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Samuel

Blue Cards during lockdown time

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1 minute ago, CynicalScouter said:

And that's where the SM may make inquiry: was this MBC "approved by the council advancement committee" in their home council? If not, then you got lots of problems up to and possibly included voiding the merit badge under GTA 11.1.0.0.

These MB Sessions are conducted by BSA councils not individual MBC. Of course they are not our home council, but how it is fair for a scout who did all the work and getting into the problem of not finding MBC in scoutbook?

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

Part of this is (as I understand it) back in the day the SM had much, much more control over the merit badge counselor system and the phase "scoutmaster approved" was used.

... sadly ... until about a year ago ... I could have answered.  I had old versions of the Advancement Committee Policies and Procedures from before 2000 that I inherited.  I also had the ACPP versions I started using in the mid 2000s.  

... happily ... I have more of my house back.  Really wasted a lot of space keeping old documents / books that I'd be purging in ten / twenty years when I move again.  I'd rather have the clean house now.  :)

From what I understood, the MB program was never a troop program and has always been overseen by council / district.  Scouts have always been open to use any MB counselor.  The gray area was how much say the SM had in the scout starting the MB and who they could use.  ... FROM WHAT I UNDERSTAND ... and I could be wrong ... the intention has always been SM awareness and not SM control. ... Now, units could have done things differently themselves.  But BSA's intention has been fairly clear.

Edited by fred8033
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12 hours ago, T2Eagle said:

If he's concerned about the substance or quality of the merit badge completion that's a different matter altogether.

It is mainly about the finding the MBC in scoutbook and verifying the digital blue card with them I guess.

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1 minute ago, Samuel said:

These MB Sessions are conducted by BSA councils not individual MBC. Of course they are not our home council, but how it is fair for a scout who did all the work and getting into the problem of not finding MBC in scoutbook?

Simple answer ... it should not be an issue.   Recording MBs in ScoutBook do NOT require entering the MB counselor's name.  

Is the SM having an issue with this?   

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12 hours ago, Treflienne said:

For us,  we rely on the pdf list supplied by the council registrar of council-approved merit badge counselors.   But we haven't dealt the issue of checking up on  out-of-council merit badge counselors yet.

This was the case until the COVID-19 shutdown. Then tons of councils ran tons of MB classes online. Now we are in the uncharted waters. 

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1 minute ago, Samuel said:

These MB Sessions are conducted by BSA councils not individual MBC. Of course they are not our home council, but how it is fair for a scout who did all the work and getting into the problem of not finding MBC in scoutbook?

The session may have been, but the Guide to Advancement does not contemplate "council signatures" and that is why your SM may be having a problem. This sounds like a merit badge mill. It is not "the council" that the scout was suppose to have a discussion with or show or demonstrate. It was a particular human being. That human being is suppose to be a registered MBC.

That is what is frustrating with these mills. It is suppose to be merit badge COUNSELING. Not a mill where the scout sits there, stares at a screen, and gets a sign off "from council."

Even in summer camps when a blue card is issued there's a name for the MBC "John Smith". Not "Camp John Doe"

I am sorry this is happening to your scout, but if I were you I'd email the council that did this and raise hell. This violates at least 4 provisions of the GTA and the lack of a signature BY AN MBC (not a "council") makes the blue card void.

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5 minutes ago, fred8033 said:

Simple answer ... it should not be an issue.   Recording MBs in ScoutBook do NOT require entering the MB counselor's name.  

Is the SM having an issue with this?   

I my understanding from SM over email communication is, unable to find MBC in scoutbook. It would be lot easier to do things face to face. 

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1 minute ago, Samuel said:

I my understanding from SM over email communication is, unable to find MBC in scoutbook. It would be lot easier to do things face to face. 

And the SM needs to understand that a) not all MBCs are in Scoutbook and b) even the ones in Scoutbook may have lapsed/be no longer registered.

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1 minute ago, Samuel said:

I my understanding from SM over email communication is, unable to find MBC in scoutbook. It would be lot easier to do things face to face. 

Can you take picture of blue and card and send image of the card?  ... from what I'm hearing ... SM is trying to help and well intentioned, but may be a little over zealous ... OR, just trying to learn how to do things in this new COVID-19 safe-distancing world.

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, fred8033 said:

Can you take picture of blue and card and send image of the card?  ... from what I'm hearing ... SM is trying to help and well intentioned, but may be a little over zealous ... OR, just trying to learn how to do things in this new COVID-19 safe-distancing world.

