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Home»FAQs»Advancement FAQs

Advancement: Frequently Asked Questions

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  1. How do I become a Merit Badge Counselor?
    If you are not a registered Scouter, you must also complete a BSA Adult Leader registration form.
  2. What are the requirements to be a Merit Badge Counselor?
    1.  Merit Badge Counselors are required to be registered with the Boy Scouts of America.  If you are currently registered in any capacity, go to instruction to #2.
    • If you are not currently registered, you must request and complete a BSA Adult Leadership registration form.  It may be obtained from any Council Service Center. Your membership will run through May 31st of each year.  You will be required to renew each year.  You will be sent a letter reminding you or this requirement.
    • The annual registration fee is $10.00.  The fee payment can be made by cash, check, or money order.  You will receive occasional mailings and a membership card.  The registration fee is optional, but is recommended.  The Adult Leader Registration form is not optional for first time applicants.  A background check is part of this process.

    2.  A counselor can register for a maximum of four merit badges.

    3.  You must be at least 18 years of age or older.
    4.  Include your business phone number only if you are able to take calls at that location, otherwise leave it blank.
    5.  Be specific in stating your qualifications.  If you need more space, please use an extra sheet of paper.
    6.  The Merit Badge Directory is printed annually in August and is published on the website.  Renewal forms must be received by May 31st to be included in the printed directory.  All merit badge counselors will be displayed on the website.  This is not optional.
    7.  Approval Process
    • Fill out the application with all information available
    • Secure the District Advancement Chairman's signature
    • Turn in to the District Director for approval
    • The District Director will forward to Advancement Services


    8.  New Merit Badge Counselors will be sent a copy of the Merit Badge Counselor Self Teaching Guide and a sample merit badge card.  Please take time to review and understand its contents.  You will also receive your Merit Badge Counselor number which is required for the Merit Badge Card.

    9.   When filling out the Merit Badge Counselor application, write firmly to make sure all copies are legible.
  3. How long does it take to be approved as a Merit Badge Counselor?
    Generally, the entire process takes about 4-6 weeks.
    Once you have filled out the application, you must secure the District Advancement Chairman's signature.  You will then need to submit the application to your District Director for approval.  The District Director will then forward the application to the Advancement Department.  Once the Advancement Department receives the application, your information will be added to the Merit Badge Counselor Directory.  You will receive notification of your acceptance and Merit Badge Counselor number, in the mail.​