Merit Badge Counselor

Frequently Asked Questions

Download the How to become a merit badge counselor document in the resources below

Yes, if this is your first time applying to be a merit badge counselor and you are not a registered leader you must complete a BSA application, Merit Badge Counselor Information sheet, proof of completion of YPT, any special certifications and copy of Merit Badge Counselor Training (preferred but not mandated)

No. If you are a current merit badge counselor you only need to submit your Merit Badge Counselor Information sheet, proof of current YPT and copy of any special Certifications.

We believe that every child should have the chance to be a Scout! Because of the generosity of local families, businesses and leaders, the Atlanta Area Council can offer assistance to support local families in need.

Merit badge counselors need the following training to be approved:
This new merit badge is about facilitating not teaching and this requires different skills.  While teachers impart their expertise and knowledge to Scouts, facilitators build on the knowledge base of the Scouts so that they can explore and grow their opinion.

To help you understand why the BSA is making this change, the scope of the background check, how to submit forms and more, we have prepared a list of answers to Frequently Asked Questions with assistance from our National organization. Please review this list and contact your Unit Commissioner or your District Professional if you have additional questions. Click here to find the new Background Check Authorization and Disclosures.

  • Beginning in 2020 all registered adults will be submitted for an updated criminal background check with rechecks every five years.
  • A new, signed Background Check Authorization form must be completed in order to begin this process.
  • All units must ensure their adult volunteers have completed these forms before their membership can be processed for 2020.
  • Volunteers should turn completed forms in to their Pack, Troop, Crew, Post or Ship for submission with their annual unit renewal.

We are looking at the renewal process to ensure continuity of merit badge counselors. Information will be updated as it is formulized.

The District Advancement Chair (DAC) will look at the Merit Badge Counselor Information Sheet and ensure that special certifications are current and attached for merit badges such as NRA certificate, National Camp School, etc), check the references of a new applicant and make sure that there is a current YPT before a counselor is approved.

On pages 42 & 43 of The Guide to Advancement, you can see the full list of merit badges and the certifications needed to properly teach the merit badge.

If the Unit submits a properly completed merit badge application packet (all items are accounted for), The goal is as follows:

  • The DAC should approve within one week and submit to the Program Center. 
  • The program center will input within one week the information in the Scoutnet system.
  • The Master Merit Badge Counselor List is updated at the end of each month

If the Application comes to the Program Center First and all items are properly submitted:

  • The Program Director will upload once per week to the DAC private file
  • The DAC will once a week approve and upload back to the private file
  • The Program Director will give approved applications to the Program Center to input into Scoutnet.

File Name Description
Guide to Merit Badge Counseling Download
How to become a merit badge counselor Instructions on how to become a Merit Badge Counselor Download
Merit Badge Counselor Application Application to become a Merit Badge Counselor or add/delete merit badges Download
Merit Badge Counselor Procedure Call 10-14-19 Download
Special Certifications Download