What is a Merit Badge Counselor?

A Merit Badge Counselor, or “MBC” for short, is an adult leader 18 or older in age that has specific skills they want to share in helping Scouts earn Merit Badges. In order for a Scout (Scout, Venturer, Sea Scout age 11-17) to earn a Merit Badge, they must work with and be signed off by a MBC that is specific to that badge.  A MBC is a teacher, a mentor, and a helping hand in the progression of Scouting.

How do Scouts earn Merit Badges?

A Scout will start by considering the list of over 130+ Merit Badges and choose the one they are interested in.  The Scout will work with their Scoutmaster to find a MBC specific to the badge, and then the Scoutmaster will present the Scout with a signed Application for Merit Badge (known as a “blue card”).  The Scout can then work through the requirements for the badge.  When work is completed or if questions arise, the Scout will reach out to the MBC.  The MBC — following Youth Protection guidelines — will work with the Scout to ensure that all requirements are met exactly as stated for that badge.  Upon completion, the MBC will sign off the blue card, which the Scout will then return to the Scoutmaster for a final signature and recording.

Sign up to be a Merit Badge Counselor

Requirements for being a MBC:

  • Completed Youth Protection Training and has printed certificate of completion
  • Completes and submits an Adult Application, including the Criminal Background Check (position code 42, fee $25)
  • Must be an individual of good character
  • Must be age 18 or older
  • Must have the skills and education in the subjects they want to teach (available Merit Badges)
  • Must have good rapport with Scout-age youth and their unit leaders
  • Must be approved by the local council for each merit badge – achieved by submitting a Merit Badge Counselor Information sheet

Once the BSA Adult Application, MBC Information sheet, and Youth Protection Training certificate are completed, you will submit all three with the $25 fee to your District Executive.

After you are approved, dive right in!  You may want to purchase the Merit Badge Pamphlet for the badge or badges that you plan to counsel.  The Pamphlets contain all of the current requirements and the supporting knowledge needed to complete them.

Scroll down the MBC Resources/Info section for more information for counselors.

Existing Merit Badge Counselors

Over time, as a MBC, you may need to add or remove Merit Badges from your list of counseled badges.  To do this, simply fill out the Merit Badge Counselor Information sheet again with the updates, and submit it to your District Advancement Chair.  Coming soon:  online process to make changes.

Yearly, in the summer, you will be asked to renew your Merit Badge Counselor status. Look for an email or return here late spring to look for information on that process.