Merit badges are the gems of the Scout vest, and every serious Scout is sporting them. These small embroidered patches show the world what you've accomplished through hard work and persistence.
Merit Badges – The Road to Earning Them
The road to earning a merit badge is long and laborious. That's because Boy Scouts of America does not merely give them away. A great deal of hard work goes into the earning of a merit badge, but here are some of the benefits:
Learning. Merit badges give Scouts the opportunity to learn about any number of things, including science, business, health, crafts and nature. With more than 130 merit badges available, there are many topics to explore. Scouts who pursue badges have the chance to increase their knowledge on countless subjects.
Initiative. A Scout who seeks a merit badge needs to take a great deal of initiative throughout the process. First, he needs to approach his Scoutmaster to discuss his interest. The Scoutmaster then gives him a "blue card," which contains the name and contact information of a merit badge counselor. The Scout is responsible for following up, meeting the requirements given by the counselor and then finding a friend or relative to accompany him to his meeting with the counselor. At this meeting, the Scout is expected to present his work to the counselor so that the counselor can determine whether the Scout has met the requirements to earn a merit badge.
Perseverance. Merit badge earning requires lots of planning. Scouts learn the value of setting and reaching goals. Perseverance is the key!
Pride. A hard-earned merit badge brings a sense of accomplishment and pride to the wearer.
Considering the dedication it takes to take home one of these tiny embroidered patches, you could say that if all good things must be earned, merit badges are great!