Merit Badges are awards within an area of study that are earned by scouts by completing a list of periodically updated requirements. The purpose is to allow scouts to examine and learn about different subjects. Earning merit badges is a pivotal component of scouting and they are required for the Star, Life, and Eagle ranks. While some merit badges are Eagle-required, others are the scout’s choice, and they get to choose from a handful of over 130 merit badges.
The list of merit badges and requirements offered by BSA are available at https://www.scouting.org/programs/scouts-bsa/advancement-and-awards/merit-badges/.
The BSA publishes books for each merit badge. These are very helpful in completing the requirements for the badge. The Troop Library has many of the current Merit Badge books which can be borrowed through the Troop Librarian. Check this site for a list of the books available. Douglas County Libraries also have some merit badge books in their inventory which can be checked out. Additionally, merit badge books can be purchased through the Scout Shop.
Worksheets for individual merit badges are available at http://usscouts.org/mb/worksheets/list.asp. Scouts may use these worksheets while working towards a merit badge, but should be aware that these are not official BSA documents so some Merit Badge Counselors will not use or accept these worksheets.
MERIT BADGE OPPORTUNITIES
Troop Sponsored – Troop 873 tries to coordinate and schedule troop wide merit badge opportunities for our scouts several times a year. This are done either at troop meetings, campouts, or our own troop merit badge colleges.
Other Opportunities – There are also several opportunities to earn merit badges outside of the troop and are great options for scouts looking for a wider variety of classes.
Historically, most local councils’ hold annual Merit Badge Colleges which are 1 or 2 day sessions where a variety of different merit badges are offered. The troop strives to keep our scouts notified of such opportunities.
The Denver Area Council’s Colorado Adventure Point (CAP) is another great resource for merit badge opportunities. They hold regular classes and more information can be found at: https://coloradoadventurepoint.org/scouting-programs/
The Counterterrorism Education Learning Lab (CELL) in Denver has a partnership with BSA and offers clinics in conjunction with CAP where merit badges can be earned. For more information: https://www.thecell.org/events/bsa/
Other organizations throughout Denver will periodically offer specific merit badge classes. The troop keeps track of these various events to let our scouts know of these opportunities. Examples include:
- Wings Over the Rockies (Aviation MB)
- Colorado School of Mines (Geology and Mining MB’s)
- Rocky Mountain Train Show (Railroading MB)
- Dinosaur Ridge (Geology MB)