Merit Badge Counselors are the adult volunteers who help Scouts earn Merit Badges. The counselor’s signature is needed to verify a Scout has demonstrated the skills or knowledge requirements listed in the topic’s Merit Badge booklet. Counselors may choose topics in which they have expertise, skills, knowledge, or interest. A few topics do require specific credentials and these are usually offered at BSA District or Council-run camps.
Merit Badge Counselors may choose how they wish to work with Scouts. Typically, the Scout will contact the counselor to discuss a plan, after he requests a Blue Card (see Advancement, Merit Badge Process). Counselors may also promote their topics to the Troop at large, by giving talks or hosting workshops. The counselor must meet with Scouts at least once to review requirements and sign the Blue Card.
Merit Badge Counselors may or may not be a Troop 718 parent (many assist other local Troops). Because they work directly with Scouts, they must be registered-BSA volunteers and Youth Protection certified. In accordance with Youth Protection rules, another person must always be present when a counselor meets with a Scout individually.
It is important for Troop 718 to have a strong roster of active In-Troop Merit Badge counselors, especially for Eagle-required badges. To become a Merit Badge counselor, follow the steps to become an Adult Volunteer. Use the Merit Badge form to choose topics and submit all to Troop Membership. After registration has been completed, the Troop Merit Badge Coordinator will contact new counselors to inform them of specifics.