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Online application for Merit Badge Counselor

Our council has heard over the past year that there is an online application for Merit Badge Counselor. I have not been able to access it. However, my position is at the council level and I don’t have experience with the online application process at the unit level – or any other level for that matter. :grinning:

Is it the case that one must have been invited to complete a Merit Badge Counselor application.

Any information will be appreciated. Especially during the pandemic, the processing of Merit Badge Counselor applications has been even more cumbersome than it was before the pandemic.


as MBC is a council position as opposed to a Unit position I have not heard of this

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District positions can be invited to register like a unit position. I could not get an app for district committee member to work since I was already an MBC in the district. I did receive the invite. These can only be sent by DEs and some others (not sure who else). It would be great for someone to test out for MBC or who really KNOWS to inform us of the limitations.

It is possible to apply to be a merit badge counselor online if your council is setup to accept such online applications. However there is no provision in the online system to request merit badges be approved for your MBC position. So your council would have to approve your online application and in addition have some sort of separate process to approve merit badges that you can counsel. A few councils are doing this. Your Registrar can reach out to national for more information.

My council look into it and decided that keeping everything together using the PDFs or paper forms and entering the data manually into ScoutNET is actually simpler at this time. It works for us, and has worked for us for a number of years now.

Our district has in place for a handful of years an online google form to request the specific MBs.

MBCs, who may be the least “all in” to the org, are burdened with a ton of forms. It is too bad.

Thanks, Bill.

I may give it a try just for grins, but I strongly suspect I would come to the same conclusion as your council.

Thanks, Matt.

Would you mind sharing the workflow used in your district and council?


I guess it is just one more form than anyone else (step 4 below).

  1. Fill out adult application, use digital signature.

  2. Print and sign the background check form. Scan/take photo to get back into PC.

  3. Complete YPT and get pdf cert.

  4. Complete online MBC application online. It generates a PDF (from my notes). I thought this was a google form, but going to the link it is a Black Pug form.

  5. Email all to registrar.

Eventually receive response from district advancement chair with the go-ahead.

@BobPaver, San Diego-Imperial Council has an online application here:


I don’t know anything about the back-end process, though.

Thanks, Charley.

Very nice looking.

I just did as a merit badge counselor. “Test User” is awaiting approval. He probably shouldn’t be approved though since he hasn’t done YPT and I’m sure he won’t pass a background check. There’s a specific question during the district adult new application flow that asks if it is for merit badge counselor, nova counselor, or supernova mentor. The one weird thing is that it had a screen that looked like it was going to charge a $10 council fee and $0.30 administrative fee but those were gone on the next screen.

I asked the district chair if she wants to try testing the multiple into the district for her member at large registration that is missing now, so if she tries that, we’ll see what happens and to whom it goes for approval (I’m guessing the DE or relevant registration delegated positions).

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Awesome. I keep promoting these tools to reduce the load on our limited resources- registrars.

My council’s lawyers are requiring all adult applications to be done on paper.

My understanding is that the BSA IT focus is on retiring the current ScoutNet database and user interfaces, which is expected to take about 3 months if all goes well. - INCORRECT: - End of year, maybe.

The one additional annual form for MBCs is
It was revised in May 2019.

Some councils now require MBCs complete both the online youth protection training and online position-specific basic leader MBC training.

In my district, the completion record for the old in-person MBC training is mostly missing. Also in the past the focus was on top-leader training an it was thought, at least in my old council, that MBC training did not need to be recorded online.

How councils determine that a MBC is qualified vary by council.

Thanks for the information, BillW. Based on what I know, which is not much, retiring ScoutNet within 3 months doesn’t seem reasonable unless they’ve done a lot of work somewhere else to replace it. It’s at the core of all record keeping.

With respect to applications, are your lawyers concerned about having a so-called ‘wet’ signature? It’s an increasingly onerous requirement and prevents us from moving into 21st century technology and user friendliness. People are incredulous at the use of so much paper to get simple things done.

Thanks again for your input.


My apologies, I must have been thinking of a piece of the process.

Preface: All answers are predicted upon the priority of availability of resources which are extremely limited.

Generally, and of the highest priority, get off of ScoutNET by year end. This requires finalization and deployment of a new tool called Registrar Tools.

There is more than one task to be done per :

BSA Technology Update Q&A dtd March 8, 2021

I do not know, I am not one if the lawyers. However I do know that government requirements vary by location.
I believe one of the concerns is the requirements for criminal background checks.

Councils in jurisdictions needing additional background check processes have the power to and do turn off online applications for adults.

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