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christineka

Another mb question

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Just wanted to add one more thing.

 

Your scoutmaster's actions are pretty standard. Many of us are very sensitive to parents sheltering their kid or being the driving force.

 

I would like to point out, that despite the fact that I am here, asking questions, I am not one of those moms that baby's my boy or pushes him to do things he does not want to do (other than the usual stuff that moms remind their kids to do.) I do not follow my kid around to campouts or plan his menus for him or do his merit badges. I won't even call his counselors for him. (Unlike some other parents, who have brought the boy to me and done all the talking for arranging to meet me for counseling.) I am a believer in my son earning merit on his own.

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My apologies. I did not mean to imply you were. I just wanted to communicate that it is a sensitive area because we've had so many parents that do try to step in.

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I would like to point out, that despite the fact that I am here, asking questions, I am not one of those moms that baby's my boy or pushes him to do things he does not want to do (other than the usual stuff that moms remind their kids to do.)

 

I'm certain there are multiple reasons for these regulations but the one I hear about the most is the concern of a parent signing off on things without any verification. A Boy shooting up the ranks because mom and/or dad want whats best for their son and unintentionally enable him rather than support him can be detrimental the his program and the troops in general.

 

Similar but different is the household where mom and dad are trying their best but the zoo is a ZOO, so expectations are lower in order to manage other challenges in the home...as in "It's good enough for government work." This too is detremintal to the Boy's development because he will hit obstacles later on when side by side with others and the knowledge or skills are not equal.

 

BUT another reason, is that sometimes parents want what's best and hold higher expectations for their son which comes out as overly critical behavior. This can stress the Boy but push him ahead, or it can stress the Boy and shove his nose to the ground.

 

I don't know the SM so I can't say which of these are the more likely reason for his concerns and as such his request for the Boy to start changing it up a bit. He may feel mom is overly critical, or not critical enough. For all that the Boy himself might think mom is overly critical or not critical enough for his own needs and may have discussed it with the SM himself.

 

So to christineka I would suggest you talk with your son about the pro and con's of continuing with you as a MB counselor for the full 7 or 8 badges you are allowed. Then if your son feels that the pro's outweigh the cons, as a concerned mother you should approach the SM and ask his reasoning's, share with him you and your sons own discussion, and decide if the change up needs to happen yet or not.

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True. As a former den leader and Webelos leader, I only had experience with the parents, who wanted the boy to earn as much as possible, by doing as little as possible. The one family now has their 11 year old doing double-duty at scouts (going to the 11 year old meeting as well as the 12+ meeting) so that he can earn more badges and move more swiftly through the ranks. The webelos leader before me had that attitude as well and never read the book- only used summary sheets and work sheets, which were lacking and slacking in the requirements, so the boys just older than mine have had that experience as well. The kid, who came to me yesterday for counseling really didn't seem to want to participate in the discussion at all. I wonder if he's ever worked on a merit badge outside of the troop meeting. (He only came because he forgot to go last week.)

 

I subscribe to having the boys do what they are supposed to- no more, no less. I'm a rule follower, but still learning about all this scout stuff.

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I have no doubt that you are doing your son a great service with no intention of abusing the system. Many folks add additional rules and policies to prevent abuses they fear could happen, or has happened in the past. There is another discussion where many forum members feel the SM should not be a MB counselor for scouts in SM’s troop. It is not a BSA rule, but some feel the rule is needed to prevent abuse.

 

For some of us, me included, the experience of earning the badge is just as important, if not more important, than the badge itself. The BSA recommends a process for each scout to follow that goes something along the lines of requesting a MB Counselor list form the SM, select a counselor, communicate with that counselor to set up a schedule for a meeting, get the counselors personal information to fill out the MB card, and present the MB card to the SM to for a signature. It is a pretty complicated process for most 10 and 11 year olds and requires they practice some communication skills. But they usually have it mastered by their 3rd badge. I would hate for a scout to miss out on some or all of that process because those skills are used a lot during their scouting experience. That is just one example of why the experience is important, there are many others.

 

We have had scouts transfer from other programs who had the opposite experience. The adults in their troops performed all those actions I listed and the scout never even saw his cards until his Eagle BOR. For many of us, the process is important for scouts growth and maturity. Many leaders don’t see it that way. That is the reason for some of the replies that you are seeing.

 

Barry

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Christineka ... I'm a rules person too ... in that, it is very important to know the rules so that you can better understand purpose, expectations and flexibility. I very much try to support the scout at every opportunity and let the rules and requirements be the bad guy.

 

I agree that the MB "process" is as important as the "MB". But even I confess to prompting my own sons to hand in their blue cards or ask for one or to make progress.

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My son's scout leader told him that he could only do a limited number of merit badges with one counselor before he needed to take a break and use other counselors. Is that a real regulation? Our district says 8 merit badges total per counselor' date=' so it's not a whole lot before you'd have to move on anyway. Reason I ask, is that my son's only done 2and close to a 3rd (He still has some bugle calls left to learn to play well enough to pass off.) of the merit badges that I'm counselor for and his leader said he had to go to other counselors. [/quote']

 

Unless you are the only counselor for the badges, it's probably better not to counsel your own son. I have done it--I'm the only troop counselor in certain badges, but to make it fair, I only counsel my sons' badges if I have at least one other scout working on the same badge.

