Merit badge counselors are the key to success in the merit badge plan. They offer their time, experience, and knowledge to help guide Scouts in one or more of the merit badge subjects.
The counselor’s responsibility is to:
- Assist the Scout as he plans the assigned projects and activities to meet the merit badge requirements.
- Coach Scouts through interviews and demonstrations on how to do the required skills of the craft, business, or hobby.
- Certify the Scout after determining whether he is qualified for the merit badge.
To qualify as a Merit Badge Counselor, you must:
- Be at least 18 years old.
- Be proficient in the merit badge subject by vocation, avocation, or special training. (see below)
- Be able to work with Scout-age boys.
- Be registered with the Boy Scouts of America
- Complete and submit the BSA Merit Badge Counselor Information Form (No. 33405), indicating which Merit badges you wish to counsel.
As a Merit Badge Counselor, you must agree to:
- Follow the requirements of the merit badge, making no deletions or additions, ensuring that the advancement standards are fair and uniform for all Scouts.
- Have a Scout and his buddy present at all instructional sessions.
- Renew your registration annually if I plan to continue as a Merit Badge Counselor.
When you register as a Merit Badge Counselor, you may choose to work only with a specific unit or units, or with all units.
Proficiency in the subject:
- Vocation: Is this subject in line with your job, business, or profession?
- Avocation: Do you follow this subject as a hobby, having more than a working knowledge of the requirements?
- Special Training: If not, do you have any special training or other qualifications for this subject?
Most local councils list merit badge counselors by district so that Scouts may call for appointments.
Merit badge counselors must be members of the Boy Scouts of America. A counselor must have approval from the BSA local council, but there is no cost to serve. All volunteers are expected to complete BSA Youth Protection training within 90 days of assuming a leadership position. This training is available online at http://olc.scouting.org.