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About ScoutMom22

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  1. So here is an update as to the happenings of this merit badge dilemma.......We presented our issue to the Troop Committee at the Committee Meeting. (May I say that this was the largest turnout for a committee meeting in quite a long time according to members that have been in the troop longer than my son has been.) The Advancement Chair argued on the side of the Scoutmaster but when it was noticed that she was reading out of an old GTA, and she was also picking and choosing lines out of said GTA and reading them like they were one continuous statement, she didn't have much to say after that. I read strictly from the GTA and refuted every single one of their reasons that they had given to try and deny the blue card. The Committee Chair claimed to have spoken to someone from Council and supposedly they backed the Scoutmaster's decision, but that was quickly proven to be a lie as well, when I was able to show proof from the "Bryan on Scouting" article, and the person's name to which I had spoke to at council, and also read AGAIN. After everything was said and done, (they FORCED the MBC to show his rubric from the merit badge session) they all agreed that they boys earned the MB. At the next Troop Meeting, the SM was told he had to give the blue cards to the boys because they had earned them and to also give them a counseling session. At that time the SM sat down to talk to my son. Not once did he take the opportunity during that "counseling session" to be a mentor to him and ask about his merit badge experience or explain any concerns that he had with an 11 year old doing this MB. Instead he scolded and berated him for doing the merit badge, then in turn said that the whole fiasco was also the MBC's fault because he continued to do the MB without the blue card. Mind you- my son has earned 10 merit badges in his 1 year of being a Boy Scout. How many blue cards has he asked for BEFORE doing the MB? 10!!!!!!!! How many blue cards was he actually given when asking for those 10 cards? 1!!! (And that was because he pointed out that the metropark where he was taking his patrol to do the Bird Study merit badge explicitly stated that they were required to bring the blue card with them.) He had personally asked for every single blue card at a troop meeting, well before the MB day. How about the MBC who did the lifesaving merit badge? He did the MB without the blue card, because in all his years of being a Scout, 99% of his merit badges that he earned did not have a blue card until after the fact as well, despite having asked for them in advance also. A few other scouts in the troop have the exact same answer as well. The kicker is, in the troop meeting after the so called "counseling session", a few boys in the troop asked for blue cards to take with them to a Sustainability MB class at a local Science Institute a few weeks from now. Were they given a counseling session? NOPE. They were all just simply handed a blue card and the SM walked away from them. In response to Qwazse's flippant assumption about how you think the MB really went down? The course was not being offered to any older scouts. The MBC happens to be helping out the Cub Scout Pack in which my son is a Den Chief. They were talking about merit badges and the topic of the lifesaving merit badge was brought up since the MBC is also a lifeguard. My son wanted to try it so he asked a buddy to join him, and the rest of the story is in my previous posts. The whole goal of the day was just to work on the merit badge. If it wasn't finished, then they had a goal to work toward at a later time, (days-weeks-months?) down the road. ~~ I did not push my son to take the merit badge- It was his own decision. He is also fully aware that just because he earned the lifesaving MB, it does not qualify him to be a lifeguard. Just as in any MB, it has taught him skills he may use in the future, but no MB makes someone an expert on the subject. It opens their eyes to a whole new area if they choose to take the path that starts with the MB. I don't expect anyone (scout or otherwise) to receive anything that they didn't earn- but if they earn it, they deserve recognition. And just a little FYI, I have several years of scouting experience under my belt so I am NOT "THAT" mom which only sees the # of patches on her son's sash. As den leader, advancement chair, Cubmaster, MBC, troop Committee Member, and currently working my Wood Badge ticket, I know the value of proper training, leadership, and adhering to BSA policy.
  2. It's been a bit of a slow start so far for the new pack but we are finally getting our feet under us. It has been quite an experience, going from 5 years as a den leader and 1 year experience with Boy Scouts, back to the beginning of Cub Scouts and having every family be new to the scouting program. Thankfully, I have had some help from the new unit coordinator at Council in the recruitment process and have had a lot of help from my son (den chief) and several other boy scouts. There is another pack in the area so this new pack doesn't ever expect to have huge numbers. The plan is to stay small and family oriented. We were given plenty of freebies from a pack about 40 miles away that has dissolved and that has really helped us be able to plan events such as a Pinewood Derby, Raingutter Regatta etc.... We are using every opportunity to recruit such as hosting STEM nights at the local elementary school and having meetings directly after school for maximum participation. For now, we have two dens - a decent size tiger den of 6 boys and a combined wolf/bear den of 4 boys. Our goal is to have about 20-25 boys by next fall.
