Jump to content



Photo
- - - - -

unfortunately we have to walk away


  • Please log in to reply
49 replies to this topic

#21 Eagledad

Eagledad

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 5844 posts

Posted 08 June 2017 - 04:26 PM

We've had the discussion several times of taking the troop completely out of the mb process. Then it's just between the Scout and the counselor. But I think the fear of abuse and manipulation of the system motivates some kind of check on the process and the SM is the best person for that responsibility. Same reason patrols can't camp by themselves, adults have too many fears.

What does a a SM signature at the beginning of the process prove has been done anyway? The MB cards our council uses, or did use, doesn't even have place for a 2nd signature, so ew at least had that going for us.
  • 0

"Experience is the hardest teacher. It gives the test first, then the lesson."


#22 Col. Flagg

Col. Flagg

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 1031 posts

Posted 09 June 2017 - 09:59 AM

We've had the discussion several times of taking the troop completely out of the mb process. Then it's just between the Scout and the counselor. But I think the fear of abuse and manipulation of the system motivates some kind of check on the process and the SM is the best person for that responsibility. Same reason patrols can't camp by themselves, adults have too many fears.

What does a a SM signature at the beginning of the process prove has been done anyway? The MB cards our council uses, or did use, doesn't even have place for a 2nd signature, so ew at least had that going for us.

 

I think many units have that fear. I know we do.

 

Our SM does it by the book. He sits down with the Scout before he signs the blue card. He confirms that the MBC is registered with council and has current YPT. He talks to the Scout about his interest in the MB. He checks the Scout's history to see how many open MBs he may have. He reviews the buddy rule and no one-on-one contact rule (both with Scout and his parent). He makes a determination if a single MBC is teaching too many MBs (per the GTA). He then signs the card and the Scout is on his way.

 

Although he may not like the fact the Scout is going to an MB college that glosses over requirements and signs for completion, the SM can do nothing about it UNLESS the MBC violates the GTA (e.g., signs off on pre-reqs withouth validating, etc.). The SM lets both parent and Scout know that he is attending a course that is sub-par, but he does not (and cannot) forbid/prevent him from going.

 

Usually this works and the Scout finds another option. For some MBs there are no other options.


  • 0

#23 Eagledad

Eagledad

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 5844 posts

Posted 09 June 2017 - 10:45 AM

I think many units have that fear. I know we do.

 

Our SM does it by the book. He sits down with the Scout before he signs the blue card. He confirms that the MBC is registered with council and has current YPT. He talks to the Scout about his interest in the MB. He checks the Scout's history to see how many open MBs he may have. He reviews the buddy rule and no one-on-one contact rule (both with Scout and his parent). He makes a determination if a single MBC is teaching too many MBs (per the GTA). He then signs the card and the Scout is on his way.

 

Although he may not like the fact the Scout is going to an MB college that glosses over requirements and signs for completion, the SM can do nothing about it UNLESS the MBC violates the GTA (e.g., signs off on pre-reqs withouth validating, etc.). The SM lets both parent and Scout know that he is attending a course that is sub-par, but he does not (and cannot) forbid/prevent him from going.

 

Usually this works and the Scout finds another option. For some MBs there are no other options.

This is where our styles are completely different. All I wanted to know was who the counselor was.  On an official level, I could care less about the scouts interest, his history or whatever. I'm more concerned that he is developing skills of initiating a polite call to the counselor and making a plan to meet for discussions on the subject. The scout wants to invest some of his time on a subject that interest him for some reason, that is good enough for me.

 

Honestly, if it weren't for the the required signature, I would have little knowledge of what the scouts was doing with merit badges. At least until a Scoutmaster conference and finding out in passing, which is more my style. Our troop program encourages scouts to make decisions based from their ambitions and dreams, then shown how to put those ambitions and dreams in action. Trust is a big part of that. Giving the independence to make those decisions without having to check-in with the Scoutmaster is to me a big part of that growth. I learn it on back end in casual friendly conversations. 

 

But I do understand adults today want to keep a close watch. I'm old school and I get that. 

 

Barry


  • 1

"Experience is the hardest teacher. It gives the test first, then the lesson."


