Merit Badges

For Scouts:

Merit Badges are awards earned by members of the Boy Scouts of America, based on activities within the area of study by completing a list of periodically updated requirements( The purpose of the merit badge program is to allow Scouts to examine subjects to determine if they would like to further pursue them as a career or vocation.

All Scouts are encouraged to take advantage of all available Merit Badge and Award opportunities. Before First Class, your time is better spent on rank advancement, but you can still earn Merit Badges. As time allows, particularly at Goshen Summer Camp, you can work Merit Badges. Consult with your Patrol Leader (PL), Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) or any Adult Leader if you have any questions.

List of BSA’s Merit Badges:

Earning Merit Badges

Scouts have several options for earning Merit Badges. Some methods require going to extra events, while others can be obtained during meetings.

1. Merit Badge Counselors:

Our Troop has several registered Merit Badge Counselors, local parents/adults who have agreed to assist Scouts with earning a variety of Merit Badges. The links below provide contact information and are accessible to Troop Scouts and parents. (If you have any problems accessing these documents, please visit this page.) If there is a topic that interests you, reach out to a Counselor for guidance on requirements needed to obtain a Merit Badge. Note that you should speak with a Counselor before starting work on the Merit Badge.

2. Merit Badges at Troop Meetings

Counselors will often lead Merit Badge sessions during the second part of our regular Monday’s Troop meetings (see Calendar for meeting dates). They may also be available to check and sign-off on progress on other Merit Badges that Scouts are working on. Session schedules will be announced by the SPL.

3. Merit Badge Events:

The National Capital Area Council and its Districts often organize “Merit Badge Days”, where Scouts can work towards obtaining various Badges. Will be announced as they become available.

If attending a Merit Badge event, remember that:

  • You need to BRING a BLUE CARD, signed by Mr. Lewis (Scoutmaster), for every Merit Badge you have signed up for. Make sure you get one in advance;
  • Make sure you understand what PREREQUISITES should be completed BEFORE the Merit Badge event. If in doubt, call/email the MB Counselor or event organizer; and,
  • BRING YOUR SCOUT HANDBOOK, some Merit Badges require proof of completing certain advancement requirements.

Upcoming Merit Badge Events:

  • Will be updated 

4. Goshen Summer Camp:

Last but not least is summer camp at Goshen Scout Reservation. Troop 233 normally organizes a group of scouts to attend Goshen for one week during the summer., but you are free to go other weeks by yourself. See our Goshen page for more details. In addition to a lot of fun activities, scouts can take 5-6 MB classes on a wide range of subjects, including many Eagle-required MBs and many that require being outdoors, e.g. Pioneering, or require specialized equipment, e.g. Shooting Sports, Small Boat Sailing. Also, there are more opportunities to earn additional MBs outside of class.

We encourage all scouts to attend Goshen and take advantage of this fun opportunity.

Adults/Parents: Volunteer as Counselors!

Leading a merit badge session is a great way adults can support the troop, and share their passion for a particular topic with Scouts. There are no fees involved. Adults interested in registering as Counselors need the following:

  • Take the “Youth Protection Training” online course: register at:, takes about 30 minutes, valid for 2 years. Print your completion certificate
  • Complete an “adult application form” (get PDF): indicate position code: “42”, and position: “Merit Badge Counselor”. Yearly registration is required by BSA!
  • Complete a “Merit Badge Information Sheet” (get PDF), listing all MBs you may be interested in leading.

Please submit completed forms/certificate to Alex McKenzie (MB Coordinator), or any other adult leader.

Thanks for supporting our Scouts!