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8 hours ago, RememberSchiff said:

Before covid, I remember a meeting where some suggested  MBC's have a simple uniform of a sash with the merit badges they counsel - advertising I guess.

Are you kidding? MBCs wore a sash with MBs? Really? Crazy.

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9 hours ago, mrjohns2 said:

Are you kidding? MBCs wore a sash with MBs? Really? Crazy.

It was a suggestion by some scouters in the room.  Not adopted,  nor as  crazy as some past decisions made. :blink:

Edited by RememberSchiff
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IMHO, this has always been a weakness in the MB program.  I remember reading somewhere that the MBC should be considered an "expert by means of vocation or avocation", meaning (to me, anyway) that the Scout should get exposure to a field that he otherwise could not get.  And don't get me started on "MB fairs" or "MB Universities".  The purpose of the MB program has always been to get the Scout to take the initiative to call someone he does not know, set up an appointment, and meet independently (or with a buddy) with said "expert" to earn the badge.  And to do all this OUTSIDE of the troop environment.  

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2 hours ago, scoutldr said:

expert

I think this misconception is part of the reason so many people are reluctant to be MBCs.

The training slides from national have in the notes

"In order to qualify as a merit badge counselor, prospective volunteers must have the education and skills needed to provide instruction and to evaluate performance. It is also important they are older than the Scouts and are able to set that positive example. This calls for both good rapport and good character.

These are the only qualifications the BSA National Council places on merit badge counselors—regardless of the merit badge. Local councils, however, when approving counselors, may look for more, but they are not allowed to accept less."

Link  https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/training/advancement/merit_badge_counselor/the_essentials.pptx

 

And from G2A 7.0.1.4:

"Council advancement committees have the responsibility to implement an approval procedure that assures merit badge counselors have the necessary skills and education to offer quality experiences in the badges they counsel. The intent is for Scouts to learn from those with an appropriate level of expertise."

Key concepts here are "offer a quality experience" and "appropriate level of expertise"  Although these phrases are vague, IMO, some use them to set the bar far too high for MBCs.

 

For example, I am a counselor for Scuba Diving (I do hold an Advanced Open Water Diver cert.) , but I am not a Scuba Instructor.

Now, BSA mandates "All phases of scuba instruction— classroom, pool, and open-water training—are limited to instructors trained and certified by one of the BSA’s recognized scuba agencies as found in the Guide to Safe Scouting."

The distinction here is between Scuba Instruction and Scuba Merit Badge Counseling. These are two different things.  (I had to have this discussion with our council person who approves MBCs.)

If a Scout wants to earn Scuba MB, I connect them with a certified local dive shop to earn their certification, which is but one requirement of the MB.  If they have their certification already, we go through the rest of the requirements and I sign off the badge. 

https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/Merit_Badge_ReqandRes/Scuba_Diving.pdf?_gl=1*17mfszf*_ga*MTI0MDc0MzQ4LjE2MzQ3Mjk1NDM.*_ga_20G0JHESG4*MTY0MTY1MTkzNi4zNy4xLjE2NDE2NTMzNzUuNjA.&_ga=2.110476621.995562393.1641576145-124074348.1634729543

Edited by InquisitiveScouter
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15 hours ago, DuctTape said:

"should" being the key word.

We must also remember that many Scouters are little more than "tenderfoots" themselves.

I agree. We had a botanist in our troop that made nature MB fun for everyone. He'd get everyone looking at flowers, counting stamens and pistils and then classifying plants based on that. We were all blown away.

While I really appreciate nature, I also appreciate my limits of knowledge. MB classes get boring when the counselor uses the pamphlet to learn the material.

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Just now, InquisitiveScouter said:

Current day Summer Camps??

Exactly. The MB counselors that require certification are usually much more fun.

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Just now, MattR said:

Exactly. The MB counselors that require certification are usually much more fun.

Yup...I try to steer my Scouts towards the aquatics badges, shooting sports badges, climbing, and scuba.  All of those are a blast.  And lots of "doing." 

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Oh, "it " very definitely "depends".

I remember one summer camp I attended  (back when gas cost less than a buck a gallon,  ), the Scout Counselor for Astronomy thought my question about having a night time session was "silly" because it was not  part of the requirements...." even when one  read  "identify in the sky....".   As a high school soph , I knew more about the night sky than he did.  I remember he was very impressed with my diagram of the moon's phases.... 

He did sign my card (which was not blue back then). 

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