Merit Badge Fair

February 16, 2019

Willow Meadows Baptist Church
4300 W Bellfort Blvd.
Houston, TX 77035

The Boy Scout Merit Badge Fair is an opportunity for Boy Scouts, Venturers, and Sea Scouts of any rank, to work towards one or two merit badges. These are not give-away merit badges, and this is not a merit badge factory. Each Scout is expected to fulfill all the requirements by reading the merit badge book ahead of time, attending classes and doing prerequisites. Scouts are expected to participate fully during the class in order to receive full credit for the requirements completed onsite.

Adult participation is required to offer this event. Every unit with Scouts participating is expected to provide volunteers.

Registration

The registration fee is $16.50 for the first Scout and $15 for additional Scouts. The registration fee covers insurance, lunch, and supplies.  Each Scout can register for a morning class and an afternoon class, or an all-day class. Class sizes are limited to 10 Scouts. Classes fill up fast. Classes will be canceled if a counselor is not found. 

Important: Before registering check your Scout's school and troop calendar for conflicts. Check which merit badges the Scout has already completed. The Scout should discuss which merit badges they should sign up for with their Scoutmaster or troop advancement chair. Also, before registering, make sure you have the name and email of both your Scoutmaster and troop advancement chair.

Registration is typically completed by parents, but can also be completed by the troop leadership. Registration closes 2/14/19. Registration is done only online using credit card, electronic check or PayPal. Council refund policy.

Registration opens in December        Volunteer Sign-up          2018 Merit Badges and Prerequisites

How to Register - Click on the Register button

Step 1: Select a participant 
Step 2: Complete the Aquila Merit Badge Fair form
Step 3: Select a category (morning or all day)
Step 4: Choose merit badge (click “+” sign)
Repeat step 2 and 3 for afternoon class, if applicable
Continue steps 1, 2 and 3 for additional participants

Step 5: Review the schedule at the bottom of the page
Step 6: Click continue and the bottom of the page 
Step 7: Checkout
Step 8: Payment

Schedule

Time Activity
7:00 am Set-up starts, doors open to common area. Check-in begins.
7:45 am Opening ceremony and announcements
8:00 am Morning session
11:00 am Lunch
12:00 pm Afternoon session
3:00 pm Scouts will be led downstairs to check out

What to Bring

  • Merit badge book(s) and completed prerequisite work.  
  • Writing utensil and paper.
  • Blue cards are required. Scouts should talk with their Scoutmaster before registering. The merit badge fair staff will provide the completed requirements by Scout to the troop advancement chair by mid-March 2018.
  • BSA Annual Health and Medical Record (Parts A & B for all Scouting events) 
  • Wear field (Scout) uniform. Please tuck in the shirt.
  • Water
  • Snack

General Rules

  1. Scouts need to have read the merit badge pamphlet before Merit Badge Fair and be prepared for each of the requirements.
  2. Attendance in class does not mean a Scout will complete the merit badge.
  3. Scouts who do not complete all the requirements for a particular merit badge at Merit Badge Fair will need to complete the badge with a registered merit badge counselor approved for that particular badge back in their unit.
  4. Merit Badge Fair is not a program that guarantees advancement. But, rather, it is an opportunity for Scouts to meet with qualified counselors, to help them earn the merit badges they need for advancement.
  5. Class assignments will be available to each troop advancement chair prior to the fair. 
  6. Do not show up the day of the fair to see “What’s available?” 
  7. The number of Scouts per merit badge class will be limited to 15 scouts to better teach and complete the badge work. 
  8. Scouts may need to bring items to participate and complete requirements. 
  9. Classes will not all end at the same time; therefore, Scouts will be required to go to a common activity area when their class concludes. Roaming of the halls and grounds will not be allowed. 
  10. Scout are not to leave the Merit Badge Fair without checking with the adult volunteer from their troop [if one comes] and the registration table.
  11. If a Scout is unable to attend once registered, please contact troop advancement chairperson. Council Refund Policy
      

Note

  1. Scouts who have not read the merit badge book and are not prepared for the class may be asked to leave the class.
  2. Scouts that do not behave appropriately in class will be asked to leave. 
  3. There will be no refunds for those asked to leave a class because of failure to be prepared, wear their uniform, or because of behavior.

