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Arapeen DistrictMerit BadgeBecome a Merit Badge Counselor

How To:
Become and remain a Merit Badge Counselor

There are 3 documents that must be submitted in order to begin the process of becoming a Merit Badge Counselor. The position of Merit Badge Counselor does NOT require an application fee.

  1. Adult Application (even if you are already registered as a leader in a unit to become a merit badge counselor requires a separate or new application). The "Signature of unit committee chairman" or "Signature of chartered organization head or representative" are NOT required....however all other signatures and information is, including your Social Security Number. You have two (2) signature blocks to sign. Place "42" in the Position Code and "Merit Badge Counselor" in the Scouting position (description). If you fail to compete the application it WILL NOT be processed, you CANNOT become a Merit Badge Counselor unless the 2 application documents and 1 training document are complete, accurate and a background check is performed. This is a District level position, Unit Signatures are NOT required.

    Please remember to sign the page that asks:
    My signature below indicates that I have read, understand, and accept the accompanying disclosures and acknowledgments.
     
  2. Merit Badge Counselor Information form. Please include all information asked for on this form as well.
     
  3. A copy or proof of your current Youth Protection Training certificate. Youth Protection Training is available online http://myscouting.org.

When you have completed all the documents, turn them into the Ephraim or Richfield Scout Stores or to the District Executive (Mark Baldwin 435-314-0201). All three documents are required to become a Merit Badge Counselor within the Arapeen District. Youth Protection Training is required every two years and Merit Badge Counselor Orientation is a one time requirement within first 90 days of approved registration. For any/all question(s) concerning this process you may contact the Arapeen District Program Chair: Steve Brandt (435-283-2283) steve@brandthaven.com or the Arapeen District Advancement Chair: Jay Bosshardt (435-896-7252) JayB@redmondminerals.com.


ALL Merit Badge Counselors (from the Guide To Advancement):

7.0.1.6 Training for Counselors
The council or district advancement committee must assure counselors understand the Boy Scouts of America's aims, methods, and mission. It is also important they know how Scouts can learn and grow through the merit badge process. To enhance the merit badge counselor experience, the national Advancement Committee's Webinars and Education Task Force has developed the presentation The Essentials of Merit Badge Counseling.” It can be downloaded from http://www.scouting.org/BoyScouts/AdvancementandAwards/resources.aspx, and viewed individually, featured in merit badge counselor training events, or delivered as part of a wider experience covering several levels of Scout leader training. Where a counselor corps is organized into groups based on the popularity or subject matter of badges, with “head counselors” for each
group (see below), there is also an opportunity for “on-the job coaching.” This is helpful where individual counselors need a better understanding of the merit badge plan. In multicultural communities, local councils should endeavor to offer bilingual training and mentoring.


Arapeen District Advancement Committee will post your name and MB's requested within the Merit Badge Counselor list on the District website once your applications have been processed (which generally takes about 30 days once turned in) by the committee MB coordinator. Until then, do not teach merit badge classes with youth in the district. While you are waiting for approval, read through the Merit Badge Counselor Orientation.  This guide will help you understand your responsibilities in the role of a merit badge counselor.  It will give you an understanding of the methods of counseling Scouts. It is intended as a short orientation course to new merit badge counselors before you begin working with Scouts and will satisfy the training requirements for a Merit Badge Counselor as referred to in the Guide to Advancement (7.0.1.6).

The District Advancement Committee processes your MBC Information form once the Adult Application is processed by the District Excutive. If all is in order your name will be added to the district merit badge counselor list on this website. This is the ONLY official list of approved Merit Badge Counselor for the District. If your name is not show up on this list, you should NOT meet with scouts as a Merit Badge Counselor.

Once you have completed reading and taking the self administered test Merit Badge Counselors Instructors Guide training credit "Merit Badge Counselor Orientation" (D76) can be added to your training profile if you but contact the District Advancement Committee Merit Badge Counselor Coordinator: Steve Brandt (435-283-2283) steve@brandthaven.com. This training should take about 30 plus minutes to complete (it is self paced and administered). Either the Merit Badge Counselors Instructors Guide or The Essentials of Merit Badge Counseling, or both  (which takes 60 plus minutes to compete) will satisfy the training requirements.

Recruiting and Training Merit Badge Counselors

The essence of quality Scouting is having sufficient qualified adult leaders. Nowhere does this become more apparent than in the recruitment of adults to serve as merit badge counselors. Because counselors must be knowledgeable in specialized areas as well as able to have a good rapport with boys under 18, the district advancement committee has a challenging task in recruiting, training, and maintaining merit badge counselors, and in helping units to do the same.

