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  • Counslers refusing to taking MB Worksheets

    My son with Aspergers has filled out the worksheets for several of his merit badges including his Personal Fitness(90 day chart) and Personal Management(90 day chart). He is being told that they are not being accepted by counslers because he was supposed to contact the counlsers first. The counsler are refusing to sign any of the requirements including the written ones.

    Does anyone know anything about this?

  • #2
    Counselors have pretty wide latitude in deciding whether or not to accept work performed prior to contacting the counselor. It has nothing to do with the worksheets themselves, which are forms prepared for convenience by non-official sources. My suggestion would be for your son to talk to his Scoutmaster about finding a different counselor with whom he might be able to work more amenably. Or bite the bullet and do the work again. If it's personal fitness, it certainly can't hurt.

    Comment


    • #3
      (1) Did he contact his Scoutmaster first and get a Blue Card? That is the first step.
      (2) He is supposed to contact his MBC in starting; part of these 90 day processes is the intermediary progress communications with the MBC. Technically the MBC's are right and since these are Eagle required IMHO the MBC's should be stricter.

      That said the MB process seems to confuse a lot of scouts...is your son new?

      BTW my son is on the Spectrum as well...

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      • #4
        If your son did all the work before engaging a counselor, then the guy isn't a "counselor" is he? He becomes a rubber stamp. The worksheets are unofficial conveniences, nothing more.

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        • #5
          I absolutely hate the worksheets. Worksheets change a potentially interesting topic into mundane work. So much for lighting a fire for the rest of their lives. Plus, scouting isn't school. Scouting is exploring and getting experiences. It's not paperwork.

          IMHO, worksheets are a way to let the counselor off the hook from spending time with the scout.

          That said though ... if a scout filled it out ... I'd accept it. the kid did the work. I'd be sad that we my interactions with the scout were reduced to reviewing paperwork. But he did the work and I'd give him credit ... after "discussing", "sharing", "showing", ....

          ...

          For your son's situation, run away. Find someone else. You don't want your son to associate with that person anyway. Heck, you might find the next counselor won't talk to your son until he has already filled out the worksheet. Counselor attitudes are everywhere on the map. But you don't want your son dealing with mean spirited ones.

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          • #6
            In the past troops, he was told by SM to get the worksheet done and find a counsler, then he would get a blue card signed by SM. I had to buy the blue cards from the scout shop because the troop never had any blue cards.

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            • #7
              The troop should be providing the name/phone of a counselor or choice of counselors. A Scout should not have to "find" one. Worksheets are nice supplements for many badges, but are not official BSA and certainly are not officially required.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by fred johnson View Post
                For your son's situation, run away. Find someone else. You don't want your son to associate with that person anyway. Heck, you might find the next counselor won't talk to your son until he has already filled out the worksheet. Counselor attitudes are everywhere on the map. But you don't want your son dealing with mean spirited ones.
                That's funny: people who do the job differently than you are "mean-spirited"?
                You despise worksheets, but take them anyway, does that make you "lazy"? You think they rob the Scout of the full experience, but you take them anyway, does that make you a "cheat"?

                Originally posted by FrankScout View Post
                The troop should be providing the name/phone of a counselor or choice of counselors. A Scout should not have to "find" one.
                False. Recruiting and maintaining lists of MB counselors is the responsibility of the Council and District. Finding and contacting MB Counselors from the approved list is the responsibility of the Scout.
                Merit Badges are about more than " simply providing opportunities to learn skills" and "there is more to them than an introduction to lifetime hobbies, or the inspiration to pursue a career."
                They're about personal growth. And a big part of that is the Scout being a big boy and getting the counselor list all by himself, discussing the badge with the SM mano-a-mano, and calling and meeting the MB counselor for himself.
                BSA has aims and it has methods. The methods are not ends unto themselves. MBs are not the aim, the growth achieved by a specific process is the aim.

                Sitting down at a desk and filling out worksheets is neither the method nor the aim. The MB program is explained here: http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/...geprogram.aspx
                Last edited by Scouter99; 05-21-2014, 08:27 PM.

