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jeanvaljean

unfortunately we have to walk away

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Some troops are just really strict on WHO does these MB classes.  My son's troop is very much on top of providing "Quality" MD Councilors for the boys.   

 

This is NOT a race to see how many one can receive right?  Rules at our troop, no Eagle required MB (except for Swimming) are allowed by anyone under 1st class.  Troop also looks down on Merit Badge colleges (puppy mills if you will) To ea there on. 

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This is NOT a race to see how many one can receive right?  Rules at our troop, no Eagle required MB (except for Swimming) are allowed by anyone under 1st class.  Troop also looks down on Merit Badge colleges (puppy mills if you will) To ea there on. 

 

How do they stop a Tenderfoot from taking First Aid at a local MB college?

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How do they stop a Tenderfoot from taking First Aid at a local MB college?

 

No signature from the SM.....?

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No signature from the SM.....?

 

Under what reason? If a certified counselor worked with the Scout there's no reason to turn the kid down.

 

I am no fan of MB colleges, but that's BS for an SM or troop to do. You can't tell a Scout they can't work on a MB that interests them. Might as well tell a kid you won't sign off on his rank because you think he's moving too fast.

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Granted it might be a stupid rule, but with a spot on the blue card for the SM's signature saying he's on board with scout taking the MB, it doesn't leave much wiggle room for discussion.  Unfortunately in this case, specific policy has been clearly defined....and yes, I think it's a stupid rule.

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We've had the discussion several times of taking the troop completely out of the mb process. Then it's just between the Scout and the counselor. But I think the fear of abuse and manipulation of the system motivates some kind of check on the process and the SM is the best person for that responsibility. Same reason patrols can't camp by themselves, adults have too many fears.

 

What does a a SM signature at the beginning of the process prove has been done anyway? The MB cards our council uses, or did use, doesn't even have place for a 2nd signature, so ew at least had that going for us.

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We've had the discussion several times of taking the troop completely out of the mb process. Then it's just between the Scout and the counselor. But I think the fear of abuse and manipulation of the system motivates some kind of check on the process and the SM is the best person for that responsibility. Same reason patrols can't camp by themselves, adults have too many fears.

 

What does a a SM signature at the beginning of the process prove has been done anyway? The MB cards our council uses, or did use, doesn't even have place for a 2nd signature, so ew at least had that going for us.

 

I think many units have that fear. I know we do.

 

Our SM does it by the book. He sits down with the Scout before he signs the blue card. He confirms that the MBC is registered with council and has current YPT. He talks to the Scout about his interest in the MB. He checks the Scout's history to see how many open MBs he may have. He reviews the buddy rule and no one-on-one contact rule (both with Scout and his parent). He makes a determination if a single MBC is teaching too many MBs (per the GTA). He then signs the card and the Scout is on his way.

 

Although he may not like the fact the Scout is going to an MB college that glosses over requirements and signs for completion, the SM can do nothing about it UNLESS the MBC violates the GTA (e.g., signs off on pre-reqs withouth validating, etc.). The SM lets both parent and Scout know that he is attending a course that is sub-par, but he does not (and cannot) forbid/prevent him from going.

 

Usually this works and the Scout finds another option. For some MBs there are no other options.

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I think many units have that fear. I know we do.

 

Our SM does it by the book. He sits down with the Scout before he signs the blue card. He confirms that the MBC is registered with council and has current YPT. He talks to the Scout about his interest in the MB. He checks the Scout's history to see how many open MBs he may have. He reviews the buddy rule and no one-on-one contact rule (both with Scout and his parent). He makes a determination if a single MBC is teaching too many MBs (per the GTA). He then signs the card and the Scout is on his way.

 

Although he may not like the fact the Scout is going to an MB college that glosses over requirements and signs for completion, the SM can do nothing about it UNLESS the MBC violates the GTA (e.g., signs off on pre-reqs withouth validating, etc.). The SM lets both parent and Scout know that he is attending a course that is sub-par, but he does not (and cannot) forbid/prevent him from going.

 

Usually this works and the Scout finds another option. For some MBs there are no other options.