  3. I took Wood Badge this past summer and am currently in the process of working my ticket. My advice? Plan for hard work and long days on the weekend that you are there. I also took my WB out of council and am really happy I did. I am very familiar with the people who usually instruct my council's courses, so everyone was new to me at my WB and it was very refreshing to meet up with new people and learn different perspectives- especially different council perspectives. Have a few ideas in mind for your tickets, but as stated by others, don't fully lock yourself in to your ticket ideas until you get to the course and spend your first weekend there. You may get a whole new set of ideas from some of your fellow WB participants or the staffers. And definitely- be your critter!!! lol Good luck and have FUN!
  4. Hi Everyone! I live in Michigan and was a den leader for my son's den from Tiger all the way through crossover to Boy Scouts last February. For the last 2 years in the pack, I also served as the pack's advancement chair. After crossover I have become a committee member of the troop and help out in everything I can, have been recruited by Council to start a new pack in the area and am the Cubmaster for that pack. OH, and I am also in the process of working my Wood Badge ticket, (Go Eagle Patrol, C2-784-14!). Thanks for letting me join the forum!
  5. Welcome Andy! I have just joined here myself.
  6. Hi everyone! Thanks for all the responses. I have been locked out the past couple days as well and couldnt even see any of the responses, much less respond myself. In the meantime I have purchased a copy of the Guide to Advancement and have several of the items,, and the article from Scouting Magazine (thanks for all the links!) etc., highlighted and am planning on taking several copies of it to our next committee meeting. My son and his buddy that did the merit badge with him will be attending the committee also and presenting their case to the committee, and the MB counselor plans to be there as well. I have also placed a call to the District Advancement Chairman to notify him of our intention to dispute the ruling if the committee withholds the SM decision after being presented with the Guide to Advancement policies. Schiff, maybe you are in need of a little clarification to help you understand the situation. In the troop my son is in, the Scoutmaster typically NEVER has blue cards on him at a troop meeting, so when a Scout approaches him to ask for the blue card, he is usually just told to go ahead and do the merit badge (with no counseling) and the SM will get him the card at a later time. If the Scoutmaster isn't at the troop meeting (which has happened ALOT lately), the Scouts are told to have their patrol leaders call him on the phone with any details that they need to tell him. My son IS the patrol leader for his patrol, so therefore he is the one who made the call. It is not unusual for the SM to not answer his phone, and he is notorious for NEVER returning phone calls. Nothing that happened with this MB was out of the ordinary for any Scout, except for the blatant refusal AFTERWARD to give him the blue card. Since this was during Christmas vacation and the SM does not work, 5 days notice should have been plenty of time for any ADULT to return a phone call to a youth and counsel him if he felt the need. The merit badge counselor is the same counselor that the troop always goes to for First Aid requirements for rank, First Aid MB, Lifesaving MB, and Swimming MB since he has been on the Aquatics staff at summer camp for the past 4 years and his job when not on staff at camp is a lifeguard at a local rec center and is also a volunteer fire fighter. The MB counselor, in doing the MB, was not doing anything that had not been done in the past, since as I stated previously, the SM typically doesn't give out blue cards until after the MB has been done. My son has said that he doesn't want to leave the troop because a lot of friends have been made there but we are afraid that there may be a possibility for retaliation in the future (such as withholding ranks, etc. *which they have done in the past to other scouts who have questioned his "ruling"). I am saddened by the actions of the SM and the Committee because they have frustrated two scouts who have chosen on their own, to focus on trying to get their Star rank before the end of the school year.
  7. Hi! Forgive me of this has been asked before, but I have a question.... My son got an opportunity to work on the lifesaving merit badge over the Christmas holiday. He called his Scoutmaster 5 days ahead of time to get approval for the blue card and to discuss the badge. (He is 11 and was EXTREMELY nervous about having to call him.) The scoutmaster didn't answer his phone so my son left him a very detailed message about what MB is was, who the counselor was, what date he wanted to do the badge, where, and who his buddy was. The SM never called him back and since this was an opportunity he didn't want to miss, my son went ahead and did the MB, and fulfilled all the requirements. Now the SM is refusing to give him a blue card for it under the reasons that he believes that no one younger than a third year scout should earn the MB. My son is extremely upset, so we have had to go to the committee with our questions. (The SM referred us to the committee when we questioned his ruling.) The committee says that they are going to uphold the SM's decision. I was under the understanding that a SM could not withhold a blue card, or refuse to sign it as long as the counselor said he met the requirements? (The MB counselor is an 18 year old certified BSA AND Red Cross lifeguard, Eagle Scout, and approved by council to be a counselor. Since he is under 21, the MB instruction was also supervised by a certified lifeguard that is over the age of 21.) What should I do?
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