Merit Badge Counselors

The merit badge counselor is a key player in the Boy Scout advancement program. Whatever your area of expertise or interest—whether it is a special craft or hobby (basketry, leatherwork, coin collecting), a profession (veterinary medicine, aviation, engineering), or perhaps a life skill (cooking, personal management, communications)—as a merit badge counselor, you can play a vital role in stirring a young man’s curiosity about that particular topic. By serving as a merit badge counselor, you offer your time, knowledge, and other resources so that Scouts can explore a topic of interest.

In order to register, merit badge counselors are expected to complete BSA Youth Protection. This training can be done through The BSA’s Online Learning Center . The Boy Scouts of America seeks to create a safe environment for young people and adult leaders to enjoy the program and related activities. BSA Youth Protection training helps preserve that environment.

For more information, consult the Guide for Merit Badge Counseling, No. 512-065 or Merit Badge Counselor Information, No. 34405 . To learn more about the merit badge program, see section 7 of the Guide to Advancement,The Merit Badge Program.”

The recommended process for earning merit badges

  1. The Scout develops an interest in a merit badge and may begin working on the requirements.
  2. The Scout discusses his interest in the merit badge with his unit leader.
  3. The unit leader signs a blue card and provides the Scout with at least one counselor contact.
  4. The Scout contacts the counselor.
  5. The counselor considers any work toward requirements completed prior to the initial discussion with the unit leader.
  6. The Scout, his buddy and the counselor meet (often several times).
  7. The Scout finishes the requirements.
  8. The counselor approves completion.
  9. The Scout returns the signed blue card to his unit leader, who signs the applicant record section of the blue card.
  10. The unit leader gives the Scout the applicant record.
  11. The unit reports the merit badge to the council.
  12. The Scout receives his merit badge.

updated July 2019
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