The Merit Badge Program

Guidance.  BSA’s guidance to administering the merit badge program can be found in the Guide to Advancement – The Merit Badge Program

Requirements.  Current information on the program, including an overview of the steps to earning a merit badge, and the most current requirements for each merit badge can be found at this link: Merit Badges

Counselors.  For merit badge counselors:

Application.  In order to serve as a merit badge counselor, the council advancement committee must approve an application for each merit badge.  The form for individuals to apply to add or drop merit badges for which they request to serve as a counselor can be found at this link: application.  Submit the form to the Council service center.

Please carefully read the information on both sides of the form.

In order for a request to be complete, the merit badge counselor must provide a list of qualifications for each merit badge for which the counselor requests approval.  The list must provide specific information that demonstrates the individual’s qualifications in the subject of the merit badge, such as training or education completed, certifications received, and experience (work or personal activity).  The counselor should use as much space as necessary to provide their qualifications (such as using additional lines on the form or attach an extra page).  The counselor must provide copies of appropriate certificates with the Information form.

Policies and Procedures.  Please read the council’s policies and procedures that apply to merit badges counselors, Section 3 {click here}.

Training.  All merit badge counselors are strongly encouraged to take the on-line training “Merit Badge Counselor Position Specific Training.” It is important that all counselors have a full and current understanding of their responsibilities and the recommended practices for quality counseling.  A foundational aspect of the scouting program is having trained leaders.

If it has been more than two years since you have taken this training or never done the training, please complete the training.  The training is available on under the “BSA Learn Center.”  The training includes the following:

  1. A module entitled “Merit Badge Counselor – Before the First Meeting”. This module has five lessons with a quiz at the end of each.  Each lesson is a stand-alone lesson and can be completed at different times (the individual does not have to do them all at the same sitting).  It takes a total of about one hour to complete all five modules.
  2. A module entitled “Merit Badge Counselor – Position Trained.”This module has one lesson with a quiz at the end.  It takes a total of about 15 minutes to complete the module.


Additional Resources