Merit badges are a fun learning experience. You can learn about trades, business, science, crafts, sports and future careers as you take them. In total, there are over 100 merit badges to take. There are no rank requirements to take any merit badges, and you can take them at any time! Find a badge that might interest you, then ask your Scoutmaster about it and your Scoutmaster will help you find a counselor to help you get the merit badge. Your Scoutmaster will give you a signed Merit badge application. Meet or call the counselor and tell the counselor that you wish to take the merit badge. Your counselor might start helping you to get the requirements or explain what is expected of you to complete the Merit badge. Also ask your counselor about what you need to do and/or know. For most merit badges you have to fill out a sheet that asks questions about what you know about that merit badge so that you can get the badge.
The definitive source can be found by clicking here: Introduction and List of Merit Badges
Eagle required Merit Badges (needed to get Eagle rank):
- First Aid
- Citizenship in the Community
- Citizenship in the Nation
- Citizenship in the World
- Personal Fitness
- Emergency Preparedness OR Lifesaving
- Environmental Science
- Personal Management
- Swimming OR Hiking OR Cycling
- Family Life
Also, you have to get 21 merit badges in total, (can include these 12).
Merit Badge Books can be found at Scout Stores in CT or ordered online at: http://www.scoutstuff.org
There are also Merit Badges Workbooks/Worksheets which can be downloaded here:http://meritbadge.org/wiki/index.php/Merit_Badge_Worksheets
Summer camp is a great opportunity to earn merit badges. In your first year of summer camp scouts will take Swimming Merit Badge followed by a selection of some basic merit badges like Wood Carving, Basketry, and Leatherwork. 1st year scouts also take 1st Class Path. In your 2nd year and above you can complete between 4-6 merit badges if you budget your time wisely. Good choices are: First Aid, and 1-2 other Eagle Required and 1-2 that you like to do…especially water sports like canoeing, rowing, sailboat or rifle, shotgun. In 2011 Troop 274 will be heading back to JN Webster which offers the highest number of merit badges in the state.