Merit Badges

Scouts BSA can earn more than 130 merit badgesThere is more to merit badges than simply providing opportunities to learn skills. There is more to them than an introduction to lifetime hobbies, or the inspiration to pursue a career—though these invaluable results occur regularly. The uncomplicated process—beginning in a discussion with the unit leader or a designated assistant, continuing through meetings with a counselor, and culminating in advancement and recognition—provides several learning experiences. It gives a Scout the confidence achieved through overcoming obstacles. Social skills improve. Self-reliance develops. Examples are set and followed. And fields of study and interest are explored beyond the limits of the school classroom. A list of merit badge counselors can be found in Scoutbook. 

Merit Badge Counselors

The merit badge counselor is a key player in the Scouts BSA 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.

BSA publishes a newsletter for merit badge counselors. Subscribe to the Counselor's Compass by sending a message to, with “Subscribe” in the subject line. Indicate your name, email address, and council in the message text.

We want to thank you for wanting to help and serve our local Apollo District by becoming a merit badge counselor. In order to become a merit badge counselor, Boy Scouts of America and Sam Houston Area Council require certain paper requirements for all adult leaders, as well as, the knowledge of the merit badge that you are overseeing. 

Guide to Safe Scouting

Policies and procedures outlined in the Guide to Safe Scouting apply to all BSA activities, including those related to advancement and Eagle Scout service projects.