Merit Badges: A Scout can earn from a selection of over 130 merit badges: skill and experience certifications that encourage a Scout to learn and grow, in areas such as swimming, game design, personal fitness or practically any other area of interest. To earn merit badges, Scouts work adult merit badge counselors with expertise in each topic, who serve as mentors. Adults leaders in Troop 194, as well as certified volunteers in the local area, serve as merit badge counselors.
Some merit badges are mandatory for advancement to certain levels (such as Citizenship in the Nation, Personal Fitness, etc), but most are optional and based on the Scout’s interest. Scouts can work on badges and advancements during weekly troop meetings, campouts, and summer camp. Some merit badge instruction is structured, but most merit badges are earned by the individual Scout’s initiative. Visit the BSA website for more information on merit badges.
Advancements: A Scout is encouraged to seek advancement to the next level of Scouting, which is described in detail in the Scout Handbook. By learning, accomplishing, and experiencing new things, a Scout can be advanced along the following ranks: Scout, Tenderfoot, Second-Class, First-Class, Star, Life, and Eagle.
Though there is no requirement to advance, nor a set timeline for advancing, most Scouts enjoy the challenge of pursuing advancements as a way to structure their learning and development while in scouts, and give them goals to shoot for along the way.
Visit the BSA website for more information about Boy Scout ranks and requirements.