By Michelle Carpenter
Jun 14, 2017

Seven Merit Badge Myths You Should Not Believe

I’ve heard a lot of wives tales and crazy stories in my short 24 years of living. Some are actually true. (Everyone in my husband’s family verifies that he lost a toe, and it regrew on its own.)

Some are somewhat true. An apple a day may not keep the doctor away, but it is good for your health. Others are a bit wackier. Elvis Presley isn’t dead. Really

Likewise, with merit badges, there are plenty of myths out there. Some are true, and some aren’t too harmful. However, when it comes to earning them, here are some myths you should just never buy into, according the Advancement News

Merit Badge Myths

Myth 1: You need to be 15 years old with a First Class Scout rank to begin working on merit badges.  

Truth: No, you can be younger. Registered Scouts can work on merit badges whatever the rank.   

 Myth 2: Counselors can’t be approved to counsel more than five merit badge courses. 

Truth: “The National Council places no limit on the number of badges a counselor may be approved to counsel (GTA topic 7.0.1.4). It is permissible for councils to limit the number of badges that one person counsels; however, it must not do so to the point where Scouts’ choices, especially in small or remote units, are so limited as to serve as a barrier to advancement.” 

 Myth 3: If you are working on too many merit badges, a Scoutmaster’s allowed to reject your request to do another. 

Truth: Not true. You can work on as many as you want. However, a Scoutmaster can advise you not to. 

 Myth 4: No double dipping allowed. If you use an activity for one badge, you can’t use it for another. 

Truth: You may use an activity for multiple badges, but it must meet several conditions. First, the requirements must be exact matches. Second, the intent is the same. Third, neither requirement indicates that it can’t be reused. 

Myth 5: You need to tell your Scoutmaster that you are planning to work on a merit badge before you begin working on it. 

Truth: You can begin working on a merit badge once registered, but you will need to discuss the badge with a unit leader as part of your plan. 

Myth 6: The ideal merit badge group is rather large. 

Truth: Actually, the ‘Guide to Advancement’ discourages large group settings. Small groups allow for one on one attention. 

Myth 7: You need to earn all the required merit badges before earning elective badges. 

Truth: Of course not! If registered, you can work on any. 

Find these seven myths in more depth in the Advancement News .

Plenty of goofy rumors exist. Be careful what you believe–  You don’t want  a nasty rumor preventing you from fully benefiting from the merit badge program. 

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