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Online Merit badge counselors

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, qwazse said:

IMHO, we are thinking about this wrongly.

The goal should not be doing only the MBs that you can complete during confinement. Rather, the goal should be learning what you and your team-mates are doing, and coming along side them to make their effort truly epic. This may mean you start a badge and hit a road block. No worries, that's what partials are for. Then you conference with your patrol, and line up a weekend or two to do the "do" requirements that imply some necessary social proximity.

 

Totally concur - it is OK to have partials.  Because when the social distancing ends, and it will, the scouts will be able to get out and complete the requirements they need to accomplish physically or in person.  Get the mundane or "talking"portions of advancement or merit badges done now.  We all have the time.  Lets absolutely not do that when we can all meet physically and get out and hike/camp/climb/swim/etc.  Well, maybe a short safety refresher.....

Perfect time to work on parts of CitNation, CitWorld.  Not to develop ways around them, but work on the parts of MB, like family life,  that can be accomplished now, and the rest will be done in due time. 

 

Edited by Navybone

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Our position for the past two weeks was to give everyone a break as we adjust to our new realities, whether it parents working from home that have not ever done that, to schools being relegated to online, etc.  We let scouting not be on their priority list at this point, just gave them encouragement that if they had partials they could work on, they can feel free to do so.  Going into next week, we will have a virtual meeting, but mostly for the scouts and/or parents to socialize for a bit, and ask questions on who the right person to help them with X MB is, which of our older scouts is available to FaceTime or Skype to go over a rank requirement, etc.  I am going to offer a virtual Family Life MB session, as that one is 90% an at home MB to begin with, and where it involves helping their family out with projects, those are going to happen with the weather change anyway so it's a good usage of their time for all the kids at any age to start to work on.   I have voiced my concerns on liberalizing requirements on any badge- life will resume its course in time, so lets not get sloppy right now was basically my message.  When the requirement says "tour", and there is a very credible and complete virtual experience, I can agree the virtual can be a substitute. We had a RT commissioner post something on FB last week that this is a great time to get Scouts to work on Public Health MB- and, being both myself and the SM are counselors for it, we both pointed out that requirement 5 is a "visit", which means in person not virtual, so scouts will not be able to complete that MB during this time, so great if people want to offer it, just don't set expectations to the point that anyone is going to complete it right now. 

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I worked with a scout last night on Camping MB from another part in the state.  got about 1/2 way through it and She has attended Nayle.  So it isn't quick but it is worthwhile.  

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3 hours ago, HashTagScouts said:

... we both pointed out that requirement 5 is a "visit", which means in person not virtual, so scouts will not be able to complete that MB during this time, so great if people want to offer it, just don't set expectations to the point that anyone is going to complete it right now. 

I concur about visiting a facility. If the badge wanted to accept virtual tours, requirement 5 could have been worded like requirement 7 (which allows website work). That said, right now would be a very good time to visit a food handling facility. If the scout's family member run's a restaurant, there is nothing else going on. He/she's the least risk to everyone, and the family member might need someone to help check the freezers etc ...

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Posted (edited)

I don't think it's a good idea to have youth in a food establishment. They are trying to hang on with takeout orders, and food safety is paramount. No one other than essential and trained personnel should be on site. 

Right now is a perfect time to work on Bird Study. We're in the middle of spring migration. Most people live along a fly way. The lack of foliage right now and for the next couple weeks in most parts of the country means that many species are more easily viewed. Given how migration works, even the most urban setting can wind up with an amazing variety of species between now and May. Go on Cornell or Audubon sites and get your scouts birding. It can be done from the window. 

Edited by yknot
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15 hours ago, yknot said:

I don't think it's a good idea to have youth in a food establishment. They are trying to hang on with takeout orders, and food safety is paramount. No one other than essential and trained personnel should be on site. ...

Some scouts are essential and trained. They just haven't put 2-and-2 together to realize that they could score a MB. That's what counseling does. Also, restaurants in college ghost towns are shuttered. Take-out just won't fly. Otherwise, your point is well-taken.

But, you are right about Bird Study. That should definitely be at the top of the list. We have a counselor in our troop. I'm gonna drop him a line.

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On 3/25/2020 at 11:42 AM, clemlaw said:

In my area, there are hundreds of places that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, so almost 100% of Scouts will have been to one recently.   

I totaly agree. its good to spend some time talking about this with a scout because I have always found a place that they have been that qualifies. This is why this badge can be done from home while in lock down.

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3 hours ago, TMSM said:

I totaly agree. its good to spend some time talking about this with a scout because I have always found a place that they have been that qualifies. This is why this badge can be done from home while in lock down.


I also agree.  There are lots of places listed as National Historic Landmarks or on the National Register of Historic Places.  As long as the Scout visited one of them after joining Boy Scouts / Scouts BSA and could tell me what they learned and found interesting about it, I would count it.  If the Scout needs to refresh his or her memory by looking it up on the Internet, I wouldn't see a problem with that.

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And if there are some new crossovers who recently joined a troop, a partial is fine.  They can visit a place listed as a NHL or NRHP after the stay at home restrictions are lifted.  But now is a perfect time to work on the other requirements.

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FYI, they made it easier for merit badge counselors to connect to a scouts record in scoutbook.  This was always very difficult in the past so I think this is helpful.  I believe once connected it sends a notification to the scoutmaster or committee chair. 

Before it was almost impossible to get connected to a merit badge councilor in Scoutbook this seems to resolve that issue. The merit badge councilor needs the scouts last name and BSA ID #.
 

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Bump!

I've been counseling Citizenship in the Nation by telephone conference call, and I'll be signing off the first batch of blue cards next week.  If anyone has scouts who need this badge, I'd be happy to add them to my next session.  Or if you want to do it locally, my website will give some inspiration:

http://richardclem.com/citizenshipnationonline.html

The next session starts on May 19.

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Slightly off topic here. My son did a Sustainability workshop (mentioned in another thread), and another of our scouts did a Citizenship session, with Central Florida. 

Neither scout has received “paperwork” yet, and these classes were from end of March into first of April. Not only that, but my son wasn’t given credit for his submission on the last day.  The link to report errors didn’t work, and we’ve been unable to reach anyone at the council. 

Because the MB counselor asked the scouts to use a web link and fill out a form, instead of filling in the worksheet, scanning, and submitting, he now has no physical records other than two drawings. 

Its been long enough that he has completed the 30 day requirements, but he can’t finish the badge because he has nothing formal from Central Florida that shows his (incorrect) partials. 

Any advice?  Bite the bullet, learn a valuable lesson about record-keeping, and restart the badge?

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21 minutes ago, swilliams said:

...

Any advice?  Bite the bullet, learn a valuable lesson about record-keeping, and restart the badge?

Contact a counselor in your district and arrange for a meeting. It's front porch weather. A great way to earn a badge. (Actually, one of the old Cit. MBPs was written around the story of a scout meeting a local judge at his house.)

Neither of those MBs have a requirement of being in online classes for so many hours.

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