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merit badges
Merit Badge Completion Dates

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It is summertime in Northern Star Council and the time of year a majority of merit badges are earned. Thousands of Scouts will earn thousands of merit badges and it's important to record the information correctly.

When can a Scout earn a merit badge? Once a Scout has joined a Boy Scout troop he is eligible to earn merit badges. There are no rank requirements involved in earning merit badges.

What's the process a Scout should follow to earn a merit badge? The Scout should present a merit badge card to his unit leader (or designee) indicating the merit badge he would like to earn and the counselor he will be contacting. In the case of summer camp, the merit badge cards are signed by the unit leader and presented to the camp merit badge counselors. Scouts should be encouraged to contact merit badge counselors outside their troop adults by using a merit badge counselor list obtained from the" council office.

What does a Scout do with a completed merit badge card? After the Scout has completed all the requirements for a,merit badge he turns in the merit badge card to his unit advance­ment chair to be recorded on the unit records and purchased. The Scout should retain his portion of the merit badge card for his records. This portion could be important if a merit badge is not recorded properly with the council.

What does a Scout do with a partially completed merit badge card? The Scout should retain the whole merit badge card. If the partial merit badge was started at summer camp, the Scout should contact a registered merit badge counselor for that badge near his home town to complete the requirements.

Does a partial merit badge card ever expire? Yes, at age 18. The Scout can continue to work on completing all the require­ments for the badge with a registered merit badge counselor.

What date is recorded by the troop/crew/team \ldvancement chair for completed merit badges? The date the merit badge counselor signs the card that the requirements are completed is the date to record with the council.

Why is it important to record the date the merit badge was completed? Required merit badges needed for Star and Life rank need to have correct dates recorded. If you are doing boards of review for these ranks at camp, make sure the merit badge completion date qualifies for the rank advancement board of review date.

Who keeps a record of completed merit badges? The merit badge counselor keeps one portion of the signed merit badge card. The unit advancement chair should keep one portion of the signed merit badge card and records the date earned on the troop records. The unit advancement chair submits the advancement report to the Scout Shop when the badges are purchased. It is recommended that every unit record the advancements using Internet Advancement on the council website. The Scout should retain one portion ofthe signed merit badge card for his records. (plastic baseball card holder pages work well for this!)

Make the most of your summer days by exploring 120+ merit badges the BSA has to offer and keep good records!
Just a reminder, "For the New Life Scout" information sheets are available at the local Scout Shops and on the council website. Help your Life Scouts continue their journey to Eagle with all the information they need.