So, You Want to be a Merit Badge Counselor!

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.

  1. Complete the on-line Merit Badge training at

    1. The on-line training is a 34-minute video program called Scouts BSA – Merit Badge Counselor Position Specific Training.

    2. This only has to be taken once.  It does not expire.

  2. Complete the Merit Badge Counselor information form:  


    2. Be sure to include your BSA ID number

  3. Submit your information form and current YPT Certificate via email to 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, 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 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.