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Merit Badge Worksheets

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Our troop does use the blue cards. They just want worksheets for every single merit badge to be completely filled out even the parts that say discuss. They said that this proves they completed the merit badge when it's time to go in front of the Eagle Board. So in other words I don't need to stress about past Merit Badges that I have no worksheets for because the national Boy Scouts won't require him to have them when it's time for him to earn his Eagle rank. This answers my questions and thanks so much!


Well... just because National says you can't require something doesn't mean some troops don't try to require it anyway.  It is still possible that when a Scout is at a Scoutmaster Conference or Board of Review for Star or Life or Eagle (if Eagle BOR's are done at the troop level in your council), someone might say he doesn't get credit for an MB because there is no worksheet.  I don't know if that will happen or not, but if it does, your son (if that's who we are talking about) may need to convince them otherwise (and all you have now is the advice of a few anonymous strangers on the Internet), and if that doesn't work, there is an appeal process but your son does not want to go through that if he does not have to.

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BSA discourages use of unofficial merit badge worksheets https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2015/01/13/merit-badge-worksheets/

Thanks, CNYScouter; I hadn't seen these official BSA comments until your post.   Soapbox time:  IMHO the worksheet project is one of the most infamous examples of "the road to hell is paved with goo

Oh, sweet mercy...   Do your sons and daughters like the homework sheets they bring home from school? I think not   Why in the name of all that's good do you want them to use homework sheets for

Being a MB counselor myself, I do like the scouts using the worksheets for couple of reasons:


1. It keeps them focused on what to work on, I try to keep my speeches short and direct

2. It gives them a record to work with since MB badges take more than one session to do

3. It helps give them certain things to do at home outside the MB sessions


this is my experience and I know some scouts like to keep the filled out forms in case they ever like to go back and look up a definition or info on a topic. 

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Scout is not supposed to do that, it contradicts "honest", what's the point of being a scout if you are cutting corners and not following the law and the spirit ... Major fail in my opinion ...

Please understand that underneath our troop sign should be a subscript, "We take bad kids."

So, yes, we've had to deal with scouts fudging paperwork and counselors feeling pressured to sign off for fear it would otherwise ruin the scouts life. Fortunately, we've also had reliable informants and committee chairs who dug their heels in and would not countenance more BS than is already in the BS of A. We could deny the boy rank advancement, and it did him a world of good.


If you meet a boy who is a bit disorganized, and you think a worksheet would help, definitely suggest it.

If you've seen a large number of boys stumble over the badges you've tried to teach, maybe suggesting a worksheet for those badges is a good thing. Maybe it's not necessary to have a boy get out a blank sheet of paper and outline for himself what he needs to do.


But, would you really want somebody using a worksheet over your signature on a blue card as proof that the boy did or did not work through his requirements?

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Our troop does use the blue cards. They just want worksheets for every single merit badge to be completely filled out even the parts that say discuss. They said that this proves they completed the merit badge when it's time to go in front of the Eagle Board. So in other words I don't need to stress about past Merit Badges that I have no worksheets for because the national Boy Scouts won't require him to have them when it's time for him to earn his Eagle rank. This answers my questions and thanks so much!

Before you relax, you, or your son, should probably have a discussion with someone in the troop about this.  As NJ mentioned, Eagle Boards can sometimes be full of people who have a very narrow and specific idea about how boards should be run, and that may not be in conformity with what the guidelines indicate.  If this is going to pose a headache for your son it would be better to find out and lay the groundwork for dealing with it now rather than a year or two from now when your son may be pushing up against his 18th birthday.

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From the G2A, Unofficial Worksheets and Learning Aids
Worksheets and other materials that may be of assistance in earning merit badges are available from a variety of places including unofficial sources on the Internet and even troop libraries. Use of these aids is permissible as long as the materials can be correlated with the current requirements that Scouts must fulfill. Completing “worksheets†may suffice where a requirement calls for something in writing, but this would not work for a requirement where the Scout must discuss, tell, show, or demonstrate, etc. Note that Scouts shall not be required to use these learning aids in order to complete a merit badge.