#24 Col. Flagg

Col. Flagg

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 1031 posts

Posted 09 June 2017 - 11:20 AM

This is where our styles are completely different. All I wanted to know was who the counselor was.  On an official level, I could care less about the scouts interest, his history or whatever. I'm more concerned that he is developing skills of initiating a polite call to the counselor and making a plan to meet for discussions on the subject. The scout wants to invest some of his time on a subject that interest him for some reason, that is good enough for me.

 
Well, this process is what is laid out as the responsibility of the SM in the MB process. That's why our SM does it this way.
 

Honestly, if it weren't for the the required signature, I would have little knowledge of what the scouts was doing with merit badges. At least until a Scoutmaster conference and finding out in passing, which is more my style. Our troop program encourages scouts to make decisions based from their ambitions and dreams, then shown how to put those ambitions and dreams in action. Trust is a big part of that. Giving the independence to make those decisions without having to check-in with the Scoutmaster is to me a big part of that growth. I learn it on back end in casual friendly conversations.


We do this too. Our SM just goes that extra step to ensure their safety.


  • 1

#25 RememberSchiff

RememberSchiff

    Your Friendly Neighborhood ModeratorMan

  • Moderators
  • 2569 posts

Posted 09 June 2017 - 12:05 PM

I'm more concerned that he is developing skills of initiating a polite call to the counselor and making a plan to meet for discussions on the subject.

..

Our scouts struggle with this. They would rather email or signup online than speak face to face or call an adult MBC, even one known to them.

 

If our scouts email and receive no response, will they follow up with a another email or phone call? Unlikely. They mistype email addresses and wait weeks or longer before trying again. Same with wrong phone numbers. I'm waiting for the counselor to get back to me.

 

We have scouts CC all emails to their parents and SM and their informal addressing of adults by first names or abbreviations is frequent. :eek:  Maybe they regard email as txtng but with spellcheck?


  • 0

#26 Eagledad

Eagledad

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 5844 posts

Posted 09 June 2017 - 12:45 PM

 
Well, this process is what is laid out as the responsibility of the SM in the MB process. That's why our SM does it this way.

Yep, us too.

 

 
We do this too. Our SM just goes that extra step to ensure their safety.

I don't believe there is a right or wrong between the two styles, it's just personal styles working within their environment. 

 

Barry


  • 0

"Experience is the hardest teacher. It gives the test first, then the lesson."


#27 DuctTape

DuctTape

    Junior Member

  • Members
  • 550 posts

Posted 09 June 2017 - 12:48 PM

Initiating a phone call to an adult has always been a struggle even in the days of rotary phones. Part of growing up is learning the skill and not avoiding that which is somewhat uncomfortable. Allowing scouts to just do online or email denies them a growth opportunity.
  • 0

#28 Eagledad

Eagledad

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 5844 posts

Posted 09 June 2017 - 12:57 PM

Initiating a phone call to an adult has always been a struggle even in the days of rotary phones. Part of growing up is learning the skill and not avoiding that which is somewhat uncomfortable. Allowing scouts to just do online or email denies them a growth opportunity.

Agree 100 percent. Because of that fear, we work with all our new scouts on their telephone skills just to get them confidence in calling their first counselor. We also advice the parents to listen and guide them as well. This is a big fear for many (most) scouts, but we found that they pretty much overcome it by their third MB. 

 

It's and important skill because our scouts are also expected to make calls for setting camp reservations, asking for demonstrations and just plan asking for help. As has been said, if they can't get past that, they are stuck in the mud.

 

That being said, cell phones were just becoming common when I was the SM, I think what scouters are dealing with today is all that more challenging.

 

Barry


  • 0

"Experience is the hardest teacher. It gives the test first, then the lesson."


#29 Col. Flagg

Col. Flagg

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 1031 posts

Posted 09 June 2017 - 01:21 PM

Initiating a phone call to an adult has always been a struggle even in the days of rotary phones. Part of growing up is learning the skill and not avoiding that which is somewhat uncomfortable. Allowing scouts to just do online or email denies them a growth opportunity.

 

Grow up in a military household. You will learn how to answer a phone properly. ;)


  • 0

#30 Stosh

Stosh

    BSA Heretic

  • Members
  • 11965 posts

Posted 09 June 2017 - 02:29 PM

I have received phone calls from boys where unless there was some clue in the context of the muddled message, I would even know who I was talking to.


