A Merit Badge Counselor (MBC) is an adult that has knowledge and enthusiasm about the subject of a Merit Badge. Merit Badges will usually cover sports, crafts, science, trades, business, and future careers that scouts can learn about to gain additional knowledge and insight. Merit Badges have a list of requirements for the Scout to demonstrate to the MBC that the subject has been covered and understood. Once all the requirements are met, the MBC will sign the application indicating the requirements that were completed. This application is then given to the Unit Leader by the Scout so they may secure the Merit Badge emblem that will be given to the Scout.
Listed on this page are the steps and resources for those who want to be or are Merit Badge Counselors in the Hightower Trail District. Additional information can be found on Atlanta Area Council’s page about MBC. Being an MBC is an important role that volunteers take on that help each Scout grow in their knowledge and understanding of their world around them.
How to become a Merit Badge Counselor
To be a Merit Badge Counselor for Atlanta Area Council, the following steps will need to be taken:
- Find your BSA ID. If you have never filled out a BSA application then one will have to be completed to get a BSA ID. When you fill out the application in the next step, a BSA ID will be created. If you have filled out an application before but do not recall your BSA ID, then you can contact Atlanta Area Council to see if they can find it. If you are part of a Unit in the council, your unit leaders may be able to find the BSA ID as well. This ID will be used as you go through the process of becoming a Merit Badge Counselor.
- Fill out the Adult Application as a Merit Badge Counselor, if you are not a currently registered Adult Leader in a Scouting Unit.
When done, the PDF of the Adult Application would be uploaded by going to the Atlanta Area Council’s file upload site. Keep the default email address shown (email@example.com) for who the files are going to be sent to. Enter your email address and click on the “Submit” button to begin uploading the documents. An email will be sent to verify your address and once verified, the upload files page will display. Follow the onscreen instructions to complete the process.
- Print out your Youth Protection Certificate.
Youth Protection training must be completed and current. This training is available even if you are not a registered adult and can be done prior to filling out the Adult Application. To get the training go to My Scouting. Create an Account or login to your existing account.
Once logged in, click on the “My Training” icon.
This will display the training page. From there the “My Youth Protection Training” should show your status, when it was completed and when it will expire. Follow the links to take the Youth Protection Training or to renew it if the Status is not ACTIVE. Once complete, this is also where you would print your certificate to submit with the MCB application in later steps.
- Complete Merit Badge Counselor Training
While in the My Training section of the My Scouting website, Click on the “Scouts BSA Program” listed under the “Training Courses by Program“. This will take you to the training specific to Scouts BSA. Once there find the card that is for Merit Badge Counselor. Click on the “Visit” link and proceed to Enroll in the training. Make sure to complete this training, as it is required to be an MBC.
- Create a login for the Atlanta Area Council MBC Portal by clicking on the “Register for an Account” button under the New Account section. Enter registration information with your Display Name (Full name), Email Address, Username and Password. Click on “Register” button to complete the registration. NOTE: This login is not the same as My.Scouting or other sites.
New counselors will see the button “Merit Badge Counselor Registration“. Click on this button to start the process of registering as an MCB. This is when you will need to have your BSA ID available. Enter it along with the other information requested. Towards the bottom, you will be asked to Upload Youth Protection Training Certificate that was mentioned above. Make sure to select the PDF the Certificate that you downloaded so that it is uploaded with your application. This will also be the place that any special certifications (NRA, Canoe, Lifeguard, Etc.) would be uploaded as well.
On the first time creating your application enter one Merit Badge that you wish to be the counselor for, additional Merit Badges can be added after you submit the application. Once it is submitted a form will display the information you just submitted and will display at the bottom the Youth Protection Training Certificate File as well as the current list of Merit Badges associated to you. To add additional Merit Badges, click on the “Add New” button. It will then display the information needed to add another Merit Badge.
An email will be sent confirming that you have submitted your application as an MBC. Typically, the process to approve the registration is 1-3 business days.
Please Note: A fee is now in place for MBC. If you are already registered as a volunteer in a Unit, district or Council at large and already paid your adult fee then this has already covered with the fee paid at that time. If you have not paid any fee then the MBC fee, which is less than the Adult Fee, is required and can be paid by going to the Merit Badge Counselor Registration/Renwal Payment Form (tentaroo.com)
Manage being a Merit Badge Counselor
Once you are an MBC, to manage your status and change the Merit Badges that you are a counselor for, follow the following steps:
- Logon to the Atlanta Area Council MBC Portal.
Click on the “Manage My Merit Badge Counselor Account Settings” button to update your information or add additional Merit Badges. The form will display with the information from your registration so you can change it. Click on “Update” button to save any changes to the form.
- Make sure that your youth Protection Training Certificate is current. If it is not, click “Add New” below the current file for your Youth Protection Training Certificate. Select the file and click on “Upload“, then click on the “Add” button.
- The last section on the page is the list of Merit Badges that you are associated with. To add a Merit Badge, click on the “Add New” button. It will then display the information needed to add another Merit Badge. To remove a Merit Badge that you no longer wish to be a counselor for, click on the red X next to the name of the Merit Badge.