River Hawk Merit Badges

The Baltimore Area Council has delegated the responsibility of approving and maintaining a list of current merit badge counselors to its districts. A merit badge counselor is a district-level position, not a troop position, which means prospective counselors must register online or submit a new adult leader application even if already registered in another position in Scouting.

Registration is a multi-step process that should start with your online registration:


To register, simply [CLICK HERE]. This link will take you directly into my.scouting.org to register. BEFORE DOING SO, please note the following:

  • If not already completed, you must complete Youth Protection Training found on the my.scouting.org home page. The online registration will automatically check for YPT currency.
  • If not already completed, you must complete the Scouts BSA – Merit Badge Counselor Position Specific Training, either online on my.Scouting.org or at an in-person course. 
  • If you are already registered in the Council in some position other than a District, you will likely get a warning screen after starting the process that you are already a registered leader. Click CONTINUE and then continue completing the application.
  • All necessary documentation is included in the online registration EXCEPT the Merit Badge Counselor Information Form and the completion of the online MBC training. You must submit both of those to your Merit Badge Dean for your application to be accepted.
  • Once your application is approved, you will appear in Scoutbook as a Merit Badge Counselor within 48 hours. Your approved merit badges will follow into Scoutbook once the local registrar has processed the Merit Badge Counselor Information Form.
  • Once you see Merit Badge Counselor as one of your positions in my.scouting.org, you may work with Scouts.
  • For more information about becoming a River Hawk District Merit Badge Counselor contact Andrew Huppert, District Merit Badge Dean.

Counselor Registration Considerations

  • [Effective August 1, 2023] There is a $25.00 annual fee for registering as a merit badge counselor.
  • You must be current with Youth Protection Training (YPT) to work with scouts and this training must be completed every two (2) years. Scoutbook tracks your YPT currency. If you become delinquent, you will not show in a search until it is renewed. If your YPT is delinquent at the annual renewal period, January 31st, you will be dropped from the Council counselor list. Once dropped, you will need to repeat the registration process.
  • You must complete the Scouts BSA – Merit Badge Counselor Position Specific Training, either online on My.Scouting.org or at an in-person course to be approved to counsel Merit Badges.  
  • Several merit badges involve activities for which BSA has implemented strategies to improve safety, improve the Scouts’ experience, and manage risk. These activities often require supervision with specialized qualifications and certifications. Merit Badge counselors who do not meet the specific requirements may use the services of others who do. See the Guide to Advancement (GTA) paragraph for these merit badges and their requirements.

Annual Renewal of Merit Badge Counselors

All Merit Badge Counselors must confirm their registration annually. Districts should periodically send out a list of MBCs to their units asking for an update. The unit list is the best and easiest method for Districts to accomplish updates.

Likewise, the unit MBC coordinator should send a list of the unit’s MBCs to the District MBC Dean to confirm annual rollover of registration for that unit. Persons not on the list submitted by the Merit Badge Dean may be automatically dropped.

Unaffiliated MBCs (not affiliated with units) are responsible for advising the District MBC Dean and confirming their registration annually. Failure to confirm this information will result in being dropped from the Merit Badge Counselor list. If a MBC who was dropped wishes to continue as a MBC he/she must register as a new MBC again using the forms and processes listed above.


Useful Links for Merit Badge Counselors

Merit Badge Process

You can learn about sports, crafts, science, trades, business, and future careers as you earn merit badges. There are more than 135 merit badges, and any Scout, or any qualified Venturer or Sea Scout may earn any of these at any time.

Follow these useful steps as you begin your merit badge journey:

1. Pick a Subject

Talk to your unit leader about your interests. Read the requirements of the merit badges you think might interest you, and pick one to earn. Your leader will give you the name of a person from a list of counselors. These individuals have special knowledge in their merit badge subjects and are interested in helping you.

2. Scout Buddy System

You must have another person with you at each meeting with the merit badge counselor. This person can be your parent or legal guardian, or another registered adult.

3. Call the Merit Badge Counselor

Get a signed Application for Merit Badge, No. 34124 or No. 34130, from your unit leader. Get in touch with the merit badge counselor and explain that you want to earn the badge. The counselor may ask to meet you to explain what is expected and to start helping you meet the requirements. You should also discuss work you have already started or possibly completed.

At the first meeting, you and your merit badge counselor will review and may start working on the requirements. In some cases, you may share the work you have already started or completed.

4. Unless otherwise specified, work on a requirement can be started at any time

Ask your counselor to help you learn the things you need to know or do. You should read the merit badge pamphlet on the subject. Many troops, schools, and public libraries have them.

5. Show Your Stuff

When you are ready, call the counselor again to make an appointment. When you go, take along the things you have made to meet the requirements. If they are too big to move, take pictures or have an adult tell in writing what you have done. The counselor will test you on each requirement to make sure you know your stuff and have done or can do the things required.

6. Get the Badge

When the counselor is satisfied you have met each requirement, he or she will sign your application. Give the signed application to your unit leader so your merit badge emblem can be secured for you.

Merit badge requirements are revised as needed to reflect updated information and technology. Refer to the latest Scouts BSA Requirements book for merit badge requirement updates. The current Scouts BSA Requirements book is available from your local Scouting merchandise distributor. It may also be ordered online at ScoutShop.org