Merit Badges

Merit Badge Program

The Boy Scouts of America is a movement dedicated to supplementing and enlarging the education of youth. As a vital part of the BSA’s advancement plan, the merit badge program is one of Scouting’s basic character-building tools and plays a key role in the fulfillment of this educational commitment. There are over 100 different merit badges in the program. Without dedicated volunteers who are proficient in the subject matter of the various badges, the program will not be successful.

An important aspect of the merit badge program is the opportunity for boys to widen their contacts with other adults. Meeting with adults whom they might not be acquainted provides boys a chance to develop social skills and self-confidence in situations, which initially may cause them to be uncertain and shy. Merit badge counselors provide the means for Scouts to explore many subjects that may not be available to them otherwise. Because merit badge counselors must be proficient in the subject of the badge being worked on, the boys receive highly accurate and technical instructions while being coached on the topic.

Any questions or concerns please contact the Districts Merit Badge Chair: Darrell Newcomb, 703 849-9056,


Current Merit Badge Counselors and Guidelines:

Those Merit Badge Counselors with lapsed YPT are included as NCAC has not been able to provide the updated roster at this time.  The revision will be published when available.

Certified Merit Badge Counselors effective 02/10/15…………………150210_Certified_Counselors_By_Badge

Merit Badge Guidelines effective 10/26/2011……………………………………………….140911 GeoMason Guide

Mark Grapin’s list of merit badge opportunities coming up in 2014………………………140616 MB Opportunities

Watercraft Merit Badge Counselor Qualifications

NCAC is beginning to implement 2013 Guide to Advancement watercraft merit badge counselor qualifications.  First on the block, canoeing.

Counselors now:  “ must have either BSA Aquatics Instructor or Canoeing Instructor certification from the American Canoe Association, American Red Cross, or equivalent; OR local councils may approve individuals previously certified as such, or trained by an instructor so qualified.”

The near-term objective is to offer ACA Instructor-led level 1 assessment sessions so current Canoeing MBCs can demonstrate their skills.  Prospective Canoeing MBCs will need full ACA certification.  Soon assessment dates will be offered with a $15 course fee.  Camp Snyder and Silver Lake Regional Parks are the tentative sites.  The George Mason Merit Badge Dean will forward information as received to those interested.

Merit Badge Counselors Needed

Merit Badge Counselors are requested for Dentistry and Sustainability. George Mason District has none now.


Newest Merit Badges Coming Soon

  • Digital Technology (will replace Computers) this badge, which replaces Computers, will teach Scouts about technology in the digital age. Estimated release: Late February or Early March 2014
  • Mining in Society, expect this merit badge to cover the history of mining, mining in the 21st century, and introduce Scouts to modern mining careers. February 2014
  • Animation, computer or traditional animation tasks that will test a Scout’s creativity, artistic skills, and storytelling abilities. Estimated release: 2014
  • Signs, Signals, and Codes, will cover Morse code, ASL, Braille, signaling, trail markings, and other nonverbal communications. Estimated release: 2014
  • Multi-Media. Estimated release: 2014

Newest Merit Badges Available Now

  • Sustainability, teaching Scouts about climate change, species extinction, resource extraction, green chemistry, recycling, and zero-waste manufacturing.  Eagle-required, Scouts must earn either this or Environmental Science.   Released: July 15, 2013
  • Programming, a tech-focused merit badge for the 21st Century.  Released: July 15, 2013
  • Game Design, slated to include both traditional games and video games, this merit badge will test Scouts’ creativity, problem-solving skills, and planning abilities.  Released: March 6, 2013

Merit Badges with Major Updates

  • Cycling, the trail to Cycling merit badge just got a bit rougher
  • Cooking, this merit badge became Eagle-required on January 1, 2014




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