Minsi Trails Council, Inc., BSAAdvancementHow to become a MB Counselor


Thank you for wishing to serve as a Merit Badge Counselor in the Minsi Trails Council.  The Scouting program emphasizes helping Scouts develop character, citizenship, and mental and physical fitness. Among the handful of methods used to build on these aims of Scouting are adult association, leadership development, and advancement. Besides parents and relatives, schoolteachers, religious leaders, and possibly coaches, most Scout-age youth don't have much contact with many other adults or professionals. A Scout's association with his or her merit badge counselors provides an excellent way for a Scout to grow and gain confidence through exposure to quality adults who serve as positive role models and mentors to Scouts. Meeting people from business and community leaders to trained specialists and enthusiastic hobbyists, a Scout can experience a chance for personal growth and a positive life-altering experience while in pursuit of a merit badge.

Following is all the information that you need to know and the application process to register.  Upon receiving your application, properly filled out, the Boy Scouts of America will do a criminal background check. You will be notified via e-mail when your application is approved.  You cannot work with any youth until this process is complete and you receive the e-mail.

You are committing to following all of the requirements for the badge and ensuring the Scout has met these requirements before signing his or her card.  No Scout can work on a badge with-out a “blue card” signed by his or her unit leader.

The merit badge counselor is a key player in the Scouts 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 Scouts 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.

IF, you are a NEW merit badge counselor (not currently registered as one) you must do the following below:

  1. Complete a BSA Adult Application - You need to fill out pages 3 and 9 only. Click HERE to download an application.

    • On page 3, you need to enter all personal information including #6 on the right hand side of the form. 

      • Position code is “42 – Merit Badge Counselor”.  

      • You must initial the two statements left of the signature line and sign the application.

    • No fee is required. 

  2. Complete a Merit Badge Counselor Application.  Click here to download an application. 

  3. Complete Youth Protection Training (YPT) and submit a copy of the YPT card with your application.  To do this go to www.my.scouting.org and click on “create an account” if you do not already have one. Follow steps that come up – take training and print card. You must also be compliant with PA Act 15. Click Here for more info.

IF, you are an EXISTING merit badge counselor (currently registered as one) you must do the following below to update or add MB's:

  1. Complete a Merit Badge Counselor Application.  Click here to download an application. 

  2. Current Youth Protection Training (YPT) and submit a copy of the YPT card with your application.  To do this go to www.my.scouting.org and click on “create an account” if you do not already have one. Follow steps that come up – take training and print card. 

  3. You must also be compliant with PA Act 15. Click Here for more info.

For an introduction to merit badges, click here. The following link gives you the guide to follow to do the job as a counselor.

Helpful Hints

Here are some simple tips that every merit badge counselor should keep in mind.

  • Two registered adult leaders 21 years of age or over are required at all Scouting activities, including Merit Badge meetings.

  • Make the Scout feel welcome and relaxed.

  • Stimulate the Scout's interest by showing him or her something related to the merit badge subject, but don't overwhelm him or her; remember, he or she is probably a beginner.

  • Carefully review each requirement, start with easy skills or questions, and encourage practice.

  • Insist that the Scout do exactly what the requirements specify. Many of the requirements involve hands-on activities that call for a Scout to show or demonstrate; make; list; discuss; or collect, identify, and label—and he or she must do just that.

  • Don't make the requirement more difficult—or any easier—than stated. A Scout may undertake more activities on his or her own initiative, but he or she cannot be pushed to do so.

  • During testing, the Scout might need help in a particular area or with a certain skill, and may need to be retested later to ensure the requirement has been fulfilled.

  • Encourage self-evaluation and self-reflection, and establish an atmosphere that encourages the Scout to ask for help.

  • Take a genuine interest in the Scout's projects, and encourage completion.





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(610) 264-8551
10 AM – 5 PM (Monday  – Friday)
Closed Saturday & Sunday


(610) 266-7770
10 AM – 5 PM (Monday-Friday)
10 AM – 2 PM (Saturday)
Closed Sunday


991 Postal Road, Allentown, PA 18109

P.O Box 20624, Lehigh Valley, PA 18002-0624