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January: Winter Camping
You can learn about sports, crafts, science, trades, business, and future careers as you earn merit badges. There are more than 100 merit badges and a Boy Scout may earn any merit badge at any time. You don't need to have had rank advancement to be eligible. How to get started:
Pick a Subject. Read the requirements of the merit badges you think might interest you. Pick one to earn. Merit Badge Counselors have special knowledge in their merit badge subjects and are interested in helping you. You can get a list of Merit Badge Counselors from our Merit Badges tab on the top of our web site.
Scout Buddy System. When you meet with the merit badge counselor, have a buddy with you. This person can be another Scout, a parent or guardian, a brother or sister or other relative, or a friend.
Call the Counselor. Get a signed merit badge application from your Scoutmaster. Get in touch with the merit badge counselor and tell him or her that you want to earn the merit badge. The counselor may ask to meet you to explain what is expected of you and to start helping you meet the requirements. Ask your counselor to help you learn the things you need to know or do. You should read the merit badge pamphlet on the subject. Many troops and school or public libraries have them.
Show Your Stuff. When you are ready, call the counselor again to make an appointment to meet the requirements. When you go take along the things you have made to meet the requirements. If they are too big to move, take pictures or have an adult tell in writing what you have done. The counselor will ask you to do each requirement to make sure that you know your stuff and have done or can do the things required.
Get the Badge. When the counselor is satisfied that you have met each requirement, he or she will sign your application. Give the signed application to your Scoutmaster so that your merit badge emblem can be secured for you.
Requirements. You are expected to meet the requirements as they are stated—no more and no less. You are expected to do exactly what is stated in the requirements. If it says "show or demonstrate," that is what you must do.
Purpose The purpose of scouting is to provide an educational program for boys and young adults. The core focus is on character, citizenship, and fitness. The Boy Scout Program includes Boy Scouting (boys 11 through 17), Varsity Scouting (young men 14 through 17), and Venturing (young men and women 14 through 20).
Scout Oath On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.
Scout Law A Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent
Boy Scout Motto Be Prepared
Outdoor CodeAs an American, I will do my best to Be clean in my outdoor manners. I will treat the outdoors as a heritage. I will take care of it for myself and others. I will keep my trash and garbage out of lakes, streams, fields, woods, and roadways. Be careful with fire. I will prevent wildfire. I will build my fires only when and where they are appropriate. When I have finished using a fire, I will make sure it is cold out. I will leave a clean fire ring, or remove all evidence of my fire. Be considerate in the outdoors. I will treat public and private property with respect. I will follow the principles of Leave No Trace for all outdoor activities. Be conservation-minded. I will learn about and practice good conservation of soil, waters, forests, minerals, grasslands, wildlife, and energy. I will urge others to do the same.