Merit Badge and Advancement Procedures

Advancement/Merit Badges


Advancement at Tomahawk is held to the same standards of Scouts BSA and Northern Star Council. The include

  • LEARNING - no better place for this than at camp.

  • EXAMINATION - conducted by the unit leaders and staff

  • REVIEW - our staff can assist you in securing help for a board of review

  • RECOGNITION - If possible, plan to conduct a court of honor in camp, Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, and Life badges as well as merit badges, segments, and specialty badges are available for purchase through your Trading Post

  • RECORDED - turn in advancement records to your Trading Post.

Merit Badges

To achieve successful merit badge program, Scouts must begin prior to camp. Advanced planning will create a more effective merit badge program in your unit. Please note that we cannot make any substitution for merit badge requirements. Merit badges at camp are primarily limited to those outdoor subjects best learned at camp. Qualified camp counselors have been certified as merit badge counselors on specific topics. The unit leader's signature on the merit badge application (a potion of the merit badge card) indicated that the Scout has reviewed the requirements and is qualified to begin work on the badge.

Merit Badge Cards

Before camp fill out one merit badge card for every merit badge a Scout will take. Make sure to fill out all the information and on the top of the card also write your Troop's campsite. Scouts will need to bring out their filled out merit badge cards to the first day of class. 

Bring a completed merit badge card for each badge a Scout plans to take. They will need these for the first day of class.

Merit Badge Blocks

Merit Badges are offered in one of the four morning blocks; A, B, C, or D. Scouts may attend only one merit badge in a single block. Please note that some merit badges such as Cooking Merit Badge, may take up multiple blocks.

How Many Merit Badges?

  • 2-3 merit badges at camp is a challenging goal for most Scouts.

  • NOTE: Registering for numerous merit badges may deprive a Scout of the opportunity to participate in other camp activities. For a Scout to get the most benefit from a summer camping experience, they need time for many different types of activities (with their buddy, with their patrol, troop activity, and inter-troop activity). We recommend that Scouts use the Merit Badge Worksheets found at to prepare for camp.

  • Some merit badges require work beyond what can be completed at camp. These are reffered to as "Start a Badge". Most work will be completed at camp and the rest of the requirements will have to be reviewed with a counselor after camp.

  • Many merit badges require hours of independent work in addition to time spent with the merit badge counselors.

Merit Badge/Patch Sales:

  • Badge order forms will be available in the Trading Post all week and will be distributed early in the week.

  • This form is not an exact order. You will return some patches. This is an optimistic guess.

  • The badge order form must be handed in at the Thursday morning round table to guarantee your order will be ready for pick up by 2 pm on Friday afternoon. A completed advancement report will be needed for the corresponding merit badges and rank advancements upon pick up of your in your sub-camp trading post.

  • If you are a Northern star Unit and made your FOS Goal, eligible purchases will be credited.

  • The order will be charged to your unit account. The order will then be reflected on your final bill, which will be paid Saturday morning at check out.

  • If you need to make any corrections you may do so on Friday afternoon or Saturday morning at check out.

  • Badge returns are accepted at your sub-camp Trading Posts.

Missing Blue Card?

Email us at [email protected] and please include Council, unit type, unit number, campsite, sub-camp, week, year, Scout name(s), and merit badge(s) that you are checking on. We will respond via email with our counselor records for each badge/Scout and allow you to recreate blue cards based on the information provided. 

Tomahawk maintains records of blue cards for three years at the council office. Records from four to eight years ago are kept at an offsite storage facility and may take us time to respond to these inquiries. After eights years records are recycled. 

Finishing a partial merit badge

I earned a partial at camp.

First off, congrats on earning a partial merit badge! Some badges take more work and time than you can do at camp. The first step in finishing a partial merit badge is knowing what requirements you have left to work on. Using the blue merit badge card that was handed back at camp, you can see which requirements the Scout has completed. Identify what skills you need to practice or complete so you can be ready when the time comes.

The next step is to find a merit badge counselor in your area. Your Scoutmasters and adult leaders in your Troop are a great place to start, there may already be a counselor in your Troop or they will know how you can contact one. 

Once you have found a counselor, bring your partial blue card to your meeting, this way your counselor knows what you have already completed. 

I am bringing a partial to camp. 

We are always happy to help Scouts finish up partial merit badges! The first step is to identify which on counselor is in charge of teaching your merit badge you wish to complete or depending on the amount of work you have left, signing up for the merit badge through SCMS. To find out who teaches what class you can talk to your Camp Director, Camp Commissioner, or the various Area Directors in camp. 

Once you have found the counselor or signed up for a class, make sure to bring your partial merit badge with you to class. This way the counselor knows what you have completed. 

Finally, you and your counselor will come up with a plan for you to complete your merit badge, depending on the class and the counselor availability you may have to put in extra work outside of class time, similar to an Independent Study Merit Badge. 

Merit Badge and Advancement Procedures

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