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  • becoming a merit badge counselor

    In 6 months, my son becomes a boy scout. I'm really excited about the bugling merit badge. (I had the opportunity to help a boy learn the bugle a couple years ago.) Maybe my son will start and find out that the bugle's too hard, but I've bought the bugle anyway and intend to teach all my children (including the girls) to play. Then I though, maybe I could be the bugling merit badge counselor. I know how to play I googled about being a merit badge counselor. There's an application- and I read about the duties. I think I could do those, but I'm a woman. Are women allowed to be merit badge counselors- or only men? What if when my son gets to be a boy scout, there isn't a bugling merit badge counselor in my town? Do I have to take him far away to one? (I live in area that is not known for being particularly musical.)

  • #2
    chirstineka,

    Yes, women can be merit badge counselors. Fill out the application, and turn it in. Sometimes district/council procedure is to turn it in to the district advancement chair, so the district can keep up with the merit badge counselors list.

    As to the rest of your questions: I gently suggest you get in touch with your district and find out when a Merit Badge Counselor orientation class is being held and attend it. I don't think they last over 2 hours. That training session should answer all the questions you come up with, including counseling your own son.

    Beware, some troop cultures frown on chasing merit badges before First Class.

    Also, since it seems you will be a volunteer in Boy Scouting, take the time now to get some other basic training, like "This is Scouting", so you can see what it is like on the other side.

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    • #3
      Thanks! How do I find contact info for my district? I'm not too worried about my son earning the bugling merit badge too soon. He's never played a brass instrument and the bugle calls are not easy at all. He will have to practice daily for a couple years to play them.

      N/m, I googled and the info I needed was easily found.

      Comment


      • qwazse
        qwazse commented
        Editing a comment
        Sounds like you'd make a great counselor.
        Keep up with the trainings, and respect the troop rules.
        Generally our troop frowns on a boy getting lots of required MBs from a parent. Our district advancement chair told me he starts looking more dubiously at Eagle applications where the same counselor was used for more than three MBs. It's not that they won't approve the application if the board of review is convinced that the candidate knows his stuff, but they will ask more questions. Kinda like taxes: sure you can put down certain write-offs, but you might not want to because they could also be audit flags.

        But Bugling is definitely one we'd encourage a boy to learn from a capable parent. I suspect any troop you cross over to would be glad to have you as a resource!

      • koolaidman
        koolaidman commented
        Editing a comment
        Options for finding the contact info for your district:
        Google your district website and look for the information.
        Ask someone in your Pack.
        Ask a Scoutmaster in your prospective troop.
        Some Council websites list district contact info.
        Call Council.

    • #4
      My district has a MBC class, but it is at the annual University of Scouting. Beware it can take 4-6 weeks or longer to be approved. Also, note that the Bugaling MB is the least earned of all of them, so you may not have many calls outside your family. Not sure if there is a limit by National on the number of MBs you can counsel, but some councils do put a limit, mine is 4, so chose wisely. In my Council there is not a registration fee, but you do need to fill out another adult application and be current on YPT. This is from the 2013 GTA "Neither does the National Council place a limit on the number of merit badges a youth may earn from one counselor. However, in situations where a Scout is earning a large number of badges from just one counselor, the unit leader is permitted to place a limit on the number of merit badges that may be earned from one counselor, as long as the same limit applies to all Scouts in the unit. Approved counselors may work with and pass any member, including their own son, ward, or relative. Nevertheless, we often teach young people the importance of broadening horizons. Scouts meeting with counselors beyond their families and beyond even their own units are doing that. They will benefit from the perspectives of many “teachers” and will learn more as a result. They should be encouraged to reach out." Here are a couple of links with more information http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/...elorguide.aspx http://www.scouting.org/Training/Adu...torsGuide.aspx Section 7 of the GTA explain just about all you need to know about rules on the National level. http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/33088.pdf As you go into the Boy Scout World be aware there is no gender discrimination that I have been able to find. You can be a Scoutmaster, District Trainer, Lifeguard, Unit Commisioner, Climbing Instructor, COPE Instructor, whatever you want. That is not always the case with men in the GSUSA. Your only limits, if any, will be from your religous institution or men in your Council, not from National. If you can you should take IOLS and bring your bugal. You can put all those district level trainers to shame. Having IOLS will open a lot of doors, Woodbadge even more.

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      • #5
        in my council, the limit is 7, with a max of 3 Eagle-required. I think it is a great policy.

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        • #6
          Oh, I'm looking forward to boy scouts, when I'm not the leader for my kid any more. It'll be great to send him off to other people.

          I will have to look through merit badges again. (I flipped through my fil's books while visiting this summer and noted that aside from music, everything seemed difficult to earn.) I sent an email off to some guy in the district. If he's not the right guy, I'm sure he can direct me to the right one.

          The boy, whom I taught bugle had a mother, who insisted he earn every merit badge. She read that bugling was the hardest, so started him early. (He hasn't earned it yet- he won't practice and you can't learn to bugle without daily practice.) I imagine it isn't very common for boys to earn- especially in my town.

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          • #7
            h- and I found out about leader-specific training on the district webpage, It's at the end of the month. I've been doing cub scouts for over a year and a half. I didn't know they did in person training any more. I sent an email in to the cub committee member to see if our pack could pay the $5 for me to attend. (And possibly another $20 for the other 4 leaders.) I went to one of those training meetings 12 years ago. My superior told me about it. I assumed news of such a training would go through the channels and get to all leaders. Apparently not.

            Comment


            • qwazse
              qwazse commented
              Editing a comment
              Congratulations. You're now that channel!

          • #8
            The guy responded. I just have to turn in my application and then I can be a counselor. There will be a training meeting at the end of the month. Would merit badge counselor training be included in this?

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            • #9
              I think I'll also apply for traffic safety. As a certified child passenger safety technician, I am quite the expert on vehicle safety.

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