Merit Badges

Merit Badges

Interested Volunteers

By becoming a Merit Badge Counselor, you can shape the future.  Share your interest and experience in up to 16 of the many merit badges offered to our youth today (quantity of badges counseled depends on the badges you choose. Keep reading for details).  The "Merit Badge FAQ"  and "Merit Badges" list, both attached below provide more information. 

Ready to commit?  Here is what you need to do.

Complete the following training:

  • Youth Protection Training
    • The training can be taken at my.scouting.org or by attending a live class offered by Council from time to time
    • The training consists of four modules - all must be completed to obtain a Youth Protection Training certificate
  • Merit Badge Counselor Training
    • The training can be taken at my.scouting.org or by attending a live class offered by Council from time to time
    • The training consists of six modules: SCO_430, SCO_431, SCO_433, SCO_434, SCO_435, SCO_448 - all must be completed

Complete the following applications:

  • Adult Application
    • Use position code 42 - Merit Badge Counselor
    • Two pages of the Adult Application are necessary - the BSA Adult Application page and the Background Check Authorization page
    • The application only has to be signed by you, the applicant; a signature from the Charter Org Rep of your unit is not needed
  • Merit Badge Counselor Application
    • Please include your BSA# and your Youth Protection Training date
    • Merit Badge Counselors may counsel up to 16 merit badges under the following restrictions: 1. No more than 8 badges may be from the list of "widely covered" merit badges (as listed in the document Merit_Badges.pdf). 2. Up to 16 badges may be from the list of "thinly covered" merit badges (as listed in the same document), as long as the total for all badges counseled is not more than 16.
    • Some Merit Badges require specific certification; you should review section of the Guide to Advancement

The Youth Protection Training Certificate, Adult Application pages, and Merit Badge Counselor Application should be sent together to the District Executive for your area.  Incomplete applications cannot be processed.

Want to make changes?

Adding or deleting a badge is easy. If you are already a merit badge counselor, all you need is the Merit Badge Counselor Application to add or delete a badge. Send this to the District Executive for your area.


Send your unanswered questions to


Current Merit Badge Counselors

All merit badge counselors should seek training.  It is important that they have a full understanding of their responsibilities and also of the recommended practices for quality counseling.

Merit Badge Counselor training is available online at my.scouting.org.

The Merit Badge program is covered under section 7 of the BSA Guide to AdvancementEvery Merit Badge Counselor should be familiar with BSA policies.

If you have a question, review the Merit Badge FAQs.  Many common questions are listed there.


It is the Scoutmaster's responsibility to ensure all Merit Badge Counselors you refer your Scouts to are registered and approved Merit Badge Counselors.  This includes individuals from your Troop even if they only counsel merit badges for Scouts from your Troop.

The password protected link below to merit badge counselors is your pathway to finding the many talented volunteers willing to help strengthen the program you deliver to our youth.  To gain access, contact your district executive for the password.

Need Help?

If you recently applied and are not on this list, you will be on the next list.

If you believe your name should be on the list and it is not, please contact your District Executive.

The merit badge counselor list contains only counselors willing to work with scouts from any unit.  Counselors willing to work with Scouts only from a specific unit are not listed.

Have A Concern?

Report questionable processes or procedures discovered in merit badge counseling by sending a completed form no. 512-800  to the council advancement committee at



The BSA recommends Scoutbook for tracking Scout advancement and has made it a free tool for Scouting units. 

General information about Scoutbook.

Slide presentation about the merit badge system in Scoutbook, including details for Scouts/parents, Scoutmasters/Advancement Chairs, and Merit Badge Counselors.

For help or issues with Scoutbook, first look at the help documents and forums within Scoutbook. If you still have questions, email our volunteers at the the Garden State Scouting Scoutbook helpdesk.