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Why you would want to do seven merit badges as counselor for your son is mystifying. Don't you want him to have the fullest experience with OTHER qualified persons? I can see you doing the 'Family Life' mb with him but why anything else? Are there no other qualified counselors?

 

In my case, I'm the only troop counselor for Environmental Science and Cooking. For that reason, I counseled my sons on those badges. In the case of a few other badges that I counsel that they used other counselors for, I wish that I could have been their counselor--the other counselors aren't as strict as I am.

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Unless you are the only counselor for the badges, it's probably better not to counsel your own son. I have done it--I'm the only troop counselor in certain badges, but to make it fair, I only counsel my sons' badges if I have at least one other scout working on the same badge.

 

 

The state of merit badge counselors in my area is pretty pitiful. Most of them are not registered and so it's hard to figure out who is a counselor for what. I have been told by scoutmasters that you don't even need a counselor for most badges- just fill out the workbook and the scoutmaster can sign you off. I know that's not how it's supposed to be, but it happens a lot.

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Christineka: I'm not sure if someone provided this link to you previously, but you and your Troop's SM need to read the Guide to Advancement: http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/33088.pdf It is hard to argue with the rulebook. The top of page 46 provides, "There are no exceptions. For example, Scoutmasters must be approved for any merit badge they wish to counsel or sign off on in their Troop," Doing otherwise may jeopardize the boys advancement. What would happen if a boy doesn't get credit for an Eagle required merit badge because the SM isn't registered as a counselor - and this is found out after the scout's 18th birthday? Even more so, the SM is doing the scouts a disservice because he may not have expertise in those merit badges and it sounds like he isn't counseling but just checking off that they did the worksheet. Also, call your council and ask for the District or Council merit badge counselor list. They will have one and they should provide it to you. If they ask you questions, explain your situation. Finally, consider volunteering to be your Troop's advancement chair. It sounds like they need you. You are thinking the right way - advancement means learning and doing (both substantively and procedurally) - not just checking a box on a form. BSA needs more people like you.

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Christineka: I'm not sure if someone provided this link to you previously' date=' but you and your Troop's SM need to read the Guide to Advancement: http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/33088.pdf It is hard to argue with the rulebook. The top of page 46 provides, "There are no exceptions. For example, Scoutmasters must be approved for any merit badge they wish to counsel or sign off on in their Troop," Doing otherwise may jeopardize the boys advancement. What would happen if a boy doesn't get credit for an Eagle required merit badge because the SM isn't registered as a counselor - and this is found out after the scout's 18th birthday? Even more so, the SM is doing the scouts a disservice because he may not have expertise in those merit badges and it sounds like he isn't counseling but just checking off that they did the worksheet. Also, call your council and ask for the District or Council merit badge counselor list. They will have one and they should provide it to you. If they ask you questions, explain your situation. Finally, consider volunteering to be your Troop's advancement chair. It sounds like they need you. You are thinking the right way - advancement means learning and doing (both substantively and procedurally) - not just checking a box on a form. BSA needs more people like you.[/quote']

 

Not very likely that the council would ever know who the MB counselor is for a particular scout's MBs. While we follow the district approved counselor rule in our troop, the council/district does nothing to enforce it. They never see the blue card or know who signed off on the merit badge. The only thing the Council sees is the advancement report.

 

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... Doing otherwise may jeopardize the boys advancement. What would happen if a boy doesn't get credit for an Eagle required merit badge because the SM isn't registered as a counselor - and this is found out after the scout's 18th birthday? ...

 

There's no need to add extra drama to the whole affair. Nobody's gonna deny advancement because some adult didn't complete his/her registration paperwork. What will happen (and is happening) is adults who contact youth will be lax on youth protection, which will leave the door open for accusations to be made.

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I'm not trying to create extra drama and I'll readily admit I don't have a clue what our Council sees for advancement or what our Council reviews before granting Eagle. In our District becoming a MB counselor requires some showing of expertise - especially for Eagle Required MBs. That's really the bigger issue - having the boys being counseled by someone (the SM) who does not have any real expertise in the subject area. As for youth protection, hopefully the SM has taken that training and follows those guidelines.

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When I hear these stories about councils that can't even provide basic functions like MBC lists it really makes me wonder if they deserve to be councils. I am in one of the big ones so I realize we have more resources than the smaller ones, but seriously how hard is it to maintain a web based MBC list? This is intro level web programming stuff any college MIS major could do. Our council requires every MBC to reregister online every year verifying current contact info, otherwise you are dropped. I will admit the online list is open to all against GTA recommendations.

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When I hear these stories about councils that can't even provide basic functions like MBC lists it really makes me wonder if they deserve to be councils. I am in one of the big ones so I realize we have more resources than the smaller ones' date=' but seriously how hard is it to maintain a web based MBC list? This is intro level web programming stuff any college MIS major could do. Our council requires every MBC to reregister online every year verifying current contact info, otherwise you are dropped. I will admit the online list is open to all against GTA recommendations.[/quote']

 

 

They do have such a list- of registered merit badge counselors. There are two of us (unless new people have registered in the past couple months) . There isn't a list of non-registered merit badge counselors, which is why it's very hard to figure out who does what.

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