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christineka

merit badge counselor

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Some scouters get fed up with all of the "Byzantine bureaucracy." They get fed up of shelling out $ for pamphlets. I kind of agree. I would far prefer pamphlets that are low-budget, black-and-white books because that shows a good faith effort that BSA is trying to make scouting accessible to everybody. I'm not a big fan of worksheets, because ink and paper is expensive, and they could easily be produced for pennies on the dozen. So would it hurt the scout shop to have items that sell for a nickle? But they don't. So folks get fed up of MBs starting with a $3.50 purchase of a pamphlet, and chasing down adult applications, etc ...

 

But they they also miss the point of going outside of the troop for a resource, or calling somebody and maybe have them come and present their career/hobby to them, or maybe arranging a visit to a location related to a merit-badge. Scouting was never meant to be an insular, go-it-alone endeavor.

 

There are other missed opportunities. In this thread, the OP would like to be an MBC, and one troop basically shut the door on her. That's a shame. Because if one of those knuckle dragging boys would have said, "Mrs. C. would you like to council us on __ MB?" Maybe she would not be so apprehensive about the age difference between them and her son.

Have you bought paperback books/magazines lately? The price of MB pamphlets is reasonable, IMHO. The pamphlets aren't necessary. Instead of worksheets, you can print out a single sheet of paper that has just the requirements without all the extra blanks.

 

 

http://www.scouting.org/sitecore/content/Home/BoyScouts/AdvancementandAwards/MeritBadges/mb-CAMP.aspx

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Some scouters get fed up with all of the "Byzantine bureaucracy." They get fed up of shelling out $ for pamphlets. I kind of agree. I would far prefer pamphlets that are low-budget, black-and-white books because that shows a good faith effort that BSA is trying to make scouting accessible to everybody. I'm not a big fan of worksheets, because ink and paper is expensive, and they could easily be produced for pennies on the dozen. So would it hurt the scout shop to have items that sell for a nickle? But they don't. So folks get fed up of MBs starting with a $3.50 purchase of a pamphlet, and chasing down adult applications, etc ...

 

But they they also miss the point of going outside of the troop for a resource, or calling somebody and maybe have them come and present their career/hobby to them, or maybe arranging a visit to a location related to a merit-badge. Scouting was never meant to be an insular, go-it-alone endeavor.

 

There are other missed opportunities. In this thread, the OP would like to be an MBC, and one troop basically shut the door on her. That's a shame. Because if one of those knuckle dragging boys would have said, "Mrs. C. would you like to council us on __ MB?" Maybe she would not be so apprehensive about the age difference between them and her son.

So, you don't need either worksheets or the merit badge books? I am not particularly fond of worksheets.

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Also, I did become a merit badge counselor for two unpopular badges. I've just begun the process of applying for 5 more and was wondering what the use was. I think several of them would be more popular. (I have the form filled out- just need to scan and send to the district guy.)

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Some scouters get fed up with all of the "Byzantine bureaucracy." They get fed up of shelling out $ for pamphlets. I kind of agree. I would far prefer pamphlets that are low-budget, black-and-white books because that shows a good faith effort that BSA is trying to make scouting accessible to everybody. I'm not a big fan of worksheets, because ink and paper is expensive, and they could easily be produced for pennies on the dozen. So would it hurt the scout shop to have items that sell for a nickle? But they don't. So folks get fed up of MBs starting with a $3.50 purchase of a pamphlet, and chasing down adult applications, etc ...

 

But they they also miss the point of going outside of the troop for a resource, or calling somebody and maybe have them come and present their career/hobby to them, or maybe arranging a visit to a location related to a merit-badge. Scouting was never meant to be an insular, go-it-alone endeavor.

 

There are other missed opportunities. In this thread, the OP would like to be an MBC, and one troop basically shut the door on her. That's a shame. Because if one of those knuckle dragging boys would have said, "Mrs. C. would you like to council us on __ MB?" Maybe she would not be so apprehensive about the age difference between them and her son.

perdi,

 

I know how much stuff costs. A black-and-white cover costs less. Our best monographs in my field (statistics) are 2-color at best. Why? Because very little of value gets conveyed via color, and it is more important to ensure accessibility to members of the field with limited resources. If BSA wants to get back in touch with cost-conscious parents, they need to convey that with a show of minimalism in their publications.

