Online Merit Badge University

May TBD, 2021
(Central Time Zone)

The Merit Badge University is an opportunity for Scouts in troops and crews to work towards completing the requirements of one or badges. These online merit badge classes are an advancement opportunity open to Scouts in troops, crews or ships. Classes are taught by registered merit badge counselors. These are not give-away merit badges. Scouts are expected to participate fully during the class and to personally complete each requirement (as specified in the Guide to Advancement section 7.0.3.2) in order to receive full credit for the requirements completed.


This year, the coursework will be completed through live video conferencing calls (Zoom). Scouts will need access to the internet utilizing a device with a camera and speakers. The sessions are hosted through a standard web browser (e.g., Chrome, Internet Explorer); Scouts will be able to see and hear the instructor. Scouts will be able to type questions using a chat field. 

Volunteers are needed to run the event. To ensure digital safety and to assist the merit badge counselor, at least one volunteer needs to volunteer to sit in on the class. The volunteer does not need to be an expert in the merit badge. The volunteer will help monitor the chat that Scouts will use to ask questions, take attendance and make sure Scouts are participating. Please volunteer or sign up when registering your Scout. Learn more about additional Scout activities and merit badge classes.

Registration    Merit Badges / Schedule / Prerequisities   Expectations    Adult Volunteers    Contact

Registration

The registration fee is $7.50 for the first class and $5 for each additional class when registering at the same time. The fee includes an event patch. Registration is typically completed by parents, but can also be completed by the troop leadership. Registration is done only online using a credit card or electronic check. Council refund policy.  Learn more about how to register and change/update merit badge classes.

Registration        Event Feedback

Important: Before registering check which merit badges the Scout has already completed.  Scouts are to obtain approval from their unit leader before participating in the class. 

This intent of this event is to present content that gets the Scout started on a set of requirements. It is then up to that Scout to complete any additional task(s), study project(s), or activity(s) offline with a local registered merit badge.

Prior to the class, participants will receive an email with details and instructions, and a link to the video conferencing class. Following the class, participants will receive a follow-up email with the requirements completed online. It will be up to unit leaders to record and award the advancements completed.  

Schedule / 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. There may be some requirements in addition to the prerequisites that are not completed. The goal of this event is to help Scouts potentially complete 80% - 90% of the necessary requirements. In some cases, Scouts may complete 100% certain badges, especially if the prerequisites are completed prior to the class. Item(s) not covered during the class will need to be reviewed by the Scout and a local registered merit badge counselor. Uncompleted requirements and/or prerequisites will be addressed by the respective unit leaders. 

Merit Badge

2020 Date(s)

Days

Time
(Central Time Zone)

Status
(as of 5/12/20)

Pre-requisites
(Not covered in class)

American Business May 18-21 Mon - Th. 5:45 - 6:15 pm    Full #5, 6
American Labor May 16 Sat. 1 - 4 pm Full None
Chemistry May 16 Sat. 9 am - 12 pm Full TBD
Citizenship in the Community May 19-22 T, W, Th, Fr 1 - 2 pm Full TBD
Citizenship in the Nation May 18-21 Mon. - Th. 4 - 5 pm Full None
Citizenship in the Nation May 16 Sat. 1 - 4 pm Full None
Citizenship in the World May 16 Sat. 9 am - 12 pm Full TBD
Communication May 16 Sat. 1 - 4 pm Full TBD
Crime Prevention & Fingerprinting  May 16 Sat. 9 am - 12 pm Full TBD
Electricity May 16 Sat. 9 am - 12 pm Full TBD
Entrepreneurship May 16 Sat. 9 am - 12 pm Full #3
Fire Safety May 16 Sat. 1:00 - 4:00 pm Full #12
Genealogy May 21-22 Th. - Fr. 6:30-7:30 pm Full #2,#3,#6,#7
Graphic Arts May 19-20 Tues. - Wed. 6:30-7:30 pm Full #3, #4
Law  May 18-22 Mon. - Fr. 3-4 pm Full TBD
Medicine May 16 Sat 10 am - 12 pm Full #10
May 18 Mon 6-7:30 pm
May 19 Tues 6-7:30 pm
May 21 Th 6-7 pm
Mining in Society May 16 Sat. 1 - 4 pm Full TBD
Personal Management May 18-22 Mon. - Fr. 4 - 5 pm Full #2,#8,#9
Plant Science May 16 Sat. 1 - 4 pm Full TBD
Programming May 16 Sat. 1 - 4 pm Full TBD
Public Speaking May 19 & 21 Tu & Th 4 - 5:30 pm Full #2, #4
Reading May 16 Sat. 9 am - 12 pm One spot left TBD
Safety May 18-19 Mon. - Tues. 10 am - 12 pm Full #2
Scouting Heritage May 19-21 Tues - Th 6:30 - 7:30 pm Full #4, #5
Sustainability May 18-21 Mon - Th 2-3:00 pm Full Prerequisites
Textiles May 18-21 Mon. - Th. 5-5:30 pm Full #3, #6 

Scout Expectations

Before the class

  • Discuss the merit badge class with the unit leader to obtain approval from their unit leader before participating in the class.
  • Dress appropriately (e.g., Scout uniform, Scout shirt).
  • Set up a physical space with an internet-accessible device that will allow you to focus on the class and participate without distracting your classmates and instructor (e.g., in front of a wall) with light behind the device, and in a quiet room, with minimal background noise and distractions.
  • Ensure a webcam and microphone are working on your device so you can share your camera if needed. Before class, join a Zoom test session to test your audio and webcam, and familiarize yourself with the chat and other controls.
  • Check the time zone. This class is being taught in the Central Time Zone.
  • Read the merit badge book.
  • Complete prerequisites, if possible.

