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Merit Badges must be earned in groups of 2?

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1)  Look up and contact your Scout District Advancement Chair.  This is a volunteer position that every Scout District should have.  If not that specifically, then the District Chair or District Commissioner, both of whom should be listed on your Council Website.  The District Advancement  Chair, if he/she is able and lucky, will have a Merit Badge Dean.  This person  (another volunteer Scouter!) is in charge of  keeping track of the available, certified, signed up MBCounselors in your District, and can connect with other Districts to refer to their MBCounselors.

2) Any adult can register as a MBCounselor. Anyone.  Ideally, they should be knowledgable and experienced in the topic, but this is not necessarily required.  Your Sailing Camp would profit by having a Sailing/Rowing/Canoeing MBCounselor or two on staff.  Any Scout could then refer to them for that MB. Nice ! 

3) It is easy to register as such, contact the local (to the camp !) Scout District.  The person fills out three pieces of paper, does about an hour and a half of online training at their own pace, and presto, a new MBCounselor ! No money involved,  it's free.  You are a MBCounselor forever, as long as you keep your Youth Protection up to date and counsel a few Scouts every so often. Oh, and email the MBDean of the District occasionally. 

4)  A MBCounselor can work with one Scout (with the appropriate YP Chaperoning), at their own appointment, or  with a group at a MBDay or MBCollege scheduled by the District/Council (depending on the appropriateness of the MB) or with any number on their own scheduled occasion.   Check with the District honchos. "It depends".

5)  Very often, MBs happen when they happen.  Certain ones just lend themselves to Summer Camp, for instance.   Somebody in the Troop will cry out for a "Chess" MBCounselor, an adult will step up, presto ! A chess tournament is scheduled thru the District !  Wunderbar ! 

6)  The Scoutmaster, as has been mentioned, may not limit a Scout's access to a registered MBCounselor.  Or limit the requirements. Or redefine the requirements.  If he/she has questions as to IF the Scout actually fulfilled the requirements of a MB, the SM must go thru the District Advancement Chair.  That question concerns the fitness of the MBCounselor, not the Scout.  A properly  signed Blue Card is all the Scout needs.

7) USUALLY (usually) it is not a good thing for the parent to be the MBCounselor. If the parent takes that responsibility, then be sure to Counsel many Scouts, not just "one".   Gain the reputation of being a good MBCounselor for all Scouts, yes? 

Oh yes...  buy the MBBook, or print out the PDF if you prefer, but do not depend on online worksheets. Answering those questions, filling out those blanks is NOT fulfilling the requirements. The worksheet  may help the Scout organize things, but they are NOT the MB.  Many home school folks use the MBBooks as middleschool curricula.   

Good scouting to you. See you on the trail !

Edited by SSScout

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15 hours ago, HashTagScouts said:

 It is/was for 2 deep reasons that you couldn't have a MBC meeting one-on-one with a youth.

Nope. It’s for the prohibition on 1-on-1 contact, different from 2-deep.

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16 hours ago, HashTagScouts said:

Straight from the BSA's website, current language states: "Scout Buddy System. You must have another person with you at each meeting with the merit badge counselor. This person can be your parent or legal guardian, or another registered adult."

I suspect therein lies the confusion. At a glance, buddy might sound like "2nd scout working on the same MB", but further review (like the above) clears it up.

Hopefully it's just a case of discussing this with the SM to clear up the rule for all involved.

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Hmm.  That's not quite the way most people think of the "buddy system" in scouting.  We've always used the term to mean 2 scouts doing something together.  *NEVER* before have I seen it defined as "parent or legal guardian or another registered adult".  That language introduces confusion and dilutes the simple power of the buddy system.

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16 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

Now the $64000 dollar question, and maybe @RichardB can give us clarification.

Are two registered adults over 21 required for a merit badge counseling per the G2SS, or do pre-October 1, 2018 rules allowing 2 Scouts, or a Scout and a unregistered parent, meet with a MBC acceptable still?

Or do you need 2 registered adults over 21 and 2 Scouts to do a MB session now?

 

 

https://www.scouting.org/health-and-safety/gss/gss01/#a

Specific to the question:  

Adult Supervision

Two registered adult leaders 21 years of age or over are required at all Scouting activities, including meetings. There must be a registered female adult leader 21 years of age or over in every unit serving females. A registered female adult leader 21 years of age or over must be present for any activity involving female youth. Notwithstanding the minimum leader requirements, age- and program-appropriate supervision must always be provided. (Youth Protection and Barriers to Abuse FAQs)

Two youth, need two 21+ adults leaders.    Note the FAQ for single scout meeting with MBC.

