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)

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.

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.

Current BSA Registered Leader

  • Take the Merit Badge Counselor Training (35 minutes)
  • Once you complete the online Merit Badge Counselor application, allow up to three business days for approval
  •  Allow up 1-2 business days to be entered to My.Scouting
  • Allow 24 hours to be uploaded to Scoutbook after entered into My.Scouting

Non BSA Registered Leader

  • Take the online Youth Protection Training (45 minutes) and the Merit Badge Counselor Training (35 minutes)
  • Once you complete the online Merit Badge Counselor application, allow up to three business days for approval.
  • Allow up 1-2 business days to be entered to My.Scouting
  • Allow 24 hours to be uploaded to Scoutbook after entered into My.Scouting

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 Procedure Call (updated 1-25-23) Download
Special Certifications Download