This is where our styles are completely different. All I wanted to know was who the counselor was.  On an official level, I could care less about the scouts interest, his history or whatever. I'm more concerned that he is developing skills of initiating a polite call to the counselor and making a plan to meet for discussions on the subject. The scout wants to invest some of his time on a subject that interest him for some reason, that is good enough for me.

 

Honestly, if it weren't for the the required signature, I would have little knowledge of what the scouts was doing with merit badges. At least until a Scoutmaster conference and finding out in passing, which is more my style. Our troop program encourages scouts to make decisions based from their ambitions and dreams, then shown how to put those ambitions and dreams in action. Trust is a big part of that. Giving the independence to make those decisions without having to check-in with the Scoutmaster is to me a big part of that growth. I learn it on back end in casual friendly conversations. 

 

But I do understand adults today want to keep a close watch. I'm old school and I get that. 

 

Barry

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This is where our styles are completely different. All I wanted to know was who the counselor was.  On an official level, I could care less about the scouts interest, his history or whatever. I'm more concerned that he is developing skills of initiating a polite call to the counselor and making a plan to meet for discussions on the subject. The scout wants to invest some of his time on a subject that interest him for some reason, that is good enough for me.

 

Well, this process is what is laid out as the responsibility of the SM in the MB process. That's why our SM does it this way.

 

Honestly, if it weren't for the the required signature, I would have little knowledge of what the scouts was doing with merit badges. At least until a Scoutmaster conference and finding out in passing, which is more my style. Our troop program encourages scouts to make decisions based from their ambitions and dreams, then shown how to put those ambitions and dreams in action. Trust is a big part of that. Giving the independence to make those decisions without having to check-in with the Scoutmaster is to me a big part of that growth. I learn it on back end in casual friendly conversations.

We do this too. Our SM just goes that extra step to ensure their safety.

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I'm more concerned that he is developing skills of initiating a polite call to the counselor and making a plan to meet for discussions on the subject.

..

Our scouts struggle with this. They would rather email or signup online than speak face to face or call an adult MBC, even one known to them.

 

If our scouts email and receive no response, will they follow up with a another email or phone call? Unlikely. They mistype email addresses and wait weeks or longer before trying again. Same with wrong phone numbers. I'm waiting for the counselor to get back to me.

 

We have scouts CC all emails to their parents and SM and their informal addressing of adults by first names or abbreviations is frequent. :eek:  Maybe they regard email as txtng but with spellcheck?

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Well, this process is what is laid out as the responsibility of the SM in the MB process. That's why our SM does it this way.

Yep, us too.

 

 

We do this too. Our SM just goes that extra step to ensure their safety.

I don't believe there is a right or wrong between the two styles, it's just personal styles working within their environment. 

 

Barry

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Initiating a phone call to an adult has always been a struggle even in the days of rotary phones. Part of growing up is learning the skill and not avoiding that which is somewhat uncomfortable. Allowing scouts to just do online or email denies them a growth opportunity.

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Initiating a phone call to an adult has always been a struggle even in the days of rotary phones. Part of growing up is learning the skill and not avoiding that which is somewhat uncomfortable. Allowing scouts to just do online or email denies them a growth opportunity.

Agree 100 percent. Because of that fear, we work with all our new scouts on their telephone skills just to get them confidence in calling their first counselor. We also advice the parents to listen and guide them as well. This is a big fear for many (most) scouts, but we found that they pretty much overcome it by their third MB. 

 

It's and important skill because our scouts are also expected to make calls for setting camp reservations, asking for demonstrations and just plan asking for help. As has been said, if they can't get past that, they are stuck in the mud.

 

That being said, cell phones were just becoming common when I was the SM, I think what scouters are dealing with today is all that more challenging.

 

Barry

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Initiating a phone call to an adult has always been a struggle even in the days of rotary phones. Part of growing up is learning the skill and not avoiding that which is somewhat uncomfortable. Allowing scouts to just do online or email denies them a growth opportunity.

 

Grow up in a military household. You will learn how to answer a phone properly. ;)

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I have received phone calls from boys where unless there was some clue in the context of the muddled message, I would even know who I was talking to.

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