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Mzkelly  Welcome to the forums.  

And thank you, Robert12, nice catch...


"Et tu,  Scoutmaster?"


I knew we had seen this sort of thing before.   "search function is your friend"....    go to   http://scouter.com/index.php/topic/28731-i-lost-blue-cards/    on another browser page and come back here to rant some more  :happy:


The Scout needs :  1)  a caring, knowledgeable MBCounselor.  

2) to follow the instructions on the Blue Card (one part to the MBCounselor, one to the Troop, one part to the Scout ). 

3) The name of the Troop's Advancement Chair/secretary/registrar.  

4) As the Scout progresses  in Scouting, he needs to record EVERYTHING in his BSManual. Dates, names, places. And keep that manual safe.   I knew a Scout who had TWO BSManuals:  One in his desk at home, one in his hike haversack.   He also had a baseball card plastic page three ring binder to keep all the MBCards and Training Cards etc.  He was glad he had these records when he had to appeal his Eagle application.  

5)  Not a bad idea to periodically check the Troop's records against the Scout's, against the Council's (Troop does utilize the internet registration, yes? )  

6)  Buy the MBBook.  It is a good (nay, excellent) source of information about the topic.  It makes a good Middle School curriculum for homeschooling . If  Scout  READS it, he will probably not need any "worksheet".  All the "answers" are there, in the MBBook (surprise !) .   Even Bugling and music ! 


See you on the trail....

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As a MB counselor I used to rely heavily on those worksheets. I never required them but would steer scouts to get hold of and use them. It seemed a way to help them get the requirements done quicker and with less fuss. Full disclosure I am a counselor for Family Life, Communications and Personal Management. The subject matter can be pretty dry and some of it does seem like schoolwork. What I found  over time is that their mastery of the subject matter began to slip until it almost became a fill in the blank type situation.


I've since changed my focus, required that the scout get hold of the MB pamphlet, READ IT, and fulfill the requirements as written, i.e. discuss, write, show. I have also challenged the scouts to "Wow" me and they have. I guess it all comes down to expectations. Perhaps before I was just looking for completion rather than mastery. The worksheets certainly are a good teaching aid , but by no means are they a complete package to a scout completing a merit badge.


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Really ?   Seriously ?


Yes. I found nearly 90 pdfs of the MB pamphlets online. One guy scanned a ton of them and keeps them on a Google drive. If you know where and how to look, you can find them. Now, not all badges and not the latest requirements, but the info in the books rarely change all that drastically.


Here's one troop I found just doing a quick search.

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Reading the pamphlet should always be mandatory. BSA writes them for a reason. ;)


For folks who cannot afford $4.99 a pop, you can find pdfs online.


Isn't that what the Troop Library and Troop Librarian is for?  To be a source for those $4.99 merit badge books?  A Troop doesn't have to have a complete set of them - but it would be helpful to have at least 5 of each of the required merit badge books.  If a Scout wants to try out a badge that doesn't have a book in the library, we will  purchase a copy the next time someone goes out to the Scout Service Center for the library.  Not all of the books in the library were purchased by the Troop - we've had a lot of Scouts buy a merit badge book at Summer Camp because they've decided to take a badge at the last minute and don't have access to the library or they forgot to check the book out from the library and they will donate them to the Troop when they are done with it.  We don't purchase merit badge books at summer camp if we have copies in the Troop library back home (if it's a badge that the Troop doesn't have in the Troop library, the SM will buy it out of the summer camp petty cash fund - and yes, the library inventory is available at camp).


A couple of our Scoutmasters have even told the Scouts that when they request a blue card, they have to check the merit badge book out of the library first and have it with them when they request it - They got it that, like you say, reading the merit badge book should be mandatory - the Scout may not read it, but he can't say he never had the opportunity to do so.

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