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Everything posted by Thunderbird

  1. You can have a troop with only 2 paid youth members, if you get permission from your Scout Executive. That's what the Registration Guidebook of the BSA says, anyway.
  2. Thunderbird

    Scoutmasters as Merit Badge Counselors?

    As long as the Scoutmaster is registered and approved as a Merit Badge Counselor (position code 42) for the particular merit badge(s), then there is no problem. Guide to Advancement section Qualifications of Counselors. There seem to be a lot of folks who think that Scoutmasters are automatically MBCs and can sign off on any merit badge. But Scoutmasters have to be approved as MBCs by the council / district, and they have to be approved for particular merit badges.
  3. Thunderbird

    Merit Badge Counselor Registration Renewal

    OK, I see now.
  4. Thunderbird

    Merit Badge Counselor Registration Renewal

    But MBC is a free (no fee) position?
  5. Thunderbird

    Merit Badge Counselor Registration Renewal

    I hear you. My understanding is that you have to fill out a separate form, because it's a separate position and because it's approved by different people. The Chartered Org. Rep. approves Scoutmasters, but someone at the district / council level (usually District / Council Advancement Chair or District Executive) approves merit badge counselors. As for renewals, each council seems to do its own thing. Some councils will automatically renew MBCs as long as YPT is current (and the new disclosure and authorization form is on file). Some councils want an updated list of merit badges each year. Other councils might want something else as some kind of affirmation from the MBC that he or she wants to continue counseling. I would recommend asking your council what they want. Is your council requiring a BSA adult application each year? That seems a bit overkill, IMO.
  6. Thunderbird

    Merit Badge Counselor Registration Renewal

    It depends on whether or not your council has uploaded its MBC list to Scoutbook. If the council has not uploaded the list, then units can add MBCs like they add other unit leaders (ASMs, Committee Member, Unit Scouter Reserve, etc.). Technically, MBC is not a unit-level position, but for councils that have not yet added their MBC list, then MBCs have to be attached to a unit in Scoutbook in order to show up. Units should only add MBCs if they know that they are approved.
  7. Thunderbird

    Merit Badge Counselor Registration Renewal

    @mrkstvns Have you looked to see if you can change your listing preference in Scoutbook? You should be able to get there by going to: My Account -> My Positions. Click on "Merit Badge Counselor" and you should be able to change your listing preference. However, if you can't change it, you might have to contact your Council Admin for Scoutbook and ask them to change it for you.
  8. I think this council is saying that MB counselors can no longer limit themselves to just their own troop or district - not that you have to take on every Scout who might come your way. MBCs can change their availability in Scoutbook if they think they do not have the time to take on more Scouts.
  9. Thunderbird


    Does anybody know if Scoutlander.com is having problems? I am unable to renew a unit subscription, and when I try to e-mail their support, I get an e-mail back saying that their mailbox is full.
  10. Thunderbird


    That's where I'd like to be! 🌞
  11. @swilliams Does your son still want to be Bugler? The SPL can appoint more than one Bugler, if he wants to.
  12. Thunderbird


    Those year tabs represent different version years of an adventure or rank. But all Cub Scouts should be working on the most current version of the adventure / rank.
  13. Thunderbird

    January Pack Meeting Ideas

    Maybe some ideas for you here? https://cubscoutideas.com/tag/cub-scout-meetings/
  14. Thunderbird


    @jsychk Are you the Advancement Chair? If so, then I would let the Webelos Den Leader handle it. It is the Webelos Den Leader's responsibility to approve (or not approve) adventures and rank advancements. Not sure what this Scout's circumstances are, but there are ways for him to complete the Scouting Adventure even if he misses some of the den meetings or if he is in a den by himself.
  15. Thunderbird


