Merit Badges and Merit Badge Counselors

Merit Badges

Merit badges signify the mastery of certain Scoutcraft skills and help Scouts explore new areas and increase their skills in an area of personal interest. Of the approximately 120 merit badges available, 21 must be earned to qualify for Eagle Scout. The definitive, complete list of merit badges and requirements is here.

See also Scouts BSA Advancement for the latest updates to requirements.

If you’re wondering what merit badge to work on next, check out the most and least frequently earned merit badges in 2023.

Earning Merit Badges

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 their interest in the merit badge with their unit leader.
  3. The unit leader works with the Scout to identify at least one counselor contact.
  4. The Scout contacts the counselor.
  5. The counselor considers any work toward requirements completed before the initial discussion with the unit leader.
  6. The Scout, their buddy, and the counselor meet (often several times).
  7. The Scout finishes the requirements.
  8. The counselor approves completion.
  9. The Scout has a conference with their unit leader.
  10. The unit leader gives the Scout the applicant record.
  11. The unit reports the merit badge to the council.
  12. The Scout receives their merit badge.

The Merit Badge Counselor List that was here has been removed. The list may be accessed through The whole list is not available as counselors set their status to work with their troop, district, council, and worldwide, so they may not be visible to you. 

Should you have specific questions about an individual counselor or your troop counselors, please contact us. 

Finding 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 person’s curiosity about that particular topic. 

Troop, Crew, and Ship leaders can find the list of merit badge counselors on the unit page in Scoutbook. Scoutbook provides a search for merit badge counselors at that location. Your unit does not need to use Scoutbook to view the list. Log into with your My.Scouting userID and password, click on My Dashboard, Administration, your unit, and scroll down the page.

For detailed instructions on assigning Scouts to a merit badge counselor in Scoutbook, view this support article.

Registering as a Merit Badge Counselor

By serving as a merit badge counselor, you offer your time, knowledge, and other resources so that Scouts can explore a topic of interest.

To register to be a new merit badge counselor, the following must be completed and sent to the council:

  • Adult BSA application, with position code = 42. No approval from the Chartered Organization is necessary. 
  • The signed Criminal Background or Additional Disclosure page associated with the application.
  • Proof that Youth Protection Training has been taken within the last 2 years. This training can be done through The BSA’s Online Learning Center.
  • Pay a $50 annual membership fee. The National BSA annual membership fee is $25 PLUS a $25 Daniel Webster Council annual membership fee.
  • Merit badge counselor information form  Merit Badge Counselor, No. 34405 (indicates which merit badges will be taught).
  • Please note, your contact info can be changed in your profile in or Scoutbook.

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.”

For help with individual or Troop Merit Badge Counselor registrations, please contact us.

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On May 7, 2024, The Boy Scouts of America announced it will rebrand to Scouting America, reflecting the organization’s ongoing commitment to welcome every youth and family in America to experience the benefits of Scouting.