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Everything posted by NobodyReally

  1. For anyone interested, we have gone around to different troops this past week. Low and behold, they have all said, almost identically, "yeah, troop _____ has a reputation for being controlling and awful to their kids." These other places also work on rank and badge requirements during meetings, and actually encourage kids to work ahead if they feel motivated, so it seems like any one of them will be a much better fit for my scout. Now he just has to pick one.
  2. I was thinking I would take the signed blue cards in to the scout shop and pick up the badges he's completed so that way we could be less burdensome to the new troop. After reading these responses, I looked in the troop master app, and it shows 2 of the 3 badges as accepted and one they haven't approved so far (oddly, the badge surrounding this recent drama has been accepted in this system for months), so I assume that ScoutNet would only show those two accepted badges. But the blue card for all 3 are already signed by the MBC and SM. I don't know if the troop is refusing to approve the 3rd badge until they grill my son about that one some more too, but what do I do in this situation if the troop doesn't forward the badge to the ScoutNet account? Would the signed blue card trump all? Can a new troop input the badge in their system and become the final word on what was earned? Or is the badge at the mercy of the original troop approving it first? Also, my son has a blue card for this weekend signed by the SM already. Since we won't be returning to that troop, will a new SM have any reason to not accept a completed blue card that another SM/troop approved? I am assuming my son would turn it in like normal and previous authorization will be good enough, but if I should be aware of any rules or issues, I'm all ears.
  3. He's got the book signatures and his third of each blue card, but I was under the impression that it was the troop's portion of the blue card that let's you purchase the badge at the scout shop now. Do I have the wrong information for that? If I do have my wires crossed, what, if anything, is required to purchase the merit badges now? The organizer at one merit badge day was very apologetic for not having badges to hand out this year because the rules had changed and she said you had to show proof of completed requirements before the scout shop would sell them now. So if the scout keeps the part that has the requirements listed, then how do they verify what was completed at the store if it's not the troop's blue card section?
  4. I hear you that there can be big issues with merit badges done in groups, and I can really see the potential for shenanigans. But, like I said, this was not a polite conversation from the troop about what was done or not done. This was my son getting grilled, then months later indirectly accused of fraud in front of the troop, and then ambushed and grilled again. A conversation with a heads up to bring in his work would have been totally fine in my opinion. And, the fact is that the SM approves the merit badge days and then tries to say my kid is scamming them. IF you believe a merit badge was not handled correctly, belittling and intimidating a 12 year old should not be the way to go about it as a 60+ year old adult. I double checked that all requirements get done right before he goes to the events so he doesn't get a partial, and I sit in on all these classes. They know this, I talk to these people for hours each week. I have yet to see a counselor at these events who signs off on everything for every kid. Most kids show up with no prep work and get partial completion, and that's what they've earned. But, if we believe that camp is fine to do merit badges at, then I don't agree that merit badge days are bad. In our camp, you spend an hour a day for 4 days working on this badge in question. The merit badge day did it in 6 hours - 2 hours more than the camp setting allotted. So if you are encouraging kids to attend camp, I'm not seeing the difference in earning badges there versus at MB days. If you do the work and you are honest, then you have fulfilled your obligation. If an SM believes an MBC is dishonest or made a mistake, that seems to me like they should address that with the MBC or the Council instead of telling a scout he's a liar over and over. Because, had they called the MBC, he could have explained that only 2 of 20 kids completed their card and the SM could have stopped his witch hunt before making my son feel personally attacked. We have decided that we are leaving the troop over this issue. Now I just have to worry that they will refuse to send his award information to the new troop. They have a rank and 3 merit badges currently waiting for the next CoH.
  5. CCHOAT, thank you, that is exactly what I was wanting to know!
  6. Meyerc13, thank you! I often struggle to describe how being gifted is different from just getting good grades and that his brain and motivation works differently. He struggles to find a place in groups and likes to work independently and be impressive as an individual, but there's also a huge neurotic side involved in that. And that doesn't mean he's a monkey that can perform on cue if you put him on the spot. It's not the same as having a photographic memory. CNYScouter, yes, to get any blue card you have to tell the SM who the counselor is, where the merit badge day is, and what adult is going with you before he will approve a blue card. The SM also puts extra age or rank restrictions on some badges, and from experience, he will not budge on his restrictions. That is why I don't understand why he signs off on blue cards, knowing they are merit badge days, and then acts this way. This day they are being nasty about now was actually run by a troop that the SM said was fantastic and who ran a great merit badge day program (that troop also runs the council's merit badge day). Beavah, I will recant a little and say that, yes, some badge work should stick with you forever. But, when they want dates, everything you did for a project, timelines, and group discussion details that you took notes on, not everything is going to stay fresh in your mind. If he could have sat down with his completed projects and workbook to have a conversation, that would have been different than being ambushed and indirectly accused of cheating in front of the troop. But even for things like swimming - you might remember how to do the strokes for life, but will you always remember the name of each stroke off the top of your head? And should you have a badge revoked if you need to be reminded which style freestyle was before you can demonstrate it? Because that seems to be the way they come at him. Luckily, this time my kid was on point, but if this continues in this way and they keep looking for any excuse to revoke his badges, they'll eventually find a way to do it. That's why I'm really curious to learn if a blue card being signed by an MBC is the final word on the badge or not.
