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  • Merit Badge Sign Off

    Question: Other than the Counselor for the merit badge, who else in the troop can sign off? I raised this question after our Scoutmaster made a blanketed statement, "It is the rule that the Scoutmaster has the ability to sign off any and every merit badge." I do not believe that this is true. I can't find reference to it anywhere! If this is true, can you cite the reference? Thanks.


  • #2
    According to the BSA Advancement Committee Policies and Procedures, the merit badge requirements can only be passed by an approved, registered, counselor. The Scoutmaster is incorrect.(This message has been edited by Bob White)


    • #3
      Ditto to what Bob White posted!
      And if you council keeps any type of records, this SM's attitude might prevent some Scouts from advancing.

      Ed Mori
      1 Peter 4:10


      • #4
        Sure he can..... provided he is a completed merit badge counselor training, is a counselor for every merit badge and the scout has successfully completed the requirements. Ok now I will be ducking from paper wads being thrown at me..ha ha


        • #5
          The answer to the question is that anyone can sign off on anything. However, only those authorized to do so may do so. The SM can sign off anything he wants, however, he may not do so if he want it to officially be valid.

          In most cases if the SM signs off on something no one will ever check to see if he was supposed to. There are, after all, many areas where the idea of a registered merit badge counselor is a foreign concept, yet Eagles are still produced. I can tell you for a fact that I have signed off on merit badge requirements, those badges were accepted by the troop and council, the Scouts learned what they were supposed to, the badges were taught at troop meetings, I have never registered as a merit badge counselor, and I have never been through any training to become a merit badge counselor. Now I certainly wasn't trying to cause any problems by doing this, in fact I thought it was perfectly normal and legitimate at the time. The scouts also thought the same. I would be willing to bet that in many areas there are multiple generations of Scouts in multiple troops that never did a single badge with a registered counselor. Also, I should note that records of who signed off what badge are not well kept and are rarely if ever reviewed. I know that while I was finishing my Eagle I got a copy of my records from the council, and no where was there even a location for recording the name of the counselor.

          Now all that being said, just because you can get away with it is no reason to do it. Do it the right way if at all possible.