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Shooting Sports Merit Badge Counselor Requirements and Registration

To qualify as a shooting sports merit badge counselor, a volunteer must:

• Register annually with the Boy Scouts of America.

• Be at least 18 years old.

• Be of good character.

• Be proficient in the merit badge subject by vocation, avocation, or special training.

• Rifle Shooting and Shotgun Shooting—The merit badge counselor must be a certified National Camping School (NCS) shooting sports director or National Rifle Association (NRA) rifle instructor for the Rifle Shooting merit badge or an NRA shotgun instructor or coach for the Shotgun Shooting merit badge. The merit badge counselor must take responsibility to assure that all instruction involving the handling of firearms or live ammunition occurs in accordance with all safety rules and regulations found in the National Shooting Sports Manual. That involving muzzleloaders must be an NCS shooting sports director or NRA/NMLRA-certified muzzleloading firearms instructor for the merit badge discipline. Shooting must be supervised by an NRA certified range safety officer (RSO). If instruction and shooting are to occur at the same time, the RSO and qualified NRA instructor both must be present. The RSO and NRA instructor may not be the same person. Note that commercial shooting ranges may provide RSOs.

• Archery -The merit badge counselor must be at least 18 years old and be trained by a National Camping School-trained shooting sports director or a USA Archery/NFAA instructor.

In approving merit badge counselors, the local council advancement committee has the authority to establish a minimum, reasonable level of skills and education for the counselor of a given merit badge. For example, NRA certification could be established as a council standard for approving counselors for the Rifle Shooting or Shotgun Shooting merit badges. (Reference: Guide to Advancement)

• Be able to work with Scout-age youth.

• Be currently trained in BSA Youth Protection.

Those applying to become a Shooting Sports merit badge counselor MUST attach a copy of their current certifications as outlined above to their Merit Badge Counselor application in order to be considered.

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