Adult Supervision

Q:  The Barriers to Abuse say that there must be two registered adults present for all Scouting activities and meetings.  Does that include merit badge counseling? Fund-raising events?

A. Yes. However, the parent or legal guardian of the Scout may serve as the second adult. This parent or legal guardian does not have to be a registered leader.

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1 hour ago, RichardB said:

https://www.scouting.org/health-and-safety/gss/gss01/#a

Specific to the question:  

Adult Supervision

Two registered adult leaders 21 years of age or over are required at all Scouting activities, including meetings. There must be a registered female adult leader 21 years of age or over in every unit serving females. A registered female adult leader 21 years of age or over must be present for any activity involving female youth. Notwithstanding the minimum leader requirements, age- and program-appropriate supervision must always be provided. (Youth Protection and Barriers to Abuse FAQs)

Two youth, need two 21+ adults leaders.    Note the FAQ for single scout meeting with MBC.

Adult Supervision

Q:  The Barriers to Abuse say that there must be two registered adults present for all Scouting activities and meetings.  Does that include merit badge counseling? Fund-raising events?

A. Yes. However, the parent or legal guardian of the Scout may serve as the second adult. This parent or legal guardian does not have to be a registered leader.

Thank you. 2 adults over 21. Parent is ok  only for MB couseling.

 

One more question, what if the MBC is 18 - 20 years old, will 2 adults over 21 still be needed?

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1 hour ago, RichardB said:

https://www.scouting.org/health-and-safety/gss/gss01/#a

Specific to the question:  

Adult Supervision

Two registered adult leaders 21 years of age or over are required at all Scouting activities, including meetings. There must be a registered female adult leader 21 years of age or over in every unit serving females. A registered female adult leader 21 years of age or over must be present for any activity involving female youth. Notwithstanding the minimum leader requirements, age- and program-appropriate supervision must always be provided. (Youth Protection and Barriers to Abuse FAQs)

Two youth, need two 21+ adults leaders.    Note the FAQ for single scout meeting with MBC.

Adult Supervision

Q:  The Barriers to Abuse say that there must be two registered adults present for all Scouting activities and meetings.  Does that include merit badge counseling? Fund-raising events?

A. Yes. However, the parent or legal guardian of the Scout may serve as the second adult. This parent or legal guardian does not have to be a registered leader.

For all the infinite good that can be attributed to the BSA, here is where I roll my eyes.  In all instances, in any material being published- SAY EXPLICILTY WHAT YOU MEAN, and then those of us out here trying to make this work won't be confused :)   If in the first part you spelled out "21 years of age or over", spell that out every time.  I believe what that second part is supposed to say is:

Adult Supervision

Q:  The Barriers to Abuse say that there must be two registered adults 21 years of age or over present for all Scouting activities and meetings.  Does that include merit badge counseling? Fund-raising events?

 

Now, let the debate commence!

 

Edited by HashTagScouts

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Some observations here:

  • YPT is a huge concern and often not well understood. The being said, my take is that for a MB session you must have two adults over 21. One of them must be a registered adult, the other can either be registered or the parent/guardian.
  • Review the one on one requirements regularly. But really I don't see a reason for this to happen in a MB session.
  • I would encourage having a discussion with the SM. But limit said discussion to something that is meaningful and constructive.
  • Unless you live in an area where the next troop is a long distance away, fighting with the SM is likely not worth it. Find another troop where your scout can grow and you can help and be happy.

Now specifically with your questions on the two merit badges. See if the sailing club has a MB counselor. If not, they may be willing to invest the couple hours it would take to become one. If not, then see if you can find a counselor who will work with you. For hiking, it depends on the counselor. Personally, I would allow such a hike assuming the scout meets all requirements in the process. After the hike, I would want the scout to tell me about the hike and be convincing that he/she did the requirement. A scout is trustworthy, and mom and dad saying so isn't the way of this scouter. It is have a discussion and the scout normally finds the right path without parental help.

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Posted (edited)

Summary of comments

Troopmaster ≡ Scoutmaster (correct term).   The Scoutmaster is in charge of Advancement in the troop.  FYI, Troopmaster is a software program.

Merit Badge Counselors are not allowed to have one-on-one contact with Scouts (unless they are the legal guardian of that Scout) therefore the "at least two Scouts" rule which you may have conflated with "two merit badges."

One does not need two adults to counsel merit badges.   There does need to be two-deep leadership for outings.   So if an outing is used to meet a merit badge requirement, two-deep leadership is required. 

 

 

 

Edited by acco40

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