Become a Merit Badge Counselor

To become a Merit Badge Counselor in Garden State Council complete the following:

  1. BSA Adult Application
  2. Background Check Authorization form (from the BSA Adult Application)
  3. Merit Badge Counselor Information Form

Add These Required attachments:

  1. Proof of completion of Youth Protection Training (e.g. a copy of the completion certificate from my.scouting.org)
  2. Proof of completion of Merit Badge Counselor training (available online at my.scouting.org).
  3. If your chosen badges require you to have specialty certifications, copies of those certificates must be submitted with your paperwork. (Archery, Canoeing, Climbing, Kayaking, Lifesaving, Motor Boating, Rifle Shooting, Rowing, Scuba Diving, Shotgun Shooting, Small Boat Sailing, Snow Sports, Swimming, Water Sports, Whitewater)

Take note:

  1. The qualifications listed on the Merit Badge Counselor Information form must be applicable to the badges requested. “General interest” is not acceptable. Review the requirements for the badges being requested to make sure you are qualified. For example, cooking requires camping and backpacking cooking experience; painting is utility painting not artistic painting; bugling requires experience with a brass instrument and is a separate badge from music.
  2. Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Counselor Information form must be submitted separately, and the Merit Badge should not be grouped in with others, since the requirements for Counselors of this badge are different. A separate instruction sheet will be provided to candidates. See this page for details on the process for applying to Counsel this badge.

All these forms are required, even for leaders registered in other positions. The forms may be emailed to mbc-application@gardenstatescouting.org, or mailed or dropped off at Garden State Council, 693 Rancocas Rd., Westampton, NJ 08060.

Meet Your District Dean of Merit Badges

Upon receipt of all documents, complete an interview with your Garden State Council District’s Dean of Merit Badges. The Dean will contact you to review your application.

Processing for a new merit badge counselor application can take 8-10 business days, provided all required components are submitted. Scoutbook sends an email to counselors when their badge list has changed. New counselors may first receive an email indicating an empty list of badges; an email showing the updated list of badges should follow in a few days. A counselor may use Scoutbook.com (same login and password as my.scouting.org) to verify they are registered and to see the list of badges they are registered for (My Dashboard->My Account->My Positions).

How to Find the Training

Merit Badge Counselor training is occasionally available in person. All in-person training opportunities are listed on the Training Resources page on this website.

The on-line training is available at training.scouting.org under catalog->programs-> Scouts BSA->Merit Badge Counselor (use the same my.scouting.org login and password.)  The on-line training consists of 4 segments for a total of about 40 minutes.  Some of the segments overlap with those for Scoutmaster & Assistant or Committee training, so all 4 may not be required if completed previously.  Proof of completion may be a copy of the trained card, in the case of the in-person class, or screen shot showing completion (in the profile of my.scouting.org go to my training->Scouts BSA.)

Existing Counselors Seeking Adjustments

Counselors wishing to make changes to the badges they counsel must submit a Merit Badge Counselor Information Form to mbc-application@gardenstatescouting.org or the Council office in Westampton with the (A)dditions and (D)eletions indicated. The BSA adult application/background authorization/proof of YPT & MBC training are not required to update badges for an existing counselor. Merit Badge Counselor registration is renewed annually May 1 for counselors with current YPT and High Risk Certification (where applicable).

Reminders about Merit Badge Counseling:

  • Follow the requirements as stated – no additions, deletions or changes – the wording matters
  • Scouts must be tested individually, even if group instruction is used
  • All interaction must be done in view of a second registered leader or the scout’s parent