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Scoutmasters as Merit Badge Counselors?

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43 minutes ago, Hawkwin said:

That is an interesting restriction in light of the explicit allowance that states a scout may work with any MBC of their choice in the prior sentence. How to square that circle?

"Lacking agreement, the Scout must be allowed to work with the counselor of his or her choice, so long as the counselor is registered and has been approved by the council advancement committee."

I could see this as a potential issue where a parent or guardian is a MBC and assists their scout with multiple MBs. Seems like in such a situation, it would be incumbent on the troop to find the scout an alternative which is not often easy.


This isn’t new, scouts have used family members since the program started. Where there is a way, there is a will. Discussing the relationship with the family requires a delicate approach.


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16 hours ago, Eagledad said:

This isn’t new, scouts have used family members since the program started.

Did not suggest it was new. I was referring to the fact that the verbiage of the GBA sets up a potential conflict with no clear resolution. "Scouts must be allowed" and  "leader is permitted to place a limit..." Seems like there should be some clarification as to final authority to reduce the need for have discussions that would otherwise require a delicate approach.

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On 1/15/2020 at 3:22 PM, RainShine said:

I've been told twice recently in my troop that Scoutmasters are disallowed from being merit badge counselors. I think these adults mean well but are mistaken. There could certainly be an argument to made against the practice but in fact I bet it happens all the time, like, constantly.

 “For example, Scoutmasters must register as merit badge counselors and be approved for any badge they wish to counsel or sign off in their troop.” https://www.scouting.org/resources/guide-to-advancement/the-merit-badge-program/  

“Can’t Scoutmasters approve badges within their troop? They can, but only if they’re also merit badge counselors.”   https://scoutingmagazine.org/issues/1009/d-advance.html  

We are launching a program that will be awesome and just happens to fulfill a merit badges' requirements. The Scouts may as well pick the MB along the path, since we're going that way anyway.

If I'm wrong, I'm wrong but I think I'm right. Please advise.

What Scoutmaster other than a micromanaging egomaniac wants more stuff on his plate?

A Scoutmaster’s duty is to his unit, his SPL, and his PLC.  Unless he has a truly unique skill (he’s the only civil engineer in a rural district), let others do the counseling. 

You can find this philosophy throughout the Scoutmaster’s Handbook. 

Besides, just like parents, MB Counseling is as much about the Adult Association Method as it is about Advancement. Youth need a broad exposure to the ways of adults. We have seven years before some of them are out the door and on their own. 

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