Thank you so much for your interest and willingness to become a Scouts BSA Merit Badge Counselor. The steps to becoming a counselor are very easy. They begin with a desire to work with youth in the program and a willingness to share your knowledge, interest, and expertise in any of the 135+ merit badges that are currently offered.
To become a Merit Badge Counselor, an individual must be a Member in Good Standing, meaning they are at least 18 years of age and currently registered with a leader with an Atlanta Area Council unit. They must also be current with their Youth Protection Training (YPT) and have completed a Disclosure Statement when they registered.
Let’s get started with the steps to become a Merit Badge Counselor.
Complete the on-line Merit Badge training at www.my.scouting.org.
The on-line training is a 34-minute video program called Scouts BSA – Merit Badge Counselor Position Specific Training.
This only has to be taken once. It does not expire.
Complete the Merit Badge Counselor information form:
Be sure to include your BSA ID number
Submit your information form and current YPT Certificate via email to atlantabsa.org/sendsafely or drop them off in person to the Atlanta Area Council Visitor Service Center.
If an individual is NOT a Member in Good Standing, they must first complete a BSA Adult Application https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/524-501.pdf, using a position code of “42.” The application has the Disclosure Statement attached. Youth Protection Training must then be completed.
There are no specific requirements to become a counselor for most badges, although the counselor must be knowledgeable about the topic or subject manner and stay current on latest requirements for each badge they wish to instruct. For a handful of badges, mostly in aquatics and shooting sports, special qualifications and/or current certifications are required; these are listed in section 188.8.131.52 of the Guide to Advancement. An excellent resource is the pamphlet A Guide for Merit Badge Counseling.
Thank you again for your interest in serving the youth in Scouts BSA.