Merit Badges and Counselors
Qualifications of Counselors
People serving must maintain registration with the Boy Scouts of America as merit badge counselors and be approved by the local council for each of their badges. Counselors must have completed Youth Protection training within the last two years. They must be men or women of good character, age 18 or older, and recognized as having the skills and education in the subjects they cover. It is important, too, they have good rapport with Scout-age youth and unit leaders. Counselors are encouraged to work with Scouts from multiple units.
List of Approved Counselors
In Patriots’ Path Council, each district maintains a list of approved merit badge counselors. Those lists are provided to unit leaders and other registered adults directly involved in advancement, but should never be distributed or otherwise shared with Scouts or their parents or guardians. As of May 2020, these lists are also uploaded to Scoutbook. Unit leaders granted MBC privileges by the unit Scoutbook admin can search the district merit badge counselor list in Scoutbook, and assign individual Scouts to counselors. (The approved online version of the paper blue card.) The Scout, parent, and Counselor receive a notification email. Once requirements (or badges) are complete, the counselor can mark them complete on the Scoutbook app. Such records are immediately visible to the Scout, parents, and unit leaders. Additions or corrections of assigned badges MUST go through the District Merit Badge Dean, and will be reflected in Scoutbook asap. Details and resources below:
Quick one page pdf for unit leaders
Detailed “How do unit leaders assign merit badge counselors to a Scout?”
Scoutbook Merit Badge List FAQ
Scoutbook Merit Badge Counselor Guide
Getting a unit started on Scoutbook
Basic Scoutbook FAQ
Role of the Unit Leader & Signed “Blue Card”
Except for prerequisites or other restrictions specified in the merit badge requirements, any registered Scout may work on any merit badge at any time. Best practice, especially before significant efforts are invested, is for the Scout to discuss their interest with their unit leader and obtain the name of one or more approved counselors on the Application for Merit Badge, No. 34124, commonly called the “blue card.” The Scoutmaster is responsible for identifying a counselor from those approved (including those approved by other councils) and made available, and is encouraged to give appropriate consideration to a Scout’s preferences and the opportunities to work on merit badges at merit badge fairs or midways, or rock-climbing gyms or whitewater rafting trips that provide merit badge instruction from a registered merit badge counselor. See The Merit Badge Program and Blue Card instructions in the Guide to Advancement.