How to Earn Merit Badges

"Blue Card" Process

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Merit Badges

Merit Badges are awards earned by Boy Scouts based on activities within an area of study by completing a list of requirements. There are more than 130 different merit badges and scouts may work on merit badges from they time they join the Troop until they turn 18 years old. There is no time limit for completion of merit badges other than age 18.

Earning Merit Badges

It's important to follow the Merit Badge "Blue Card" Process described below but before you get to that you'll need to choose a merit badge to work on. A complete list of badges are in the sidebar on the right. Click on each to view the requirements for that merit badge and optionally download its workbook and pamphlet.

See "Blue Card" Process below.

Merit Badge "Blue Card" Process

Note: the Troop is using both hard copy (blue cards) and digital recording (scoutbook) for merit badge tracking.

  1. BEFORE you begin work on a merit badge, you must request approval from the Scoutmaster.

  • Scout will get approval to start from the Scoutmaster.

  • Troop will create "virtual blue card" and update ScoutBook to show merit badge "in progress".

  1. Fill out the Blue Card

    • Get a Blue Card from the Scoutmaster.

    • On the front of the Blue Card (Fig. 1) fill in your Name, Address, City, Troop, Troop number, District and Council.

    • On the back of the Blue Card (Fig. 2) fill in the Merit Badge name (three places), the Applicants name (two places), the Unit Number (4) and check the Troop checkbox.

    • Ask your Scoutmaster sign and date the front of the Blue Card in the appropriate place and you're ready to start!

  2. You are now ready to work on your Merit Badge! Use the request form to request a merit badge counselor. If you do not have a counselor in mind, the Troop can help you identify at counselor. Scroll down to see current list of Troop 4 merit badge counselors.

  3. Work with your Merit Badge Counselor to complete the requirements of the merit badge.

    • The Counselor will fill in, date, and initial the requirements section of the blue card or scoutbook as each requirement is completed; however some Counselors will just mark COMPLETE when all requirements are done.

    • The Counselor should fill in their information in the first section on the back of the Blue Card with their Name, Address, Phone Number, and sign and date upon completion.

    • The Counselor should also fill in the completed date and sign the Applicant’s Record portion of the card.

    • The Counselor's Record section of your Blue Card may be kept by the Counselor for their records.

  4. Once the merit badge requirements are completed and your Blue Card is signed by the Counselor, turn it into your Scoutmaster or Troop Merit Badge Coordinator.

    • The Troop will keep the Application for Merit Badge section for the Troop’s records and return the Applicant’s Record.

    • The Troop will update scoutbook to show completed requirements and when the merit badge is approved.

    • IMPORTANT NOTE: Hold onto the Applicant's Records of you Blue Card and Merit Badge as they can be requested by the Eagle Board of Review.

  5. You will be recognized with your Merit Badge at the next Court of Honor.

Fig 1. Front of Blue Card

Fig 2. Back of Blue Card

Merit Badge Counselors

Merit Badge Counselors are volunteers that are knowledgeable in the topic and understand the goals of scouting. A Merit Badge Counselors role is to assist a Scout over the hurdles of the merit badge requirements and increase his awareness in the deeper aspects of the subject from their knowledge and experience.

If you're interested in becoming a counselor download and complete the Merit Badge Counselor Application at the bottom of this page and contact the Troop 4 Hopkinton. Scout Master at scoutmaster@troop4hopkinton.com. Like all scout leaders and adult volunteers, counselors must take the online Youth Protection Training each year.

If there is a merit badge you are interested in for which you don’t see a counselor listed within Troop 4, please reach out to Mrs Hanna.

Contact Mr Thapa if you forgot/need password for the App.

Merit Badge Counselors

If there is a merit badge you are interested in for which you don’t see a counselor listed within Troop 4, please reach out to Mrs Hanna or your Patrol Advisor (listed below).

Share your knowledge, skills and passion with the scouts. Sign up to become a Merit Badge Counselor

Merit Badge Workbooks

Merit badge workbooks are forms Scouts can use to organize notes and document their work. These can be downloaded from the merit badge requirement link on the right. Workbooks can either be printed out completed with pen/pencil or you can type right into them on a computer and then print it. Workbooks are not required for some merit badges but we highly recommend using them to stay organized.

Merit Badge Pamphlets

Merit badge pamphlets are guidebooks to assist Scouts in completing merit badge requirements. Use of pamphlets is not required but they can be a great source of information. Our troop has a small collection of workbooks in the Scout Room you can take home or you can purchase your own from the Scout Store in Southborough MA or order online from ScoutStuff.org.

Digital Merit Badge Pamphlets NEW!

