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.
- The Scout learns.
- The Scout is tested.
- The Scout is reviewed.
- 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 126.96.36.199 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 PWCMBDean@gmail.com.
Download the Prince William District Merit Badge Counselor List here (as of November, 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
- Complete and submit one of the following adult applications with code “42” as the position code.
- Complete a Merit Badge Counselor Application (form 34405)
- 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 PWCMBDean@gmail.com. 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.
The Eagle Process
Scouts who are ready to start their Eagle Project should contact their unit Advancement Chair or talk to their Scoutmaster. The unit may assign them an Eagle Advisor to get started. Eagle Advisors are entirely optional, but are usually a huge help for Scouts in getting through the process. Each unit has an assigned District Eagle Representative (DER) who will work with the Scout. The DER is required. While most Scouts will get a DER when they are ready or nearly ready to have their project proposal signed, Scouts may make the request at any time after earning Life. If a Scout needs help finding a project beyond what their unit is providing, they are welcome to ask for a DER to help them.
All emails should be sent by the Scout, not their parent, but please remind Scouts to cc: one or both of their parents andwhoever their unit asks that they include (Eagle Advisor, Scoutmaster, Advancement Chair, Committee Chair, etc.), if appropriate. If a Scout is doing a conservation-related project, they should look at the Hornday Award to see if their Eagle Project might also be a Hornaday Project. If so, let us know and we will help them find a Hornaday Advisor.
The primary jobs of the parent through this process are driving the Scout (if they can’t drive themselves) and being included in all emails, calls, texts, and meetings to ensure compliance with YPT rules. Parents should not be sending emails, calls, or texts. That’s all part of the Eagle process.
If a Scout is having a problem with their DER or unit Eagle Advisor, or isn’t getting responses, they can email the Prince William District Eagle Coordinator at PWCEagle@gmail.com. If unit leaders need to know who their DER is, they can also email PWCEagle@gmail.com.
Fundraising applications should be submitted to our District Executive for council approval instead of being sent to Council. They do not need to be submitted before the initial project proposal (and the project proposal should not be held up waiting for fundraising to be approved) but do, obviously, need to be submitted and approved before the fundraising happens.
Scouters Involved in the Eagle Process
There has been some confusion regarding titles for adults involved in the Life-to-Eagle process. For clarity, these are the correct terms, which should be used going forward. While it may initially be a bit confusing for those who have been involved in the process for a while, the end result will be that we are using the standard terms in the standard way.
- The District Eagle Representative is the “District Eagle Representative” or DER. No Scouter may be DER for youth in any unit they are registered with. This is the person the Eagle Scout Project Workbook refers to as the District Project Approval Rep, which is why every Eagle Scout Candidate MUST have a DER. (NCAC uses the term DER to reflect that they do more than approve the project.)
- Many units have Eagle Advisors. This is a person within a unit assigned to help a Scout with their entire Life-to-Eagle journey. They are not required to be registered with that unit but must be a registered Scouter with current YPT and may be the unit Advancement Chair/Coordinator.
- Eagle Coaches are district assigned and very rarely used. They are registered BSA adults with current YPT and subject-matter experts (specialists). Eagle Coaches help youth with a specific aspect of their project, but not with the entire Life-to-Eagle journey. For example, an archivist might be an Eagle Coach for a Scout working on archiving documents.
- The Eagle Mentor is a person the youth chooses who has helped them along their path and, as such, cannot be assigned or designated by anyone else. They are normally recognized during the Eagle Court of Honor.
The DER and Eagle Advisor (if used) both remain involved in the Life-to-Eagle Journey after the youth finishes their Eagle Project and may be involved before they even have a project identified.
FUNDRAISING APPLICATIONS ARE ONLY NEEDED IF OVER $500 MUST BE RAISED from sources NOT including friends, family, the unit, and the beneficiary. They should be submitted to our DE, Chris Huston, for council approval instead of being sent to Council. They do not need to be submitted before the initial project proposal (and the project proposal should not be held up waiting for fundraising to be approved) but do, obviously, need to be submitted and approved before fundraising begins.
Life-to-Eagle training is offered four times a year, alternating between the Eastern and Western Ends of the county. Check the district online calendar for the location and time of each session. Additional training dates may be offered at Camporees in or near PW County. In addition to offering you a chance to ask questions, those sessions will help explain some of the nuances of the Eagle Scout application and project approval process. Don’t miss it!
As we have formed a new District, we also have a new Life to Eagle Presentation. Life to Eagle Training is to help Scouts and families feel comfortable and confident with the process – no one will be turned away for arriving after the start time.
Eagle Project related forms
An outline of the NCAC process and informational links for the Eagle Scout Application process can be found at https://www.ncacbsa.org/advancement/eagle-scout-information/
Current links to the Eagle Scout Application (512-728) and Service Project Worksheets (512-927), plus other advancement related resources can be found at:
The Eagle Scout Service Workbook links for a Windows PC or Mac can be found at:
http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/BoyScouts/AdvancementandAwards/EagleWorkbookProcedures.aspx. Information including links for the NCAC Eagle Scout Procedures Guide, Rank Application, Service Project Workbook, Beneficiary Information, and more can be found on the NCAC website under Eagle Scout Information.
The Eagle Scout Workbook PDF requires Adobe Reader 9 or later and must be opened from within Adobe Reader. This lets the user import images and save text because it is editable