There is SO much to learn! You can learn about sports, crafts, science, trades, business, and future careers as you earn merit badges. There are more than 130 merit badges. Any Boy Scout may earn a merit badge at any time. You don't need to have had rank advancement to be eligible. Here are the steps to earning merit badges:
- Pick a Subject.
- Use the Scout Buddy System.
- Call the Merit Badge Counselor.
- Unless otherwise specified, work for a requirement can be started at any time.
- Show Your Stuff.
- Get the Badge.
Requirements. You are expected to meet the requirements as they are stated—no more and no less. You must do exactly what is stated in the requirements. If it says "show or demonstrate," that is what you must do. Just telling about it isn't enough. The same thing holds true for such words as "make," "list," "in the field," and "collect," "identify," and "label."
The requirements listed on the BSA website
are the official requirements of the Boy Scouts of America. However, the requirements presented there might not match those in the Boy Scout Handbook and the merit badge pamphlets, because these publications are updated only when the Boy Scout Requirements book is updated.
If you have already started working on a merit badge when a new edition of the pamphlet is introduced, you may continue to use the same merit badge pamphlet and fulfill the requirements therein to earn the badge. You do not need to start all over again with the new pamphlet and revised requirements.