Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
jeanvaljean

can I sign for my own son's work

Recommended Posts

Hello all,

 

I just took the training and added more MB to my counseling list. At the moment I am the only one at the troop for a merit badge, I have about 10 scouts signed up and my son is one of them. Obviously I don't give him any preferential treatment and I am usually harsher on him just because I set the bar higher along with my expectations of his work. During the training, the lady made it a point that I should not sign anything related to my son, because in her own words, in an audit that can be a conflict of interest etc. The problem, we don't have any other adult as a MB counselor for this badge. So what do I do? are the rules cut and dry on this? someone told me that since it is a group effort then it is OK to sign for my own son. Can you please shed some light to this dilema? thank you ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sometimes these warnings are overblown. If the SM approved you to counsel the boy, it should not be a problem.

Problems do arise when the same signature is on multiple blue cards for one boy.

Contact your district or council advancement chairman to find out what they really consider to be red flags.

 

If this is a real concern, just contact another counselor in your district. (Again your DAC should have a list.) Have your son meet with that person to complete the badge.

 

Really and truly, I found have the fun of earning MBs outside of camp was meeting scouters from other troops.

Edited by qwazse

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's the rule from the GTA.  701.4 "The National Council does not place a limit on the number of merit badges a youth may earn from one counselor. However, in situations where a Scout is earning a large number of badges from just one counselor, the unit leader is permitted to place a limit on the number of merit badges that may be earned from one counselor, as long as the same limit applies to all Scouts in the unit. Approved counselors may work with and pass any member, including their own son, ward, or relative. Nevertheless, we often teach young people the importance of broadening horizons. Scouts meeting with counselors beyond their families and beyond even their own units are doing that. They will benefit from the perspectives of many “teachers†and will learn more as a result. They should be encouraged to reach out."

 

In our unit we encourage scouts to seek out counselors that aren't their parents, and discourage parents from being counselors for their sons.  The exception is the situation you describe, where a group of scouts want to work on a merit badge and the counselor's son just happens to be one of the scouts in that group.  In that case why view it any differently than a SM with a scout in the troop.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello all,

 

I just took the training and added more MB to my counseling list. At the moment I am the only one at the troop for a merit badge, I have about 10 scouts signed up and my son is one of them. Obviously I don't give him any preferential treatment and I am usually harsher on him just because I set the bar higher along with my expectations of his work. During the training, the lady made it a point that I should not sign anything related to my son, because in her own words, in an audit that can be a conflict of interest etc. The problem, we don't have any other adult as a MB counselor for this badge. So what do I do? are the rules cut and dry on this? someone told me that since it is a group effort then it is OK to sign for my own son. Can you please shed some light to this dilema? thank you ...

 

Audit? Sounds like she has not read the GTA. If that doc does not bar you from signing then you can. There's no such thing as an "audit". 

 

I know small troops where the SM is also the MBC for most MBs. He signs for both. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello all,

 

I just took the training and added more MB to my counseling list. At the moment I am the only one at the troop for a merit badge, I have about 10 scouts signed up and my son is one of them. Obviously I don't give him any preferential treatment and I am usually harsher on him just because I set the bar higher along with my expectations of his work. During the training, the lady made it a point that I should not sign anything related to my son, because in her own words, in an audit that can be a conflict of interest etc. The problem, we don't have any other adult as a MB counselor for this badge. So what do I do? are the rules cut and dry on this? someone told me that since it is a group effort then it is OK to sign for my own son. Can you please shed some light to this dilema? thank you ...

No cut and dry rules on this.  The general rule in my troop is that if there's another MBC available, don't teach your son  However, if you're the only counselor who even has interest in a badge, then you have to be able to do it. Our rule is that if you're a MBC for your son, at least one other scout has to be involved.  Your 10 scouts would qualify in your troop.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Audit? Sounds like she has not read the GTA. If that doc does not bar you from signing then you can. There's no such thing as an "audit". 

 

I know small troops where the SM is also the MBC for most MBs. He signs for both. 

At least in my Council, the council never sees the blue cards.  All the council ever sees is the completed advancement reports. The only time blue cards are necessary is when a scout comes from a different district (or sometimes troop), and needs to prove they completed a merit badge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The rules I have adopted for myself and my son, since I am a MB counselor for several badges, is if I am offering it to the Troop in a group then he can be a part of it.  I don't do one on one with him.  And even w/ the group setting, I will only do that for one Eagle required.  So he got to join in w/ 20 guys for Personal Fitness, but had to find a different counselor for the Citizenships.  Works out because while I was the only PF we have several Cit counselors--in fact I counseled one of the other's sons and he counseled for mine.

