Merit Badge Counselor
(BSA position code: 42)
Wherefore, now let every man learn his duty, and to act in the office in which he is appointed, in all diligence.
The Purposes of Your Calling: The Scout Committee Chairs in each Troop, working with the Stake Young Mens Presidency, is responsible to ensure that there are qualified, trained, and approved (by the District) Merit Badge Counselors for the Scouts to meet with. The merit badge counselor is a key player in the Boy Scout 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, communication)—as a merit badge counselor, you play a vital role in stirring a young man’s curiosity about it. By serving as a counselor, you offer your time, knowledge, and other resources so Scouts have the opportunity to broaden their horizons. And in doing so, your mission is to combine fun with learning.
You are both teacher and mentor to the Scout as he learns by doing. By presenting opportunities for growth via engaging activities like designing a Web page (Digital Technology), performing an ollie and a wheelie (Snow Sports), or fabricating rope (Pioneering), you may pique a young man’s interest and inspire a Scout to develop a lifelong hobby, pursue a particular career, or become an independent, self-supporting adult.
The purposes of LDS Scouting are twofold. Those of the Aaronic Priesthood:
- Become converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ and live by its teachings.
- Serve faithfully in priesthood callings and fulfill the responsibilities of priesthood offices.
- Give meaningful service.
- Prepare and live worthily to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood and temple ordinances.
- Prepare to serve an honorable full-time mission.
- Obtain as much education as possible.
- Prepare to become a worthy husband and father.
- Give proper respect to women, girls, and children.
(Handbook 2 8.1.3)
Second, it is the mission of the Boy Scouts of America to serve others by helping to instill values in young people, and other ways to prepare them to make ethical choices during their lifetime in achieving their full potential. The values we strive to instill are based on the Scout Oath and Law. The aims of Scouting are to develop in youth (1) a strong ethical character, (2) an active, participating citizenship, including leadership ability, and (3) personal fitness: physical, mental, emotional and moral.
Guidelines of Your Stewardship:
Your service as a merit badge counselor has many important responsibilities in Scouting:
- Remain current on Youth Protection Training and are following its requirements, including two deep leadership at all activities and outings. No one on one contact with the Scouts.
- Before beginning to work with a youth, make should check the boy’s merit badge application (blue card) to ensure it is signed by their unit leader.
- Counselors may not add to or delete any merit badge requirements.
- Make sure each Scout you work with has actually and personally fulfilled all the requirements. If, for example, a requirement uses words like “show,” “demonstrate,” or “discuss,” then every Scout must individually do so.
- It is unacceptable to award badges on the basis of Scouts sitting in classrooms and watching demonstrations or remaining silent during discussions.
Position Specific Basic Training
To be an approved merit badge counselor, you need to Register as an Adult Scout Leader with the Scout Office as a “Merit Badge Counselor” using position code 42. A separate application is required to be Merit Badge Counselor, so even if you are already a registered Scout Leader you must fill out a new application to be a Merit Badge Counselor. Next you need to view the Essentials of Merit Badge Counselors presentation. Next register with the Zion District as a merit badge counselor with the list of merit badges you can be a counselor for. Ideally do this counselor registration online but if you prefer you can take a paper counselor registration into the Scout Office. After you are registered, we’d like to get you on the Stake Merit Badge Counselor list, including being setup on Scoutbook.
While you are waiting for the Scout Office to process your paperwork, which will take about two weeks, we ask that you begin your position specific basic training, which consists of “D76 Merit Badge Counselor Orientation Training” classroom training OR 6 online trainings:
Before the First Meeting classes to be completed prior to working with boys. These courses are:
- SCO_402 Aims and Methods of Boy Scouting
- SCO_403 Ideals and Beliefs of Boy Scouting
- SCO_416 Merit Badge Counselor for Boy Scouts
- SCO_415 Intro to Merit Badges for Boy Scouting
- SCO_417 Merit Badge Signup
- These 5 classes will take a total of about 45 minutes.
You will finish the last 1 ScoutingU position specific basic training classes, which should be completed during the first 30-days after signing up to be a merit badge counselor. This course is:
- SCO_407 Advancement for Boy Scouting
- This 1 class will take a total of about 10 minutes.
Continuing and additional training
You will need to retake Youth Protection Training at least once every other year, although annually is preferred.