Prerequisites and Partials

Some of the merit badges cannot be completed in the time we have which will result in a partial completion of the merit badge. Uncompleted requirements and/or prerequisites will be addressed by the respective Scouts and troops. There may be some requirements in addition to the prerequisites that are not completed.

For all merit badges, the Scout must read the merit badge book and bring it with them to class.

 

Event Volunteers

It is the purpose of the Boy Scouts to provide an exciting program for youth and young adults to build character, to train in the responsibilities of participating citizenship and to develop personal fitness. Providing advancement opportunities is a primary part of this educational program. The Merit Badge Fair can only be offered to our Scouts if adults assist in running the event.  

Volunteer

Unit Coordinator

Each unit that sends Scouts must have at least one adult on site at all times to coordinate the unit's Scouts. The unit coordinators are encouraged to also help serve as event staff.

Event Staff 

Successful Scouts have the support and guidance of parents. The parents are a treasure trove of information that can benefit every youth in our leadership program. Your encouragement and occasional “refocusing of purpose” that Scouts your child’s age require will be invaluable. The successful leader in Scouts learns quickly to be successful in everything they attempt.

Adults are needed to set up the facilities before the fair starts, handle registration, act as "roamers" to look out for issues that need to be resolved, assist the merit badge counselors, and to help clean-up after the event is over.  Volunteers who work directly with the youth must have current Youth Protection Training. YPT can be taken at www.myScouting.org

Merit Badge Counselors

Merit badge counselors are needed to run the merit badge classes. Merit badge counselors must be registered with the council and have up to date Youth Protection Training. YPT can be taken at www.myScouting.org. It is our goal for the Scouts to be afforded opportunities to share resources from other troops with diverse occupations and skills. Participants will be expected to complete all the requirements as indicated by the Boy Scouts of America. Merit badge counselors should wear their Scout uniform if possible.  

The merit badge counselor is a key player in the Boy Scout advancement program. Whatever your area of expertise or interest—whether it is a special craft or hobby (basketry, leatherwork, coin collecting), a profession (veterinary medicine, aviation, engineering), or perhaps a life skill (cooking, personal management, communications)—as a merit badge counselor, you can play a vital role in stirring a young man's curiosity about that particular topic. By serving as a merit badge counselor, you offer your time, knowledge, and other resources so that Scouts can explore a topic of interest

Scouting Safely

Safety is Your Responsibility posterThe BSA's Commitment to Safety is ongoing and we want you to know that the safety of our youth, volunteers, staff, and employees cannot be compromised. The Boy Scouts of America puts the utmost importance on the safe and healthy environments for its youth membership. The Sam Houston Area Council takes great strides to ensure the safety of its youth as well as the adult volunteer leadership that interacts with them. 

BSA Guide to Safe Scouting policies must be followed. All participants must follow Youth Protection Guidelines at all Scouting events. Highlights include:

  • Two-deep leadership on all outings required.  
  • One-on-one contact between adults and youth members is prohibited. 
  • The buddy system should be used at all times. 
  • Discipline must be constructive.

Health and safety must be integrated into everything we do, to the point that no injuries are acceptable beyond those that are readily treatable by Scout-rendered first aid. As an aid in the continuing effort to protect participants in a Scout activity, the BSA National Health and Safety Committee and the Council Services Division of the BSA National Council have developed the "Sweet Sixteen" of BSA safety procedures for physical activity. These 16 points, which embody good judgment and common sense, are applicable to all activities.

Youth Protection Guidelines     Guide to Safe Scouting      Sweet Sixteen      Enterprise Risk Management

Contacts

For questions, contact the event chair or district program chair.