There are about 135 merit badges, and you can start earning them as soon as you join the troop. For the Eagle rank you need a minimum of 21 merit badges, 13 of which are required.
For each merit badge there is a booklet containing the requirements for the merit badge and the information you need to learn. The troop has a library of merit badge booklets you can borrow by checking them out from the troop librarian. The booklets are also available for purchase (about $5 each) from the scout shops, the Troop library or online. Each merit badge also has a worksheet that merit badge counselors often require you to fill out, and these can be printed from usscouts.org or meritbadge.org.
There are three different ways you can earn merit badges:
1. Attend a troop-sponsored merit badge class. Some classes are held during troop meetings, others meet elsewhere. The schedule for these classes varies depending on the needs of the scouts in the troop and the availability of merit badge counselors. Watch for announcements of these classes.
2. Attend merit badge classes elsewhere. Camp Trask above Monrovia has several merit badge weekends during the school year, and has evening classes M-F during the summer. Arcadia Wilderness Park offers merit badge classes Saturday mornings year-round. Some troops ( in Orange County primarily) host weekend merit badge days. These non-troop-sponsored merit badge classes generally charge a fee, typically around $50 per merit badge.
3. Do the requirements on your own under the guidance of a council-registered merit badge counselor. The troop maintains a list of merit badge counselors for you to contact.
To earn a merit badge, first get a “blue card” from the scoutmaster. Fill it out in three places with the name of the merit badge and your name and troop. The merit badge counselor will sign the card after you have completed all the requirements. The counselor will keep one part of the blue card and you give the other two parts to the scoutmaster. He will keep one part and return the third part for you to keep. At the troop’s next court of honor you will receive the merit badge for your sash.
PARENTS: Consider becoming a merit badge counselor. Your special talents can help our scouts earn merit badges. See the Adult Leadership tab of this website.