 

I figure if a EBoR looks way into the weeds they will only see I did one ER MB and it was in a group setting with the whole program I run for it.  As far as Non ER MBs go, I don't see that it matters and he has so many beyond the 8 elective it just doesn't matter if someone takes issue If I were to have done a few of those (I may have done one or two of his elective where I am the only guy, like Coin Collecting or Aviation)

 

And these are the general "rules: the Troop follows for any of our counselors which we have worked out with the SM and CC (who are both MB counselors and have/had sons in the Troop)

Edited by wdfa89

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll do one or two one-on-one merit badges with my own son.  But the value is really working with others.  So if I can make the experience special, I'll work the merit badge with him.  I definitely don't want to do more than just a few badges with my own kid.  But that's me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Audit"?  LOL.  I'd bet a large % of MBCs are not currently certified for those badges per the "official" district/council records, since those records are out of date or incomplete - if they exist at all.

 

Agree with all the comments here.  In a class is the only circumstance where I would even think of signing my son's card.

 

Also completely agree the trend towards "in Troop" MB completions is a poor one.  Some parents are pushing to get signed up as MBCs since "it's so hard to find one" off the district list.  I thinking taking MBs outside of the Troop and outside of a summer camp (don't mention MB weekends!) is far superior.  Even "cutting a deal" with a leader in another Troop is better.  "I'll do this MB for Scouts in your Troop if you do this MB for Scouts in our Troop" is better.

 

Lastly, just last night a parent emailed me on being a MBC.  It is a fact in Scouting that 90% of Scouts likely have their non-Eagle required MBs completed for Eagle rank after just three or four years.  I encouraged this mom, who is not a leader so most of the boys don't know her, to sign up for a couple "different" non-Eagle badges.  In that case, if any boys did take a class through her it would be because they want to learn about the topic and would not be just checking off a box towards Eagle.  

 

Sadly, a formerly very strong Troop nearby had leader turnover and the new parents all signed up as MBCs for all the badges and turned into a smoothly run Merit Badge Factory & Eagle Mill.  Too bad the Scouts' development and growth is the loser here, but all those kids get "Eagle" for their college resumes but little else to show for it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have run into this. If their is another MBC then use them, at  least for sign offs. On occasion I have signed off, usually to my son's detriment (I was too hard on him). If there is any other judgment call (can I use 'X' to meet requirement 'Y') then I always get a second opinion. And I always get permission from the SM.

 

That all said, I'd rather him do the Merit Badge the right way with me (learning, exploring, taking his time) then signing up for a Council Merit Badge Academy slam-bam-thank-you-mam one day affair. 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I overhear a pure gem the other day. A parent was asking an SM during a summer camp prep briefing for Scouts and parents, "How many MBs can be earned in just one day?"

 

The SM replied, "None. You're an adult."

 

The parent then says, "No, I mean how many can my Scout earn in one day?"

 

The SM pointed to her son and said, "Ask him."

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I overhear a pure gem the other day. A parent was asking an SM during a summer camp prep briefing for Scouts and parents, "How many MBs can be earned in just one day?"

 

The SM replied, "None. You're an adult."

 

The parent then says, "No, I mean how many can my Scout earn in one day?"

 

The SM pointed to her son and said, "Ask him."

 

IMHO, you should drop that one here: https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/forums/topic/hornaday-badge-talking-son-awards/

 

It's from a mom trying to figure out when to step in vs. when to step back. The fact that she's asking the question is a good indication that she's trying. But, hers is a perfect topic for a story like yours!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IMHO, you should drop that one here: https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/forums/topic/hornaday-badge-talking-son-awards/

 

It's from a mom trying to figure out when to step in vs. when to step back. The fact that she's asking the question is a good indication that she's trying. But, hers is a perfect topic for a story like yours!

 

The fact she's doing all that work and focusing on something like the Hornaday Award shows she's likely a Grade A Helicopter Parent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The fact she's doing all that work and focusing on something like the Hornaday Award shows she's likely a Grade A Helicopter Parent.

Not wasting my time analyzing. From other (equally long) posts, I gather she's been told the boundaries, is trying to stick to them, but thinks her situation is unique. (Don't they all.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×