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MomScouter

Council Merit Badge Listings

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I was wondering if anyone else is experiencing the problem I am in getting an accurate and updated merit badge listing from the council. In our council each district publishes their own listing. I am told that once the MB counselor application is received, it is entered in the Council database with the individual listed as a MB counselor but not as being a counselor for anything specific. Then these applications are passed on to someone in each district who has to enter them again in a spreadsheet which lists the name, phone, address, and badge name. This seems to be the point at which things get lost.

 

I registered for several badges 9 months ago. Several others in our troop registered as well. I have been asking the DE for an updated listing during all this time and I have been assured time and again we are registered (there are 8 people with about 40 different badges). My concern is that some of these are EAGLE badges and I have been told time and again to make sure that everything is in order and legit for anything that goes on an Eagle application. Then I got the listing today and surprise! Only 1 of our counselors appear on the list!!

 

I have been requesting this listing for the entire 9 months, time and again, and DE told me, time and again, don't worry you and other in your troop are registered. My guess is we are registered with Council but just have not been entered on the district list.

 

How do other districts deal with this? Does every council use the same software? If so, why was this software not designed to produce MB listings easily, complete with the names of the badges for which one is qualified for? Our council has had one problem after another with 'the new software sent by National'. If there is in fact one software package used by all, I wonder who evaluated and tested it. Two years ago I remember asking for a pack roster listing and it took over 6 months for them to get me a copy.

 

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I have had EXACTLY the same problem as you. One of the things I finally requested was a copy of our approved merit badge counselor application. Took awhile but our DE got it to me. Now I have new merit badge counselors and we're going through exactly the same problem with getting the information as to whether they're on the list or not.

 

I'd love to hear how others have worked through this as well. If Council doesn't keep a list of who does what merit badges then how can they verify the merit badges for the Eagle rank application?

 

Another issue at our district (and probably council) is that once a merit badge counselor, always a merit badge counselor. No one at the district level is updating the list. One Scouter joked that there were dead people on our list. He might not be wrong. I know there are people on the list who have moved out of the area.

 

At the troop level I am trying to update our merit badge applications annually (like BSA says its supposed to be done) but that doesn't help us much since they seem to get lost at the council and/or district advancement committee.

 

I guess one solution would be for you to serve on the district Advancement Committee. :?

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I have thought of volunteering to update the list! My son is only 11 and when he first became a Boy Scout he wanted to work on the Sports MB. He called a counselor on the list and was told by the mans wife that he has not been doing this for 3 years!

 

I just don't understand why this has to be such a maintenance nightmare. It seems like it should be simple enough for me (or someone in our troop) to create a file of current approved counselors, then upload it to the council database, which in turn could easily provide updated district/council listings. (I am in I.T. and the inefficiencies I have heard about with the 'new software' just boggles my mind.)

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MomScouter, you sound like me! I'm also in IT and can't figure out why the listing of MB Counselors is so difficult. It isn't rocket science.

 

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As a counselor for Space Exploration I resent that comment, as it is Rocket Science :)

 

(LOL)(This message has been edited by OldGreyEagle)

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OGE,

 

ROFLOLOLOLOL

 

So can YOU figure out to get the councils and districts to have an up to date list of counselors? :)

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keeping up-to-date District Merit Badge Counselor lists is difficult. There are 119 merit badges and the MB counselor registrations must be renewed annually. You're right that ScoutNet, the new national data base, is not ready to do this. (it has so many bugs that even the Orkin Man couldn't fix it).

 

If you have the time and inclination, helping to build and maintain a Troop MB counselor list would no doubt be welcomed by the troop committee and scoutmaster. There are 2 forms required to be filled out by each MB counseor. A standard adult membership application (no joining fee) and a MB counselor form. On the MB form a counselor can select to only counsel to your troop, or to be available to any scout in the district. If they are willing to help district-wide you could notify the District advancement chair. I'm sure they would appreciate it.

Thanks for helping.

Bob

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Momscouter & sctmom,

 

I have NEVER heard of anyone related to scouts, (especially council office), who would refuse volunteer work. Sometimes as they say: "If you want something done right..." In this case it might help to do it yourself.

 

Years ago as Cubmaster of our local pack, it took 3 separate personal visits to council just to get them to change the name of the previous Cubmaster in their database.

 

Fortunately, our council office has improved. Good Luck!

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Bob White, I have built and maintained the troop listing of counselors, the problem is, the ones on our list do not show up on the district list (both the forms with all the correct signatures were completed and sent it). All I have been trying to determine is, are our counselors legit?

 

While I do not mind helping out to clean up some of this mess, I wonder if a better solution would be to petition National to get a more robust system that can handle the needs of the units!

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Unless the counselor checked that they would counsel any scout AND you notified the District Advancement Committee, it is unlikely that the counselor would appear on the District's list. is your counselor legit? probably yes. A follow-up call to your council office to verify they received the application would be a good idea. Also, keep copies of the paperwork you sent in.

Bob

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