Most Scouts and Scouters will agree that the best method of earning a merit badge is with a merit badge counselor that you can interact with face to face. However, with our busy modern lifestyle, it is often more prudent to provide merit badge instruction in a class like atmosphere to a dozen or more Scouts at a time. Once this route is taken, it becomes more difficult for the merit badge counselor to verify completion of requirements, especially for requirements that are supposed to be discussed or told about.
For example, if twenty Scouts were attending a session on Camping merit badge, it would take a lot of time if the counselor asked each of them, one after another, to explain care of the feet. This is where merit badge worksheets come in. By filling out these sheets, Scouts can demonstrate their understanding of each of the requirements.
However, there's a downside to using these forms. It could be considered adding to the requirements to ask a Scout to write something down that the requirements say only needs to be discussed or explained. You'll have to decide for yourself how best to meet the needs of your Scouts and still comply with BSA policies.
Like most of the resources on MeritBadge.com, these worksheets were contributed by several different volunteer Scouters, people just like you. The willingness of these people to spend their time and efforts creating these valuable tools is another indicator of why Scouting is such a great volunteer movement. If you'd like to contact the individual authors, their information is usually included in the documents themselves.
To view the Doc files, you will need to use the Microsoft Word 97 (or later) or the MS Word Viewer (a free program). Both of these programs can also be used to print the Doc file documents. Word 97 and the Word Reader are products of Microsoft.
The files should be usable for any situation as is but if you really want to edit the Doc files and you don't have Microsoft Word or some other major word processor, you may want to try out the OpenOffice.org Office Suite, a free productivity suite that should be compatible with all major office suites. Please keep in mind that this is a large scale program that will take up at least 250 MB of space on your hard drive so only load it up if you need it.
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