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The merit badge counselor is a key player in the Boy Scout advancement program. Whatever your area of expertise or interest—whether it is a special craft or hobby (basketry, leatherwork, coin collecting), a profession (veterinary medicine, aviation, engineering), or perhaps a life skill (cooking, personal management, communications)—as a merit badge counselor, you can play a vital role in stirring a young man's curiosity about that particular topic. By serving as a merit badge counselor, you offer your time, knowledge, and other resources so that Scouts can explore a topic of interest.

If you are not yet a merit badge counselor, it is easy to become one.  There are five basic steps:

  1. Review the Materials for Merit Badge Counselors found at the links at the bottom of this webpage.
     
  1. Complete BSA Youth Protection Training (YPT).

The Boy Scouts of America seeks to create a safe environment for young people and adult leaders to enjoy the program and related activities. BSA Youth Protection Training helps preserve that environment. YPT training is taken online and can accessed through https://myscouting.scouting.org.

After completing the training, be sure to print a copy of your BSA Youth Protection Training completion certificate to include with with items 3 & 4, below.

  1. Complete a BSA Adult Application to register with the Boy Scouts of America,

The application can be either be obtained from the Five Rivers Council office in the Arnot Mall in Horseheads, NY or by downloading the form via this link.

Note that individuals are expected to complete BSA Youth Protection Training PRIOR to submitting a leadership application.

Also note that every applicant is screened to insure adherence to BSA Membership Standards.

  1. Complete a BSA Merit Badge Counselor Application to apply to be a counselor for specific merit badges.

This application may now be completed online and then printed or emailed.

IMPORTANT - This specially designed workbook cannot be opened via a browser. To DOWNLOAD this file, please use the following procedure:

  • RIGHT-CLICK Here to DOWNLOAD the BSA Merit Badge Counselor Application No. 34405
  • Once the dialog box appears, click on "save target as." (MAC users must click on "save link as.")
  • Another dialog box will then appear for you to name your "save as" file and choose where on your computer you would like to save the file. Once you have saved the workbook to your computer, you can double-click on that file to open it, just like you would any other document.?
     
  1. Turn-In your certificate of completion of Youth Protection Training (item 2, above), a completed BSA Adult Application (item 3, above) and a completed Merit Badge Counselor Application (item 4, above).

Once the above items have been completed, they may be turned in or mailed to the Five RIvers Council, BSA Local Council Office, or emailed to your District Executive or the Council Registrar. 

You may begin counseling after you have been notified that your application has been accepted & processed.

Materials for Merit Badge Counselors


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