Application Manager - District Level Applications


I just received our district’s first on-line application for a Merit Badge Counselor.

Who in the district is authorized to approve it? I am the District Chairman, and was surprised that I don’t seem to be authorized.

Thanks and best regards,

I had no idea non-unit apps worked - ask DE

LOL. DE doesn’t know … he’s asking around.

Other than this problem, the non-unit application seems to work great. I was worried that it would charge another registration fee, which it didn’t do.

Approvals should be a member of the Key 3

May I suggest reading the merit badge section of the Guide to Advancement.
(See next post in this topic thread.)

The district key-3 most likely does not approve which badges a MBC may counsel. With online registration how is the MBC Information form being submitted and processed?

Online Registration

Does the online registration of MBCs include completing an MBC information form and where is it sent to be processed?


Each district and council maybe organized differently. My understanding is that checking the qualification of a Merit Badge Counselor (MB) to counsel a particular badge is the responsibility of the council advancement committee under the Program VP. The council advancement committee may have MBC groups to vet MBC for different badges.

Traditionally the district usually has a program committee with a MBC coordinator on an advancement committee whose responsibilities include where vetting an MBC to counsel a particular badge is done.

From Advancement Committee Policies and Procedures, 33088, ISBN 978-0-8395-3088-6, ©1989 Boy Scouts of America, 2008 Printing, p. 5

Responsibilities of the council advancement committee

Some history:

Duties of the Committee

The council advancement committee is primarily a supervisory group guiding the district committees. The council advancement committee’s responsibilities are to supervise the advancement program in all units and to guide the district advancement committees in their work with each unit. The specific duties
are as follows

  • Approve merit badge counselors and publish council and/or district merit badge counselor lists.

Note: How MBC contact information is made available has changed since 2008.

Registration Guidebook of the BSA extract

100-092, ©2019 Boy Scouts of America, July 2019, p.p. 24-25

Merit Badge Counselors

In order to register, merit badge counselors (position 42) must be at least 18 years old and must complete an adult application including a criminal background authorization form, complete the Merit Badge Counselor Information form (No. 34405, see Appendix) specifying which merit badges they are qualified to teach, and take Youth Protection training. See the Guide to Advancement for qualifications of counselors

Merit badge counselors who wish to receive Scouting magazine must pay a registration fee and be registered as position 42F—Merit badge counselor—with fee.

Adult applications are required of all new counselors whether they are currently registered in another position or not. Merit badge counselors are registered and approved on the district level and all applications must be approved by the district merit badge counselor coordinator before the application is entered into the BSA membership system. Reregistering merit badge counselors must complete a new Merit Badge Counselor Information form annually for approval, but a new application is not required.

Note: This 2019 guidebook’s approval restriction to district merit badge coordinator appears to be too narrow since the Guide to Advancement (2021) allows council advancement committees to tailor the approval process to meet their council’s needs.


I suggest contacting the chair of your council advancement committee for guidance if you do not have a district advancement chair or merit badge coordinator who knows how. Merit Badge Counselors (MBC) are approved. Your council registrar may also want MBC applications to be submitted on paper.

Guide to Advancement

2921 Revision, 33088, ISBN 978-0-8395-3088-6, ©2021 Boy Scouts of America, 2021 Printing, 93 p.,, p. 44, Qualifying and Registering as a Merit Badge Counselor

To function as a merit badge counselor one must be registered as such. Only adults of good character, age 18 or older, shall be approved to register as merit badge counselors. It is important too, that potential counselors have a good rapport with unit leaders and Scout-age youth. Counselors register at no fee, using the BSA’s standard adult registration form with position code 42.

Council advancement committees determine who at the council or district level provides the approval signature on a counselor’s adult application form.

Note that counselors must reregister annually to continue serving. See
“Counselor Reregistration,”

Related training?

A more recent training resource for District Chairs and District Program Committee Chairs:

**Merit Badge Counselor and Supernova **
Mentor Coordination
Council advancement committee … also sees that units are using the services of registered and approved merit badge counselors as described in topic of the Guide to Advancement. The committee chair or coordinator of this function assists with the approval of merit badge counselors and Supernova mentors according to local council practices …

Available for use by councils and districts is the “Developing Council and District Advancement Committees” advancement educational presentation.
The link to this presentation is available at from the Advancement Educational Presentations link located under the General Resources category

Note: Link information appears to be old. I found the presentations in the Scouting BSA program section of the website at: