Jump to content

Need advice on parent involvement with other troop

Recommended Posts


You said

My complaint is that all of our scouts should be offered the same opportunity.

In scouting not all scouts will get the same opportunities. Which is most of the time a good thing.

Around here troops that do merit badges at meetings are considered Eagle Mills.

Do you know that becoming an Eagle is not one of the goals of the BSA?

Link to post
Share on other sites

One day I will wake up to find that there is world peace and hunger is a thing of the past.

Sad as it may be it is a fact that a good many troops run merit badge classes.

As I have posted many times I am not in favor of this and don't like it. It not being the way it should be does at tomes make me appear to be a little smug.

I strongly urge 585sm not to get caught up in this tomfoolery.

Still you have the problem of these Lads attending and maybe picking which troop or program they think is the better of the two.

One good thing about being a new troop is that you can start off on the right foot now and ensure that you follow the right path.

I happen to think that by doing it right and by the book troop 585 will in the long run come out much further ahead.

Listen to your Scouts in particular your Patrol Leaders, follow up on the ideas that come out of the PLC. Allow the Scouts in 585 to be a real boy led troop. Take the time that you are spending doing merit badges and use it to train your Patrol Leaders and work with them. The dividends that this will pay will beat the pants off any course of merit badge classes.

While these classes are not the way to go. A balanced program that sparks an interest in a merit badge is a good thing. Informing a Scout that by participating in an activity has covered part of such and such a merit badge and having the booklet or the Boy Scout Requirements book at hand so the Scout can look up the requirements for himself and decide if he wants to go futher is not a bad thing.

As for the other troop I think that I would give the Scoutmaster a call and very politely ask him not to invite the Scouts from 585 to the meetings. Maybe if both troops are small you might invite him to see if the two troops could team up and do some sort Patrol Leader Training?

Scouting offers all of the Lads in Scouting so much. However at times Scouts hang back not doing things because they lack the basic skills that are covered on the road to First Class. If there is a need for a level playing field it is in ensuring that the Scouts have these skills. Once they have that down pat - Watch OUT.


Link to post
Share on other sites

So many great replies. Thank you all for sharing your experience and knowledge on a great resource....this forum.

I totally agree that the scouts should lead the way. We're not nearly to the point where I can say that we're a scout led troop, but we'll get there.

We haven't yet offered JLT, but it's planned for this spring.

Our oldest scouts (the original 5) are now turning 12 and I've got a new batch of 8 Webelos who crossed over who are 11.

Two of my scouts earned 11 merit badges in the first year, most of them in group settings, about half of the offerings from programs offered by council (golf, merit badge college, camp). Council also offered a program where Geology and Astronomy were completed in one night - an all nighter. Some of the scouts were sleeping for the early morning portions of the Geology requirements. I wasn't in attendance, but that's the word that came back.

So yes, the process is confusing as the first merit badges my scouts earned were all council sponsored and in a group setting.

I appreciate the latitude that several of you allowed for.....that some merit badges are better suited to a group because the majority of the work is done individually.

So yes, we have a long way to go. But, I'll keep this forum plugged in with me wherever I go........even camping......wireless internet anyone???????



Link to post
Share on other sites

As I've noted elsewhere, I'm just starting as advancement chair in my son's troop, but I have a couple of observations:

1. I agree that it would be best if boys would call up advisers without much prompting, but it's hard for many of them to do this--and our current culture with its fear of strangers doesn't help. I suspect this is part of why many troops work to develop advisors within the troop, at least for required and popular merit badges.

2. Some merit badges are probably easier to advise if a group of scouts is gathered. For example, the First Aid merit badge requires access to a CPR dummy (or similar device). For us, that will likely involve making arrangements with the Rescue Squad, and we probably won't do this more than once or twice a year. Similarly, the advisor for the Citizenship in the Community merit badge likes to arrange a group visit to a City Council or School Board meeting. This doesn't mean running a class in the troop meeting, but it may mean some coordination in which adults get involved.

3. Finally, it seems to me that there is value in encouraging boys to work on badges outside of summer camp and merit badge days--around here, if you go to camp and organized days, you can get "enough" merit badges. I don't think it's a bad thing to make opportunities known or available--i.e., at a couple of Boards of Review we pointed out to the boys that they might want to get a few boys together who all needed Citizenship in the Community.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

I struggle with this very thing as I run the Merit Badge Jumboree for our District. Yes, a Scout should be the one to take responsibility to make contact with a MBC. And the Merit Badges are mostly designed for indiviual.


Before you all jump on me about the district level MBs, I have take great care in how this is handled. I'm sure I can find more improvements but what I do is contact all the MBC and get committments from them as to what there will be. Then I send out a list to each Scout including a list of requirements that will be covered at the Jumboree and unless they wokr on their own, they won't necessarily walk away with a completed Blue Card that day. Then as kids start signing up I put themin contact with the MBC for them to talk things over before the day. And I've created a midway where for other MB they come explore to decide later if they wish to do it on their own. It actually works pretty good. I think this day is best for new scouts that are still shy about approaching new adults. This breaks the ice then they feel more comfortable to do it on their own.


Hunt, the boys should call the MBC on their own. What I do as AC, is the boys know I keep a record of all MBC. They will usually come up to me and ask about "X" MB. I will give them two or three numbers for them to call and tell them if they have trouble, I'll get some more names for them. All legitimate MBC are registered with BSA and have the approval from the district/council to work with the boys. You shouldn't have a problem there. For the Adults I have signed up in my troop, I've made sure they are registered as well as turn in the MB Application. But I've also got a sheet I give them giving them guidelines as to how to be a MBC. (You can see something similiar by visiting Meritbadge,co.)


Our Troop will do a "group MB" every once in awhile. They will devote an entire month or two of troop meeting for whatever they are working on. Usually something leading up to an outing they will be doing. But any MBC worth their weight, will do the right thing.



Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

There is time set aside at a meeting for advancement, a merit badge is advancement. If I can get a bank officer to come to a meeting and talk with the scouts about loans and checking accounts, I will do it so as not to tie up their time again soon.

If I can get a CPR training instructor to do a demonstration at a troop meeting I will.

Finally if scouts from another area troop want to attend one of these sessions they are welcome.

It really bugs me, when I look at a list of MB councelors and see troop ## only. Thatis discrimination.

Link to post
Share on other sites

True it is discrimination but not all discrimination is bad. discrimination just means choice. Any time you make a choice based on differences you discriminate.


If you say you have time to coach one baseball team but not all of them, that is discriminating. But you don't think ill of people that make a choice like that do you?


If a counselor says I have time to work with the number of scouts in one unit but not in all of them, that to as you said is disrcimination, but why can't a person look at their own abilities and time resources and make that decision? What are your options? You can't force him or her to work with everyone.

(This message has been edited by Bob White)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've gotten just about all the parents to sign up as MBC in the troop. I work really hard to have them sign up for the district but I can't force them to if they don't want to. But I do get some that are willing. Personally, I think it's admirable enough to step forward for the 40 boys of our troop. Although it may be a minimum time, it is time away from what they already are committed to.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't get me wrong. I appreciate all the help and time a volunteer will give. Maybe I didn't pick very popular merit badges 5 of them, but I've only signed 6 blue cards in two years, 2 for boys outside our troop.

I think what got to me was, there were 2 established troops in our town and ours a young troop. They each had every required MB covered but would not share their councelors with anyone else, or each other. It just seems real selfish.

Thats a better way to say it, selfish not discriminatory.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...