boy Scouts of America. Merit badge counselors should wear their Scout uniform if possible.
The merit badge counselor is a key player in the advancement program. Whatever your area of expertise or interest—whether it is a special craft or hobby (basketry, leatherwork, coin collecting), a profession (veterinary medicine, aviation, engineering), or perhaps a life skill (cooking, personal management, communications)—as a merit badge counselor, you can play a vital role in stirring a young man's curiosity about that particular topic. By serving as a merit badge counselor, you offer your time, knowledge, and other resources so that Scouts can explore a topic of interest. If you are interesting in volunteering as a merit badge counselor and event volunteer, please note that in the registration link and the event chair will contact you.
Notice! Please be advised that promotional videotaping/photography may be in progress at any time at an event. Your entrance constitutes your agreement that the council has the right to reproduce your likeness in videography/photography for promotion (e.g., publications, internet, newspaper).
The BSA's Commitment to Safety is ongoing and we want you to know that the safety of our youth, volunteers, staff, and employees cannot be compromised. The Boy Scouts of America puts the utmost importance on the safe and healthy environments for its youth membership. The Sam Houston Area Council takes great strides to ensure the safety of its youth as well as the adult volunteer leadership that interacts with them.
BSA Guide to Safe Scouting policies must be followed. All participants must follow Youth Protection Guidelines at all Scouting events. Highlights include:
- Two-deep leadership on all outings required.
- One-on-one contact between adults and youth members is prohibited.
- The buddy system should be used at all times.
- Discipline must be constructive.
Health and safety must be integrated into everything we do, to the point that no injuries are acceptable beyond those that are readily treatable by Scout-rendered first aid. As an aid in the continuing effort to protect participants in a Scout activity, the BSA National Health and Safety Committee and the Council Services Division of the BSA National Council have developed the SAFE Checklist of BSA safety procedures for physical activity. These 16 points, which embody good judgment and common sense, are applicable to all activities.
Youth Protection Guidelines Guide to Safe Scouting SAFE Checklist Enterprise Risk Management