Merit Badge Counselors
The National Capital Area Council has delegated the responsibility of approving and maintaining a list of current merit badge counselors to the districts. A merit badge counselor is a district-level position, not a troop position, which means prospective counselors must register online or submit a new adult leader application even if already registered in another capacity.
Registration can be completed in one of two methods: online registration or a paper application.
In order to register online you must have the District’s QR Code or its URL. These can be obtained from your District Merit Badge Dean or any of the District Key 3. Either of these links will take you directly into my.scouting.org to register.
- If not already completed, you must complete Youth Protection Training found on the my.scouting.org home page. The online process automatically checks for YPT currency.
- [Effective Nov. 1, 2021] If not already completed, you must complete the Scouts BSA – Merit Badge Counselor Position Specific Training, either online on My.Scouting.org or at an in-person course.
- If you are already registered in the Council in some position other than a District, you will likely get a warning screen after starting the process that you are already registered in the National Capital Area Council. Hit continue and then continue with filling out the application.
- All necessary information is included in the online registration with the exception of the Merit Badge Counselor Information Form and the completion of the online MBC training. The Merit Badge Counselor Information form must be completed and provided along with the MBC training completion certificate to your District Merit Badge Dean before your application will be accepted.
- Once your application is accepted, you will appear in Scoutbook as a merit badge counselor within 48 hours. Your approved merit badges will follow into Scoutbook once the local registrar has processed the Merit Badge Counselor Information Form.
- Once you see Merit Badge Counselor as one of your positions in my.scouting.org, you may work with Scouts.
There are five steps for a new MBC to register with BSA and begin merit badge counseling:
- Complete Online Youth Protection Training (YPT).
To become a merit badge counselor, a volunteer must complete Youth Protection Training (YPT) which can be found on My.Scouting.org. Once complete, you will be offered the opportunity to print a completion certificate. Please print it as you must submit this proof of completion with your application to be a merit badge counselor. It is also a good idea to save a copy to your desktop.
- Complete the Scouts BSA – Merit Badge Counselor Position Specific Training
[Effective Nov. 1, 2021] To become a merit badge counselor in NCAC, a volunteer must complete the Scouts BSA – Merit Badge Counselor Position Specific Training, either online on My.Scouting.org or at an in-person course.
- Complete the BSA Adult Leader Application.
Having completed Youth Protection Training, you need to complete a new adult application which can be found at these links. This form is required in addition to your current registration with your unit or District. Please pay special attention to filling in the “Scouting position title” as “Merit Badge Counselor – Your District Name,” and the “Position Code” as “42”. The signature block for the chartered organization representative does not have to be signed. That approval is for a unit. Do not forget to answer the screening questions 1-6 on the right side of the application. Without answers to these questions, your application cannot be processed. 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 near the end of the form. 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.
- Complete the Merit Badge Counselor Information Form.
This form is used by the District 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. Before filling it out, read both sides of the form. If you have any questions or need assistance, please talk with your unit MB coordinator, the District MB Dean, or the District Advancement Chair.
- Turn in all the paperwork.
Turn in the completed forms which are the application, the disclosure page of the application, proof of YPT currency, Merit Badge Counselor information form, and the Merit Badge Counselor Training completion certificate to your Troop Merit Badge Coordinator who will provide them to the District Merit Badge Dean for review and approval of the requested merit badges. The district advancement team will then provide the approved paperwork to our registrars for processing. Please DO NOT take a completed merit badge counselor application package directly to the council office, or give it to your District Executive. Since the council has delegated the responsibility of maintaining the list of counselors to the districts, the district advancement committee keeps track of what merit badges approved counselors are authorized to counsel. Once the district advancement committee has approved you as a counselor, you may work with Scouts on the designated merit badges as long as your Youth Protection Training certificate remains current.
Counselor Registration Considerations
- There is no fee for registering 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. Scoutbook tracks your YPT currency. If you become delinquent, you will not show in a search until it is renewed. If your YPT is delinquent at the annual renewal period, January 31st, you will be dropped from the Council counselor list. Once dropped, you will need to repeat the registration process.
- [Effective Nov. 1, 2021] You must complete the Scouts BSA – Merit Badge Counselor Position Specific Training, either online on My.Scouting.org or at an in-person course to be approved to counsel Merit Badges.
- Several merit badges involve activities for which BSA has 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 (GTA) paragraph 188.8.131.52 for these merit badges and their requirements.
Annual Renewal of Merit Badge Counselors
All Merit Badge Counselors must confirm their registration annually. Districts should periodically send out a list of MBCs to their units asking for an update. The unit list is the best and easiest method for Districts to accomplish updates.
Likewise, the unit MBC coordinator should send a list of the unit’s MBCs to the District MBC Dean to confirm annual rollover of registration for that unit. Persons not on the list submitted by the Merit Badge Dean may be automatically dropped.
Unaffiliated MBCs (not affiliated with units) are responsible for advising the District MBC Dean and confirming their registration annually. Failure to confirm this information will result in being dropped from the Merit Badge Counselor list. If a MBC who was dropped wishes to continue as a MBC he/she must register as a new MBC again using the forms and processes listed above.
[NOTE: Existing Merit Badge Counselors must complete the Scouts BSA – Merit Badge Counselor Position Specific Training by Dec. 31, 2022, either online on My.Scouting.org or at an in-person course to be renewed to counsel Merit Badges in 2023 and beyond.].