Qualifications for certain Merit Badge Counselors

Some merit badges now have certain requirements, from national, for those that wish to be counselors for these badges. In addition there seems to be some misinformation out there as far as requirements to be a counselor for the Shooting Sports Merit Badges that Ed Foster wants to clear up. Below are the merit badges and the qualifications required to be a merit badge counselor for them in our council.

  • Rifle & Shotgun Shooting: All instruction involving the handling of firearms or live ammunition must be supervised handling of firearms and live ammunition can be done by an uncertified MBC as long as the MBC is supervised by a certified person. Also if the certified person is not an approved MBC the MBC must be present to sign off the requirements.
  • Canoeing: Canoeing MBC must have either BSA Aquatics Instructor or Canoeing Instructor certification from the American Canoe Association or American Red Cross.
  • Climbing: All climbing, belaying and rappelling exercises and activities must be supervised by a qualified rock climbing instructor, at least 21 years old and who is trained in BSA Climb on Safely. Training as a BSA climbing director or instructor is preferred. Someone certified in First Aid/CPR/AED from the American Red Cross (or equivalent) must be present at these activities. The MBC does not have to hold these certifications but must ensure someone with the proper certifications is present with the exception of class room instruction.
  • Lifesaving: Demonstrations or activities in or on the water must be supervised by an adult at least 21 years old with certification in Red Cross First Aid/CPR/AED or equivalent, and also as a BSA Lifeguard or Aquatics Instructor or equivalent
  • Rowing: Rowing MBC must have either BSA Aquatics Instructor or equivalent.
  • Scuba: All phases of Scuba instruction are limited to instructors trained and sanctioned by one of the following: PADI, NAUI, SSI, IDEA, PDIC, SDI or be a member of the World Recreational Scuba Council.
  • Swimming: Demonstrations or activities in or on the water must be conducted according to BSA Safe Swim Defense and BSA Safety Afloat.
  • Snow Sports: Activities in the field must be supervised by a mature and conscientious adult 21 years old or older who is committed to compliance with BSA Winter Sports Safety as defined in the Guide To Safe Scouting.
  • Whitewater:MBC must be certified as whitewater canoeing or kayaking instructors by the American Canoe Association.

As always all merit badge counselors must take youth protection training, complete an adult application as a MBC, complete a merit badge counselor application and be approved by the council advancement committee prior to working with our youth. This process takes approximately 6 – 8 weeks from the time the proper paper work is turned into one of the service centers. Counselors will be notified once they have been approved either by email or regular mail (if you do not furnish an email address). The District Advancement Committees will be contacting those MBC that we need proof of certification on over the next few months so we can get your certification on record.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and thank you for the work you do for our youth.

Additional information