  • 0

Stosh

 

There's a reason why I don't always answer the phone, doorbell or comments on forums.  :)


#31 JasonG172

JasonG172

    Junior Member

  • Members
  • 615 posts

Posted 09 June 2017 - 02:30 PM

How do they stop a Tenderfoot from taking First Aid at a local MB college?

Simply don't go.  Our troop doesn't promote it or even acknowledge its existence.  The Troop Committee finds qualified individuals to run such MB.

Fishing Merit Badge - Mark Rose (just an example) Lawyers, Flight Simulator designer and Pilot for FedEx (Aviation MB) Exec from Sedgwick for Personal Management.  Put the right people in place and there isn't any need for Eagle Required MB to be taken at a MB College.  Remember I am only speaking about Eagle Required MB's. 


  • 0

#32 Back Pack

Back Pack

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 461 posts

Posted 12 June 2017 - 08:28 AM

Simply don't go.  Our troop doesn't promote it or even acknowledge its existence.  The Troop Committee finds qualified individuals to run such MB.
Fishing Merit Badge - Mark Rose (just an example) Lawyers, Flight Simulator designer and Pilot for FedEx (Aviation MB) Exec from Sedgwick for Personal Management.  Put the right people in place and there isn't any need for Eagle Required MB to be taken at a MB College.  Remember I am only speaking about Eagle Required MB's.


I'm not clear. What happens IF a scout goes anyway and gets the badge? Does your troop ignore that?
  • 1

#33 JasonG172

JasonG172

    Junior Member

  • Members
  • 615 posts

Posted 19 June 2017 - 08:09 AM

I'm not clear. What happens IF a scout goes anyway and gets the badge? Does your troop ignore that?

isn't the first step in the merit badge process getting a blue card from Advancement Chair or SM. 


  • 0

#34 SSScout

SSScout

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 3968 posts

Posted 19 June 2017 - 08:29 AM

Telephonic communication is hard for some teens, true.   Face to face communication is hard.  As a sub teacher, I noticed that in the Mid School folks I sub taught. 

Even back in MY day, I remember how hard it was to raise my hand and TALK out loud.  Then there was that girl in French class....  

Our District Eagle Coordinators REQUIRE  candidates to telephone them for appointments. They will not accept emails or texts.  They politely respond, "here is/are my phone numbers, please call me."   

Leaving a message is even harder.   I have had Scouts call me and leave a message on the line of " Mr. Ssscout, please call me  about....   Thanks. Bye.  " and not leave a name or number or even WHY ....   TG for caller ID. 

Encouragement?  Instruction?   Example?    If we teach (?)  Nuclear Science at Summer Camp, why not Verbal Communication.     I encourage kids to read the Hornblower novels to learn how to communicate EXACTLY.  Nothing like British naval officers to example how to pass on information and instruction. 


  • 0

#35 fred johnson

fred johnson

    Junior Member

  • Members
  • 1471 posts

Posted 19 June 2017 - 08:37 AM

isn't the first step in the merit badge process getting a blue card from Advancement Chair or SM. 

 

Getting the blue card signed is not screening process.  BSA GTA 7.0.0.3 "The Scout, The Blue Card and The Unit Leader" clearly states the signature is more about a chance for a discussion and not to limit who the scout uses as a counselor.  Though the scout "should" let the scoutmaster know if he changes counselors, it is not required.  So the scoutmaster can sign the MB and then the scout can use a different counselor without penalty.  The only risk is if the scout uses someone who is not actually registered.  


Edited by fred johnson, 19 June 2017 - 08:37 AM.

  • 1

#36 JasonG172

JasonG172

    Junior Member

  • Members
  • 615 posts

Posted 19 June 2017 - 08:56 AM

Like I mentioned before "To each their own" The troop puts qualified people in place so that a scout doesn't need to attend a MB college. 


  • 0

#37 Col. Flagg

Col. Flagg

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 1031 posts

Posted 19 June 2017 - 09:07 AM

Like I mentioned before "To each their own" The troop puts qualified people in place so that a scout doesn't need to attend a MB college. 

 

But it's not "to each their own". You simply cannot deny a Scout the opportunity to begin a MB or go elsewhere because you want to keep it in the troop. No more than you can put age restrictions on MBs.


