Patriots’ Path Council Procedure for Processing Merit Badge Counselor Applications

The purpose of the Merit Badge Counselor Application is to provide a vehicle for registering adults in each of the districts who are found qualified to counsel and approve merit badge(s) for scouts working on advancement. A further purpose is to maintain the merit badge counselor list for each district.

NOTE: This process is for original applications in the Merit Badge Counselor position.  Once registered, changes to add or drop individual badges involve a quick email to the appropriate district Merit Badge Dean(s) listing the counselor’s qualifications for any new badges.

1. Applications should be sent directly by the applicant to the Council Service Center mail or in person, or emailed to Brenda Sonzogni. The mailing address is 1 Saddle Road, Cedar Knolls, NJ 07927.

2. Only the most recent Merit Badge Counselor Application can be accepted. If an older copy of the application is received, the Council Registrar will return the old copy long with a copy of the newest. An Adult Application MUST accompany it. If the application is found to be incomplete, or is an obsolete form, it will be returned to the applicant with a note of explanation as well as a new merit badge counselor application and/or adult application if needed. All applicants must include the adult registration application whether or not they are registered in another capacity.

3. The Council Registrar will immediately process the adult application, instituting the Criminal Background Check.

4. If the applicant passes the Criminal Background Check, the Merit Badge Counselor Application will be forwarded to the Merit Badge Dean. This will be completed every Friday, when the Council Registrar scans all approved Merit Badge Counselor Applications and then e-mails them to the appropriate deans. The Council Registrar will also send a letter to the applicant that notifies them that the application has been forwarded to their dean. This letter will also include the contact info for their dean.

5. If the applicant does not pass the Criminal Background Check, the application will not be shared with the dean and will be handled via the internal process already established by the Council Executive.

6. The Council Registrar will keep a monthly list of all application approved so that it can be provided to the Council Advancement Committee at its monthly meeting.

7. The District Merit Badge Dean will then complete the reference checks, review the applicant’s qualifications, and make a determination as to the applicant’s suitability as a counselor. If the applicant is found unacceptable, the Council Registrar will be notified so that they can be removed from the Council’s system as a Merit Badge Counselor. The Dean will also send a letter to the applicant informing them that were not accepted as a Merit Badge Counselor.

8. If the applicant is approved, the dean will add them to their district’s Merit Badge List and a letter will be sent to the applicant confirming their approval.

Steps 7 – 8 should take up-to 3 weeks.
9. The District Dean is responsible for providing timely updates to the units in their district.

Renewal process:

Every July, Registration will provide a list to the Deans of currently registered Merit Badge Counselors in their districts. The Deans will contact their Merit Badge Councilors to determine if they wish to remain registered with the district. The Deans will hand back a copy of this list crossing off (preferably in red or blue ink) any Counselors that should not be renewed in September as part of the Council Re-Registration process. This list is due back to the Registrar no later than the September Council Advancement Committee meeting.

Updated 5/8/2020.