Boy Scouts is an experiential learning opportunity where our youth learn valuable and fun lessons by participating in real world experiences. For many of our youth Merit Badges will provide them their first exposure to new ideas and activities and completion of the associated tasks so critical to their personal development. Merit Badge Events and Advancement Weekends like the one you’re considering hosting provide youth an important growth opportunity and will assist the Scouts in their scouting journey toward Eagle.

For adults, it is an opportunity to serve the community and to sharpen planning skills. The following suggestions may assist you in your quest to providing a successful Merit Badge Event.

  1. Merit Badge and Advancement Events require a team to be implemented successfully. While they can certainly be hosted by a single unit, I recommend partnering with your local District or Council. Remember, they can help recruit Merit Badge Counselors to help put on the program.
  2. Secure your location. Having a location with significant indoor and outdoor space to run Merit Badge stations is important to conducting a successful event. Your program can only be as big as your location can support. Churches, schools, colleges and universities all provide ideal locations and will generally work with you to offer scouting activities.
  3. Long term planning is vital to a successful Merit Badge Program. Set event
    registration deadlines months in advance of the actual event dates. There needs to be time to adequately promote the event and process registrations.
  4. Recruit exceptional merit badge counselors who understand that these events need to be fun.
  5. Recruit older scouts to help run the program for the opening and closing activities.
  6. Ensure all counselors are Council Registered Merit Badge Counselors, are fully trained in the ways of Scouting, and have completed any necessary Youth Protection.
  7. Recruit support personnel to assist during the event day.
  8. Market your event through, your Council and District newsletters and social media pages if your unit has them.
  9. Register, Check-In and Checkout, Boy Scouts by troop. This cuts down on
  10. Prepare appropriate event budgets, maintain reasonable spending and track all receipts.
  11. Get a list of supply needs from your Merit Badge Counselors.
  12. Review all event logistics and keep it safe.
  13. Set up a first aid station for larger groups.
  14. Return properly filled-in blue cards to Scouts on the day of the event.
  15. Solicit feedback from event attendees.
  16. Keep your finances in perfect order. Run reports and communicate back to
    your troop, district or council on a timely manner.

Remember, the goal is to provide a quality program that makes learning fun for participants. Just like in our units, if you provide a strong program and fun opportunities the Scouts will want to participate again in the future.

Best on luck,

Scoutmaster Devin