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How to Become a Merit Badge Counselor

Adult volunteers serving as Merit Badge Counselors must be registered as Merit Badge Counselors with the Boy Scouts of America. They must be men and women of good character, age 18 or older, and recognized as having the skills and knowledge of the Merit Badge subject matter, as well as, the ability to work with youth of Boy Scout age. Merit Badge Counselors are not registered to a Troop, but instead with their District.

Here are the steps to becoming a Merit Badge Counselor:

  1. Complete the BSA Adult Registration Form (No. 524-501A), available from the Scout Achievement Center. For the position code, use position "42." No payment is required for Merit Badge Counselor registration.
  2. Complete the Merit Badge Counselor Information Form. Note that some merit badges require additional certification or documentation, as explained on the form.
  3. Complete Youth Protection Training, if you have not been through the training within the last two years. Print a copy of your completion certificate.
  4. Collect the above paperwork and submit it to your District Advancement Chairman. Click here if you need to find which district you are in. If you don't know who your District Advancement Chairman is, please contact your District Executive.
  5. Your registration and forms will be checked for errors and a background check will be processed.
  6. After approval, the Merit Badge Counselor roster will be updated with your information and the badges you have been approved to counsel.
There is no restriction or limit on the number of Merit Badges an individual may be approved to counsel, however, there will be some review of the appropriateness of badges an applicant has requested to counsel.

All Merit Badge Counselors must be trained (Merit Badge Counselor Orientation) in the aims of Boy Scouting, advancement procedures and complete Youth Protection on-line training bi-annuallyExternal Link. Guide to Merit Badge CounselingExternal Link (Item # 34532) and Merit Badge Counselor Orientation Circular (Item # 34542) are valuable resources provided by the District or Council.

Merit Badge Counselors may indicate their interest in counseling primarily within a Troop. They may counsel any youth member, including their own son, ward or relative.

For a more detailed outline of the Merit Badge Counselor Registration and Renewal Process, please Click Here.

Already a Merit Badge Counselor?

If you believe you should already be registered as a Merit Badge Counselor, please take a look at the latest roster to make sure you are listed correctly. Click here to go to the Merit Badge Counselor roster page and find instructions on how to view the list.

If you find you are not on the list, your information is incorrect, or you know longer wish to be a Merit Badge Counselor, please contact Michelle Horner, Program Assistant for the Dan Beard Council, at (513)577-7686 or [Click for member's page].

 The Council Advancement Committee has prepared a flowchart to help illustrate the process of becoming or renewing your Merit Badge Counselor registration.

Click here to download the Merit Badge Counselor Application Process Flowchart

Click here for a detailed outline of the Merit Badge Counselor Registration Process

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