Merit Badge Counseling
The merit badge counselor is a key player in the Boy Scout advancement program. Whatever your area of expertise or interest—whether it is a special craft or hobby (basketry, leatherwork, coin collecting), a profession (veterinary medicine, aviation, engineering), or perhaps a life skill (cooking, personal management, communications)—as a merit badge counselor, you can play a vital role in stirring a young man's curiosity about that particular topic. By serving as a merit badge counselor, you offer your time, knowledge, and other resources so that Scouts can explore a topic of interest.

If you are not yet a merit badge counselor, it is easy to become one.  There are six basic steps:

  1. Review the Materials for Merit Badge Counselors found at the bottom of this webpage.
  1. Complete BSA Youth Protection Training (YPT).

The Boy Scouts of America seeks to create a safe environment for young people and adult leaders to enjoy the program and related activities. BSA Youth Protection Training helps preserve that environment.

For more information about Youth Protection and/or to take the training, click the link on the right of this page. After completing the training, be sure to print a copy of your BSA Youth Protection Training completion certificate to include with items 3, 4 & 5 below.

  1. Comply with the Pennsylvania Child Protective Services Law.

In accordance with the Pennsylvania Child Protective Services Law, all merit badge counselors must have their current Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Check, Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance, and FBI Criminal History Record (if NOT a PA resident continuously for the past ten years), or Disclosure Statement Application for Volunteers (if a PA resident continuously for the past ten years) on file at the council office.  If you do not have these clearance documents on file, you must submit them with your BSA Merit Badge Counselor Application. You should contact the council registrar if you are confused about what clearance documents you must submit to be approved as a Merit Badge Counselor. Also, you can access council policy on background clearances by clicking on the “PA Background Checks” link in the menu on the home page of the Council website: or by clicking on the following link to go directly the Council PA Child Protective Services webpage:

  1. Complete a BSA Adult Application to register with the Boy Scouts of America,

The application can either be obtained from the NEPA BSA Local Council office in Moosic, PA, or by downloading the form via the link at the bottom of this webpage.

Note that individuals are expected to complete BSA Youth Protection Training PRIOR to submitting a leadership application.

Also note that every applicant is screened to insure adherence to BSA Membership Standards.

  1. Complete a BSA Merit Badge Counselor Application to apply to be a counselor for specific merit badges.

This application may now be completed online and then printed or emailed.

IMPORTANT - This specially designed application cannot be opened via a browser. To DOWNLOAD this file, please use the following procedure:

  • RIGHT-CLICK Here to DOWNLOAD the BSA Merit Badge Counselor Application
  • Once the dialog box appears, click on "save target as" (MAC users click on "save link as")
  • Another dialog box will then appear for you to name your "save as" file and choose where on your computer you would like to save the file. Once you have saved the application to your computer, you can double-click on that file to open it, just like you would any other document. 
  1. Turn-In your certificate of completion of Youth Protection Training (item 2. above), clearance documents not on file at the council office (item 3. above), a completed BSA Adult Application (item 4. above) and a completed Merit Badge Counselor Application (item 5. above).

Once the above items have been completed, they may be turned in or mailed to the NEPA BSA Local Council Office, or emailed to your District Executive or the Council Registrar. 

You may begin counseling after you have been notified that your application has been accepted & processed.

Materials for Merit Badge Counselors


     (See IMPORTANT Note in Item 5, which provides further directions for downloading this file)

Reporting Merit Badge Counseling Concerns

If you have a concern about a Merit Badge Counselor or Merit Badge counseling procedure, you may use the form below, to report this concern to either the council or your district's advancement committee.

   Reporting Merit Badge Counseling Concerns

   (See IMPORTANT Note in Item 5, which provides further directions for downloading this file)