Who can sign off on Boy Scout requirements?

scoutcast-logo1It’s a question every Scout will face: Once I finish requirements for merit badges and rank advancement, who signs off?

Is it the Scoutmaster? The merit badge counselor? My senior patrol leader? Mom or Dad?

The answer is all of the above. Or at least it can be — if the Scoutmaster says so.

Wayne Huddleston, a volunteer who serves as the Eagle rank specialist for the National Advancement Task Force, hopped on ScoutCast with us to answer that question.

“Topic in the Guide to Advancement states that the Scoutmaster authorizes individuals who may test and pass a Scout on rank requirements,” he says. “The Scoutmaster can choose to designate youth leaders or other adult leaders if he wants to. It’s really up to him to make that decision.”

The question — Who can sign off on Boy Scout requirements? — is the topic of the June 2016 ScoutCast. Listen here or search for “ScoutCast” on your favorite podcasting app to hear the nine-minute episode.

Who signs off on merit badge requirements?

“That’s the responsibility of a merit badge counselor,” Huddleston says, “and only individuals who are registered and approved by the council as a merit badge counselor can sign off on merit badges. Even unit leaders such as the Scoutmaster must be registered as a merit badge counselor and approved by the local council for any merit badges they wish to counsel. They just can’t do it because of the fact that they’re a leader in the unit.”

And that means once a Scout finishes the Family Life merit badge, he can’t turn to Mom or Dad for a signature. Unless, of course, the parent is a registered and approved
merit badge counselor.

Hear more

For more of this fascinating discussion, listen to the latest episode of ScoutCast.

Send us your ScoutCast topic ideas

This month’s topic idea came from Richard Eitzel.

When Eitzel found out his question was being turned into an entire episode, he wrote the ScoutCast team to say thanks.

“I just listened to the latest ScoutCast,” he writes. “Thanks so much! That did help and reinforced a few things we were doing correctly. Thanks to Bryan and Lee. And please tell Bryan that my son and I were both impressed that he pronounced our last name perfectly. It’s rarely done.”

I’ll admit that the pronunciation was a lucky guess.

But no luck is needed to get your question answered in a future episode.

Your first step: send your idea to ScoutCast@scouting.org or tweet us @BSAScoutCast.

About Bryan Wendell 3281 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.