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Samuel

Blue Cards during lockdown time

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, Thunderbird said:


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.

Yes, and GTA explicitly provides this as an example

Quote

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.

But the SM still has the responsibility to follow up and ensure that the MBC was registered and report if they find a problem after the fact.

Quote

In cases where it is discovered that unregistered or unapproved individuals are signing off merit badges, this should be reported to the council or district
advancement committee so they have the opportunity to follow up.

The other problem is that many of these online mills are being run direct by the councils themselves.

Edited by CynicalScouter

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Have you seen the Advancement form that must be submitted to the council office?  I have attached the top portion of it (less my personal information).

To order the Merit Badge I have to fill out this form and sign it.  That puts my name on the record that I verified it. 

Item 7 - I get to verify they are registered as a merit badge counselor.  Below that, I get to certify that it's all correct and following the standards.  Scoutbook is the easy way to verify this.   If there is going to be a problem, I would rather find out now, then when the scout is applying for Eagle and the office is double checking records.

Before anyone asks, this form is populated from my Scoutbook account.  

 

image.thumb.png.99372fa3c9f21b867dd9ed10e8d01490.png

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I tried the "report to council" path once, only to find that the "mill" was the council SE's idea - a tactic to increase faltering attendance at camp (and very successful in doing so).  The Council Advancement Chair had resigned and was not replaced. 


Ask yourself why so many council camps expressly say on their website that they are "not a merit badge mil." 

 

And the "visitation program:" that supposedly insures that a registered Merit Badge Counselor, necessarily an adult, will direct each Merit Badge at camp, otherwise the MB cannot be offered?

 

"Trustworthy "

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36 minutes ago, TWCub said:

... Item 7 - I get to verify they are registered as a merit badge counselor.  Below that, I get to certify that it's all correct and following the standards.  Scoutbook is the easy way to verify this.   If there is going to be a problem, I would rather find out now, then when the scout is applying for Eagle and the office is double checking records.

Before anyone asks, this form is populated from my Scoutbook account.  ...

I think the IT issue is there is a disparity between "registered with the BSA" and "registered in scoutbook" as it pertains to MBCs.

21 minutes ago, TAHAWK said:

... Ask yourself why so many council camps expressly say on their website that they are "not a merit badge mil."  ...

BTW are any FB users getting ads sponsored by Aloha council offering for $20 to register your scout in an MB class? Basically, it's an MBC matching program.

 

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@CynicalScouter  I think we are talking past one another.  I am saying don't punish the Scout who appears to have acted in good faith at the end of the process.  Fill out the form and make the complaint, but don't punish the Scout.

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Posted (edited)

Depending on how long ago a council uploaded its MBC list to Scoutbook, a particular MBC might still be properly registered (although not all councils have uploaded their MBCs to Scoutbook).  But if it's been a long time since the MBC list was uploaded, you can't really be sure unless you contact the council directly.  Scoutbook does not currently do a good job of reflecting which adult leaders are currently registered as MBCs.  That is a BSA IT problem that needs to be solved.  Part of the problem is that many councils register their MBCs via ScoutNet, but they manage the list of merit badges in some other way outside of ScoutNet.  I am not sure why, but I think it is because ScoutNet is too limiting.

Edited by Thunderbird

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1 hour ago, qwazse said:

I think the IT issue is there is a disparity between "registered with the BSA" and "registered in scoutbook" as it pertains to MBCs.

 

 

BSA's much - or largely - unenforced rules require that anyone signing a Blue card must know that the MB candidate has individually completed all the requirements  and must also be registered with the BSA as a Merit Badge Counselor (solely an adult position).   Most "Merit Badge Counselors" I have met in the last twenty-five years, in council camps in five different states,  are not adults and many MBs are given out with no individual testing whatsoever.  BSA is well aware of this pattern and practice, and elects to do virtually nothing.

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9 minutes ago, TAHAWK said:

... BSA is well aware of this pattern and practice, and elects to do virtually nothing.

Or rather, it is doing nothing, albeit virtually.

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18 minutes ago, TAHAWK said:

 Most "Merit Badge Counselors" I have met in the last twenty-five years, in council camps in five different states,  are not adults and many MBs are given out with no individual testing whatsoever.  BSA is well aware of this pattern and practice, and elects to do virtually nothing.

 

8 minutes ago, qwazse said:

Or rather, it is doing nothing, albeit virtually.

I would say National is encouraging it. Look at the "one and done" mentality it now promotes in literature. As for virtual MBUs, anyone remember the video from NAM where they are pushing the number of awards earned virtually, and praised one council for their numbers?

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Well, they did pass another rule allowing SMs to veto a signed Blue card if they determine that the badge could not have been earned - as with a child "Merit Badge" counselor.  The language of the rule discourages its use, but it's "Something" - or virtually so.  :confused:

Meaningless metrics give life virtual meaning.

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