What Are the Age Requirements for Merit Badges?
Michael sent in this question:
What scout age is too young for Citizenship in the Community? I have a couple “younger scouts” who would like to begin the badge but they are only 7th graders and Second Class? Is it my call or do you have a certain criteria?
Age Is Not a Requirement
This is not an uncommon question. The Guide to Advancement should be the first source of information when you have a question about advancement procedures. From the Guide to Advancement about who can work on a merit badge
Any registered Scout, or qualified Venturer or Sea Scout, may work on the requirements for any merit badge at any time. However,before working with a counselor or attending a group or virtual merit badge opportunity, a Scout should meet with his or her unit leader. This is the leader’s opportunity to give guidance on the wisdom of pursuing a selected badge, to advise the Scout on how work might be approached and what may be encountered along the way.
I think this quote from the guide to advancement really addresses this situation. If you think the Scout is too young, you can discuss your concerns with him. But it does clearly state that the decision to proceed belongs to the Scout. There are not age requirements for merit badges.
Note that the Guide to Advancement is updated annually, so when looking something up, check that you are using the current version first.
Scouters , how do you approach age requirements for merit badges? Add your ideas to the comments
The Guide to Advancement is the official place to look for all information related to advancement.
Can a troop place requirements on how a Board of Review must be requested? For example, can a troop require that the Scout request the BOR by phone rather than in person?