Merit Badges

There 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. It all begins with a Scout’s initial interest and effort in a merit badge subject, followed by a discussion with the unit leader or designated assistant, continues through meetings with a counselor, and culminates in advancement and recognition. It is an uncomplicated process that 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 few merit badges have certain restrictions, but otherwise any registered Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, or qualified Venturer or Sea Scout may work on any of them at any time. Before he begins working with a merit badge counselor, however, he is to have a discussion with his unit leader. The unit leader and Scout should come to agreement as to who the counselor will be. Lacking agreement, the Scout must be allowed to work with the counselor of his choice, so long as the counselor is registered and has been approved by the council advancement committee.

About Merit Badge Counselors

People serving as merit badge counselors must maintain registration with the Boy Scouts of America as merit badge counselors and be approved by their local council advancement committee for each of their badges. First time merit badge counselor applicants must submit the following documents to her/his district's merit badge dean (see contact list below).

          1. BSA Adult Application

          2. CT Rivers Council Merit Badge Counselor Application

          3. Youth Protection Certificate

Current merit badge counselors must submit a CT Rivers Council Merit Badge Counselor application listing the new merit badges s/he would like to counsel for.

The merit badge deans will review and approve the applications which will then be forwarded to the Council for processing. Prospective merit badge counselors will be notified of any issues with their applications.