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This isn't hard. The scout said he didn't do the requirements. Your records corroborate it. The blue card is fraudulent. Either the counselor was lax or the scout was deceptive.

Get on the horn with the counselor and ask if he/she remembers your scout. Maybe yes. Maybe the counselor doesn't know how to fill out a partial. In which case the completion signature is null and void. Or ...

Maybe the youth lied to the counselor about having done the course prequisites. If so, that youth is not a scout. (By definition. See Scout Law, point 1.) In which case the scout should be suspended from MB acquisition retroactively from the time of deception until he decides to actually be a scout and request a blue card for an honestly earned badge.

That should get the scout talking about exactly how he fulfilled the requirements.

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7 hours ago, qwazse said:

This isn't hard. The scout said he didn't do the requirements. Your records corroborate it. The blue card is fraudulent. Either the counselor was lax or the scout was deceptive.

Get on the horn with the counselor and ask if he/she remembers your scout. Maybe yes. Maybe the counselor doesn't know how to fill out a partial. In which case the completion signature is null and void. Or ...

Maybe the youth lied to the counselor about having done the course prequisites. If so, that youth is not a scout. (By definition. See Scout Law, point 1.) In which case the scout should be suspended from MB acquisition retroactively from the time of deception until he decides to actually be a scout and request a blue card for an honestly earned badge.

That should get the scout talking about exactly how he fulfilled the requirements.

I'd strongly tone down the rhetoric.  Lied?  Deceptive?  Fraudulent?  Not a scout?  Suspended?  We can posture in closed doors, but we don't interact with scouts or their families in those terms.  

The original poster did not write your assertion that the scout said he didn't do the requirements.  The original poster explicitly said the scout seems to think he earned it.  Yes, the scout could not answer some direct questions, but many youth shut down when confronted.   

IMHO, friendly open coversation is acceptable.  Calling the counselor and asking questions is acceptable.  But there is limited recourse if a real authorized MB counselor signed it and the counselor thinks it's done and the scout thinks it's done.  

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2 hours ago, fred8033 said:

But there is limited recourse if a real authorized MB counselor signed it and the counselor thinks it's done and the scout thinks it's done.  

Quite true, unless as stated in the Guide to Advancement: "if it remains clear under the circumstances that some or all of the requirements could not have been met, then the merit badge is not reported or awarded, and does not count toward advancement."

To me, this would be something like attending a one day MB workshop for Wilderness Survival and walking away with a completed blue card, despite there being requirements that could not possibly have been done in that single session, and knowing that the scout had not done anything related to the MB prior to attendance.

If however, the counselor states that they covered all of the bases, the fact that the scout cannot remember specifics, while concerning (particularly if relating to something like First Aid, E-Prep, etc.) would not by itself lead me to believe that he somehow cheated.  As several others have mentioned, some scouts do not do well with testing or being grilled.  Having spent the better part of 40 years in education, I see kids every day that have trouble test taking, or verbalizing; yet have not problem at all if I toss them a tablet and a box of Legos and say 'here, show me what kind of stop motion video you can make".

This is just one of many threads that shines light on the problem with MB colleges; while you will no doubt have scouts who attend and have done a lot of work prior to arriving, you will just as likely have as many who have never cracked the MB book.  In most cases, both types of scouts will leave with a signed blue card.  I wish that this were not the case, but it is what it is.

As a MB counselor, I see both types of scouts, and obviously much prefer the 'be prepared' types.  Many of those scouts get signed off with little trouble, while the type two ones require multiple meetings before I will sign off.  Some come back until they have satisfactorily completed all requirements, others look for someone who is willing to let them slide.  While I have those who come to me somewhat unprepared, and are told they have more work to do, I can honestly say that I cannot recall an instance where I felt one of those scouts was lying to me about what they have done.

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19 hours ago, my_three_sons said:

    ....  it's clear that he didn't complete all of the requirements.   ...

I'm sorry. I'm the leader who got the phone call from a Life scout whose committee chair said "no more" (to fraudulently completed badge work) and would not sign the boy's app. I asked, "Did you do the requirements as written?" His answer was "No." We stopped the deception there. Called it for what it was. Remained friends ever since.

So, I'm jaded. Sometimes boys lie. When they build the up the courage to report their actions and observations with brutal honesty, they become scouts.

It's a long hard road. But @my_three_sons's scout has time to prove himself to be first class (the concept, not the patch). Either defend the facts that he completed the reqs or face the facts and be trustworthy going forward.

