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Snave001

Membership Of More Than One Troop At A Time

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I have a multipart question. We have a large growing troop and I recently become an ASM. We have a scout who moved from his old troop to ours due to his parents divorce. His mother was an active committee member of the old troop and joined our committee as well, registering with dual membership of both troops. She is still active on the old troop committee because she didn't want to leave them short a committee member for the time being. They are still friends with many of the boys and leaders of the old troop and participate in activities with them, mostly service projects. This year my treasurer came to me asking about paying for merit badges he just earned while at summer camp with the other troop. My understanding is that a boy can have dual membership in a troop and crew but not in two troops. Here's my questions: Can the boy be a member of two troops at the same time? If yes, should our troop be paying for badges he earns while he is participating in the other troop activities? If no and the other SM signed off on the cards but the boy is not a member of that troop, does the SM signature count in BSA advancement's eyes? THANKS!!

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Lots of boys go in provisional status with other troops to camp, for a host of reasons.  I wouldn't even blink an eye.  Pay for the MBs.  It's less than $5.00 each, patch and card.  As far as advancement coordination goes, sounds to me like a friendly cup of coffee between two Scoutmasters is the path to success.

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First the easy part: no, a scout cannot be enrolled in two troops at the same time.

 

Now the almost as easy a part, if your troop traditionally pays for the cloth merit badges that signify what the scout has achieved then they should continue to do so.  Merit badges can be earned while participating in a troop's activities but they are not a troop function one way or another.  Scouts often have opportunities to work on and complete merit badges outside of troop activities.  They might complete requirements at Jamboree, or at Philmont, or at Council or District camporees, or even at, shudder, merit badge universities, or at other venues like programs with the local parks.

 

In my neck of the woods the local park service has some of the best organized merit badge counseling possible for things like Environmental Science, Mammal Study, etc.  The person running the program for the parks is a long time scouter and works with scouts all the time in and out of the park's schedule.  I strongly encourage my scouts to take advantage of these opportunities to work with other adults.

 

The point is that merit badges are not and should not be tied to only what a troop does.  Even with something like summer camp we sometimes have scouts from other units go to camp with us because of family vacation schedules, and we have scouts who camp with other troops for the same reason.   So for whatever reason your scout went to camp with another troop, maybe even made that a second week of camp, then you should recognize for whatever he achieved there just as if he achieved it when he happened to be with your troop.

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Camp fee doesn't pay for MBs. Troop dues and fundraising does. So, if the kid is paying dues to your troop and helping your fundraiser, this should be your troop's responsibility.

 

If the SM's have compared notes and are confident the kid actually did the requirements at camp. Signatures are not a problem. If the boy knows his stuff (e.g. comes back with an Indian Lore blue card and one of those homemade lawn darts), it's all good.

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Thank you very much for the replies. As I was writing the question I started thinking about how merit badges were not tied to the troop specifically. Boys earn lots of merit badges outside our troop activities with councelors from other areas as well as a couple local museums. I was a little worried about the blue card but that sounds like it can be easily resolved as well. Thanks again for putting my mind at ease. I want to make sure the boy gets credit for what he did.

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First the easy part: no, a scout cannot be enrolled in two troops at the same time.

 

 

 

Are you sure?  I've been told several times that a boy can be in two troops at the same time.  Do you have a link to an official statement on this?

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I kinda thought that with all the divorce situations today, a scout paid a $1 and could participate in two units.  I wasn't going to speak up because I wasn't sure.

 

I offered a few older scouts to come help with my troop start up, (no takers, not even those that were members of the CO).  I thought they could be registered even if it was only temporary.  The troop with the full fee would be the "home" troop.

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I kinda thought that with all the divorce situations today, a scout paid a $1 and could participate in two units.  I wasn't going to speak up because I wasn't sure.

 

I offered a few older scouts to come help with my troop start up, (no takers, not even those that were members of the CO).  I thought they could be registered even if it was only temporary.  The troop with the full fee would be the "home" troop.

Not even a $1 (that's the fee to transfer).

Multiples get coded as such gratis.

 

However, for troops it should be a good reason like splitting time between parents living some distance apart. Not because you like the canoe trips of Troop A and the bowling nights of Troop B. It's just as easy for Troop A to invite Troop B up the river (maybe for the additional cost of whatever is not covered by Troop A's dues) and spare us all the paperwork.

 

I tried to encourage boys from our troop to help a troop in their neighborhood start up. (That's how my troop got started back in the day.) Just doesn't seem to be in their mindset.

 

But yes, the council registrar can make things happen if it would truly help the boy and his parents, and the SM's are willing to make it work for everyone involved.

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Not even a $1 (that's the fee to transfer).

Multiples get coded as such gratis.

 

However, for troops it should be a good reason like splitting time between parents living some distance apart. Not because you like the canoe trips of Troop A and the bowling nights of Troop B. It's just as easy for Troop A to invite Troop B up the river (maybe for the additional cost of whatever is not covered by Troop A's dues) and spare us all the paperwork.

 

I tried to encourage boys from our troop to help a troop in their neighborhood start up. (That's how my troop got started back in the day.) Just doesn't seem to be in their mindset.

 

But yes, the council registrar can make things happen if it would truly help the boy and his parents, and the SM's are willing to make it work for everyone involved.

 

In my son's case it's that he's "supposed" to be a member of the church troop, but it sucks, so he is going to be in a traditional community troop as well.  

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Our registrar, who is usually very on top of the technical ins and outs of the scout systems, told me the system would not accept "m" or multiple for a scout in two troops.  I or she could be wrong. I thought it was as much system driven as policy.

 

You now have me curious to see if we were incorrect.  I'll ask.

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In my son's case it's that he's "supposed" to be a member of the church troop, but it sucks, so he is going to be in a traditional community troop as well.  

Yours is a situation where we scouters get together and work it out. On paper the boy would be in one of troop, but a welcome guest in another troop.

But, there's also no stopping a registrar from accepting his application as a multiple of a second troop.

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"It depends".....   He can be registered "OFFICIALLY" only in ONE Troop for BSA purposes.  If he transfers to a new troop in another Council , he will get a new registration number.  They seem to be Council specific.  All this will become very important if and when he applies for Eagle and all the badges and service hours and PORs need to be tracked. You don't want two registration numbers, trust me, I had to clean up that problem once. RULE:  Always use only ONE version of your name. Always John R. Jones, not Johnny Jones or JR  jones or...

That  does not prevent the Scout from participating with another Troop until he is sure he wants to be a fullfledged member there.  He can camp and hike and whatever with any Troop he and his parents desire.  The importance of communication between SMs then becomes important, and the subsequent transfer of his Scout records to the new Troop.

We  had a young man from Georgia come to attend a residential school  nearby and attend our Home Troop for a period. All his activity was transmitted to his home Troop in Georgia for his credit.

Venture Crews are often (not always) associated with specific Troops.  A Scout can belong in a Troop and a Crew. 

Edited by SSScout

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Scouts can register in multiple troops as long as they are in different councils.   We a Scout who moved out of state, joined a troop there but maintained his registrations.  He was a couple MBs and a project short of Eagle and wanted to earn it with our troop.  He earned the MBs through the other troop.  His project was approved through our troop and council but the project was conducted through the new troop.  His EBOR was through our troop and council -- we even did the BOR via Skype.

Edited by Twocubdad

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Dual membership is allowed in two troops--see the Guide to Advancement, section 6.0.0.4. We had a Scout registered in two troops in the same Council--it was perfectly fine. Advancement records and sign-offs need to be kept in just one of the troops, of course, or else chaos ensues.

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