  7. And I wouldn't have minded the questioning last time if it was done in a polite way. But not only was he already questioned about that badge by the SM, but then the SM came back months later and had someone else question him again, AFTER making a speech about fraud to everyone (which implies that's what they think he did), and they gave him no heads up so he could bring in his projects and workbook to go over it all. How many scouts get grilled on everything they did or learned 3 months after completing a blue card with no notice? Do you remember everything you did at work months ago without a refesher? I felt like they were looking for an excuse to trip him up, and we are contemplating not returning to that troop over this. I asked why they grilled him again after the fact, and they said they were concerned because it was only a half day merit badge event. 1. My kid already said he worked in advance and came in just to present and get signatures, 2. the event was from 8am to 3pm, so they made up their excuse to go after him, and 3. none of that required a speech to the troop about how awful fraud is and how they'll revoke your badges over it. We have nothing to hide, the person that questioned my son claimed to be quite impressed with his answers, but they haven't done this to anyone else since we've been there. I've even heard counselors, including the SM's wife, tell older scouts to "borrow the troop's book for _____ badge and copy the filled in answers for these requirements." How is that okay, but my kid is implied to be cheating with every badge?
  8. My scout wants to earn all 180 badges, and I know that's not possible, but I'm not going to discourage him from making the attempt and figuring it out for himself. But, my son was always in the advanced and gifted programs in school and he is bored to death with how troop meetings are run, which is mostly sitting around talking, not planning but just the boys chatting, or loading/unloading the trailor for camping. I was a boy scout for years, and we were always working on badges, rank, or planning during most of our meetings. With rank advancement, it has gone very slowly. There is rarely anyone who is willing to sign off on requirements, and they don't work on the requirements at meetings, so by the time my son can find someone, he has a lot of requirements to present. They tell him to slow down, he's moving too fast, every time. So he's working on badges to get the scout experience he wants. Now the troop is saying slow down with merit badges, threatening to take the ones he's earned away, and my son is losing his mind getting frustrated. But even when he shows or explains that he worked on the requirements long before showing up to the merit badge days, they are treating him like he's conning them. The troop keeps chastising me as well saying I'm going to burn him out on boy scouts, but my kid is legitimately the one wanting to do the work and he's picking what badges he wants to do and then putting in the work to complete them before the merit badge day happens. I would love to do badges through the troop, it would be much cheaper for me, but they are not reliable, like I said. He went on one camp out a month ago that said they'd do everything for a merit badge except the essay part. Well, not only did the counselor sign off on nothing during the trip, my son wrote his essay by the next meeting, and that counselor has still not been findable since that trip. And that has been our experience with any badge he tries to do through the troop.
  9. My son likes going to merit badge days because our troop never works on them as a group and many of the counselors are unreliable to work with individually. We have a lot of days around here, and if our schedule is free, we will let my son pick out a badge to sign up for. We have gotten the signed blue cards, we have given the counselor's names, my scout will work on the requirements weeks or months in advance, and the troop is now giving my son a nasty attitude about getting these badges and going to the merit badge days. Every time he turns in a blue card the SM grills my son about every detail, when the SM does NOT do this to other boys (I volunteer, I know). At his last meeting, someone came out and gave a speech about how, if they find fraud they'll revoke merit badges, even if the scout has had the badge for years. The next thing that happened was that my son was asked to step aside and be grilled again about every detail of an eagle badge he earned. From my perspective, they were looking for an excuse to not give my son the badge he earned and gave that speech to try and scare him. They did not get this excuse and my scout responded perfectly to everything he was asked, but I don't want to endlessly go through this nasty behavior every time. I'm sick of him getting grilled and it being implied that he's cheating the system somehow when he's not. The person who grilled my son tonight did so at the request of the SM and the head of the committee (the SM's wife). They are also telling my son that any eagle badge he earns before Star rank won't count towards his rank requirements, which I believe is a lie to discourage my son from working on those badges. I thought that a merit badge counselor signing off on a blue card was the final word on the matter. Is that accurate or not? Because if that is the case, then why are we being questioned constantly when the SM signs off on the blue card? Our SM even accused us of seeking out merit badge factories AFTER saying weeks before that he knew this or that person from that troop and they ran a good program! I believe their issue stems from my son's motivation to work on merit badges right now (they are constantly telling him that he's done too many), and I am sick of getting this cold shoulder like my scout is doing something wrong when he always has proof of completing his requirements. So I would like some feedback on what the rules are for merit badge cards and revoking, because this constant badgering and threatening of my son is making him want to quit scouts.
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