 

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This highlights the failure of councils who see advancement as the goal, not as a method. Yes I blame councils as they push the "mb colleges" and "camp mbs" which do not follow requirements, or even the GTA. These events, a 3-hr sit/stare/signoff are an abomination to both methods.

mBs as advancement and the adult association methods go hand-in-hand. As a mB counselor I meet with scouts a minimum of twice. The first is "a scout learns", the second is "the scout is tested". The test does not take place simultaeneously with the learn. Some might query, "but what if the scout already knows it"? In which case I would respond, I have never had a scout know the content at greater depth or have more experience than I. Thus the first meeting still provides some level of learning and the scout benefits also from the adult association. -my2cents

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18 minutes ago, DuctTape said:

This highlights the failure of councils who see advancement as the goal, not as a method. Yes I blame councils as they push the "mb colleges" and "camp mbs" which do not follow requirements, or even the GTA. These events, a 3-hr sit/stare/signoff are an abomination to both methods.

Yep, and what makes mb colleges and camps even worse is that they set examples of bad habits. I noticed that scoutmasters in our council only signed blue cards after the scout completes work. The Advancement guide clearly says the signature is required before the scout starts work on the requirements. So, I polled the SMs in our district and found that not a single SM knew the guidelines. The were just doing what they learned from the colleges and camps. So, what other bad habits do outside unit sponsored activities teaching units? 

Barry

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Assuming good faith on the Scout's part, you also have another option:
 

Quote

 

4.2.1.2 The Scout Is Tested

The unit leader authorizes those who may test and pass the Scout on rank requirements. They might include the patrol leader, the senior patrol leader, the unit leader, an assistant unit leader, or another Scout. Merit badge counselors teach and test Scouts on requirements for merit badges.

Once a Scout has been tested and signed off by someone approved to do so, the requirement has been met. The unit leader is accountable for ensuring proper advancement procedures are followed. A part of this responsibility includes the careful selection and training of those who approve advancement. If a unit leader believes a Scout has not learned the subject matter for a requirement that has been signed off, he or she should see that opportunities are made available for the Scout to practice or teach the requirement. Thus the Scout may complete their learning and further develop the related skills.

 


Talk to the SPL about giving this Scout opportunities to plan and MC an upcoming court of honor, campfire program, or interfaith worship service.

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, MikeS72 said:

As a MB counselor, I see both types of scouts, and obviously much prefer the 'be prepared' types.  Many of those scouts get signed off with little trouble, while the type two ones require multiple meetings before I will sign off.  

I'm the opposite.  I always end up wondering why I'm a MB counselor if the scout comes to me with everything done and just a sign off ... then I'm not counseling or mentoring.  I'm just a pen.  

I prefer when I can work with the scout.  Share knowledge.  Share skill.  Share experiences.  In another words, if it's a cooking MB, I'd like to be there some of the time when they are cooking.  If it's a canoeing MB, I want to be canoeing with them.  I remember once doing the motor boating MB.  He had everything done and there was no value I could add.  He just needed a signature.  Nice kid.  Well prepared.  I added no value.

Edited by fred8033

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26 minutes ago, fred8033 said:

I'm the opposite.  I always end up wondering why I'm a MB counselor if the scout comes to me with everything done and just a sign off ... then I'm not counseling or mentoring.  I'm just a pen.  

I prefer when I can work with the scout.  Share knowledge.  Share skill.  Share experiences.  In another words, if it's a cooking MB, I'd like to be there some of the time when they are cooking.  If it's a canoeing MB, I want to be canoeing with them.  I remember once doing the motor boating MB.  He had everything done and there was no value I could add.  He just needed a signature.  Nice kid.  Well prepared.  I added no value.

Exactly. The mB counselor provides much more than just a "sign-off", the sessions are opportunities for the scout to benefit from the adult association method, to learn from an expert. If the scout is really into the topic and has done so much they are "ready to be signed off"  and are, then the scout is denied the opportunity to really benefit from associating with an adult who has a similar passion in the field.

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4 hours ago, Eagledad said:

Yep, and what makes mb colleges and camps even worse is ...

"some".  I've seen my scouts sometimes get incredibly great experiences with MB colleges and camps.  There is no single statement of what is good or bad.  IMHO, it's about the counselor enabling a great experience.  If it's power point or just a MB counselor signing a blue card, it does not reflect well on scouting.

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1 minute ago, fred8033 said:

"some".  I've seen my scouts sometimes get incredibly great experiences with MB colleges and camps.  There is no single statement of what is good or bad.  IMHO, it's about the counselor enabling a great experience.  If it's power point or just a MB counselor signing a blue card, it does not reflect well on scouting.

Certainly there are some. I posit those are the exceptions and not the rule, at least in my experience. The same is true for many mB counselors outside of the "college/camp" as you state. Hence why I put the blame on council/district as they do not ensure mB counselors are vetted, trained etc... and worse are complicit in organizing events which basically require the ignoring of requirements and deny scouts real opportunities.

