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Zekiah Merit Badge Program
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Merit Badge Counselors

 

A vital part of the BSA's advancement plan, the merit badge program is one of Scouting's basic character -building programs. Scouts can begin working on their merit badges immediately upon joining a Troop or Team. Through participation in the merit badge program, a Scout acquires the kind of self-confidence that comes only from overcoming obstacles to achieve a goal. Instruction is offered in everything from animal science and public speaking to swimming and communications, providing a young man with invaluable career, physical and interpersonal skills.

People who are knowledgeable about the various merit badge subjects are selected and approved by NCAC and Zekiah District Advancement committee members to serve as merit badge counselors. For example, a dentist might be asked to serve as a counselor for the Dentistry merit badge. A counselor must not only possess the necessary technical knowledge but have a solid understanding of the needs, interests and abilities of Scouts. A counselor must also be a registered adult with the BSA.

What does it take to sign up as a Merit Badge Counselor:

1) A copy of your Youth Protection certificate from the "MyScouting" web site  (www.myscouting.org)

2) An adult application. A PDF copy is available from  HERE

3) A Merit Badge Counselor form. 

For more information about the merit badge program and being a counselor, see your troop's advancement chairman about participating. If you are not associated with a Boy Scout Troop, contact Bob Davidson at the next Round Table to share your enthusiasm about things you do.

 

Special qualifications or certifications

 

The following merit badges have special qualifications or certifications for either the merit badge counselor or
the supervisor of certain activities that may be involved.
Counselors and advancement administrators should consult the merit badge pamphlets for details and to maintain
awareness of changes and updates as pamphlets are revised.

 

Canoeing
   Canoeing merit badge counselors must have either BSA Aquatics Instructor or Canoeing Instructor certification from the American Canoe Association, American Red Cross, or equivalent; OR local councils may approve individuals previously certified as such, or trained by an instructor so qualified.

 

Climbing
   All climbing, belaying, and rappelling exercises and activities must be supervised by a qualified rock climbing instructor who is a mature and conscientious adult at least 21 years old, and who is trained in BSA Climb On Safely and understands the risks inherent to these activities. Training as BSA climbing director or instructor is highly recommended. Someone with certification in First Aid/CPR/AED from the American Red Cross (or equivalent) must be present at these activities.

 

Lifesaving
   Demonstrations or activities in or on the water must be supervised by an adult at least 21 years old with certification in Red Cross First Aid/CPR/AED or equivalent, and also as BSA Lifeguard or Aquatics Instructor or equivalent.

 

Rifle Shooting
   The merit badge counselor must take responsibility to assure that all instruction involving any handling of firearms or live ammunition must be supervised by a certified BSA National Camping School (NCS) shooting sports director, or National Rifle Association (NRA) Rifle Shooting Instructor or Coach. That involving muzzleloaders must be supervised by an NCS shooting sports director or NRA/National Muzzleloader Rifle Association (NMLRA)–certified muzzleloader firearms instructor. Shooting must be supervised by an NRA-certified Range Safety Officer (RSO). If instruction and shooting are to occur at the same time, both the RSO and qualified instructor must be present. The supervisor and instructor may not be  the same person. Note that commercial shooting ranges may provide RSOs. See the Guide to Safe Scouting and the BSA National Shooting Sports Manual, No. 30931, for further details on shooting sports.

 

Rowing
   Rowing merit badge counselors must have either BSA Aquatics Instructor certification or equivalent; OR local councils may approve individuals previously certified as such, or trained by an instructor so qualified.

 

Scuba Diving
   All phases of scuba instruction—classroom,  pool, and open-water training—are limited to instructors trained and sanctioned by one of the following agencies: Professional Association of Diving Instructors, National Association of Underwater Instructors, Scuba Schools International, International Diving Educators Association, Professional Diving Instructors Corporation, or Scuba Diving International, or be a member of the World Recreational Scuba Training  ouncil.

 

Shotgun Shooting
   The merit badge counselor must take responsibility to assure that all instruction involving  any handling of firearms or live ammunition must be supervised by a certified NCS shooting sports director  or NRA Shotgun Instructor or Coach. That involving muzzle-loading shotguns must be supervised by an NCS shooting sports director or NRA/NMLRA certified muzzle-loading shotgun instructor. Shooting must be supervised by an NRA-certified Range Safety Officer.  If instruction and shooting are to occur at the same time, both the RSO and qualified instructor must be present. They may not be the same person. Note that commercial shooting ranges may provide RSOs. See the Guide to Safe  Scouting and the BSA National Shooting Sports Manual, No. 30931, for further details on shooting sports.

 

Snow Sports
  Activities in the field must be supervised by a mature and conscientious adult 21 years or older who is committed to compliance with BSA Winter Sports Safety as defined in the Guide to Safe Scouting.

 

Swimming
   Demonstrations or activities in or on the water must be conducted according to BSA Safe Swim Defense and BSA Safety Afloat.

 

Whitewater
   Whitewater merit badge counselors must be designated by the local council, and certified as whitewater canoeing or kayaking instructors by the American Canoe Association or have equivalent certification, training, or expertise.

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