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 hobby. Although merit badges may be earned at summer camp or in a class setting, in Troop 61 Scouts are also encouraged to earn merit badges by working with a Merit Badge Counselor (they do this with a buddy). This approach introduces Scouts to the life skills of contacting an adult, arranging a meeting and then demonstrating their skills, similar to a job or college interview. Parents in Troop 61 are encouraged to register as Merit Badge Counselors.
To become an Eagle Scout, a Scout must earn 21 merit badges, including 13 from a required list:
- Cycling or Hiking or Swimming
- Citizenship in the Community
- Citizenship in the Nation
- Citizenship in the World
- Emergency Preparedness or Lifesaving
- Environmental Science or Sustainability
- Family Life
- First Aid
- Personal Fitness
- Personal Management
In Troop 61, we teach the Citizenship merit badges as a part of the regular program.