Merit Badge Counselors

The merit badge counselor is a key player in the BSA 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 Scout'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 a volunteer. You will need to register with the Boy Scouts of America, through Samoset Council.


Merit Badge Counselor training is available through The two modules will guide new and potential merit badge counselors through their responsibilities in the role and will give them an understanding of the methods of counseling Scouts. 

How to Register

To be registered as a Merit Badge Counselor, the National Boy Scouts of America requires the adult to submit a completed adult application (or an online app) and a merit badge counselor application. Current Youth Protection training is also required to function within this role. All of these forms can be found in the Merit Badge Counselor Booklet below.  Please email all completed forms to or mail directly to the Scout Office at 3511 Camp Phillips Rd., Weston, WI 54476


Merit Badge Counselor Responsibilities

As a merit badge counselor, your mission is to join fun with learning. You are both a teacher and mentor to the Scouts as they work on a merit badges and learn by doing. By presenting opportunities for growth via engaging activities like designing a Web page (Computers), performing an ollie and a wheelie (Skateboarding), or fabricating rope (Pioneering), you can pique a Scout's interest in the merit badge subject. Just think: Your hands-on involvement could inspire a Scout to develop a lifelong hobby, pursue a particular career, or become an independent, self-supporting adult.

A Scout first expresses an interest in a particular merit badge by letting their unit leader know. To get them started, the leader may give them a signed Application for Merit Badge (blue card) along with the name and telephone number of a district/council approved merit badge counselor. The Scout then contacts the merit badge counselor and makes an appointment. The merit badge counselor sets a date and time to meet with the Scout and their buddy, and may suggest the Scout bring the merit badge pamphlet along with the blue card.

At the first meeting, the Scout and their merit badge counselor review and start working on the requirements. In some cases, the Scout may share with the merit badge counselor the work they have started or accomplished. As the merit badge counselor, you and the Scout work out a tentative schedule for completing the requirements. You should consider both short-term and long-term goals, keeping other obligations (school, Scouting, sports, and so on) in mind, and set dates, times, and a location for future meetings. The number of meetings will depend on the difficulty of the requirements and the preparation and ability of the Scout.

Your duty is to be satisfied that each Scout who comes to you meets all the requirements for the merit badge you are coaching. You do this by helping Scouts overcome the different hurdles of the requirements and making them aware of the deeper aspects of the subject through their learning experience. You may tell about your own experiences to help positively reinforce the subject matter. However, you may not add new or alter current requirements. While you may guide and instruct a Scout on the subject matter, they must do the work themselves.

As each requirement is completed, you will test the Scout individually, with their buddy present. If you are using a blue card, update this card as the Scout completes each requirement. When the Scout has completed all the requirements, you sign off on the blue card and the Scout returns the completed card to their unit leader.

 Samoset Council, Boy Scouts of America
 3511 Camp Phillips Rd, Weston WI 54476
 715-355-1450 (phone) | 715-355-9849 (fax)

Samoset Vision: Every youth prepared for tomorrow's challenges.