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NealOnWheels

Meeting with merit badge counselor

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At last nights troop meeting I was discussing the steps of earning a merit badge. When we talked about meeting with a counselor I mentioned that another person must go along with the scout. One of the scouts asked if he could meet the counselor in a public place without bringing someone else. I immediately said no. After thinking about it a while I decided to look into it. I found two references to it.

 

From "Introduction to Merit Badges", http://www.scouting.org/meritbadges.aspx

Use the Scout Buddy System.
Yo
u must have another person with you at each meeting with the merit badge counselor.
This person can be another Scout, your parents or guardian, a brother or sister or other relative, or a friend.

From the "Guide to Advancement 2014": http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/...geprogram.aspx

7.0.3.1 The Buddy System and Certifying Completion

A youth member must not meet one-on-one with an adult.Sessions with counselors must take place where others can view the interaction, or the Scout must have a buddy:a friend, parent, guardian, brother, sister, or other relativeâ€â€or better yet, another Scout working on the same badgeâ€â€along with him attending the session.

The first source supports my initial reaction but the second source sounds like it is open to what the scout suggests. What do you all think?

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I think the second section is a presumption that the "others who can view the interaction" are other Scouters/Scouts. If you met with a Scout at, say, Starbucks, and when he arrived and left you gave him a hug, it's not likely anyone would think twice about it. If it were on a campout or at a Troop meeting, however, everyone would recognize it as odd immediately.

 

It's easier and more fun for the Scout to have a buddy along to work on Merit Badges. Youth Protections guidelines are as much for your protection against false accusation as they are for the Scout.

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Never ask for a rule! :mad:

 

It does not say "where scouts and scouters can view the interaction" for a very good reason. It allows a counselor and scouts to meet, say, in a community coffee shop or at the counselor's place of business (if there are plenty of folk in view).

 

Tell your scout that he's right and you were being overly cautious. However, it is definitely more fun to do anything with a buddy, so encourage the boys to team up go with their friends (scout or not) to visit counselors.

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Never ask for a rule! :mad:.

 

LOL. I'll interpret this as ... Know the source of the rules so you can do your best by your scouts.

 

When it was obvious it would be a one-on-one situation, I've met with scouts out front of the public library at a table right where people walk by all day long.

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I asked the Advancement Team at Corporate, and I was told meeting in a public library was fine. That was the same aqnswer I had received from district and council advancement chairs. The language is being interpreted in light of its purpose.

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