Upon login

  • Rename yourself to your first and last name (click on your picture).
  • Keep the microphone on mute (bottom left) so as not to add background noise.  Only unmute if requested by the instructor.
  • The speaker/gallery setting (in upper right) should be set on speaker view.
  • If you have a question, type it in the chat. The moderator will ask the instructor the question.
  • Utilize the raise your hand feature if wanting to ask a question live.
  • If the presenter asks a question, use the reactions (bottom of the screen)

During class

  • Scouts are expected to pay attention and fully participate. Scouts who don’t participate won’t get credit for those requirements.
  • Scouts need to have the webcam on at all times.
  • Put away phones, gaming devices, etc.
  • When sending emails to the instructor, copy a parent, guardian or another adult leader.

Adult Volunteers

Adult participation is required to offer this event. Every unit with Scouts participating is expected to provide at least one volunteer for every six Scouts attending. Additional volunteers are needed and appreciated. Adults can serve as merit badge counselors or as online moderators to assist the counselors.

Online Moderators

Online moderators attend the class to help ensures two-deep leadership compliance and allows the instructor to focus on teaching. While the moderator does not need to be familiar with the contents of the class, they should practice and be comfortable utilizing the online platform (e.g., Zoom) and features so they can assist the instructor. Moderators takes attendance and monitor Scouts to make sure they are actively participating. In addition, they monitors the group chat for questions. When there is a question that needs to be addressed by the instructor, the moderator can unmute and ask the instructor the question.

Volunteer to be a Moderator  

          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. The youth 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 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.

Volunteer as a Merit Badge Counselor         

How to Register

 

Step 1: Select a participant: 
Step 2: Select a class 
Repeat step 2 if you want to take more than one class. Repeat step 1 for additional participants.
Step 4: Review the schedule.
Step 5:  
Step 6:
Step 7: 

Classes that are full will not appear.

Change Merit Badge Classes

To modify your registration:

Digital Safety in a Time of Increased Online Activity 

  • BSA’s youth protection policies apply to all online activities. All online activities, including video and audio conferencing through platforms such as Zoom and Skype, must adhere to the BSA’s current youth protection guidelines for digital communications, including the BSA’s Digital Privacy guidelines and the BSA’s Social Media Guidelines. Because safety features and privacy controls vary widely from platform to platform, and out of respect for families’ own preferences concerning social media usage, we strongly recommend using business-oriented conferencing platforms—for example, Zoom, Skype, GoToMeeting and others—to conduct online group activities instead of platforms intended for online gaming (e.g., Discord, Robolux, Twitch). 

BSA’s Digital Privacy Guidelines         BSA’s Social Media Guidelines

  • Safeguard personal information. If you collect a person’s personal information online—for example, through web forms used to register people for online meetings—then you should post a notice or disclosure at the point of collection describing how you will use the information. The notice should be conspicuous and written in plain English. Keep in mind, video conferencing platforms (e.g., Zoom) have their own privacy policies which apply to data collected through the platform (e.g., if the platform is hosting your web form). Organizers of Zoom and Skype meetings—for example, unit leaders and Merit Badge counselors—may obtain personal information about a youth, such as his or her name, phone number or email address. Meeting organizers must keep such information private and not share a youth’s personal information with anyone else except that youths’ parent or guardian or the unit leader responsible for recording advancements. For example, a Merit Badge counselor should not publicly post or otherwise disclose a roster containing personal information of Scouts who the counselor has worked with. 
  • Recording online meetings is not authorized. As a reminder, Scouting’s Barriers to Abuse prohibits any one-on-one contact between an adult leader and youth members – in person, online, through a web conference, over the phone, via text, or in any other form. Electronic communication between adults and youth should always include another registered leader or parent. We believe our existing policy is the best way to protect youth and volunteers, and we do not believe recording online meetings would provide any additional material benefit. To the contrary, recording calls would increase personal risk as call recording is subject to various legal requirements under U.S. law and the laws of individual states, some of which require all parties to a call consent to recording. Considering those potential regulatory risks and the effect of BSA’s existing policies, we are not authorizing the recording of online meetings. 

Scouting’s Barriers to Abuse

  • Collecting personal information from youth under 13 is not recommended. We advise against collecting personal information directly from youth under 13 years of age due to the parental notice and consent requirements under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”). COPPA does not restrict the collection of personal information about a youth from his or her parent or guardian. For the purposes of COPPA, “personal information” includes first and last name; home or other physical address; screen name or username that functions as online contact information; telephone number; a social security number; or a photograph, video, or audio file containing the child’s image or voice. 

Contacts

For questions or to volunteer as a moderator or merit badge counselor, contact Ms. Valerie Richardson.