MERIT BADGE COUNSELING
The merit badge counselor is one of the coolest jobs in Scouting. As a merit badge counselor, you will introduce Scouts to a topic about which you are passionate and knowledgeable. At the very least, a merit badge counselor helps a young person earn a merit badge and get one step closer to the next rank. At the most, a merit badge counselor introduces a young person to a subject that could become a lifelong hobby or career.
Who Are Merit Badge Counselors?
Merit badge counselors are volunteers who register in the Scouting program to serve specifically as counselors. They are knowledgeable in the fields of interest that pertain to specific merit badges. They are considered the go-to person for a Scout earning a specific merit badge. Their enthusiasm for a subject of a merit badge provides an inspirational experience to the Scout and might also lead a youth to a career or serious hobby.
Merit badge counselors are the key to success in the merit badge program. The counselor’s responsibility is to:
Merit Badge Counselor Training
All merit badge counselors should seek training to gain a full understanding of their responsibilities and of the recommended practices for quality counseling. All merit badge counselors should take the Merit Badge Counselor Position Specific Training, a 34-minute video course, found in your my.scouting account under Scouts BSA. Another valuable resource is the Guide for Merit Badge Counseling, No. 512-065, which can be found at www.scouting.org/ programs/boy-scouts/advancement-and-awards/resources/.
How To Become A Merit Badge Counselor
Anyone who wants to become a merit badge counselor must register specifically for that position, regardless of whether that person is already registered in another Scouting position. The merit badge counselor is a district position, not a troop position. (No signatures from the unit are needed on the adult application). The forms required to register as a Merit Badge Counselor in the Greater Colorado Council are:
After you have completed the Adult Application with position code 42, Criminal Background form (CBC), Denver Area Merit Badge Counselor form and YPT, please submit the forms and certificates to the Virtual Customer Service Center. Select the Document Upload (all files must be .pdf) or these documents can be dropped off in person at the Greater Colorado Council Service Center.
Candidates for merit badge counseling are responsible for submitting their registrations to the Greater Colorado Council. Because merit badge counselors are district positions, troops are NOT responsible, nor should be expected, nor allowed to, submit merit badge counselor registrations for any candidate. Your registration information is not for general distribution, nor is it provided to any outside organization. Scoutmasters are provided with only limited merit badge counselor information, sufficient only provide Scouts with names and contact information of potential merit badge counsellors.
The Citizen in Society Merit Badge Will Be Required for Eagle Scout Rank starting July 1, 2022
On November 1, 2021, BSA announced that a new Citizenship in Society merit badge will be required to attain the Eagle Scout rank. This new merit badge encourages Scouts to explore important topics around diversity, equity, inclusion and ethical leadership and to learn why these qualities are important in society and Scouting.
Beginning on July 1, 2022, the Citizenship in Society merit badge will be required for any youth seeking to achieve Eagle Scout rank. Current Eagle Scout rank requirements continue in effect until June 30, 2022. Thus, Scouts completing all current Eagle Scout rank requirements before July 1, 2022, are not required to complete the Citizenship in Society merit badge. (Scouts completing all current Eagle Scout rank requirements before July 1, 2022, are permitted to submit their final Eagle Scout application and complete their Eagle Scout Board of Review after June 30, 2022.)
Counselors for the Citizenship in Society merit badge should be skilled in listening and in guiding discussions. This merit badge does not include a pamphlet but will require Scouts to do their own research and to dig as deeply and as detailed as the Scouts desire. The counselor is to serve as a facilitator who draws out from Scouts what they have discovered and learned, and how they plan to put it into action. Counselors are not to interject their own opinions and beliefs, but instead should consider the Scout’s experience and journey into these topics.
If you wish to register as a counselor for this new merit badge, please review the following materials.
Counseling for this merit badge should be conducted for individual Scouts or in small groups of no more than 3 to 5 Scouts. This merit badge should not be conducted in large group settings, such as summer camps or merit badge colleges. The Scout’s parents or guardians may observe all counseling sessions (or themselves may choose to serve as counselor for this merit badge by following all the steps to register as a merit badge counselor).
The Medicine Merit Badge is to be replaced by the Health Care Professions Merit Badge
Scouts who already have begun work on the Medicine merit badge may continue working on it until they are finished or turn 18.The Health Care Professions merit badge will replace the Medicine merit badge. The new merit badge pamphlet and requirements are available here. The design of the merit badge emblem will not change.
After Dec. 31, 2021, Scouts may not begin working on the Medicine merit badge and should instead work on the Health Care Professions badge.
Hard-copy editions of the Health Care Professions merit badge pamphlet are expected to be available starting in mid-November.