Merit Badge Counselors
Registering as a NEW Merit Badge Counselor
Registration: The Far East Council delegates the responsibility for approving and maintaining a list of current Merit Badge Counselors to the districts. (Guide to Advancement 18.104.22.168). Merit Badge Counselor (MBC) is a district position, not a unit position. The District Leadership and/or the District Executive is responsible for approving Merit Badge Counselors for their district. There are four steps for a MBC to register with the BSA and begin merit badge counseling:
#1. Complete the Online Youth Protection Training (YPT)
To become a MBC, a volunteer must complete YPT, which can be found on the MyScouting website by CLICKING HERE. YPT must be valid through the entire year (31 December). Once complete, print your YPT Certificate and submit it with your application to become an MBC. Adults who are currently registered in a Unit or District position may multiply register as a Merit Badge Counselor without providing a YPT Certificate.
#2. Complete the BSA Adult Application Form
Having completed YPT, you need to complete a new BSA Adult Application CLICK HERE. This form is required even if you have other, current registration(s) for positions with your unit or district. You only need to submit a BSA Adult Application once to become an MBC (unless your MBC registration has lapsed). Pay special attention to filling in the "Council/District Position,” as "Merit Badge Counselor;” and your "District Name." The entire BSA Adult Application must be filled in and signed by the applicant, including the Background Check page located on the last page of the online application form itself. All applicants and currently registered Scouters go through a background check.
The signature blocks for the unit Committee Chairman and Chartered Organization Representative do not have to be signed. Do not forget to answer questions 1-6 on the right side of the application, Without answers to these questions, your application cannot be processed.
#3. Complete the Merit Badge Counselor Information Form
This form is used by the district to know for which merit badge(s) you want to serve as a Counselor; to show why you have the needed skills, education, or training in the merit badge subjects and that you hold any required certifications (as outlined in the Guide to Advancement) to serve for the merit badge(s); and to approve your request. Approval requires that you have appropriate education, training, or life experiences for each desired badge's subject matter. The Merit Badge Counselor Information Form be found by CLICKING HERE. Please read both sides of the form. Once registered, MB Counselors only need to submit this form to add or remove Merit Badges they wish to counsel.
#4. Submit All Paperwork
Submit your completed BSA Adult Application, YPT certificate, and MBC Information form to your District Advancement Chair, District Chair or District Executive. Please DO NOT take a completed MBC application package directly to the council office. Since the council delegates the responsibility of maintaining a list of counselors to the districts, they are responsible for reviewing and approving applications, forwarding the application packages to the council office for processing, and keeping track of which counselors are approved for each badge. If any merit badges for which you are applying require a special certification, submit that proof as well. NOTE: Some units may have a Unit MBC Coordinator who collects and submits the MBC paperwork to the District.
After your application to become a MBC is accepted by the BSA, you will receive a membership card with your member ID number on it. You should immediately update your My.Scouting.org profile to include your member ID number. This links your online training to your membership record and s units, districts, and the council to verify your training online without requiring paper copies of Certificates of Completion.
Counselor Registration Considerations
- There is no fee for registering as a MBC, even if you are only registered with the Boy Scouts of America in that one position.
- You must be current with YPT in order to work with Scouts. The council and district may track this requirement, but it is your responsibility to remain current. Failure to keep up to date on YPT will result in being dropped from the MBC list. If an MBC is dropped from the council/district MBC list, the dropped counselor will need to re-register as a new counselor in order to serve again in that role.
- Several merit badges involve activities for which the BSA has implemented strategies to improve safety, improve the Scouts' experience, and manage risks. These activities often require supervision with specialized qualifications and certifications. See the Guide to Advancement section 22.214.171.124 for these merit badges and their requirements.
- Merit Badge Counselors are highly encouraged to complete Merit Badge Counselor Training available through your My.Scouting account under other training.
Useful Links for Merit Badge Counselors
- BSA Guide to Advancement – CLICK HERE
- General BSA Merit Badge Counselor Information - CLICK HERE
- MeritBadge.org Wiki Site - CLICK HERE
- Guide for Merit Badge Counselors - CLICK HERE
- BSA Scouting Forms - CLICK HERE
Annual Renewal of Merit Badge Counselors
All MBCs are subject to renewal each year, at the time of the district's (not its units') annual rechartering. Counselors must be up-to-date on YPT in order to be renewed. Districts will notify all Unit MBC Coordinators and/or individual counselors annually to advise them of YPT status and give the counselors an opportunity to be removed from the list if desired.
District Advancement Team and Leadership Roles
The responsibilities of the District Advancement Team and Key 3
- Receive BSA Adult Applications, YPT Completion Certificates, and MBC Information forms from volunteers desiring to become MBCs.
- Check those documents for proper completion, and review the applicant's qualifications to serve as a counselor for each desired merit badge.
- Verify qualifications and any required training or certifications with the applicant, as necessary.
- Send the application packages to the council office for background checks and BSA registration.
- Track all in-process MBC application packages, pending BSA registration.
- On a quarterly basis generate and post an updated MBC List on this page.
- Assist in the annual re-registration of MBC’s as part of the with the district rechartering process.