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Who makes the call?

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OK after two pages here's what I'm getting from the discussion.

Scouts should make the call.

We should encourage (not require) scouts to take control over their advancement.

Parents, especially new parents or special needs parents can call first to give the MBC a heads up.


Here's what I've been doing as a SM.

Encourage boys to call, I advise parents that they should not call the MBC to make the appointment.

I developed a list of troop MBCs that cover most of the major MBs. This list has MBCs that I know are willing to work with our scouts. Most are not members of our troop but all have agreed to work with our scouts. I know they are active MBCs and are from our area.

Parents know that these MBCs are known by me and have worked with our scouts in the past. They can ask me or other parents about their experiences if they have concerns. Hopefully this will alleviate any concerns they have.





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Hmmmm..... close. I think it would need to be a VERY special case for the parent to call the MBC ex parte and give him a heads up.


What is perfectly reasonable is for the parent to coach the Scout on how to make the call. Speak clearly and directly into the phone. Know what you're going to say before you call. Let the counselor know you'll be bringing a buddy. Write down the details like the time and directions. Then rehearse it with him. That is totally appropriate.

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The troop list of actual valid merit badge councilors is a good idea.....


I know my son was frustrated when the SM would give him two names to call an either they didn't do it any more or it was only for their home troop.



So did you call the fellows 732 or met them at RT.



Parent or responsible adult should NEVER call for an able bodied scout.....Yes special needs, makes sense....

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Our Council has the District set up MBC lists, they are woefully out of date. It's not unusual for a scout to make 3 or 4 attempts before he can get one to take an appointment.


Basement, these are people who I know through scouting, members of our CO, or MBCs that my scouts have had success with and I've called and asked if they wouldn't mind if I add them. I've never met a MBC at RT and I don't attend them any longer anyway.

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Basement, thanks, I was just going off of the starting age of Boy Scouts. See, learn something new all the time on here.


Lisabob, great advise! One does have to be patient with the newcomers to scouting too!


blw2-Don't mind Basement and some of the other "old farts" (I say that in jest). They may come across as crusty old vets, but boy, in the few months that I have been on here, I have learned more than at any Roundtable or conference. Boys have to have independence in some form at some time. This year is going to be very tough for some of the original den members in my Bear Den because the parents stayed for EVERY Tiger and Wolf meeting. The Bears meet every week and the parents have to leave them with me and my ADL. We are volunteers, yet we go through testing, conferences, training, background checks and the list can go on. Why!? Well, for some of us our sons are in scouting, but for some, it is to show boys the awesomeness of nature, science (Yea STEM/NOVA so, excited!) and other things that just make scouting fun. We go through all the politics and games that everyone from the top leaders down to the parents play. Why do we stay!? BECAUSE SCOUTING IS FUN AND EXCITING and while the boys are doing that belt loop or merit badge, they actually might be learning something. That is my two cents.

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Suzi not sayin that the boys don't earn merit badges before first class.....My son earned probably 10 from two years of summer camp and doin somethings he was invited to by his friends before he was first class.


But his own initiative.....I doubt he would have earned one.....but heck thats dad talkin.




Maintaining the merit badge councilor list....That sounds like a job I could probably do on the district level....Might just give the advancement chair a call.


I could call 10 folks a night and in less than a month get it straightened out.

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I certainly would not be a chairman of anything while I was a SM. But there eventually comes a point when some of us have enough time and scars of wisdom to help hundreds, if not thousands, of scouts by taking a position at the district or council. Some adults who actually know what they are doing can make a big difference.



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Yea, I dropped off the district training team, which I really enjoyed, when I became SM to focus on my troop.

Basement, 10 calls a night, 9 messages left, 2 MBs call back, repeat ;(

Our District list has about 2,000 names on it and was last updated in 2010.

They tried to get everyone to submit a district MBC application in addition to the council application. It didn't work.

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