The published guidelines for the methodology of the merit badge program and the role of the merit badge counselor is found in the Guide to Advancement, Section 188.8.131.52. It is important to remember that leaders and merit badge counselors must not make additions or deletions to requirements. The Scout is expected to meet the requirements as stated; however, in some cases, virtual “visits” may fulfill the intent of a requirement. When the requirement’s intent cannot be reached virtually, the requirements cannot be completed, and the Scout must wait to complete that badge/requirement. Merit badge counselors signing off on requirements must determine to the best of their ability if the Scout has demonstrated the intended outcome.
All existing youth protection policies and digital safety guidelines must be followed.
These temporary changes have been approved by National:
Camping Merit Badge – “Virtual Camping”, campouts at home can ONLY be recorded as a unit campout – when it is done in conjunction with a Unit / Troop event. An example would be that the Troop meets for a day hike and then the Scouts return to their homes to camp out for the evening.
Cooking Merit Badge – During this time of Covid restrictions, Merit Badge Counselors and Scouts MAY substitute the word ‘Family’ for ‘Patrol’ in requirement # 5. However, they may NOT change ANY of the other requirements – just that they may prepare these for their ‘Family’ instead of having to wait for Covid restrictions to be lifted.