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To Become a NEW Merit Badge Counselor or if you missed the Renewal Deadline:

  • You will need to fill out and return this packet which includes:
    • An Adult Application- which is needed for each position you wish to hold in the BSA. (Position code 42 - Merit Badge Counselor.)
    • Merit Badge Counselor Application.
  • You will also need to take Youth Protection TrainingExternal Link and include a copy of your certificate with your application.

CURRENT Merit Badge Counselors

You will only need to fill out the Merit Badge Counselor Application.

All Counselors: Please review the certifications listed below for Archery, Canoeing, Climbing, Kayaking, Lifesaving, Rifle Shooting, Rowing, Scuba Diving, Shotgun Shooting, Snow Sports, Swimming, and Whitewater.  Submit the appropriate current certification credentials with each new application and renewal. Unfortunately, without the credentials you cannot be registered for one of these merit badges. 

How to submit applications:

 

Merit Badge Counselor Directory

Merit Badge Counselor ListExternal Link - Please contact your unit for contact information

Are you a unit leader wanting to receive the monthly list? Please click here to get the monthly update!External Link

Renewal has closed for this year.

Some notes about renewal:

  • You had until Wednesday June 14, 2017 to complete the renewal, you will be dropped from the counselor list. 
  • If you do not renew, you will need to fill out a new Adult Application and Merit Badge Counselor Application if you wish to continue counseling. 

STEM Counselor Directory

SuperNova Mentor and Nova Counselor ListExternal Link

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) is the new buzzword that we're honing in on in the Boy Scouts of America.  If you woud ike more information on this program and the exciting NOVA awards associated with it, please visit one of the resource pages or contact a STEM Counselor.

Want to become a SuperNova Mentor or Nova Counselor? 

Please submit the following:

Submitting an application:

  • In person or by mail:
    • 2745 Skokie Valley Road
    • Highlandk Park, IL 60035
  • Email: megan.chellberg@scouting.org
  • Fax: (847) 433-2036
  • Upload Online!External Link

 

Merit Badges Requiring Certifications for Counselors
(2017 Guide to Advancement)

The following merit badges have special qualifications or certifications for either the merit badge counselor or the supervisor of certain activities that may be involved. Counselors and advancement administrators should consult the merit badge pamphlets for details and to maintain awareness of changes and updates as pamphlets are revised.

Archery. Archery activities must be supervised by a BSA National Camping School–trained shooting sports director or USA Archery or National Field Archery Association instructor, or by someone who has been trained by one of the three; or alternatively, the activities may be supervised by someone with at least Level 1 training in the operation of an archery range from USA Archery, NFAA, or an equivalent.

Canoeing. Those supervising canoeing activities must have either BSA Aquatics Instructor or Canoeing Instructor certification from the American Canoe Association, American Red Cross, or equivalent; OR local councils may approve individuals previously certified as such, or trained by an instructor so qualified.

Climbing. All climbing, belaying, and rappelling exercises and activities must be supervised by a rock climbing instructor who is a mature and conscientious adult at least 21 years old, and who is trained in BSA Climb On Safely and understands the risks inherent to these activities. Training as a BSA climbing Level 2 Instructor is highly recommended. Someone with certification in First Aid/CPR/AED from the American Red Cross (or equivalent) must be present at these activities.

Kayaking. Those supervising kayaking activities must have formal training in kayaking and paddle craft instruction, evidenced by either BSA Aquatics Instructor or Paddle Craft Safety Instructor certification, or kayaking instructor certification from the American Canoe Association, British Canoe Union, or American Red Cross, or equivalent; OR local councils may approve individuals previously certified as such, or trained by an instructor so qualified.

Lifesaving. Demonstrations or activities in or on the water must be supervised by an adult at least 21 years old with certification in Red Cross First Aid/CPR/AED or equivalent, and also as BSA Lifeguard or Aquatics Instructor or equivalent.

Rife Shooting. The merit badge counselor is responsible for ensuring that all instruction or other activities involving any handling of firearms or live ammunition is consistent with state and federal law and supervised by a certified BSA National Camping School (NCS) shooting sports director, or National Rife Association (NRA) Rife Shooting Instructor or Coach. Instruction or other activities involving handling muzzleloaders must be supervised by an NCS shooting sports director or NRA/National Muzzleloader Rife Association (NMLRA)–certified muzzleloader frearms instructor. Shooting must be supervised by an NRA certified Range Safety Officer(RSO). If instruction and shooting are to occur at the same time, both the RSO and qualified instructor must be present. The supervisor and instructor may not be the same person. Note that commercial shooting ranges may provide RSOs. See the Guide to Safe Scouting and the BSA National Shooting Sports Manual, No. 30931, for further details on shooting sports.

Rowing. Those supervising rowing activities must have either BSA Aquatics Instructor certification or equivalent; OR local councils may approve individuals previously certified as such, or trained by an instructor so qualified.

Scuba Diving. All phases of scuba instruction—classroom, pool, and open-water training—are limited to instructors trained and certified by one of the BSA’s recognized scuba agencies as found in the Guide to Safe Scouting.

Shotgun Shooting. The merit badge counselor is responsible for ensuring that all instruction or other activities involving any handling of firearms or live ammunition is consistent with state and federal law and supervised by a certified NCS shooting sports director or NRA Shotgun Instructor or Coach. Instruction or other activities involving handling muzzle-loading shotguns must be supervised by an NCS shooting sports director or NRA/NMLRA certified muzzle-loading shotgun instructor. Shooting must be supervised by an NRA-certified Range Safety Offcer. If instruction and shooting are to occur at the same time, both the RSO and qualifiedinstructor must be present. They may not be the same person. Note that commercial shooting ranges may provide RSOs. See the Guide to Safe Scouting and the BSA National Shooting Sports Manual, No. 30931, for further details on shooting sports.

Snow Sports. Activities in the field must be supervised by a mature and conscientious adult 21 years or older who is committed to compliance with BSA Winter Sports Safety as defined in the Guide to Safe Scouting.

Swimming. Demonstrations or activities in or on the water must be conducted according to BSA Safe Swim Defense and BSA Safety Afloat.

Whitewater. Those supervising whitewater activities must be certified as whitewater canoeing or kayaking instructors by the American Canoe Association or have equivalent certification, training, or expertise.

Page last updated on June 7, 2017

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