DIY Merit Badge Binder

It’s official. I’m a Boy Scout mom.

My son recently “bridged” to Boy Scouts. I’m happy he has his scout home too that’s separate from his sister (who interestingly had no interest in the new girl program.)

I am quickly learning that Scouts BSA is a completely different structure from Girl Scouting. BSA is by the book. Period. No more, no less on requirements, the mantra goes. No room for adaptation for experiences. And I’m ok with that.

The bigger challenge for me is adapting to the paper trail. In addition to digital tracking, the boys are responsible for handling and retaining “blue cards” documenting individual badge requirements until they achieve Eagle Scout rank.

Given that my child can’t remember to being home his homework, the idea of tracking blue cards for seven years potentially scares the bejesus out of me.

For better or worse, I am now troop advancement chair too. My hope is to make this whole rank experience as non-traumatic for parents as humanly possible.

Enter the binder.

While searching to find ideas to organize the blue cards on the advancement end (previous system was to toss them in a dying duffle bag), I stumbled on the idea to make an organization system for the boys themselves so those little scraps of papers were not lost.

Frankly, we have to teach them to find tools that work for them.

Scouts BSA Badge Organizer

Get yourself (and for each member of your troop):

Slide a cover sheet into the front. I did a simple council logo, troop number and child’s name.

I found a great starter template online, however it didn’t reflect BSUSA’s addition of Scouting as a rank. But it’s a non-issue if the books are presented along with rank cards at a Court of Awards ceremony.

You’ll need at least 4 of the card holder inserts for the rank cards and 21 Eagle-required badges. I added a few extra full-size inserts for works in progress, because it’s easier to get those cards and worksheets in and out.

Best of luck for all Scouts BSA parents as they guide their children through!

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