As I understand it the issue is not "do you have a signed blue card?" The issue is  "I as SM have no record showing the person who signed that blue card is a registered and valid MBC because they are not in Scoutbook, therefore I want to track this down/I want more information."

As I said earlier, if this were unit or district/council it would be easy: poke your unit or district advancement chair or poke someone at council to confirm the MBC's status. Easy peasy. But doing it for a MBC that could be half a continent away? Not so much.

Edited by CynicalScouter
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Posted (edited)

If a council is sponsoring / running the virtual merit badge colleges, then that council is responsible for making sure that those merit badge counselors (MBCs) are properly registered in accordance with the Guide to Advancement.  Any vetting of a MBC that is done, should be done at the beginning of the process -- not at the end (7.0.0.3 The Scout, the Blue Card, and the Unit Leader).

At this point, however, the Scout has already completed the merit badge.  It would be difficult to say no to the Scout now, assuming that the Scout has acted in good faith (I haven't seen anything in the posts so far indicating otherwise):
 

Quote

7.0.4.6 Once It Is Earned, It’s Earned
A Scout who has earned a merit badge from a registered and approved counselor by actually and personally fulfilling the requirements as written will have met the purpose of the merit badge program and the contribution to the aims of Scouting. The Scout may keep the badge and count it toward advancement. See “Personal Growth Is the Primary Goal,” 2.0.0.3. The same holds true if a Scout, without intent to violate national BSA procedures or policies, fulfills merit badge requirements with someone who is not registered and approved as a counselor. This could happen, for example, if a Scout, in good faith, contacts someone who has inadvertently been dropped from a unit or district charter or otherwise has an expired membership, but who remains on an approved list of counselors.

Edited by Thunderbird

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Thunderbird said:

If a council is sponsoring / running the virtual merit badge colleges, then that council is responsible for making sure that those merit badge counselors (MBCs) are properly registered in accordance with the Guide to Advancement.  Any vetting of a MBC that is done, should be done at the beginning of the process -- not at the end (7.0.0.3 The Scout, the Blue Card, and the Unit Leader).

At this point, however, the Scout has already completed the merit badge.  It would be difficult to say no to the Scout now, assuming that the Scout has acted in good faith (I haven't seen anything in the posts so far indicating otherwise):
 

If the SM believes the MBC was invalid or failed to meet the basic minimum standards for the merit badge (read: merit badge mill) they can and arguably should/must file a 11.1.0.0 Reporting Merit Badge Counseling Concerns. Neither 7.0.0.3 nor 7.0.4.6 preclude a review under 11.1.0.0. And this is in addition to the SM review under 7.0.4.7


From the 11.1.0.0 Reporting Merit Badge Counseling Concerns form itself.
 

Quote

Nature of concern (check all that apply):
❏ The merit badge counselor is not registered with the BSA.
❏ The merit badge counselor is not approved by the council advancement committee.
❏ The merit badge counselor did not ensure that each Scout actually and personally completed requirements.

❏ Requirements that could not have been completed were signed off.
❏ Requirements as written were changed or not used.
❏ The Scout was at the event but did not attend class.
❏ The Scout was signed off for a merit badge but did not attend the event

 

Edited by CynicalScouter
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Many Scoutmasters select council summer camps BECAUSE they are merit badge mills.

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Just now, TAHAWK said:

Many Scoutmasters select council summer camps BECAUSE they are merit badge mills.

And shame on them.

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10 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

If the SM believes the MBC was invalid or failed to meet the basic minimum standards for the merit badge (read: merit badge mill) they can and arguably should/must file a 11.1.0.0 Reporting Merit Badge Counseling Concerns. Neither 7.0.0.3 nor 7.0.4.6 preclude a review under 11.1.0.0. And this is in addition to the SM review under 7.0.4.7


From the 11.1.0.0 Reporting Merit Badge Counseling Concerns form itself.


Yes, I agree.  If the merit badge college (virtual or otherwise) is not following the Guide to Advancement (for example: by having a single class with 900+ Scouts and only 1 MBC), then that should be reported to the council.

What I am saying is that the Scout should not be punished at the end of the process.  If the Scout intentionally did not follow the BSAs procedure or policies, then that would be a different situation, but the issue here does not appear to be with the Scout -- it appears to be with the council having virtual merit badge classes that have way too many Scouts.

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