Merit Badge College FAQ / Tips
Troop 88 Scouts and Parents…
A couple of notes to think about when considering attending a Merit Badge College:
* These Merit Badge Colleges can be an excellent opportunity to gain fairly easy access to a number of merit badge counselors, all located in the same place, on the same date. As you consider registering for one (or more) of these, please keep in mind the following “tips” (some of these several of you have already learned):
1. Once you decide to attend, sign up EARLY…many of the more popular merit badges (such as EAGLE required merit badges) fill up pretty quickly.
2. Before you sign up for specific merit badges, take a look at the prerequisites. If you want to COMPLETE the merit badge that day, you HAVE to go to each class with the prerequisites completed. Each Merit Badge College usually has a link that highlights which requirements need to be done BEFORE (or outside) of the merit badge class. Usually, the shorter the class (such as those Colleges which have more than one merit badge period in the AM or PM), the MORE prerequisites there are. Also look closely at the class schedule that’s posted on-line…some merit badges are held for more than one period. From experience, the better Colleges have one merit badge period in the morning, one in the afternoon. With a class of 15-20 Scout (usually), classes that last less than 2 hours, unless there is more than one counselor present, don’t have a lot of “substance” to them.
There is only enough time to go over a couple “group” requirements, and the rest of the time is often spent with the counselor reviewing everyone’s prerequisites.
3. Once you sign up for the merit badge(s) you want to work on, go to the meritbadge.org website, and download the merit badge worksheet(s) for the particular merit badge you are working on, and get a copy of the merit badge pamphlet. Our troop library may have a copy you can sign out. These
days, you can find most of the information you need to complete the prerequisite requirements on-line, but the MERIT BADGE PAMPHLET is still your single best source of information. Make sure you cross-check the requirements listed on the front your worksheet with those listed in the pamphlet…some of our merit badge pamphlets are a little “dated”, and may not reflect any changes to the requirements. The merit badge worksheets are usually kept up-to-date, so they (almost always) reflect the most current requirements. The Boy Scout REQUIREMENTS 2009 also has the most current requirements for merit badges (and rank advancement), and is a GREAT resource for anyone actively working on merit badges (and rank advancement).
4. Do your “homework” early. Don’t wait until the night before to start on your prerequisites. Some requirements simply can’t be done at the last minute. Each of you have a lot of “competition” for your time…with school (and homework that goes with that), fall sports, family & church activities, not to mention the MANY Troop 88 activities that are planned. As you are reviewing the pamphlet, consider making some notes on your worksheet for as many of the requirements as you can, even if they are not prerequisites. Doing that will help you participate in class discussions, and help ensure you get the MOST out of your time in each class.
5. Please see me at a Scout meeting, call me at home at night, or send me an email, if you have any questions, or I can help you in your preparation. Let me know how it went….many of these Colleges appreciate feedback from the participants…what went well….and what can be improved for the next college.
6. Have fun!!!
Yours in Scouting,
Troop 88 Merit Badge Coordinator