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Blindsided by Parents

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There's a very easy solution to the issue:


"Thank you for making me aware of the issue. Please have the parent(s) contact me directly at . I'd like to be able to address DIRECTLY any concerns they might have with how I am running the MB for xxxx."


If they call, be polite, but be ready to answer questions about given requirements or WHY you do things the way do you.


If you never hear from them... then keep on doing your best at being a good MBC.


Maybe do a self review to make sure you are not inadvertantly "adding" to a requirement, adn adjust acordingly if need be.



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Let him quit.....


Everyone whines that the adults are making it too easy for the boys.....



Honestly who cares?????? It is the boys and Parents choice to quit....


Had this discussion with a boy last weekend.....



Well Billy if you change your mind you know where to find us........


His face went white, he was shook up and surprised that I wasn't going to jump thru his hoops to keep him in the troop......



Ya know what he was at the meeting last night.....Happy and engaged....



Done chasing boys who don't want to be a scout. My opinion we end up with inferior scouts or scouts who give scouting a bad name....


Shake his hand and send him on his way

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Thank you BD. I don't think I could have said it any better myself. When I think about the energy I have spent trying to keep kids in that don't want to bother, energy that should have been spent on boys that truly want to be there and deserve the attention, it gets to me sometimes and I think, "What was I doing?"

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Maybe the scout complained to the parent who went to the CC.

Maybe the parent went to the CC without the scouts knowledge upon learning the scout wasn't approved after the first meeting.

I don't think we know from the information provided.


The SM and the scout need to have a discussion on what is expected of the scout when he takes a merit badge.

Of course since it was an anonymous complaint that can't happen.


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Merit Badge Councilors are separate from Troops..

Your not held accountable by them and certainly NO Committee Chair

There are requirements to be meet. Obviously Boys will use a Merit Badge Councilor they like or because they are easiest. If a Boy is gonna quit over 1 Merit Badge then there is more to the Story


To me the only reason a Troop Has their Own Merit Badge Councilor is to just get signed off and fly by.


If a Scout wants the easy route they are welcome to use another Councilor, I won't waste my time meeting the Boy's expectation of what needs to be done vs what the requirements are.


I am a Merit Badge Councilor for Reptile and Amphibian Study, Nature and Pets.


I had an Issue once with a Cooking Merit Badge Councilor once on My Menus...I Did Cornish Hen, Sirloin Steak, Pork Tenderloin, and other Classy Foods. Made a Point that I had to Prepare the Menues.. I listed Tin Foil and Dutch Oven as Cookware.. Made a Point I had to cook with the Cookware...After 1 Day at Camp he signed off on My Merit Badge, said it was the best Camp cooking he ever had. Only Cookware used was Tin Foil and 1 Dutch Oven..

Oh and we had Pineapples as Desert everyday .. :) To this day I can eat Pineapple every meal if I could..even at work I pick Pineapple chucks out of the Fruit Cocktail to eat.


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Nah. Not necessarily, tex.


The way our district and council works, almost all MBCs are specific to the troop. Yeah, we play the game of registering the MBCs as district volunteers, but most only work for specific troops.


And I'll tell you if one of our MBCs are letting the scouts fly by the won't be counseling for long.

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That's how it works in most areas that I'm familiar with. My District had some dedicated volunteers work literally for years on the District merit badge councilor book.


I signed up for a bunch. In three years the book was published, I got ZERO calls from non-troop related scouts. ZERO.


Had a conference with a MBC last night. The marching orders are No More, No Less. He had turned a scout down for sloppy, lick and a promise effort. He told me that the scouts dad told him that was the best thing he could have done, because approving sloppy work would have proven to the dads son that scouts was a joke and merit badges were free.

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Here's the follow up to the situation. I talked to my CC (yes, it's the troop CC). He understands the whole MB-scout relationship and said he was just passing on what he received from the parent. He said the parent didn't want to get into an akward relationship with me so he made the CC promise not to reveal his/her identity which the CC is sticking to. When I asked what was the main issue, it seems that the parent believes I'm asking for more that what the requirement in the MB book asks for and I'm making it impossible for the scout to pass. I do not make up requirements, but I think it may be that I expect legible, thought out products (e.g. skill teaching plan for the communication MB, etc.) While I do ask for correct spelling and grammer, I'm not an english teacher and will only point it out if it's so bad, I can't understand what the scout has written. I told the CC that without having to be able to know who is complaining, it puts all of us in a bad situation. He said he understands and it was his mistake by making the promise that he won't do in the future. My wife said this is probably be a good time to take a break and not take on anymore scouts. With the holidays just around the corner, she's probably right. If there was any good that came out of this, I had a really deep conversation with the CC about conflict management. He thought that by keeping the parent's identity was important for the parent to trust him. Instead it complicated the whole issue since he could not bring us together to work this issue out. As he said, that wasn't covered in CC handbook and we're learning while we go. He was going circle back with the parent to see if they wanted to sit down with me to discuss the issue. I'll be surprised if the parent takes him up on the offer.

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Here's to a good working relationship with the CC. :)

Since the poor guy got himself "stuck in the middle", take advantage of it. I would have him tell the anonymous parents a couple of things:


1. You're grateful that they voiced a concerned.

2. You were discouraged that you made this process so intimidating that they were afraid to talk to you directly, or if they did talk to you, they felt shut out without you realizing it.

3. If the boy can tell you he's having trouble with your expectations for requirement x, you'll help him figure out if you're being fair or if he has a better idea.

4. If there's a way to adjust to his limitations, you will. But (and I've seen this happen a lot) many boys would rather try and do the requirement as it's put to them -- even if they have a disability that makes it nearly impossible to do that way. Giving the boy a week or two to improve his work can sometimes surprise parents, SM, counselor!


Part keeping the CC as the go-between is to maintain his relationship with the parents while also supporting you. Part of this is to encourage the boy to keep working with you. And part of it is to train the CC in MB counseling so that when you free up those hours for the Mrs., he can take up your slack!

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