 

Christine, as a counselor, you should get the book. The content is really designed to help boys who are new to the material. But, you may have a better book or magazine (or know of one in your local library), and you can suggest it. Point is, if you have the book, you will have an idea of how important it may be for the boy to have it. Worksheets are tangential to the boy earning the badge. They are just an organizational tool. Some boys really need them for some badges, but in most cases, they just get in the way. A notebook or tablet would do just as well.

 

Like Perdi said, knowing the current requirements is the main thing. Sometimes a boy will call you and say something like "I have a partial blue card and need to complete requirement 2c." Although you should always have him tell you the requirement in words, it's a good idea to have a reference, just to be sure you're both on the same page!

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Took a survey about the new digital merit badge books. Will be interested in seeing how they turn out.

 

Christine--if you want "business" as a merit badge counselor, choose some of the less common Eagle required badges. Our troop, for example, is in need of more Family Life counselors.

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Took a survey about the new digital merit badge books. Will be interested in seeing how they turn out.

 

Christine--if you want "business" as a merit badge counselor, choose some of the less common Eagle required badges. Our troop, for example, is in need of more Family Life counselors.

I didn't know what was needed for Eagle, but Family Life was one I chose. I figure as mother of a large family, I should know quite a bit about family meetings and responsibilities. (I also picked Genealogy, Music, Reading, and Safety. The others are Bugling and Traffic Safety, both badges I've decided are "unofficial requirements" for both of my sons.)

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Some scouters get fed up with all of the "Byzantine bureaucracy." They get fed up of shelling out $ for pamphlets. I kind of agree. I would far prefer pamphlets that are low-budget, black-and-white books because that shows a good faith effort that BSA is trying to make scouting accessible to everybody. I'm not a big fan of worksheets, because ink and paper is expensive, and they could easily be produced for pennies on the dozen. So would it hurt the scout shop to have items that sell for a nickle? But they don't. So folks get fed up of MBs starting with a $3.50 purchase of a pamphlet, and chasing down adult applications, etc ...

 

But they they also miss the point of going outside of the troop for a resource, or calling somebody and maybe have them come and present their career/hobby to them, or maybe arranging a visit to a location related to a merit-badge. Scouting was never meant to be an insular, go-it-alone endeavor.

 

There are other missed opportunities. In this thread, the OP would like to be an MBC, and one troop basically shut the door on her. That's a shame. Because if one of those knuckle dragging boys would have said, "Mrs. C. would you like to council us on __ MB?" Maybe she would not be so apprehensive about the age difference between them and her son.

Christineka: No, you do not need to buy the merit badge pamphlets, and any worksheets you find online are created by well-meaning people that are creating unofficial documentation. Its been 16 years since I have personally earned a merit badge, but I never used a worksheet for a single one. If you do become a merit badge counselor, your goal will be to work with the scouts in a way that gets through to them and allows them to understand the subject material. Worksheets might help some scouts, while others will benefit from different methods. You and the scouts work together towards the goal. Please take a look at the official description that I linked to above on BSA's own website when you get a chance. It really is a fantastic program when done right!

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Took a survey about the new digital merit badge books. Will be interested in seeing how they turn out.

 

Christine--if you want "business" as a merit badge counselor, choose some of the less common Eagle required badges. Our troop, for example, is in need of more Family Life counselors.

Bugling has been the least-earned badge nationally for the last few years. Family Life will probably be the source of most of your phone calls. I've been registered as a Safety MB Counselor for over 2 years now... still waiting for the first scout on that one!

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Every Merit Badge REQUIRES a district approved councilor to sign the completed Blue Card (Scout Record) and provide Merit Badge instruction on THAT Merit Badge .

 

Run, do not walk from this SM.

 

 

The SM councils the Scout before starting ANY badge and provides or suggest concilor contact info. The SM signs a portion of the card to acknowledge the Scouts is starting the badge (not granting permission).

