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Merit Badge Information


About Merit Badges

Merit badges are an important and fun part of the advancement process in scouting. Being a merit badge counselor is a great way to be involved by sharing your knowledge, skills, and hobbies, whether you are 18 or 81. With 135 merit badges (complete list HERE) in 14 subject areas including agribusiness, business and industry, hobbies, personal development, public service, and trades, it is a rare person who can’t find at least one merit badge where they have something to offer youth, and most find they have several.

Scouts in Scouts BSA Troops can learn about sports, crafts, science, trades, business, and future careers as they earn merit badges. The merit badge counselor assesses the Scout’s knowledge to ensure they have completed all the required work—no more, and no less. You may not add to, delete from, or modify the merit badge requirements in any way. The “mechanics” of advancement is covered in section 4 of the Guide to Advancement. While there is no limit to how many merit badges one person may be a counselor for, each merit badge counselor does need to justify why they are qualified for each merit badge. Common justifications include professional experience, teaching, and a long-term hobby.

An understanding of the four steps in Boy Scout advancement is critical to the process.

  1. The Scout learns.
  2. The Scout is tested.
  3. The Scout is reviewed.
  4. The Scout is recognized

It is in going through the steps that a scout learns to master a skill. Merit badge counselors are directly involved in the first two steps. The merit badge counselor assesses the Scout’s knowledge to ensure he has completed all the required work.

Current Prince William District Merit Badge Counselors

A listing of current Prince William District Merit Badge Counselors is only available to specific leaders in each unit who are directly involved in the advancement and merit badge process. The list is not made available to parents and scouts or all leaders. Distribution is limited per section of the 2019 Guide to Advancement to ensure Scouts work with their unit leaders to obtain counselors and are not directly contacting them on their own.

Unit leaders will receive the new password to unlock this file when they turn in their recharter paperwork each year. Units and counselors can email updates, changes, and questions to

Download the Prince William District Merit Badge Counselor List here (as of 1 August, 2019)

You can also get current updates, resources and news about merit badges HERE. To see the requirements, changes and general information for Merit Badge management use these sites:

The Process to become a Merit Badge Counselor

The process to become a merit badge counselor in Prince William District has three basic steps,  There is no fee to become a Merit Badge Counselor

  1. Complete and submit one of the following adult applications with code “42” as the position code.
    1. Application for existing registered adult leaders
    2. Application form for new adult leaders (no prior BSA registration)
  2. Complete a Merit Badge Counselor Application (form 34405)
  3. Provide Proof that you have completed Youth Protection within the past two years. You can do this by logging into your My Scouting account, eLearning section and selecting “View Certificate”, then print the certificate. If you have not taken Youth Protection Training within the past 2 years, you can take it HERE.

Note that certain Merit Badges have required third party qualifications that are required to be a counselor in the topic. A list (08/2014) of all merit badges and the requirements for certain topics and the additional requirements of counselors can be downloaded from HERE.

Once all these forms are completed, you can submit your forms to the Prince William District Merit Badge Coordinator at any District Roundtable or email  All three forms (application, YPT certificate, MB counselor application, with extra application sheets if the desired MBs don’t fit on one sheet) must be included. If you want to add or remove a MB once you are a counselor, you only need to submit a completed MB Counselor application to make the change, not a full BSA application.