The Boy Scout program encourages Scouts to get comfortable interacting with adults in a number of different ways. While navigating the steps required for advancement, they’ll find themselves occasionally with adults who will work with them side-by-side, in an interview setting, or even in small groups – teaching them more about the world they’re getting to know better. This prepares them for college and job interviews, helps build their confidence, and demystifies a good portion of the outside world.
Merit badges are one of the most frequent methods of adult association in the Scouting program. Merit badges are a way for a Scout to explore interests that can follow them for life – even to the point of career choices. There are over 100 merit badges available, representing everything from light hobbies (pet care, hiking, canoeing) to serious math, science, and career oriented choices (law, cooking, computer-aided drafting).
When a Scout decides he’s interested in a topic and want to earn a merit badge, he should start by talking to the Scoutmaster. The Scoutmaster will discuss the Scout’s interest, and give him an application for merit badge (blue card) and the contact information for a merit badge counselor in the topic he’s chosen. The Scout then contacts the counselor and arranges for a meeting time.