 

Some require special certification like Rifle (NRA Rifle Instructor).

 

The SM is not automatically authorized to sign Merit Badge cards jut because he is a SM... there is a Merit Badge applicaton for adults who are vetted by the District Advancement chair.

 

Merit Badge Councilors are a District responsibility, not a SM one.

just an FYI rifle and shotgun don't require the MBC to be NRA certified as long as they use a range that has the NRA certified there. I'm registered to council those and go with a scout and 1 of his parents to a near-by range. The range is great it's the one I go to a couple times a month (weather permitting)

 

Though in saying this. All the boys I've worked with are ones that took the badge at camp but failed to qualify. And for our summer camp the shooting badges do fill up quick and prefer boys not re-take the full class. And while the camp range is open during free time they are often pushed through too fast to really try and get qualifying completed.

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Scout Nut I'm not sure where you get your misinformation, but it's way off. You would do well to remember the District and Council are merely 2nd line support for the Charter Orgs who own the program.

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Scout Nut I'm not sure where you get your misinformation, but it's way off. You would do well to remember the District and Council are merely 2nd line support for the Charter Orgs who own the program.
I think my District Advancement Chair would side with scoutnut. He said HQ checks "funny" things with blue cards (e.g. lot's of different MBs with the same signature, too many MBs where boy's and councilor's last name match).

 

It's not too far fetched that a registrar could check a signature that he/she didn't recognize to see, just for kicks, if the counselor ever registered with the BSA. I'm not saying it would happen (certainly not as overtaxed as many council staff are), but it could. However, I'd like to think that the boy who actually worked to do the badge would not loose credit because some adults couldn't see eye-to-eye on paperwork.

 

For purposes of advancement, council is "2nd line support" in much the same way a sports club is "2nd line support" by providing referees on game days, and conference-judges for those close calls, unruly parents, etc... You could work around them, but things are more smooth if you work with them.

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I hope this isn't hijacking too much.....

So how does one become a MBC?

What qualifies a person for a particular badge?

I might consider volunteering for our troop if it would help.

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I hope this isn't hijacking too much.....

So how does one become a MBC?

What qualifies a person for a particular badge?

I might consider volunteering for our troop if it would help.

Fill out a BSA adult app. No fee required. (I wonder, how much of our registration costs go into background checks on MBCs?) Technically you're a volunteer for the district. But, that doesn't mean you have to counsel out of anywhere besides your troop meeting place. A few of our ASMs arrange to meet boys from other troops during our meeting times. (Guaranteed youth protection.)

 

Generally, we're looking for folks for whom the badge is either your training, occupation, or hobby. When your application is approved, think of a presentation or activity that you could provide by way of introducing the subject, and let the SPL know you're available if the boys would like to schedule it. If yours subject is not required for Eagle, that how you get a few boys to contact you about earning the badge in the following months.

 

Now the SPL may not be able to fit you in any time soon, but he may announce

"Let's give a big hand for Mr. blw2, is now officially a counselor for ___!" Depending on the assertiveness of the boys in your troop, you might still get enough interest to occupy your time.

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Three "Big things": 1) FIll out the BSA Adult Application. 2) Fill out the Merit Badge Counselor Application (see http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/34405.pdf) 3) Complete Youth Protection Training, print out the certificate at the end.

 

Turn these three things in at your council service center, and wait.

 

More details: http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/boyscouts/guideformeritbadgecounselors.aspx

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Scout Nut I'm not sure where you get your misinformation, but it's way off. You would do well to remember the District and Council are merely 2nd line support for the Charter Orgs who own the program.
Olld_OX you would do well to remember that the Charter Orgs "own" the rights to have a unit that uses BSA's program. In other words, a CO "owns" the unit - not the program.

 

My "misinformation" came directly from BSA, the organization that DOES "own" the program.

 

BSA's 2013 Guide to Advancement has an entire chapter on the Merit Badge Program. Here is a link to that chapter in the online version of the Guide -

 

http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/GuideToAdvancement/TheMeritBadgeProgram.aspx

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