Aquila district is in the process of updating the current list of merit badge counselors. If you are currently a merit badge counselor please respond to or e-mail Ken DeVos, 206-248-2543. We need to know the merit badge(s) that you are the counselor for and the troop that you are affiliated with. Please specify if you are willing to reach outside your troop. If you do not wish to continue as MBC let us know that too. If you are interested in becoming a merit badge counselor read on...
The merit badge program is part of the Boy Scouts of America advancement plan. It has guided the interests and energies of Scouts for 85 years and is one of the most unusual educational programs ever devised. A merit badge is an award that is presented to a Scout when he or she has completed the requirements for one of more than 100 subjects in a wide variety of art, craft, hobby, sport, trade, profession, agribusiness, service, or self-improvement areas. The badge is only a small piece of cloth with a design embroidered in color -- but its significance is as large as the interest of the merit badge counselor who helps a Scout earn it.
This could not have happened without the service of thousands of merit badge counselors -- like yourself -- expert in a particular subject and interested in helping Scouts grow into men of character, ready to take their place in the world of work as participating citizens. Please consider becoming a registered and trained Merit Badge Counselor.
Each Troop should have Counselors registered with the District. For a list of registered Merit Badge Counselors, please click the link below.
A Merit Badge Counselor will coach a Scout; help him/her over the different hurdles of the merit badge requirements and increase the Scout's awareness in the deeper aspects of the subject from your knowledge and experience, then assure the Scout meets all the requirements for the merit badge. Here are some things a Merit Badge Counselor should do:
- Follow the merit badge requirements without deletions or additions ensuring standards are fair and uniform for each Scout.
- Have a buddy present with each Scout at all sessions. (His buddy can be a friend, parent, guardian, brother, sister or relative.)
- Get a Scoutmaster-signed or Varsity Scout Coach-signed merit badge application (blue card) from the Scout.
- Utilize the subject-specific merit badge pamphlet (available at the local or troop library to borrow or Scout Shop to purchase).
- Contact a Merit Badge Counselor and express his desire to earn a badge.
- Meet the counselor along with a buddy and discuss how to get the most out of the time spent working on the badge.
- Give him/her a Scoutmaster or Varsity Scout Coach signed merit badge application;
- Learn and do the requirements described in the subject-specific merit badge pamphlet.
- When ready, meet with the counselor again to go over the important parts of the subject. A good counselor will also help the Scout see beyond the requirements and discover ways to continue learning about the subject.
- When the Scout has satisfactorily completed the requirements, the counselor will sign the merit badge "blue card".
- The Scout will give the signed "blue card" to his Scoutmaster or Varsity Scout Coach.
- The badge will be presented to the Scout during a troop ceremony.
The counselor's place of work would be a good place to meet with Scouts, for a merit badge subject relating to a job or profession.
Subjects related to a hobby can be reviewed at home where related materials may be more readily available. For a few subjects, coaching can be done in the field where special equipment is at hand such as rowing, rifle shooting, swimming, and astronomy.
A Merit Badge Counselor may work with many Scouts each year as they earn merit badges or s/he may only work with a few. Contact with the Scouts is tremendously important and the Merit Badge Counselor's influence is measured not by how many Scouts worked with, but the effect upon the lives of those worked with.
The skills of some subjects can be taught to several Scouts at one time which can have a time advantage. However, the requirements must be completed on an individual basis. When one Scout in a group answers a question it won't prove that all the others in the group also know and understand the answer. A Scout also learns at his own pace and should not be held back or pushed ahead by his association with a group.
Often, the Scoutmaster or Varsity Scout Coach will help the Scout select the merit badges they will earn for a particular award. The Scoutmaster is always interested in the Scout's progress. A Merit Badge Counselor should feel free to discuss the Scout's work with the Scoutmaster or Varsity Scout Coach at any time.
The Merit Badge Counselor will be familiar with the information in the pamphlet and it is necessary to know the Scout’s requirements. The pamphlets are written for Scout-age boys and contain suggestions for projects that might lead to other ideas.
It's a good idea to have the most recent printing of the pamphlet on the subject. It will contain the latest requirements and information on meeting them.
- Complete Youth Protection Training
- Complete a BSA Adult Application if you are not already registered with the BSA
- Complete a BSA Merit Badge Counselor Form
- E-mail the completed forms and your Youth Protection Training certificate to the Council Registrar (contact) and Aquila District Merit Badge Counselor Coordinator (contact), or mail them to:
Chief Seattle Council Service Center
3120 Rainier Avenue S
PO Box 440408
Seattle, WA 98114
- Tell your Unit Merit Badge Counselor Coordinator and/or Unit Leader that you registered as a Merit Badge Counselor and what Merit Badges you are counseling for
- Take the Merit Badge Counselor Training
Merit Badge Counselors must be at least 18 years old. There is no fee to register as a Merit Badge Counselor. Please direct questions to your Unit Leader or Ken DeVos 206-248-2543 (contact).