There are more than 100 merit badges in the merit badge program. Each one has a corresponding merit badge pamphlet, and the series is written with the 12-year-old Boy Scout in mind. In addition, the pamphlets are designed for a very broad audience of Scouts. The pamphlets are available from Scouting retailers, or may be ordered online at www.scoutstuff.org. To provide the Scouting experience to as many boys as possible, we consider the diversity of the Scouts we serve regarding region, economics, ethnicity, and social and religious background.
While the pamphlet is not required for the Scout to earn the merit badge, it helps the counselor to know what the Scout may be studying and the level of learning expected of the Scout. Many of the merit badge pamphlets contain suggested projects and other activities or demonstrations to help the Scout fulfill the requirements or to stimulate other ideas from the Scout and his merit badge counselor. Each book also contains a helpful resources section.
For official requirements, the current-year Boy Scout Requirements book takes precedence. However, once a Scout has started working on a merit badge, he may stay with the requirements in effect when he started. He will not be required to meet newly introduced changes unless the BSA’s National Council places a specific timeline on the implementation of new requirements.