    While parents can mark items as completed in Scoutbook, it is the Webelos Den Leader who approves adventures and ranks. Who Approves Cub Scout Advancement? It's not clear from your post, but is this Webelos Scout in a den by himself? Remember that the standard for Cub Scouts is that they do their best: “Do Your Best”
  16. Going by the Registration Guidebook of the BSA, Scout Executives may waive the 5 Scout minimum. This would be an exception to the standard requirements. "Units may register with as few as two paid youth members with the permission of the Scout executive."
  17. I'm just speculating here, but I bet what they are doing is using 16-17 year old minors as "instructors", and having a registered Merit Badge Counselor (age 18+) sign the forms. It's OK to use instructors who are not MBCs, but it's supposed to be the MBC who actually tests and approves merit badge requirements. I suspect that they are using the non-registered instructors to do all of the testing / approving, and just having the registered MBCs sign the paperwork. As you said, exceptions would be areas with liability concerns such as: shooting sports, water-related merit badges, climbing, etc.
  18. Thunderbird

    Recommendations for off-brand Scout pants

    Not sure if this is what you are looking for or not, but we found some green pants at in the men's section at Wal-Mart that are pretty similar to Scout pants. They appear to be made from rip stop material. We have only had them for about 6 months, but they have held up pretty well so far. The brand name is "Genuine Dickies".
  19. In my council, I have been told that the Scout turns in their part of the blue cards (or a copy of the blue card, so the original blue cards don't get lost) at the same time as the Eagle Scout rank application. The dates on the blue cards are checked against the electronic dates that are in ScoutNet. ScoutNet syncs with Scoutbook, so merit badges that are approved in Scoutbook should be visible to the council in ScoutNet. If the dates don't match, they can be corrected. I don't know how a council could really check the names of merit badge counselors on blue cards - especially for MBCs outside of their own council (frequently the case for summer camps). Also, some of the MBC info. on blue cards can sometimes be a bit hard to read (whose name is this? LOL). It might not be an issue unless the parents try to sign blue cards for their Scout when they aren't MBCs (but this is the type of thing that hopefully gets caught at the unit level).
  20. Thunderbird

    Hard Merit Badges

    Bugling is definitely one of the more difficult merit badges. It took my son several months to earn it, even though he played trumpet in band. (He had some difficulty reaching the high notes.) Signs, Signals, and Codes is kind of difficult, because there is a lot of material to learn. Game Design is more difficult that some Scouts might expect, because it has its own specific terminology / jargon. And also because the Scouts have a tendency to want to just design their game and be done with it, but the merit badge requires an iterative process of play testing and making modifications / improvements to their game.
  21. This is also what I have seen at summer camps. Usually Thursday afternoon / evening they make the reports or blue cards available, and the Scouts have Thursday night / Friday to finish stuff up or discuss with MBCs anything that was marked incorrectly. As for partials, depending on the merit badge, the Scout might be able to finish the requirements at home, but would still need to find a registered MBC for the merit badge in question in order to get the final approvals.
  22. Thunderbird

    New Sex Abuse Arrest

    By "retreats", I assume that this probably refers to campouts. Campouts usually last at least one night, and there is more time and more opportunities for things to happen. Whatever went wrong seems to have gone wrong on multiple occasions. Did they not have 2-deep leadership as required?
  23. Thunderbird

    Bikes in Camp?

    There is a neighboring summer camp near me that allows Scouts to bring bikes (and helmets) as a way to shorten travel time between program areas. This camp also has a cycling/mountain bike program. It was a good thing, for the most part. However, sometimes Scouts would ride their bikes through the middle of camp too fast, which could be a problem if you can't see people on the path around the turn ahead or when they would try to jump little hills / berms that had people on the other side that they couldn't see.
  24. Thunderbird

    Appropriate Insignia UNDER Right Pocket?

    I started using velcro for ranks, position, JTE, etc. Then I put sticky back velcro (cut it down so that it's smaller than the patch) on the back of the patch. Makes it much easier to keep up with patches that change a lot.
  25. Thunderbird

    Appropriate Insignia UNDER Right Pocket?

    In my council, Cub Scouts really love to put all of their patches on the red brag vest. They could get a round council patch, put it on the back of the vest, and then put all of their segments in rings around the council patch. To me, this looks better than trying to fit all of that under the right pocket. I have only seen Cub Scouts wear the red vest, though - not older Scouts.