Seneca Waterways Council - 2021 Towpath Merit Badge University

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2021 Towpath Merit Badge University

Event Details

Update as of March 5, 2021:
Towpath Merit Badge University is cancelled for 2021 due to lack of counselors.
We have decided the best course is to learn from this experience and move forward with planning for next year when we can hopefully hold the event in person.

Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause for troops.

Towpath Merit Badge University is going VIRTUAL for 2021!

For Merit Badge Counselors:
Want to help to your expertise by counseling a merit badge?  Please fill our the Google Form below with the help of our Helpful Pre-Planner. 
Counselor Sign Up Form:  Click Here >>>
More Counselor details and helps are located in the right side bar to your right.

For Two Deep Leadership: 
Sign Up Today!  Click Here >>>

Troops... Perfect opportunity to include your Troop’s Unit Commissioner so don't hesitant to ASK them! 
Volunteers must be registered BSA adults (21 years of age or over) to help as Two Deep Leadership for Virtual Merit Badge Sessions (AM and PM) as APO brothers will be busy running Zoom rooms as host. They may be asked to help Counselors with renaming Scouts and removing Scouts from merit badge sessions that are not practicing their Scout Oath and Scout Law.

For Troops (Scouts):
RIT’s Alpha Phi Omega (APO) brothers are hosting Towpath Merit Badge University (MBU) again, now in its 17th year.
Thanks to COVID, the APO brothers rose to the challenge, taking our annual day merit badge in-person event Scouts enjoy; to the internet… doing a Virtual Towpath Merit Badge University for the first time ever!  Exciting, huh?

Even more awesome, since the brothers come from all over the USA, they have invited their local councils to join us thanks to virtual technology advantages.  Towpath MBU welcomes Mayflower Council, Massachusetts and Greater Los Angeles Council, California in joining us for some fellowship and merit badges!  Hopefully lifetime Scouting friendships grow up like trees from this virtual opportunity!

So mark your calendars… Saturday February 13 (& 20), 2021

Saturday, February 13, 2021 - 1st merit badge session and event date.
Saturday, February 20 - If needed for YOUR merit badge. We have shortened the session time by one hour.  This may affect your merit badge. Plus -- in the virtual arena, two sessions for most merit badges works best. 
If a Scout has two sessions, the Scout MUST attend BOTH Saturdays: February 13 & 20.

Schedule:  9:30 am – 3:00 pm as a virtual event
Opening - begins at 9:30am SHARP (ALL Scouts MUST attend!)
Morning Session - 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Lunch hour - Noon to 1:00 pm - The Scout’s responsibility.
Afternoon Session - 1:00 pm - 3:00 p.m.

Cost: $5.00 per Scout, includes a commemorative patch.

Dress Code: Class A uniform (if you have one)


For Scouts: Zoom, emails, Google Classrooms, and Merit Badge worksheets.
For Adults only: Text, Slack and Two Deep Leadership.
Each merit badge session will have Two Deep Leadership.  Some Counselors may use Google Classroom and worksheets from here:

Platform Operations:

  • Cameras - Everyone must have cameras on and working, regardless if desktop, laptop, iPad type device, or cellphone is used. 
  • Microphones - All must have working micrphones and know how to turn your microphone on and off as you will be muted upon entry into the Zoom room.
  • Names - All Scouts MUST use first (nickname) and last name and troop number so it reads like this: <first name> <(nickname)><last name><T-number> for this results: Ursula (Deaf Scouter) Seefeld - T-397 to be allowed entry into their virtual merit badge sessions.

Class Size:
Fitting the 12-person Zoom screen with Two Deep Leadership (Counselor and registered adult), the MAX in a merit badge session is 10 Scout.  Some sessions may be smaller to fit the needs of the Counselor.

Merit Badge Choices:

Scouts may select either: 2 electives  --or--   1 Eagle-required and 1 elective
The full listing of offerings is found here, along with the Scout's prerequisites information:

The K-12 winter break is being utilized for this event by Counselors so prerequisites will come in two sets: 1st merit badge session on February 13, 2021 –and– if needed, the 2nd merit badge session on February 20, 2021.  Scouts MUST attend both dates, if their Counselor has two sessions for a merit badge the Scout is signed up for.

Troop Registration: 
Registration is by troop only – all scouts must register with their unit (troop). (Crews & Ships allowed.)  A designated REGISTERED BSA troop leader from each troop must register (create an account) with https://www.MeritBadge.Info/ to sign up their Scouts.  If you need help, there are videos in the HELP section:

Be Prepared:  In 2020, MeritBadge.Info upgraded so adults are required to have the following to sign in -or- register on MeritBadge.Info:  a current BSA membership number and current date for Youth Protection Training (YPT).  Both are found on one’s account.

Event Links:
Know: There are TWO links for Towpath Merit Badge University: 
1. Online Registration Link:
2. Online Payment Portal:  You are on it!  And your updates to our events will be here!

Steps to Registration:
Step 1: Go to MeritBadge.Info to register your Scouts and their merit badge choices.

Step 2:  You will receive an email with the payment portal password. (this website.)
Step 3:  Make your online payment by February 10, 2021.  (NO payments accepted at the Scout Service Center!)

Single Scout Registration:
If you are a single scout wanting to register, contact us at for instructions. 

Early Bird Registration:
Troops that provide Merit Badge Counselors will be able to register under the Early Bird Open Registrations, starting February 1 to February 5, 2021.  For troops with over 10 Scouts attending Towpath MBU, help us help you please. Figure a Counselor for every 8 to 10 Scouts in your troop attending.

Registration Dates:  (12:00am is the cutoff time.)
Early Bird Registration (By Invitation Only) = February 1 to February 5, 2021
Open Registration (General Public) = February 6 to February 10, 2021

Two Deep Leadership:  Sign Up Today!   Click Here >>>
Each Troop is expected to provide registered BSA adults (21 years of age or over) to help as Two Deep Leadership for Virtual Merit Badge Sessions (AM and PM) as APO brothers will be busy running Zoom sessions with break out room as host.  This is a perfect opportunity to ASK your Troop’s Unit Commissioner if they will help!

Troop Payment:
Online payment only to our payment portal which is password protected. (Click the green button to your right.)
All payments due by February 10, 2021.

Additional Information:

When & Where
2021 Towpath MBU - Payment Portal
Virtual Towpath Merit Badge University
Tuesday 01-19-2021 12:00 AM ET to
Wednesday 02-10-2021 12:00 AM ET Past
More Information