I scout ask last night," I need Eagle Merit Badges to advance to my next rank, how do I get them and which ones should I work on first?"

Here is my answer:

A) There are several ways to earn Merit Badges:

1) Troop 373 has Leaders that are Merit Badge Counselor for all the Eagle Merit Badges (and just about all the non eagle MB too). After deciding on a merit badge to work on ask a Scoutmaster to sign a blue card for the MB, the Scoutmaster or ASM may talk to you to see if you ready for the MB (see below), as some are hard and some have prerequisites that must be done first. Once your card is signed, then contact Mr.  S a r g e n t by phone or email to get the name and phone # of a Counselor(s). Call the Counselor let them know you would like to start a merit badge. They may or may not have some instructions for you, you may ask them for guidance if you have questions. Once you have completed the requirements, call and make an appointment to completed the badge and get your blue card signed off. An appointment before or after a Troop meeting works nice. Troop 373 Counselors do not charge a fee for this service. Bring your own blue card, get one from your Patrol leader.

2) , Camp Trask MB  and Arcadia   Wilderness Park offer Eagle Merit Badges and non Eagle MB classes. These classes, you sign up and paid on your own. Camp Trask  sign ups are now done online thru the web site.  Also see  Cabrillo Youth Camp MB, and Jurupa Mountains Discovery Center Bring your own leader signed Blue Card,  MB book and  worksheet (see below)

3)  Each Scout going to Holcomb Valley or  Cherry Valley or Circle X Ranch Summer camp needs to pick at least 3 to 5 merit Badges to work on in class. At least one should - must be a Eagle Merit Badge (unless you have all of the ones the camp offers) Check if the camp provides Blue Cards for you. Bring your worksheet and MB books. The Troop Web site list of camp's MBs You merit badge picks must be approved by the Troop before camp.

4) Troop 373 offers Merit Badge Classes, at this time mostly non Eagle MB classes are offered, as Eagle MBs require more time to complete. Some classes require homework, some have no homework. Homework is given out at the class. Troop 373 provides Blue Cards for these classes. Troop 373 Merit Badge Classes are the only classes you will not need to buy a merit badge book for or bring a worksheet. Upcoming new classes are added to the Troop's online Calendar

5) Some Troop 373 camp outs will work on Merit Badges also. You will be told before camp what supplies or homework you may need. Troop 373 camp outs count toward some MBs like: Cooking and Camping. Being a MC at a camp out count towards Communications. Let the Scoutmaster know if you are working on the Cooking MB.    Past Troop 373 camp outs have done: PioneeringFishingGeocachingBird StudyForestryHikingSpace ExplorationWilderness Survival and others.

Merit Badge Worksheets:
Some Counselors and all BSA camps will ask you to use a Merit Badge Worksheets for working on the requirements. These are found at the the end of each MB at http://www.usscouts.org/usscouts/meritbadges.asp.   The MBs are listed on the left side. Here you will find the work sheets in both Word Doc and PDF format. You may work on the sheets before the class. You should read the MB book before the camp.

Need more info? See the Troop's Web Site Troop 373 Merit Badge Procedure

B) "which ones (Eagle MBs) should I work on first?"

It is good to get your Eagle MB Blue Card signed by a "Unit Leader" before starting. Your Unit Leader can let you know if the Eagle MB you picked is right for you at this time. A "Unit Leader" is a Troop 373 leader that knows the Eagle MBs, like your Scoutmaster or an Assistant Scoutmaster. Here is why:

There is no set order list of MBs to work on, but some MBs have prerequisites. Some may be too hard for younger Scouts.
The First Aid MB, Second Class and First Class Rank First Aid should be done before or during the following:

Emergency Preparedness  Good to work on after or during First Aid,   [Make a personal emergency service pack.]
Swimming  Good to work on after or during First Aid, must be a strong swimmer
Personal Fitness with 12-week physical fitness program, Good to work on after or during First Aid

Cooking  Is now needed. Good to work on after or during First Aid
Camping   Needs 20 days and 20 nights of BSA camping 1st, only one week long camp (6 days] can be counted, needs at least one backpack trip.
Lifesaving * Should have Swimming MB first, or just do Emergency Preparedness in it place..
Hiking *    Must be in good shape, the last hike is 20 miles in one day.  or do Swimming OR Cycling. Good to work on after or during First Aid 

Cycling *   Must be in good shape, the last ride is 50 miles in one day. or do Swimming OR Hiking. Good to work on after or during First Aid

(The above listed in about easy to hard, for most Scouts)

Note on Eagle required MB Ors: ( Emergency Preparedness OR Lifesaving *) (Swimming OR Hiking OR Cycling *) (if you do more that the required Eagle MBs, the extra MB(s) can count as a normal MB)

Non-First Aid prerequisite

Family Life  Log chores (at least five) for 90 days, home project and more...
Citizenship in the Community  Volunteer at least eight hours in your Community, go to meeting and more...
Citizenship in the Nation Visit Government place(s)... Study ..
Environmental Science  Experiment(s) and report writing...
Sustainability  MB that can be done in place of Environmental Science.

Citizenship in the World      Learn about current world event and a foreign country, foreign cultures and types of governments.
Communications   Public Speaking, writing, planning, Be MC at a Campfire, ask troop when needed....
Personal Management Track your income, expenses, and savings for 13 consecutive weeks, money management, Make a seven-day calendar or schedule, written project plan, learn about stock and banks...

(The above listed about easy to hard, for most Scouts, or age youngest to older)

Merit Badge notes:

1) A Scout starts working on Camping Merit Badge with his first Tenderfoot camp, as this camp counts towards the Camping Merit Badge.

Once you have 20 nights of camping  (can only count one week long camp, other week long camp [4 or more nights] count as 2 nights) and one or more backpack trips, complete your camping MB with a troop councilor.  Nights can count: Troop, OA, Webelos over night camp as a Troop helper.(but not family camping)

2) A Scout starting working on Cooking Merit Badge with his first camp out after earning 1st Class Rank, as these camps counts towards the Cooking Merit Badge.  In Troop 373 the Scoutmaster is the Cooking Merit Badge Counselor. Let the Scoutmaster know if you are working on the Cooking MB.

3) For Citizenship in the Nation: Visit a place or Tour a place; means a place you visited since becoming a Boy Scout. (normally in March as a 10-11 year old). This applies for many merit badge requirements, that is past events in your life as a Boy Scout (not a Cub Scout) can be applied to a Merit Badge requirement.. 

My 2 cent for today.

    Best Regards,
         D av e Sa rg e nt ce ll 6 2 6 - 5 3    3  - 7   5   2 3

Merit Badge Sash:  Merit Badges are put 3 across  starting at the top, check the merit badge book or an online reference page to ensure placement is right side up. If sewing, staple in place before sewing. As a general rule put the merit badges in the order they are earned.  The sash comes in at least two lengths, 30 inches and 42 inches. All Scouts should purchase the longer sash, unless you are sure your scout will no grow should you purchase the shorter 30" sash. If you fill the front of the sash, the patches then start up the back from the bottom. No non-merit badge patches may go on the back or front.  Merit Badges are award at COHs.
FYI, the Eagle Scout required merit badges have a silver boarder. The Sash is worm for formal occasions like to COH, Scoutmaster Conference and Board of Review. Also to community Color Guard events. The sash goes on the right shoulder.  From Troop 373 Uniform Page

To Troop 373's List of Merit Badges Page.

Troop 373 Merit Badge Procedure

Activity Schedule for Troop 373


Outside links

Boy Scout Merit Badge Tips