3 questions to ask yourself before becoming a merit badge counselor

Planning to teach them Traffic Safety? School them in Scholarship? Impart your insight about Inventing?

Before you serve as a merit badge counselor, ask yourself three questions:

1. Am I using the latest pamphlet and requirements?

You’ve heard the warning that anything posted online is there forever, right?

That’s true of merit badge requirements, too. A Google search turns up a number of websites with outdated merit badge requirements.

Make sure you’re using the latest and greatest by using this link.

2. Do I have the skills, education, experience and certification required?

Just because you can register to teach a merit badge doesn’t mean you necessarily should. Be sure you have a complete understanding of the subject matter.

It’s about knowing your limits. I feel I’m qualified to teach the Journalism merit badge, and I’ve done so. But Chemistry? No way.

These merit badges require special qualifications or certifications for either the merit badge counselor or the supervisor of certain activities that may be involved, as outlined in section of the Guide to Advancement: Archery, Canoeing, Climbing, Kayaking, Lifesaving, Rowing, Scuba Diving, Snow Sports, Swimming and Whitewater.

3. Is my required Youth Protection Training current?

If you aren’t sure, contact your local council service center to find out. Or better yet, just log on to your My.Scouting account and take the convenient online Youth Protection Training course.

Subscribe to the Advancement News newsletter

What’s my go-to source for the latest advancement news? It’s the Advancement News newsletter, of course. To subscribe, send an email to advancement.team@scouting.org.

Put “Subscribe” in the subject line. In the body of the email, include only your email address, name and council name.

About Bryan Wendell 3281 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.