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                • #9
                  hmmmmmm technically the MBC is correct and it's the way I prefer it as I like to sit down with scout(s) and go over requirements and let them know what that means to ME and for some give some suggestions. As many know things can be interrupted differently even though people are reading the exact same words. Now if I did have a scout come to me with sheets already filled out I would NOT dismiss right from the get-go I would talk with them and read over. If I did accept the work I would make sure the scout knew the way it should be done in the future.

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                  • #10
                    How does one know the expectations of a MBC if they haven't talked with them and think they have half the work done? I'm thinking that's a bit presumptuous. I used to be a MBC, but it got to be such a "political-parental-interfering-long-drawn-out-scout-never-came-back-for-second-meeting-stood-up-for-meetings" kind of process it wasn't worth it anymore.

                    Stosh

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                    • #11
                      Your son has been short changed by Scouting. And, you have been in more than one Troop?
                      ""In the past troops, he was told by SM to get the worksheet done and find a counsler, then he would get a blue card signed by SM. I had to buy the blue cards from the scout shop because the troop never had any blue cards.""


                      This SM is not following the program, the Troop is not supporting the program. Your dues should pay for certain stuff from the Troop, notably Blue Cards. The Scout should not have to provide his own Blue Cards. The Scout should not have to learn the proper way to do things (Blue Card, SM approval, find a Counselor, meet with the Counselor, fulfill the MB requirements, gain MBC approval, return Blue Card to Troop Advancement Chair) from OUTSIDE the Troop.
                      The Counselors you spoke to are within their rights to not accept work done previous to the Scout speaking to them initially. Doesn't mean they can't, just that they can. They may also speak to the Scout and decide if the "worksheets" are proof of fulfilling the requirements, or not.
                      As has been said, the easy thing might be to just re-do the requirements, talk to the Counselor in that vein. Or find another Counselor.
                      The GOOD SM has the up to date MBC listing for his District . The Scout can call the Council office and get their best list of Counselors. The un-common MBs are like that, you might have to beat some bushes to find a good Farm Mechanics MBC, for instance.

                      Please congratulate your Scout for me, for being PERSISTANT, and congratulations to YOU for supporting your Scout.

                      Let us know how things turn out.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Let's forget about the order of operations or what some other counselor does or whatever.

                        Does the counselor seem like a nice enough person, have other scouts earned the badge from him, and will your boy learn from him?
                        If so, do it his way. I'm sure your boy may be discouraged, but the folks in the previous troop were cutting corners. (Making you pay for blue cards is a bad sign.) Have the boy arrange a meeting with the counselor and make a plan for completing the requirements to the counselors' satisfaction.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Scouter99 View Post
                          That's funny: people who do the job differently than you are "mean-spirited"? You despise worksheets, but take them anyway, does that make you "lazy"? You think they rob the Scout of the full experience, but you take them anyway, does that make you a "cheat"? False. Recruiting and maintaining lists of MB counselors is the responsibility of the Council and District. Finding and contacting MB Counselors from the approved list is the responsibility of the Scout. Merit Badges are about more than " simply providing opportunities to learn skills" and "there is more to them than an introduction to lifetime hobbies, or the inspiration to pursue a career." They're about personal growth. And a big part of that is the Scout being a big boy and getting the counselor list all by himself, discussing the badge with the SM mano-a-mano, and calling and meeting the MB counselor for himself. BSA has aims and it has methods. The methods are not ends unto themselves. MBs are not the aim, the growth achieved by a specific process is the aim. Sitting down at a desk and filling out worksheets is neither the method nor the aim. The MB program is explained here: http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/...geprogram.aspx
                          False. You should read the document you reference. "Scouts should not have access. Their interaction with the Scoutmaster in discussing work on a badge, and obtaining a counselor's name,is an important part of the merit badge plan."

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Scouter99 View Post
                            If your son did all the work before engaging a counselor, then the guy isn't a "counselor" is he? He becomes a rubber stamp. The worksheets are unofficial conveniences, nothing more.

                            I like to tell the scouts "the Merit Badge IS NOT the worksheet" but all they get at school are worksheets, highlight boxes, and top ten lists so all I get are black stares...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by rdcrisco View Post
                              In the past troops, he was told by SM to get the worksheet done and find a counsler, then he would get a blue card signed by SM. I had to buy the blue cards from the scout shop because the troop never had any blue cards.

                              Your old SM did not understand the process and did all the boys a disservice.

                              Comment

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