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The Hudson Valley Council, Boy Scouts of America is excited to announce the launch of Virtual Merit Badge Courses.  Check out the available Virtual Merit Badges on the schedule below.  Additional courses will be added so check back frequently or follow us on Facebook.  

All Merit Badge programs will follow Scouting’s Youth Protection policies.  It may be helpful to make sure you are familiar with these policies and the BSA’s Online and Social Media Guidelines.

If you are interested in teaching a virtual Merit Badge Class, please email Jon Whitaker: Jon.Whitaker@scouting.org

Parents will need to ensure they have their unit Scoutmaster’s name AND Email Address to be able to complete their registration! Scouts will need their own e-mail address and CAN NOT use their parent's e-mail address.  Additionally, if you have multiple Scouts you are registering within a family or unit, they also CAN NOT use the same e-mail address as their needs to be (1) e-mail address per student for the classroom invitation and access. 

PLEASE NOTE:  Many Scouts' e-mails addresses are not able to be used as they are already associated with a Google G Suite for their school district.  Please do not use anything from a (.org) like "john.smoth@cornwallcentral.org" as it will not be able to be added.

If your Scout does not have an e-mail, please take a moment to read the Hudson Valley Council Cyber Hygiene for tips on how to better prepare yourself for online activities and safely and successfully set-up an e-mail account for them.


Session #4 - Monday, May 25th - Friday, May 29th

*** We understand that Monday is Memorial Day and may have to shift the class instructions based on merit badge counselor availability.

Merit Badge Counselor Dates & Times Registration Link
Architecture Merit Badge Ms. Donna Wiik
(Heritage)

2-Week Class Length


Self-paced after 1st class instruction


*** Class Instruction: Tuesday May 26th @ 7pm - 7:30pm

Registration is closed
Bird Study Merit Badge Mrs. Robyn Eherts
(Delaware River)

2-Week Class Length

Self-paced after 1st class instruction.

*** Class Instruction: Tuesday, May 26th @ 7pm - 7:30pm

Registration is closed

Pets Merit Badge Mrs. Donna Helt
(Heritage)

*** Class Instruction: Tuesday, May 26th @ 4pm - 4:30pm

Self-paced after 1st class instruction.

Registration is closed
Reading Merit Badge Mr. Michael Burns
(Delaware River)

4-Week Class Length

*** Class Instruction: Tuesday, May 26th @ 6pm - 6:30pm

Self-paced after 1st class instruction.

Registration is closed
Scholarship Merit Badge Mr. Gary Albaugh
(Delaware River)

1-Week Class Length

Self-paced after 1st class instruction.

*** Class Instruction: Monday, May 26th @ 8pm - 8:30pm

Registration is closed

Session #5 - Monday, June 1st - Friday, June 5th

Merit Badge Counselor Dates & Times Registration Link
Personal Fitness Merit Badge Mr. Michael Barresi
(Rockland)
Class Instruction: TBA

Self-paced after 1st class instruction.

* 12-week program is due on Friday, August 21st, 2020.

Register: May 29th/12p - May 31st/12p
Safety Merit Badge Mr. John Llewellyn
(Delaware River)

Class Instruction: TBD

Self-paced after 1st class instruction.

Register: May 29th/12p - May 31st/12p
Woodworking Merit Badge Mr. Ray Lugo
(Dutchess)
Class Instruction: TBA Register: May 29th/12p - May 31st/12p

Session #6 - Monday, June 8th - Friday, June 12th

Merit Badge Counselor Dates & Times Registration Link
"X" Merit Badge Mr./Mrs. XYZ
(Heritage)
Class Instruction: TBA Register: June 5th/12p - June 7th/12p

Frequently Asked Questions – Hudson Valley Council Council Virtual Merit Badges

Is there a wait-list?
No.  Each counselor determines the max class size for their merit badge.  Once the class is full it is full.  Once the registration is closed and the class roster has been sent to the instructor and the Google Classroom has been initiated, no additional Scouts will be added.

How many classes can I sign up for at one time?
We strongly recommend signing up for ONLY one merit badge class at a time in efforts to give other Scouts an opportunity to participate.  Please give all of the Scouts a chance to participate as the class sizes are limited to (25) students and there are approximately 7,500 Scouts in the Hudson Valley Council.

