There are over 131 merit badges currently approved by the BSA. Merit badges encourage Scouts to explore areas that interest them and to teach them valuable skills in Scoutcraft. Scouts earn a merit badge by satisfying specified criteria and receive their badge at the next a Court of Honor. Scouts must earn a total of 21 merit badges for the Eagle Scout rank, 13 of which must be from a mandatory list.
You can start a merit badge either (1) by yourself, (2) with a Troop 990-run program, (3) at a BSA camp, or (4) at an approved Scout program like Merit Badge University.
Starting on merit badges yourself:
Contact the Merit Badge Coordinator to begin your merit badge.
The merit badge coordinator will suggest a merit badge counselor for your merit badge. (You can use that counselor or any other approved counselor for that badge. Approved merit badge counselors for all badges can be found in the list above.) Inform the counselor of your interest in the badge; their contact information can be found in the Troop Directory.
Work on the requirements of the MB under the guidance of the counselor. (Scouts can and are encouraged to work on the requirements on their own after initially contacting the MB Counselor.)
Keep track of all progress, preferably by using a Merit Badge Worksheet (you will find this simplifies things!) and inform the counselor (or go to merit badge completion night, see below) when all requirements have been met.
The counselor will inform the advancement chair that you have completed your merit badge.
Receive credit for the badge upon approval from the counselor and display it with pride on his Merit Badge Sash
Merit badges, particularly a number of Eagle required merit badges will be offered by Troop 990 on a rotating two year schedule. Watch for email annoucements of merit badge programs which will also be posted in the events section on the troop calendar.
Approved Scout merit badge programs in addition to the Troop 990 program:
Merit Badge University (once a year in February): http://www.utmbu.org/
Hornaday Weekend (environmental merit badges, twice per year): http://www.hornadaybsa.org/
Lost Pines Summer Camp (Troop 990 attends the first week camp is offered in June): Boy Scouts Summer Camp
Personal Management Merit Badge with A+ Federal Credit Union
Merit Badges with Microsoft
Print & Use MB Workbooks: Print and fill out the Merit Badge Workbooks for badges you are working on. They will help to keep your work in order and will facilitate faster counselor reviews. Here's the link to all workbooks: Merit Badge Worksheets
Merit Badge Completion Nights: Attend Merit Badge Completion nights offered by Troop 990 to meet with Merit Badge Counselors who will review/approve completed requirements &/or badges. The announcement of an upcoming Merit Badge Completion night is a great "flag" to go to work and finish up partials..and get them finished! More information: MB Completion Night How It Works
List of ALL Merit Badges, including list of Eagle Required Merit Badges: Merit Badges
Troop 990’s Guide for Earning Eagle Required Merit Badges
Scouts working on obtaining the rank of Eagle must earn 21 merit badges. 13 of these must come from the list below.
List of Eagle Required Merit Badges
Scouts can earn Eagle required merit badges on their own under the guidance of a counselor, but T990 recommends the following venues based on past experience.
|Badge||Best Venue||Best Earned||Comments|
|Camping||T990 and Summer Camp||Early||Scouts who attend T990 events regularly should be able to earn this badge within the first two years of joining|
|Citizenship in the Community||Merit Badge University||Anytime||Scouts can start these badges at MBU, but will not complete all the requirements. T990 has dedicated counselors to assist scouts in final completion. All three required.|
|Citizenship in the Nation||Merit Badge University||Anytime|
|Citizenship in the World||Merit Badge University||Anytime|
|Communication||T990 / Merit Badge University||Anytime||Start at MBU, complete the rest through troop/school/home activities|
|Cooking||T990 / Merit Badge University||Anytime.||Start at MBU, complete the rest trhough troop/school/home activities|
|Environmental Science||Hornaday Weekend/Camp/ Aquarena Spring||Anytime||Takes most of the weekend and registration fills up quick, but is a strong and fun program|
|Family Life||T990 / Merit Badge University||Anytime||See comments on Citizenship. Min. time: 13 weeks|
|First Aid||Summer Camp||Early||Discussion of first aid skills is included in most SM Conferences|
|Lifesaving (best) or Emergency Preparedness||Summer Camp||Anytime||Great badge offered every summer. Emergency Prep is much more difficult to earn.|
|Personal Fitness||T990||Early||Great badge to teach young scouts how to focus on a lengthy badge Min. time: 13 weeks|
|Personal Management||T990||Later||More sophisticated content. Classroom, application and research based. Min. time: 13 weeks|
|Swimming (best) or Hiking or Cycling||T990 / Summer Camp||Early||Ideal for group sessions, and is 1st Eagle badge for many scouts. T990 has many water-based activities.|