The BSA has recently introduced new digital pamphlets for about 20 merit badges including all of the Eagle Required merit badges. These are interactive versions of the traditional paper pamphlets. They contain more material than the printed pamphlet, as well as multimedia and interactive content and can be used from a computer, tablet or smartphone. Click here to watch an informational YouTube video about the new Digital Merit Badge pamphlets.

Merit Badge Sash

The merit badge sash is like a trophy case you can wear. The sash is the place to display merit badges and activity or special event patches and insignia. Each tiny circle represents one of more than 130 interest areas a Boy Scout has conquered.

Sash's may be purchased online from ScoutStuff.org or at the Scout Store in Southborough.

High Adventure Patches

Placed them on right-sleeve of the Class-A Scout shirt below the Patrol patch.

Eagle Required Merit Badges

A sub-group of 17 merit badges are known as the Eagle Required merit badges. To earn Eagle Scout, most of these badges must be earned although some are "either/or" badges. The Eagle required merit badges are:

  1. Camping

  2. Cooking

  3. Cycling OR Hiking OR Swimming

  4. Citizenship in the Community

  5. Citizenship in the Nation

  6. Citizenship in the World

  7. Communications

  8. Environmental Science OR Sustainability

  9. Lifesaving OR Emergency Preparedness

  10. Family Life

  11. First Aid

  12. Personal Fitness

  13. Personal Management

Merit Badges

  1. American Business

  2. American Cultures

  3. American Heritage

  4. American Labor

  5. Animal Science

  6. Animation

  7. Archaeology

  8. Archery

  9. Architecture

  10. Art

  11. Astronomy

  12. Athletics

  13. Automotive Maintenance

  14. Aviation

  15. Backpacking

  16. Basketry

  17. Bird Study

  18. Bugling

  19. Camping *

  20. Canoeing

  21. Chemistry

  22. Chess

  23. Citizenship in the Community *

  24. Citizenship in the Nation *

  25. Citizenship in the World *

  26. Climbing

  27. Coin Collecting

  28. Collections

  29. Communication *

  30. Composite Materials

  31. Cooking *

  32. Crime Prevention

  33. Cycling *

  34. Dentistry

  35. Digital Technology

  36. Disabilities Awareness

  37. Dog Care

  38. Drafting

  39. Electricity

  40. Electronics

  41. Emergency Preparedness *

  42. Energy

  43. Engineering

  44. Entrepreneurship

  45. Environmental Science *

  46. Family Life *

  47. Farm Mechanics

  48. Fingerprinting

  49. Fire Safety

  50. First Aid *

  51. Fish and Wildlife Management

  52. Fishing

  53. Fly Fishing

  54. Forestry

  55. Game Design

  56. Gardening

  57. Genealogy

  58. Geocaching

  59. Geology

  60. Golf

  61. Graphic Arts

  62. Hiking *

  63. Home Repairs

  64. Horsemanship

  65. Indian Lore

  66. Insect Study

  67. Inventing

  68. Journalism

  69. Kayaking

  70. Landscape Architecture

  71. Law

  72. Leatherwork

  73. Lifesaving *

  74. Mammal Study

  75. Medicine

  76. Metalwork

  77. Mining in Society

  78. Model Design and Building

  79. Motorboating

  80. Movie Making

  81. Music

  82. Nature

  83. Nuclear Science

  84. Oceanography

  85. Orienteering

  86. Painting

  87. Personal Fitness *

  88. Personal Management *

  89. Pets

  90. Photography

  91. Pioneering

  92. Plant Science

  93. Plumbing

  94. Pottery

  95. Programming

  96. Public Health

  97. Public Speaking

  98. Pulp and Paper

  99. Radio

  100. Railroading

  101. Reading

  102. Reptile and Amphibian Study

  103. Rifle Shooting

  104. Robotics

  105. Rowing

  106. Safety

  107. Salesmanship

  108. Scouting Heritage

  109. Scholarship

  110. Scuba Diving

  111. Sculpture

  112. Search & Rescue

  113. Shotgun Shooting

  114. Signs, Signals and Codes

  115. Skating

  116. Small-Boat Sailing

  117. Snow Sports

  118. Soil and Water Conservation

  119. Space Exploration

  120. Sports

  121. Stamp Collecting

  122. Surveying

  123. Sustainability *

  124. Swimming *

  125. Textile

  126. Theater

  127. Traffic Safety

  128. Truck Transportation

  129. Veterinary Medicine

  130. Water Sports

  131. Weather

  132. Welding

  133. Whitewater

  134. Wilderness Survival

  135. Wood Carving

  136. Woodwork

* Eagle Required Merit Badges

Digital Pamphlet Available



If you have any questions or concerns contact the Patrol Advisors

PATROL ADVISORS