Welcome back readers to our series that will run each quarter, highlighting our TarValon.Net Merit Badges!
 

What are Merit Badges? First introduced in 2011, Merit Badges (i.e. “Merits”) are a way to acknowledge the time and effort that our members put into the Community. The program has expanded over the years, and we have Merits for a variety of categories. From time spent as an active Member, volunteering at an official event, mentoring Junior Members, taking or teaching classes, or serving in a staff position. These are just a few of our Merit Badge categories. Merits are listed in each member’s profile in the Library, and some of them will earn you “perks” like discounts for Official Events.
 

Here are the Merit Badges awarded this quarter with a little explanation of what they are for:
 

Membership Merit

This Merit is awarded for “time served” as a community member. Members earn a Gold Merit for every five years of membership, and a Silver Merit for 2.5 years.
 

Staff Merit

Many of our staff positions qualify for the Staff Merit, which again is awarded for a certain amount of time served. These are cumulative across departments, not just time spent in one position. Five years earns a Gold Merit, while 2.5 years earns a Silver Merit.
 

Pro Bono Merit

Members earn a gold merit after providing HR, graphical, legal or IT expertise to the Tower free of charge for 3 years. A silver is earned after 1.5 years.
 

Mentoring Merit

This Merit Badge falls under the “Raising the Next Generation” category and is a silver merit. The silver is awarded after mentoring at least five Junior Members that rise at least one rank. The gold is awarded after mentoring at least ten Junior Members that have risen at least one rank.
 

Group Service Merit

This is a newer Merit, introduced in 2017. It falls under the “Administrative Service” category and is a silver merit. It is awarded annually to one person in each community group as chosen by their group leader. It can be awarded once per year for each group.
 

Camp Nurse Merit

This merit is part of Event Leadership. Members earn a gold merit after acting as a Camp Nurse three times for Official Events. A silver is earned after acting as a Camp Nurse once for an Official Event.
 

Spirit Merit

It falls under the “Online Spirit” category and is a silver merit. It can be earned after receiving two “Spirit of _____” awards, given out for each of our online freeweeks. It can be earned more than once.
 

Climbing the Ladder Merit

This is a gold only merit. Members can earn this merit after serving as Staff, Administrator and Executive for at least three months.
 

Reporter Merit

These Merits are earned by submitting content to the Tar Valon Times. A Silver Merit is earned after publishing 20 pieces, while a Gold Merit is earned for 50 pieces.
 

You can see the list of the July 2021 Merit awardees here. Want to know more about Merits you can earn? Our Library is a great source of information (used as reference material for this article), as is this post at the Head Librarian’s Desk. Thanks to everyone for your membership and service to the TarValon.Net community!

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