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In a bunch of different threads people are talking about the difficulty of getting good MB counselors and how the MB process in a lot of places has devolved into "classes" and requirements get pencil whipped, rather than the traditional process of a boy working with a counselor at an individual level.


OK. True.


So who are our best resources to help fix this? We are!


I challenge each and every one of you, whether in cubs, boy scouts, venturing, non-scouter/lurker, whatever - contact your council and register to be a MBC for at least one badge. Make your MBC services available to the FULL council, not just one troop. If there's a reason that you really can't sign up, then recruit another adult to sign up, instead. Then do the job, and do it well.


In the thread this was spun off from, ScoutNut posted links to the 124 merit badges and explanation of what being a MBC means. Check it out!


Then, report back here: what badge(s) did you sign up to counsel?





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That's the status quo - inbreeding with often less-qualified scouters (like me :)) volunteering outside their expert level just because outside experts are turned off by the current process of becoming mb counselors.


The challenge is to fix the broken merit badge process with all its hassle and nonsense.


BTW, I am a mb counselor for 4 or is it 7, maybe 9 :) who knows but me who sends the paperwork to council, which never publishes the list, which doesn't matter as the SM will likely only give a scout the name of a counselor in his unit and not the name of a counselor just down the street...and on it goes.


Back in the day, all that was required was expertise and an interest in teaching kids - one sheet of paper with name, address, phone, Merit badge, experience, references. No SS, no YP, no yearly renewal, no dummy course about being a mb counselor, no joining the BSA, no SM filtering as the approved counselor list was there for all scouts to read. You taught scouts a little, developed some skills, had some fun.


Go back to that.


Buttta, buttta no YP. Yep optional, the MB counselor provides the expertise and we or parents go along to provide the YP (got to drive them anyway). That is one reason parents like the current MB colleges, there is perceived safety in numbers at those school/church venues.


KISMIF and the outside experts will return.


My $0.01




(This message has been edited by RememberSchiff)

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WEll, I talked to the DE just a little while ago and I printed out the MBC info/application sheet.


Figured I will start within my Co's troop at first to get the hang of it and then expand to the district. Then after some time getting comfortable with it, I'' work with council.



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Sound like to me, that you are the professional.



Years ago, I had passed my Level III firefighter certification. I was a volunteer, but passed the highest level of certification the state ( NC ) had to offer. I happened to be at a weekend training session where both volunter and paid ( not necessarily professional - mind you) firefighters were in attendance.


Well, this egotistical paid guy see' s my level II patches on my uniform shirt and goes to tell me that he was a "real" professional because he was paid to do it.


His chief overheard him, and stood the guy up real fast for everybody to see and said ( not an exact quote) :


"See this guy? He is a paid firefighter. Notice I did not say professional...just paid. He has a great job, but a less than stellar attitude, He is cocky, arrogant, and always walks around with his best friend - his ego.


Is he good at his job? Yes. Is he professional? Nope, not yet, but maybe some day.


Professional is not a pay scale or piece of paper. It is your attitude and the way in which you approach things and carry them out!"



So, seems to me Schiff, that you are more professional than the so called professionals who couldn't bear to those small details that were designed to ensure things go as they should....namely Youth protection and such.


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Hold on 'fish, I understand Schiff's point.


I tried to recruit a MBC from outside of scouting not too long ago. Great guy, good with kids, would be a real asset. Til he heard about all the stuff scouting expects him to do, just so kids can earn a badge. Turned him off. Outsiders to scouting may not always fully understand or buy the process. I also agree that the whole process is a mess in a lot of councils and we need more than just a bunch of scouters who are already in up to our eyeballs to do this.


BUT, Schiff, at this point in time we have so few MBCs who counsel outside their own troop that even having each of us counsel ONE badge for the whole council would be a significant improvement. And I agree with you that people should pick badges for which they actually know what they're talking about. But with 124 to choose from, there must be something!


By the way - I really want to encourage you to make your services available to the whole council. I promise you, your phone isn't going to ring off the hook, but that one kid in some other troop who really wants to do plumbing (or whatever) probably won't ever call you at all, if you're listed as "just for this troop" MBC.


Besides, having kids from multiple troops is actually fun. It gives you an insight into how different troops works and it builds your network of scouter friends, too.

