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Merit badge counseling and two deep leadership?

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  • Merit badge counseling and two deep leadership?

    The merit badge counselor application and other related literature says that a merit badge counselor must have a Scout and his buddy present during all instructional sessions.

    I must wonder why you would have an instructional session without a Scout present :-)

    Seriously, I am wondering why two adults are not required. Merit badge counselors are registered Scouters so two adults should be present.

    I want to take my son and another scout to the range to work on the Rifle Shooting merit badge. As a Merit Badge Counselor, I evidently don't need another adult present. However, as a Scout Leader, I need another adult. What is the solution here.

    If I just take my son and his friend to the range to have fun, I don't need anyone with me.




  • #2
    Since MB work is not a troop or patrol function but an individual activity the rules for youth protection are different.
    A merit badge counselor is registered as such with the local council, however they are not scouters. They do not pay a membership fee, they do not recieve a membership card and not have the privileges of a registered leader. One of the primary things they lack is the liability insurance umbrella that protects registerd scouters as long as they follow the policies of the BSA.

    The purpose of registering MB counselors is to have a record of who they, are where they work and live and contact information. As a registered scouter you can not be alone with a scout, and you must have two deep leadership on all troop events or you risk permanent loss of membership in the BSA and loss of liability protection which could be a very expensive mistake. As a merit badge counselor you are not to meet alone with a single scout as a recommended protection for you. The scout is to have a youth or adult buddy as protection for himself.

    Bob White

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    • #3
      Bob,
      Good post. Couple things. Merit badge counselors can be Scouters. I am a counselor fot 10 merit badges. Merit badge counselors do pay the $10 registration fee.

      Ed Mori
      Scoutmaster
      Troop 1
      1 Peter 4:10

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      • #4
        Ed,
        If you check the BSA resources regarding advancement, specifically pg 13 of the Advancement Committee Policies and Procedures manual #33088D, you will see that a MB counselor who is registered ONLY as a meritbadge counselor pays no fee.

        A unit or district volunteer pays the membership fee as I explained in the previous post. MB counselors do not.

        Bob White(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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        • #5
          Bob,

          My question is not answered yet. When I am wearing my merit badge counselor hat do I need a second adult?

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          • #6
            Yes, some councils are charging to cover the fee for a backround check and fingerprinting. The budy system also protects the adult from false claims. Today a parent with a complaint against an adult will easly find a lawer willing to sue.

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            • #7
              You are not required by the BSA to have a second adult as a merit badge counselor. It is the scouts responsibility to have a buddy, and I would not meet with him unless he does.

              Bob

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              • #8
                k9gold-scout
                I have heard rumors of councils doing this but have not actually found one that has the time or the resourses to do so. Does your council actually run fingerprints and a background check or is it something you have heard of (this can take several weeks and usually costs far more than $10). Such action is not required by the BSA and even if a council was doing it the counselor is still not considered a registered scout volunteer, still does not have liability protection, and still is not required to have 2 adults present (just a youth or adult buddy with the learner).

                Bob White

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                • #9
                  Agree with Bob on the individual activity. I'm not sure why you would charge merit badge counselors, they are servicing your troop and council. I don't see a lot of counselors that will volunteer with a fee, fingerprints, and background check.

                  I really don't see the practicality of the fingerprints. Is that for future reference or checking their past. I don't know of any law enforcement agency that is going to run finger prints for an unknown crime. Kinda like overkill to me.(This message has been edited by Double Eagle)

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                  • #10
                    "I don't know of any law enforcement agency that is going to run finger prints for an unknown crime."

                    I've had to have a background check done to umpire baseball. I don't what the cost is, I just had to pay $10 at the police station to get my prints taken, then I turned that card in to my association's head. A month or so later, he and I both got a letter stating that I had no record.

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                    • #11
                      Here in Pa. the Scranton Diocese requires two background checks for adults working with any youth group. They come from the State Police and cost $10 each. They are also required by most school districts. As of now our Council doesn't require these checks but if your Troop is chartered by a Catholic church every registered adult needs them.

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                      • #12
                        Here too, our Diocese requires any adult working with children to have their finger prints run, however they did not charge the volunteer.

                        Bob White

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                        • #13
                          Zorn Packte,

                          When a Scout calls me for an appointment to work on a Merit Badge I ask that he bring a parent with him. This serves three functions. . .1) a ride to and from the appointed meeting. 2) someone there for HIS protection and 3) someone that can remember the little details like when and where the next appointment is.

                          There has been a few cases where a parent cannot come to the appointment. When that happens, I ask the parent if I can meet with the Scout at THEIR house.

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