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Lisabob

MBC for less popular MBs

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It is that time of year when MBCs in our council are asked to update the list of MBs they wish to counsel. We are limited to no more than four. When I first registered as an MBC I picked one MB that was eagle required and three others that are not. Since then I've found that while there's a lot of demand for the eagle-required MB and some demand for one of the others I chose (ok, 2 scouts have asked about it and one actually did it), the other two are pretty much dead - just no demand for them. And I did NOT limit myself to just working with boys from our troop either - I'm on the council-wide MBC list. I am well qualified to counsel some other eagle-required mbs but I'm a little torn. On one hand if we all sign up for the most popular mbs then there will be no one registered to work with the rare kid who wants to pursue that low-demand mb. But on the other hand, it isn't an efficient use of resources to have people signed up for an mb that hardly anybody wants to do, when MBCs are limited to four MBs.

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Hmmm, is it just me or does anyone else see a potential WB ticket item. Council must be able to provide some numbers on how many of each merit badges was earned in the council per year - Perhaps someone could work with Council Advancement to create a two column "menu" of MB's for counselors with a "no more than 4 from Column A (popular) AND no more than 8 from column B (less popular)" rule. Or to make sure as many Merit Badges as possible are covered, for every 2 MB's chosen from Column B, you can choose 1 from Column A - up to 4 Column A badges.

 

Just thinking "out loud"

 

Calico

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Four is rather limiting our council allows you to do up to thirty. I guess you have an overabundance of mbc so they limit it to four so everyone gets a turn. I am a counselor for several easy mb's such as reading and computers but have gotten all of zero phone calls over the past two years. If I had to pick four I would pick the ones I was most expert in and let the chips fall where they may. With a regular vocation and several hobbies everyone should be a qualified expert in four. Thirty allows you to stretch a little more.

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Thirty areas where a man or woman feels he has a particular expertise and passion. That sure seems to be a lot.

 

What is a suitable number? Not sure of that either. Our Council, though, limits us to five.

 

For Lisa: I'd recommend keeping at least a couple of the "rarely obtained" merit badges. You never know when you'll be a resource to a young Scout :)

 

(This message has been edited by John-in-KC)

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I'm assuming that you have the list from council, so you can see how many people are signed up as counselors for each merit badge.

 

Ideally, I'd think you'd sign up where you could do the most good. That would mean signing up for those badges that have the fewest counselors per interested Scout. Your council might have information on how many of each merit badge has been earned in the last year in the council, but if not, you could use the national statistics as a rough guide. http://www.scouting.org/factsheets/02-500.html - Just divide the number earned by the number of available counselors, and the highest numbers are your target zone.

 

If there's a badge where you're the only counselor signed up, though, I might keep that one anyway, just to make sure a boy would have the opportunity if interested.

 

If there are so many counselors that none are getting very many calls, though, it may not matter much.

 

Oak Tree

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John-in-KC said...

>Thirty areas where a man or woman feels he has

>a particular expertise and passion. That sure

>seems to be a lot.

 

I think "thirty areas" is a misleading way to look at it. For instance, I'm an electrical engineer by degree and vocation and I'm registered for Electricity, Electronics, Energy, and Engineering. That's four merit badges but really only one "area". Likewise, Bird Study, Env Sci, Gardening, Mammal Study, and Nature takes care of five merit badges with only one additional "area". Real quick like, I'm up to 21 merit badges but those cover only five "areas". I don't consider that unreasonable at all.

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Obviously, there are councils out there that limit the number of merit badges a counselor can sign up for, but as far as I know, the advancement policy and procedure manual says nothing about a limit. Seems like they are in violation here.

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Thanks for the input. Oak, I agree that's a logical way to do things and I appreciate the link to the national #s. I didn't know that information was available. What I've decided to do is to keep the two MBs that I've gotten requests for over the last two years, plus one other for which there are only one or two other MBCs in the council (American Cultures) on the off-chance that a boy might want to do it. I'm going to jettison "reading" (for which there are at least several MBCs in council) and pick up something else instead, probably one of the citizen badges. Although there are many MBCs on the list for those, many of them (from our troop at least) are parents of boys who are no longer active and those parents are also rarely available any more.

 

jr, whether it is a "violation" or not, that's our council policy and I admit I'm not willing to "fight the fight" to try to change it right now. I have heard that one reason for the policy is that some troops were signing people up as MBCs for ridiculously large #s of MBs just to ensure that their boys never had to go outside the troop to work on a MB. Maybe not the best way to resolve that issue but I can see the point.

 

 

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Gotta agree with you on your view of MB's. For last 10 years I have been counsellor for first aid, skiing (now snow sports), gardening, and animal science.

Had a lot of customers for first aid my first year. Then the scouts found it was available at summer camp, and prefer to do it there. Less effort on their part to attend class at summer camp. Last year I did finish up with a scout that had taken first aid at summer camp, but didn't have record of what he completed. I found that he had retained little.

Had two customers for skiing. Also had two parents call and ask if I would sign off on the MB for their son, because he had gone on a ski trip.

Had one customer for gardening. Not too many vegetable gardens in town, but a lot of families do have nice flower gardens.

Had one customer for animal science (my son). Though we are near agricultural land, it doesn't appear that there are many farm kids in area scout troops. We didn't have any in our troop.

 

The four troops in our town got together and had a MB night, where counsellors were given the opportunity to promote their MB's. I thought it was worthwhile, even though for me was the result of the two parents calling about the skiing MB.

 

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Agreed LisaBob, that's a fight you're better off not even getting involved in.

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