Becoming a Merit Badge Counselor


The responsibility of approving and maintaining a list of current merit badge counselors is the council advancement committee. (Guide to Advancement A merit badge counselor is not a Troop position and you must submit a new adult application even if already registered in another capacity within Scouting.

There are four steps for a new counselor to register with the BSA and begin merit badge counseling:

1. Complete the Online Youth Protection Training (YPT) for Boy Scouts

A volunteer must complete Youth Protection Training (YPT) which can be found on the website. Once completed, please print the completion certificate and attach to your Adult Application Form.

2. Complete the BSA Adult Application Form

Once Youth Protection Training is completed, please fill out a new adult application:

English - CLICK HERE

Spanish - CLICK HERE

This form is required. Please pay special attention to filling in the "Council/District Position" as "Merit Badge Counselor" and the "Position Code" as "42".

The signature blocks for the unit committee chairman and chartered organization representative do not have to be signed. Those approvals are for a unit. The adult application must be submitted with the Merit Badge Counselor Information Sheet.

NOTE: The entire application form must be filled in and signed, including the Disclosure/Authorization page located before the application form page itself. All applicants and currently Registered Scouters go through a background check – as noted and authorized on the Disclosure/Authorization page of the Adult Application form.

3. Complete the Merit Badge Counselor Information Form

Merit Badge Counselor Information Form - CLICK HERE

This form is used by the advancement committee to know which merit badges you want to teach, to show why you are qualified to teach the listed merit badges, and to approve your request.

A list, in alphabetical order, of all of the current merit badge subjects and their requirements can be found here.

Before filling out the form, please read both sides. If you have any questions or need assistance, please talk with your unit MB coordinator or a member of the advancement committee. If you plan to only counsel within your unit, remember to check the "Only with Scouts in these units (indicate whether troop, team, or crew)" and fill in your unit number. If you wish to counsel Scouts outside the unit please check the "All Scouts". MBCs are authorized to counsel anywhere within the Mountaineer Area Council.

4. Turn in all the paperwork

Turn in the completed forms to the council office or email them to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it . They will be submitted to the advancement committee for approval.

Counselor Registration Considerations

  • There is no fee for registering as a merit badge counselor even if you are only registered with the Boy Scouts of America as a merit badge counselor.
  • You must be current with Youth Protection Training (YPT) to work with scouts and this training must be completed every two (2) years. The Council will track this requirement but it is your responsibility to remain current. Failure to keep up to date on YPT will also result in being dropped from the list. If a MBC is dropped from the council MBC list, the dropped counselor will have to re-register as a new counselor again.
  • Several merit badges involve activities for which the Boy Scouts have implemented strategies to improve safety, improve the Scouts' experience, and manage risk. These activities often require supervision with specialized qualifications and certifications. Merit Badge counselors who do not meet the specific requirements may use the services of others who do. See the Guide to Advancement paragraph for these merit badges and their requirements.
  • Consider not limiting yourself to only those Scouts in your troop. Several of the merit badges may not have many counselors and you could help Scouts pursue an interest in an area with which you have some expertise.

Useful Links for Merit Badge Counselors