Does each class meet regularly?
Each merit badge instructor is different.  Some will have scheduled class sessions.  Others will have a self-paced model where the Scout has to simply submit the assignments.  This is determined by the counselor and the requirements. Please be sure you check with your counselor, read his/her instructions via e-mail and the classroom posts, and be active in communication to be successful in your online merit badge courses and experience.

Do we need a camera and a microphone?
We strongly prefer that you use a device that has both a camera and a microphone. Scouts will need to participate in discussions and be actively engaged.  Being able to use a microphone or phone is required.  We highly encourage video participation.

What meeting platform will the Council be using?
We will be using Google Classroom for all Merit Badge instructions.

How will Scouts get their “blue card” Merit Badge Applications?
Merit badge records can be done electronically and approved through Scoutbook. Scouts can find their counselor by name in Scoutbook and mark off there completed work. The counselor, once linked to the Scout, can then approve the work and the records will be added to the Scouts online profile. This will be available for the unit's leaders to see and use for advancement. For more information on assigning a merit badge counselor to a Scout in Scoutbook, please visit: https://help.scoutbook.com/knowledge-base/how-do-i-assign-merit-badge-counselors-to-a-scout/

How will Youth Protection and “no one-on-one contact” be maintained?
We are making sure that there are two adults present for every merit badge before any interaction with youth.  

We are requiring that parents be “present” for each class to monitor activities.  This does not mean that the parent must be on the call but should be in the same room or at least within earshot to monitor both the Scout and the class.  

When will I receive instructions from my Merit Badge Counselor?
Most counselors will provide information about the badge when you register.  You will receive further instructions and links to enter the class approximately 24 hours before the class begins. If you do not receive instructions by the day of your class, please contact Jon Whitaker at Jon.Whitaker@scouting.org.  Please check your junk mail before reaching out.  Sometimes invitations can end up in junk or spam folders.  

Does my Scout need to have his/her own e-mail address?
Yes.  Parents will need to ensure they have their unit Scoutmaster’s name AND Email Address to be able to complete their registration! Scouts will need their own e-mail address and CAN NOT use their parent's e-mail address.  Additionally, if you have multiple Scouts you are registering within a family or unit, they also CAN NOT use the same e-mail address as their needs to be (1) e-mail address per student for the classroom invitation and access.  Please ensure your e-mail address is correct as that is the record we will have on file for you and your Scout when you register.  If we get an "undeliverable" notification, we do not have the means to add you to the Google Classroom without your correct e-mail.

PLEASE NOTE:  Many Scouts' e-mails addresses are not able to be used as they are already associated with a Google G Suite for their school district.  Please do not use anything from a (.org) like "john.smoth@cornwallcentral.org" as it will not be able to be added.

Can I register if I am not a Hudson Valley Council Scout?
Yes.

Will there be more classes and more variety of merit badges?
Yes, we will be providing new classes as we secure more commitments from Merit Badge Counselors to participate.  If you are a registered Merit Badge Counselor and would be interested in instructing a class, please email Jon Whitaker: Jon.Whitaker@scouting.org 

Where can I find the most current requirements for a Merit Badge that I would like to work on?
For the most current and up-to-date requirements visit the Official Merit Badge page that is maintained by the National Council.  You can purchase the books online, through the Scout Shop or use your unit's Librarian to help get you a copy of the merit badge books.

What happens if I do not finish the badge or do not fully complete the requirements?
If you do not log into the merit badge class at all during the class session, you will be dropped from the roles.  If you only complete part of the requirements, you will need to work with your counselor around their availability to submit and grade the additional missing requirements.  You will have a partial merit badge blue card until the requirements are completed.  When partials are given, most counselors will not accept partials past a couple of months from when the badge was started.  If your Scout starts in May 2020 and attempts to complete the badge in December 2020, he/she may need to start the badge over again (especially if the requirements have changed).  Additionally, if you try and complete a badge with a different counselor, they do not need to accept previous work completed and may require Scouts to complete work again.  It is best to "Be Prepared" and manage your time so you can complete the badges in the designated time frame.