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This the season for post summer camp partials

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  • This the season for post summer camp partials

    So young man calls and wants to meet me and finish up one of his summer camp partials.

    Lad and mom show up to the meeting. He comes over and we shake hands..... Well it turns out he was just expecting me to sign the card because he had a letter from his SM saying he completed the work.

    I looked at the letter and told him thank you..... But before I sign your card I have a couple of questions....

    Well the lad had no knowledge of the subject. I called mom over and asked another requirement out of the merit badge book.... Another miss by the scout.

    I asked the scout to excuse his mother and I.... Told mom I would like to work with her son on the merit badge.. I am not comfortable signing it because he cannot demonstrate the knowledge.

    She said he has a partial from camp and a letter from the SM with the missing pieces... I just need to sign it.

    I repeat.... I am not comfortable signing it because he acts like he has never heard the terms before and does not know the material. He is a nice enough scout and I will work with him to meet the requirements. I will not sign it tonight.

    They left and said they would call me when he is ready to complete it....

    So how would you have handled IT?

  • #2
    Tough question. Surely if it's been signed off once, he's done the material, but shouldn't he be able to demonstrate it now?


    • #3
      When I encountered a similar situation, I explained to the boy and his father that the scout law applied to me as well. I was expected to be trustworthy, and that when I put my signature on the card, BSA was trusting that I, to the best of my ability, believed that the requirements were completed. That I believed him that when he said that he had already demonstrated how to apply a bandage, but I needed to verify, because BSA was trusting in me as a MB counsellor. We then worked together to make sure that he learned the material, because he couldn't demonstrate at even a novice level.

      Simiilarly, based on your questions to the scout, you could not ascertain that the requirements that you asked about had really been done, or otherwise the scout could have answered your questions. You did the right thing.

      Side noe: had a friend go through something similar, and was willing to work with a boy to complete the MB correctly. The boy chose to find a different counselor willing to sign off.

      At the end of the day it comes down to whether when you look at yourself in the mirror, you believe that you did the right thing for the boy, because you will also get answers here that advise you that you must sign.


      • #4
        Typical summer camp MB program, blow through the subject in two days so the counselors can have free time.
        BD has every right to not sign if he doesn't think the scout is up to snuff.
        "A subsequent counselor may choose not to accept partial work, but this should be rare.", The Advancement Guide.(This message has been edited by Eagle732)


        • #5
          You could not have handled it better.


          • #6
            Yea, BD you could have just handed him the badge, what's wrong with you? Meany!


            • #7
              Ya know I felt sorry for him.....

              I will never see them again....But that is ok.....

              I am waiting for a call from his SM about it. I know very little of the troop other than it is a Church of God troop that is composed primarily of troop members. The SM is also the Pastor. Never attends round table and they don't have much of a program from the calendar on their website.

              The Merit Badge card was from Chief Logan Reservation......


              • #8
                Questions to all you MBCs out there:
                Do you accept partial requirements as completed?
                When a scout calls for an appointment and tells you its for a partial do you tell him he needs to be prepared to review all requirements?
                Just wondering, I haven't done any partials yet.


                • #9
                  The question was innocent enough.

                  So did you like doing requirement 6? I really enjoy doing that, wasn't it neat. Really you should remember doing it it was a lot of fun......It led to a couple more questions and it was very clear that he didn't have any knowledge of the material.

                  While I cannot retest on a signed of requirement, I can refuse to sign off on the rest because in my opinion the scout does not have the knowledge.


                  • #10

                    See Eagle732's quote from the advancement guide. Yuor questions gave you doubt that the scout completed the requirement. As per the quote 732 posted, you do not have to accept a partial. You have sufficient reason for not accepting. so your statement that you cannot retest a signed MB requirement is not correct.


                    • #11
                      Can't judge the SM by the church he pastors. Hopefully he will talk to you about it. If I were him, I'd send more of my boys to you. Except for that sidebar with mom. I would expect the boy to be able to handle anything you'd have to say to the mom.

                      But this is why I will not write a note for anything for a boy until he talks to a counselor. For example, camping nights: a counselor may just ask a boy to list his activities until he comes up with 21 - no troop master, or signature required. I save time, the boy gets a chance to reflect. The MBC earns props in my book. If MBC sakes for verification, I'll do my best to put the paperwork together for the boy.


                      • #12
                        Basement, are you in Florida? Because I have some boys with partials I would love to send to you.

                        I know I'm new to the SM game and will accumulate a decent list with knowledge, but does everyone have a hard time finding MBC that aren't "worksheet and checklist" types, or at least see the good ones are highly outnumbered?


                        • #13
                          Interesting thing about partials, I always think they get characterized wrong

                          If all had gone well, and BD had signed the card and was thinking what a nice young man who knows his stuff, the nice young man would be thinking he just "finished up" the merit badge he got from Summer Camp


                          The merit badge comes from the Counselor who signs it off as compelte. BD is the one certifying the merit badge as complete and he should not/can not do that if he has reservations about the scout's understanding of the material


                          • #14
                            I think you handled it correctly. The boy can, at the very least, review the book and requirements and discuss with you later. Then he would have had a better argument.

                            I nag my own oys's to get any partials wrapped up quick after camp before memories fade ("Remember Mr Turtle, I only got the partial at camp because I bashed my head in on Wednesday--that's why I need to follow up")


                            • #15
                              Or " I got a partial at summer camp because no body told me I had to track (insert requirement here) for 30 days"
                              I always wonder why it was too much trouble to read the requirements BEFORE summer camp!