All counselors must have an understanding of their role in advancement. The district advancement committee makes the appropriate counseling material available to counselors and provides the essential training and orientation sessions to counselors recruited by units and the district.


With well over 110,000 registered MBC in the Council as of 2014 (over 900 in the Arapeen District) the UNPC has/may introduce an electronic robo-style contact system in which a phone call is placed and requires that you respond stating you wish to remain a Merit Badge Counselor. Plus, remaining on the Council and District list is contingent upon 1). current "Youth Protection Training" and 2). "Merit Badge Counselor Orientation" (D76) training during the annual re-chartering month. You WILL be deactivated from the District MBC list if you have never taken YPT or if it is not current (taken every two years). During "District Re-Charter" (annually in April by May 1st) your name will be REMOVED from both the District MBC list and Utah National Parks Council MBC membership records if you do NOT meet minimum requirements, in order to teach MB's you will then need to re-apply as stated above.


Note:

Minimum as a registered Merit Badge Counselor you MUST maintain Youth Protection Training (every two years) in order to work with boy scouts. There is a Merit Badge Counselor Orientation (D76) that is also a requirement (30 to 60 minute coarse) and The Essentials of Merit Badge Counseling (60 to 90 minute power point presentation), all courses and training are found online.

Best Practice:

In order to maintain your Youth Protection Training you MUST create a profile on myscouting.org and place your BSA ID number in your profile or the training or it will NOT populate across the scouting databases (once your Adult Application is processed by Council you can obtain your BSA ID number by calling a Scout Shop Richfield/Ephraim).

Annual Re-Certification:

The Arapeen District goes through re-charter annually. District's in the Utah National Parks Council re-charter on May 1st of each year. There are approximately 900 MBC's in the District. As a Merit Badge Counselor (regardless if only teaching in a unit) you are registered as a MBC by the District and NOT by units or other organizations. All MBC's are registered by Council and maintained by Districts via a District re-charter system (similar to annual unit re-charter).

7.0.1.5 Registration and Reregistration

Merit badge counselors register at no fee, using the Boy Scouts of America’s standard adult registration form with position code 42. Designated members of the council or district advancement committee should provide the approval signature. The council advancement committee annually coordinates counselor reregistration. This may be done as part of the local council charter renewal process. A letter or message extending an invitation can be sent to each counselor who is to be approved for another year. Those identified as not following Boy Scouts of America policies and procedures, or not providing services as promised, should not be invited to return.

Volunteers who are properly registered as merit badge counselors can renew annually without completing an adult application; their names will appear on the district roster for renewal. Anyone who is currently unregistered, or who is registered in another position but also desires to serve as a merit badge counselor, must complete an adult application.

The invitational message or letter could include the following:

  1. Gratitude for service
  2. Invitation to reregister
  3. Reminder to maintain current Youth Protection training
  4. Listing of merit badges each is currently approved to counsel
  5. Contact name in the district or council who can provide assistance and information
  6. Response card, e-form, or other way for counselors to return updated contact information, preferred method for contact, merit badges they wish to add or drop, updates to their skills and education profile, and anything else that may be helpful
  7. News and information regarding merit badge “midways” or “fairs,” counselor training opportunities, other activities or meetings of interest, and additional volunteer opportunities
  8. FAQs or suggestions covering “best practices” for counseling

Note:

Utah National Parks Council Advancement Committee may employ a robot calling service conducting an "invitational message" regarding your reregistration as a Merit Badge Counselor. "Those identified as not following Boy Scouts of America policies and procedures, or not providing services as promised, should not be invited to return". Your annual continued services as a Merit Badge Counselor is continent upon current Youth Protection Training, Merit Badge Counselor Orientation training (D76) and providing service as agreed within National Boy Scout guidelines. If "not providing services as promised" you will NOT be invited to remain a Merit Badge Counselor (during re-charter).


Helpful Links

Merit Badge Counselor Resources

A Guide for Merit Badge Counseling

Merit Badge Counselor Instructors Guide

Merit Badge Counselor Orientation

Guide for Merit Badge Counselors

The Merit Badge Program

The Essentials of Merit Badge Counseling PowerPoint Presentation or Presenter's Notes PDF

Merit Badge Worksheets (unofficial)

 

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