  • 0

#38 CalicoPenn

CalicoPenn

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 3105 posts

Posted 19 June 2017 - 09:13 AM

Some troops are just really strict on WHO does these MB classes.  My son's troop is very much on top of providing "Quality" MD Councilors for the boys.   

 

This is NOT a race to see how many one can receive right?  Rules at our troop, no Eagle required MB (except for Swimming) are allowed by anyone under 1st class.  Troop also looks down on Merit Badge colleges (puppy mills if you will) To ea there on. 

 

National is very clear on this  - a Scout can start working on ANY merit badge he wants to earn at ANY time with no age or rank restrictions.  A newly crossed-over Scout can start working on any and every merit badge, including Eagle Scout required ones, the moment his membership is transferred from Cubs to Scouts. 

 

Isn't it rather arrogant of the leaders of your Troop to decide that "it knows better" than the BSA?  Its rules like your unit's rules that lead to posts like the original poster and other posts we've had of parents frustrated by their units inability to follow the rules laid out by the BSA and then making decisions to take their sons and leave Scouting.

 

Don't want to accept Merit Badge Colleges?  Great - they're a bad idea anyway and the BSA doesn't have any policy against your unit not accepting them.  But they do have a very specific policy against units adding rank requirements, or ANY pre-requisites of their own, when it comes to what merit badges a Scout may earn and when.

 

Don't bother trying to explain just how superior your Troop's way is, or try to make excuses for why your Troop is doing things the way it's doing.  If you folks really think you know best, then make that argument to the National BSA advancement folks.  A Scout is Obedient - if a Scout sees a rule he thinks should be changed, he works within the system to try to get the rule changed.  He doesn't just ignore it because "he knows better". 

 

That point of the Scout Law applies to your unit and your unit's leaders too.  What kind of message are you sending your Scouts when you disregard a clear policy directive because you don't like it.


  • 4

#39 fred johnson

fred johnson

    Junior Member

  • Members
  • 1471 posts

Posted 19 June 2017 - 09:51 AM

National is very clear on this  - a Scout can start working on ANY merit badge he wants to earn at ANY time with no age or rank restrictions.  A newly crossed-over Scout can start working on any and every merit badge, including Eagle Scout required ones, the moment his membership is transferred from Cubs to Scouts. 

 

Isn't it rather arrogant of the leaders of your Troop to decide that "it knows better" than the BSA?  Its rules like your unit's rules that lead to posts like the original poster and other posts we've had of parents frustrated by their units inability to follow the rules laid out by the BSA and then making decisions to take their sons and leave Scouting.

 

Don't want to accept Merit Badge Colleges?  Great - they're a bad idea anyway and the BSA doesn't have any policy against your unit not accepting them.  But they do have a very specific policy against units adding rank requirements, or ANY pre-requisites of their own, when it comes to what merit badges a Scout may earn and when.

 

Don't bother trying to explain just how superior your Troop's way is, or try to make excuses for why your Troop is doing things the way it's doing.  If you folks really think you know best, then make that argument to the National BSA advancement folks.  A Scout is Obedient - if a Scout sees a rule he thinks should be changed, he works within the system to try to get the rule changed.  He doesn't just ignore it because "he knows better". 

 

That point of the Scout Law applies to your unit and your unit's leaders too.  What kind of message are you sending your Scouts when you disregard a clear policy directive because you don't like it.

 

I have mixed feelings on MB fairs / colleges / large groups.  The benefit is when the size of the group allows the counselor to go above and beyond.  I've seen that happen several times.  And they have been some of the best MBs.  But I've as often seen the reverse yielding a shallow empty experience.  

 

So in my opinion, it's less about the venue and more about the counselor investing to see the scout gets something useful out of it.


  • 0

#40 JasonG172

JasonG172

    Junior Member

  • Members
  • 615 posts

Posted 19 June 2017 - 10:26 AM

But it's not "to each their own". You simply cannot deny a Scout the opportunity to begin a MB or go elsewhere because you want to keep it in the troop. No more than you can put age restrictions on MBs.

Then if the scout and or Parents don't like the troops Policy they can find another troop (like the poster did)

 

Let me go on record and state I do not have a "formal" position with my son's Troop.  I am just a parent.


  • 0




3 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 3 guests, 0 anonymous users


IPB Skin By Virteq