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goodkidsmom

"Do one of the following" - who chooses?

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If the MB requirements say to "do one" or "do two" of the following, who chooses? Is this up to the MB counselor, or can the boy choose what is of most interest to him or what seems the most feasible? Is this anywhere in print in BSA publications? (No current problems, thank goodness - just curious.)

 

Thanks,

GKM

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They're directed at the Scout, who will be "doing". Is it ok for the MB counselor to insist or require that the Scout do, for example, 2A, if the book says for 2, do ONE of the following: A, B, C, D....? Can the MB counselor restrict the badge requirements to just 2A hence not giving the scout the option that is in the MB booklet? Is this addressed in any BSA publication?

 

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If the Scout completes "one of the following" to the satisfaction of the MB counselor, that's all he has to do. The MB counselor can't require one "complete one of the following" over another.

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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The counselor may not add to the requirements. If he says "do this one" and the requirement says "do one of the following", that's adding to what the book says. Likewise, if it says, "discuss", or "tell about", that doesn't mean write a report. If it says "write" that doesn't mean "oral report".

 

To put is succinctly, the Scout chooses.

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Just to be contrary, I will point out that there are some situations in which the scout can't really choose. For example, if the summer camp offers riflery, the scout may not be able to choose muzzle-loading rifles if the camp doesn't offer that option (even though the requirements say do one of the following). In other words, if the requirement is one that the counselor provides the resources for, he or she may have some say over what options are done. Of course, the scout can always look for another counselor or another opportunity to work on the badge.

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goodkidsmom - Do you think it would be OK for a merit badge counselor to write his own MB book, based on the BSA requirments but leaving out the parts he doesn't like?

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Although I agree that the Scout chooses, Hunt is correct that there are some counselors that may be limited, and may not have the expertise to allow any of the "do 3 or the following" scenarios. They may only be able to offer five out of the six options, and they may be one of the only counselors in the area.

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I appreciate the clarifications and agree with all of the above. FScouter puts it especially succinctly! Unfortunately many of the SMs, ASMs, and MB Counselors around here strongly feel that it's the MB Counselor's choice, period. In some cases, as in a badge being worked on by the troop, it's hard to go to another MB Counselor. As I said, we aren't having any problems with this at present, (though we have in the past) but it'll be helpful to have your clarifications just in case........

 

GKM

 

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"In some cases, as in a badge being worked on by the troop, it's hard to go to another MB Counselor."

I can see how a group of kids would require many options, and that would certainly make it more difficult for the counselor. Hmmm, maybe that's a reason why troops should not do merit badges. Let each boy decide what badge (and badge options) he wants to pursue.

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Interesting perspective. I was thinking of a group of boys (troop or otherwise) doing the MB with fewer, not more, options, as it's easier for the group to all do the same thing together. (I realize "easier" isn't - or shouldn't be - the goal.) Examples include boys going en masse to "visit a....", or if a MB counselor uses worksheets for the boys to follow and fill in, listing only A and leaving out B, C, and D. I presume this more homogenized approach is the way MBs are done in summer camp.

 

A boy who might prefer B or C instead of A could be in an uncomfortable position with the MB Counselor, which is why I'd like to know if the BSA has published anything that clarifies who chooses.

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It seems quite obvious that the boy decides what badge he wants to work on. The boy reads the merit badge book, which gives him the requirements. The boy chooses the options presented to him in the book.

 

Now, if some adult wants to take control of what obviously is the boy's choice, I would ask the adult to reference the BSA publication that gives him that prerogative.

 

There is a merit badge counselor orientation guide, and if you like, I'll find it and quote what it says.

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If I am a merit badge counselor for X MB, and requirement 2 A is something I am an expert in, while requirement 2 B is something I don't know the first thing about, I would feel obligated to tell the Scout that I am only able to sign off on 2 A, and if he wants to do 2 B instead, he will need to find a some other person to work with on MB X.

 

That isn't adding to the requirement, or taking away from it, that is just letting the Scout know what the situation is, and letting him make a choice. If he chooses 2B, he needs to find a different counselor.

 

 

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Yes FScouter, you should find that guide. I am not sure, but I think it says something to the effect of "The counselor and scout will together decide which projects will be done".

 

The MB counselors are giving their time. They should be able to dictate where and when the counseling takes place, and if there are options he cannot do, then he cannot do those options.

 

I would ask you to reference the BSA publication that does not give him that prerogative.

 

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It really isn't a matter of who chooses, the scout or the counselor.

 

The BSA has chosen. They have said that ANY of these activities will be accepted but no others.

 

The counselor can teach information on all of them. The Scout can do any or all, as long as he does enough of them to satisfy the requirement. If in the coaching the counselor has an activity for the scout that satisfies the requirement thats great. If the scout does something different and presents evidence to the counselor that's great too.

 

 

 

 

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