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Nah, what I was saying 3aying is that I'd rather have Schiff than the so called "expert".


Schiff is humble in calling himself "less-qualified scouters (like me :) ) "



Actually, I'd say he is more than qualified because he makes the extra effort and commitment to do what needs to be done.


The expert who stops because of a tiny obstacle doesn't sound like an expert to me.



May not have come out right, but I was complimenting Schiff!

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Not to worry, it doesn't ring much. Maybe because council does not publish and distribute the list, maybe because I will not do merit badge universities, maybe because a SM directs scouts elsewhere, maybe the boys expect an express pass, maybe they expect a real subject expert (I do my best).


It's been years, maybe more than 10, since I have successfully recruited someone outside of scouting to be a MB counselor. And Council dropped him the following year as he "forgot" to renew, so he took the hint as this was BSA's gracious way of thanking him for his service. Seeyalater.


Some more points:


About a dozen years ago, there were 8 or more mbc at the local high school. Now ZERO, "I'd like too...but no, this is headache"


Why should teachers, policemen, nurses, fire chiefs...who regularly teach young people in community outreach, are parents themselves, been fingerprinted, background-checked already go through all that again. And please, their time is money, don't solicit them for FOS!


Compare the red-tape: BS MB counselor to Venture consultant


The challenge is not for me or another scouter to sign up to counsel a dozen more merit badges, that is neither a challenge nor a solution. The real challenge is to recruit another dozen new, outside experts as counselors. To do that, the merit badge process needs to be fixed.


Another $0.01(This message has been edited by RememberSchiff)

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RememberSchiff Bravo! That is it exactly. I had the local science teacher ready to Environmental Science and Geology. Fascinating guy who lives off the grid actually generates his own electricity. But the whole references, YP, etc turned him off. He has been teaching for 37 years. Has done all this, why do it again.


And FYI, someone who wants to harm a child will do so even if they have taken YP. In fact, they are the ones willing to take YP if it means access to children. YP is about covering someone's butt not protecting children. Ask me about the local priest who was committee chair who was just convicted of spanking little boys. Did YP for Scouts, Virtus at church, etc. It did not matter.


Lisabob you will be proud to know that I counsel several badges and do so council-wide. I have been asked to work on Communications with boys from another troop. However, I must say it was because I know a member of their committee through the council office. But it was great. I enjoyed meeting and talking to the boys.


If we want experts, we need to streamline the process while still protecting the boys and I agree that the protection will come from the parents and leaders. Truthfully, educating the boys to avoid potentially threatening situations is the best way to safeguard them.

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>>>>>I tried to recruit a MBC from outside of scouting not too long ago. Great guy, good with kids, would be a real asset. Til he heard about all the stuff scouting expects him to do, just so kids can earn a badge. Turned him off.

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Filledit out and listed:










I made a cover letter to go along . Pretty much lists what I wrot in my post with the experience I had in case somebody else see's an angle or connection I missed.


Will turn it in tommorrow.

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You guys talk about troop wide vs Council wide. We don't have council wide.. We only have troop wide vs district wide.


My son was trying to do a quickie MB to complete a 3rd palm before turning 18.. Found no one in our district, tried to contact 3 different neighboring district advancement chairs to see if they had anyone who did traffic saftey, finger printing or Fire Saftey.. Not a one got back to him even within a one month time period, so time ran out.. (Son is not someone to email twice, or phone twice though)


But, it is a nightmare to organize a district wide list, my husband is halfway through the process of cleaning up our districts list from a nightmare, but it is hard, and then cleaning up your records is one thing, the councils records is even harder. The person who does the data entry, swears he can add new people, and delete others, and the system seems to bring back old peop and delete the entries he made..


Don't know if this is true, the delete would have to be not a true delete, but an archive, or someone one restoring the database for deleted people to come back.. But, I have heard the same nightmare in other councils to give his statements some credit.. Besides he is meticulous about other things, I can't believe he can be accurate about everything but the MB recording..


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OK I have this question (though I know better, but still...)


If the database system council is using is truly as bad as all that, why in the world doesn't some bright light somewhere say

"You know, we're just going to keep the MBC list in an excel format!"


Seriously. It isn't as though there are not spreadsheets and databases out there that work, that are widely available, and that nearly everyone already knows how to use.



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