Orange County Council


Become a Merit Badge Counselor

  1. You must be knowledgeable in the subject area of a specific Merit Badge, either by vocation, avocation or special training.
  2. Complete Youth Protection Training Online and send a copy of the training card, along with your Merit Badge Application. Youth Protection Training (YPT) may be taken online at
  3. Complete Merit Badge Counselor Training Online at and send a copy of the training card, along with your Merit Badge Application.
  4. Fill out the Counselor Information Form.
  5. Fill out the BSA Adult Registration form. Use 42 for position code (no unit leader signature is required).
  6. Fill out the BSA Disclosure/Authorization form (included with the BSA Adult Registration form).  Note: The Disclosure/Authorization form need only be submitted once for your initial Merit Badge Counselor registration.
  7. Send the documents to either your District Advancement Chairperson, or your District Merit Badge Counselor Coordinator.
  8. If any of the merit badges for which you are requesting to be a merit badge counselor, require special certification, send a copy of proof of certification in at the same time.

Merit Badge Resources

To find the following, click HERE and scroll to the bottom of the page.

  • Guide for Merit Badge Counseling
  • Fillable Merit Badge Counselor Application
  • Fillable Group Merit Badge Counselor Application
For Council specific information related to Merit Badge Counselors, Merit Badge Days and Policies, please visit our Advancement page.

Merit Badge Counselor Coordinators

Merit Badge Counselor Approval Process

  1. The Orange County Council will have a background investigation conducted, which will take up to 6 weeks; whereupon your District Advancement Chairperson will be advised if there was an issue with the background investigation. You may assume if you have not been contacted within 6 weeks, you are “Good-to-Go!”
  2. Your name and Merit Badge(s) will then be added to your District’s Merit Badge list. The list is “PRIVATE” and shall not be reproduced beyond the District Advancement Chairperson/Merit Badge staff and the unit Scoutmaster and Troop Advancement Chairperson.
  3. During the 6 weeks it takes for the background check, get yourself trained.
    Contact your District Training Chairperson and ask for a Merit Badge Counselor Training session as a breakout at the next Roundtable.
  4. After you have completed all of the above steps, make sure your name and the names of the Merit Badge(s) you will counsel appears on your District’s Merit Badge Counselor lists – contact your District Merit Badge Coordinator, or Scoutmaster or unit Committee Chair.

Yearly Reregistration Required

The National Council policy for Merit Badge Counselors is that unless a person specifically registers as a Merit Badge Counselor annually they are to be removed from the list of active Counselors. This is because over the past years, National has received up to 1,000 letters per month from the surviving spouses of Merit Badge Counselor’s that they are still being called by Scouts.

Annually you will be contacted by a Merit Badge Coordinator in your Unit to confirm whether you are interested in continuing for the upcoming year and the opportunity to make any changes. There is no cost for this. If you do not have any changes, you will need only to fill out the BSA Adult Application with position code of 42. If you have any changes in your Merit Badges list, then the Merit Badge Counselor Application will also need to be filled out listing all Merit Badges for which you wish to provide counseling services.

All forms must be forwarded to your District Advancement Chair or your District Merit Badge Counselor Coordinator for review and processing


Follow these 3 simple steps and begin your Scouting journey.


Find a Scouting Unit

Select your preferred program(s) (i.e., Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing), enter your zip code, choose your nearest unit, and select APPLY NOW.


Complete a Youth Application

Create an account with, complete the application, and make a payment.


Start Scouting!

Download the My Scouting app, contact your unit’s leader, and begin your Scouting journey!


Subscribe to Scoutweek to receive the latest news, training information, and events for you and your Scouts!