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13 minutes ago, fred8033 said:

"some".  I've seen my scouts sometimes get incredibly great experiences with MB colleges and camps.  There is no single statement of what is good or bad.  IMHO, it's about the counselor enabling a great experience.  If it's power point or just a MB counselor signing a blue card, it does not reflect well on scouting.

We aren't talking about the same thing. I'm talking about ignoring National policies that set units into bad habits. When I was on the District committee, 75% of the troops in the district only used MB colleges and summer camps for advancement. That has nothing to do with the quality of counselors. That came directly from our MB College. 

Barry

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5 hours ago, fred8033 said:

I'm the opposite.  I always end up wondering why I'm a MB counselor if the scout comes to me with everything done and just a sign off ... then I'm not counseling or mentoring.  I'm just a pen.  

I prefer when I can work with the scout.  Share knowledge.  Share skill.  Share experiences.  In another words, if it's a cooking MB, I'd like to be there some of the time when they are cooking.  If it's a canoeing MB, I want to be canoeing with them.  I remember once doing the motor boating MB.  He had everything done and there was no value I could add.  He just needed a signature.  Nice kid.  Well prepared.  I added no value.

I also prefer to spend time with the scout, and it is rare for it to be just a hand me the blue card and get signed off, typically at least two and sometimes 3 or more meetings take place.  That being said, I am in a district that has a plethora of MB counselors, so most of the scouts I work with are in my own troop.  When they come to me for hiking, camping, cooking, etc., I have already been working with them all along.  We have spent time during and after a backpacking trek discussing the ins and outs of the MB, ie - you have packed these same items on multiple trips; have you ever actually used them?  If not, do you really need to be carrying the extra weight?  Does every individual need to carry their own stove, or can several scouts share one, and cut down a little more on the weight?  You may think that dropping a tent in favor of a hammock lightens your load, but have you compared the weight of your single person tent to the weight of the hammock, tree straps, under quilt, bug netting, rain fly, all put together?

We also offer MB's at our district roundtables, and the scouts who attend those session know that they will be very thorough and complete.  They also know that we do not sign a blue card just for being in the room.  Everyone participates.  I a requirement says 'discuss with your counselor' everyone contributes.  We just got home from roundtable, where I (as roundtable commissioner) had a Citizenship in the Community counselor conducting session 3 of 4, with one of the members of our county council speaking to and being questioned by the scouts.  In another room I had a group of scouts working on Scouting Heritage, where we had a robust and free wheeling discussion of the history and development of scouting worldwide and here in the U.S..  I will admit to being surprised when one of the scouts at roundtable asked me about having Animation MB offered; I responded that I would find a counselor and set it up.  I was quite surprised to find that our district only has one registered Animation counselor - Me!  We ended up with half a dozen scout earning the MB, and producing some really impressive animations!

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5 hours ago, DuctTape said:

If the scout is really into the topic and has done so much they are "ready to be signed off"  and are, then the scout is denied the opportunity to really benefit from associating with an adult who has a similar passion in the field.

As I mentioned earlier, most of my MB's are for scouts in my own troop, so we have been associating with each other all along the way.  I am also our district roundtable commissioner, and we offer MB's at most of our roundtables.  Tonight was session #3 of 4 for a group working on Citizenship in the Community.  The counselor has spent years developing the civics program taught in our state (I asked one of the scouts after session #1 how he liked it - he replied 'Man, that guy really knows his stuff!'  He will end up not only earning the MB, but I am sure will benefit in the classroom as well.

I had a group of scouts who spent the evening in a great discussion as a part of Scouting Heritage MB.  Several were so into scouting history that they stayed for almost an extra hour going through the large collection of uniforms, insignia, and books that I brought with me.  Plenty of adult association going on.

Yes, there are the ones who feel that they have everything done ahead of time, and just want a signature, but I often find that they are not a 'complete' as they may think they are.  In my Scouting Heritage group this evening, as we talked about the evolution of the BSA, I asked each of them how long we have had young ladies in scouting.  Each of them had the same answer, less than a year.  (Venturing is not big in our district, we currently have one chartered crew, and most folks do not realize they exist)  Imagine the look on their faces to learn that girls have been a part of our program since Exploring went co-ed 50 years ago!  Even the scout who does not think he needs more than a pen and blue card will usually leave having learned something new by the time we finish meeting.

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18 hours ago, DuctTape said:

Certainly there are some. I posit those are the exceptions and not the rule, at least in my experience. The same is true for many mB counselors outside of the "college/camp" as you state. Hence why I put the blame on council/district as they do not ensure mB counselors are vetted, trained etc... and worse are complicit in organizing events which basically require the ignoring of requirements and deny scouts real opportunities.

Absolutely.

There are 2 "worst practices" that I've seen council/district staff do:
1. Far too short time slots. 
2. "Double-up" merit badges --- you can't even adequately cover 1 MB in the inadequate time alotted....so let's have you cover *TWO*!

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