Merit Badge Counselors

Merit badges provide opportunities to learn new skills, introduce lifetime hobbies, inspire careers, build confidence and improve social skills.  Merit badge counselors play a critical role in this process.  

Section 7 of the Guide to Advancement contains valuable information for merit badge counselors.

Becoming a Counselor

Merit badge counselors must be at least 18 years old and of good character and they must have sufficient skills and education in the subjects they intend to council.

The three documents below are required to become a merit counselor.

  1. Proof that Youth Protection has been taken and is current
    • You can take Youth Protection at  
    • After taking the training, print out the training certificate and include it with your application.

      2. A completed Merit Badge Counselor Information form

      3.  A BSA Adult Application, indicating position code 42

Even if you’ve already filled out an adult application, you must fill out another one to become a merit badge counselor.   The reason for this is that merit badge counselors are registered with the council and this registration requires separate paperwork.  You can find the most recent adult application by following the Scouting Forms link at the left.

Badges that Require Special Training

To improve safety, certain merit badges require specific training or experience.  Counselors who do not meet the specific requirements may use the services of helpers who do.  See section, Qualifications of Counselors in the Guide to Advancement, for more details.

Submitting Your Paperwork

IMPORTANT: Do not drop your paperwork off at the council office.   

Your paperwork must be approved by your district’s merit badge dean.  You can learn more about your district’s process using the links at the left or by contacting your district’s Advancement Chair.

Merit Badge Counselor Training

There are videos and other important resources for merit badge counselors at the bottom of the Advancement Resources page.  Every merit badge counselor should review this information.  However, to be considered position trained, counselors must complete a series of online training modules that can be accessed through their account.  

  • Login to your account
  • Click on the BSA Learning Center image on the right
  • Click on the Program badge
  • Click on Scouts BSA
  • Then Add the Scouts BSA – Merit Badge Counselor Training plan if needed
  • Click on the My Learning link at the top of the page to start the training