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Merit Badge Counselor Training
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  1. Merit Badge Counselor Training Prepared by: National Capital Area CouncilAdvancement and Recognition Committee

  2. Registering as a Merit Badge Counselor

  3. The Three Forms Required for MBC • Submit all Forms to the Troop Merit Badge Coordinator • BSA Adult Application (who you are) • BSA Merit Badge Counselor Information Form (what you want to teach) • Certificate of Completion for Youth Protection Training • Forms are sent to the District for approval • Youth Protection Training must be updated every two years. The Application and Information forms are good indefinitely (unless you let your registration lapse).

  4. Step 1 - Complete a BSA Adult Application (524-501) • Read, fill-in, and sign the Disclosure/Authorization Form • Complete the Adult Application form • On the top row, for “Council/district position” put “MBC” and for “District name” put your District • Provide your Social Security Number - this is mandatory, the application will not be processed without it • On the lower left, for “Position Code,” write “42” • For “Scouting position (description),” write “Merit Badge Counselor” • Sign and date at the bottom • In the NCAC, the Unit Committee Chair and Chartered Organization Representative signatures are not required for Merit Badge Counselors

  5. Step 2 - Complete a BSA Merit Badge Counselor Information Form (34405) • Include all personal information requested • List the merit badge(s) you want to teach • IMPORTANT: Provide a brief summary of your qualifications in the box provided for Vocation, Avocation, or Special Training. Use the back of the form or an attachment if necessary • Vocation: Is this subject in line with your job, business, or profession? • Avocation: Do you follow this subject as a hobby, having more than a “working knowledge” of the requirements? • Special Training: If not, do you have any special training or other qualifications for this subject? • This is how the District determines your qualifications to teach a certain merit badge • Indicate whether you want to work only with a specific Unit or all units in the District • Sign and date at the bottom

  6. Step 3 - Complete Youth Protection Training On-Line On-line go to https://myscouting.scouting.org/Pages/eLearning.aspx If you don’t already have an account, sign-up for a MyScouting account Take the Youth Protection Training course From the menu on the left, click E-Learning On the General tab, find YPT, and click Take Course After you complete the course save & print a certificate to submit with the adult application When the adult application is approved you will get a BSA membership card with your ID number Log onto MyScouting, click My Profile, and enter Member ID, and association with the National Capital Area Council, 082 This will link your training records to your BSA membership NOTE: Link works in full screen mode

  7. Step 4 - Submit All Forms to the Merit Badge Coordinator • The Troop’s Advancement Chairman will pass on these forms to the District’s Merit Badge Dean • Old Dominion MB Dean: Ed Phillips, 8396 Crosslake Dr, Fairfax Station, VA 22039, odd.mbs@gmail.com • There is no fee to register as a merit badge counselor • The Merit Badge Dean reviews and sign the forms, then submits them to the Council for processing • They will contact you if they have any questions • Do NOT send only one form • Your submission cannot be processed • Do NOT mail or take your forms directly to the Council • Council will either refuse to accept the forms when brought to NCAC or leave them for the District Executive to process at the District level first

  8. Questions and Answers

  9. Why does it matter that merit badge counselors be registered separately? • Because it’s BSA policy • Because Merit Badge Counselor is a completely separate position from a Unit or District position you might already hold • Because official Merit Badge Counselor records are maintained by the District and Council not the Unit • Because the District or Council must approve Merit Badge Counselors • Because BSA requires a background check of all adults who participate in Scouting • Because a Scout is Trustworthy. Someone from your Unit attests to the following statement on the Advancement Report every time advancement badges are bought at the Scout Shop: “To: Council Advancement Committee “I certify that the following record of advancement is correct and that it meets the standards and requirements of the Boy Scouts of America, and that merit badge counselors are registered adult members of the BSA [emphasis added].”

  10. Even if I only want to work with Scouts in my troop, do I still have to register as a merit badge counselor? • Yes

  11. Is there a limit to the number of merit badges a person can register to counsel? • No. The only limit is by qualification – counselors must be qualified by vocation (job) or avocation (hobby) • The intent is for Scouts to learn from those with a significant level of expertise • It is important that applicants provide a short summary of why they believe they are qualified, so that the advancement committee (which reviews and approves merit badge counselors) has enough information on which to judge an applicant’s merits

  12. Does a Scout need to be a certain rank before he can begin working on merit badges? • No. For most merit badges, a Scout can work on any one at any time, subject to approval by his Scoutmaster • Note that there are some exceptions • For example, earning the First Aid merit badge is requirement #1 for the Emergency Preparedness merit badge

  13. Is there a time limit, from start to finish, for completing a merit badge? • The only time limit is the Scout’s 18th birthday* • There is no BSA policy that stipulates that a Scout must earn all requirements for a merit badge within a stipulated time period (e.g., within 6 months) or he must start over again * The only exception relates to disabled Scouts with prior approval, via the procedures outlined in BSA’s Guide to Advancement.

  14. Can Scouts work on more than one merit badge at a time? • Yes. There is no limitation on how many merit badges a Scout can work on at any given time, subject to following the proper process

  15. Can Scouts work with me as their counselor for a lot of their merit badges? • Yes. “There is no limit on the number of merit badges a youth may earn from one counselor.” • But, using one counselor for a significant number of badges goes against a purpose of the merit badge program which is to broaden a Scouts horizon • Scouts meeting with counselors beyond their families and beyond even their own units are doing that • They will benefit from the perspectives of many “teachers” and will learn more as a result • They should be encouraged to reach out

  16. Can a knowledgeable Scout be a merit badge counselor? • No. The minimum age for a merit badge counselor is 18 • A Scout may assist in merit badge sessions, but a registered adult counselor must supervise these sessions

  17. Can a person be a merit badge counselor for his/her son? • Yes. “An approved merit badge counselor may counsel any youth member, including his or her own son, ward, or relative.” • Since one of the benefits of the merit badge program is association with adults with whom the Scout might not be acquainted, many troops routinely assign a merit badge counselor other than a parent • However, an excellent way to involve parents (as merit badge counselors) and their sons is for the parent to teach a group session where his or her son is involved with other Scouts

  18. How do I handle partials that werecompleted with another counselor? • If the previous counselor signed off the Scout, this indicates that the requirement was done to his/her satisfaction • Therefore, the Scout should not have to re-do the requirement • Merit Badge Counselors are encouraged to spot check work certified to them from partials, but Scouts should not be retested on these completed requirements

  19. Thanks for Making a Difference in the Life of a Boy!