Re: Mert Badge/Two deep
(no name) ((no email))
Fri, 25 Oct 1991 14:06:00 EDT
I talked to one of my oldtime Scouter friends last night by phone. I told
him of our discussion and what has been said so far (I came by to read today's
entries after midnight...)
In the Old Kentucky Home Council's Lincoln Trail District (an area encompassing
two counties and the Fort Knox military communities...my hometown..), the
national guidelines are adhered to rather strickly...the counsellors are
registered, with the exception of high school teachers and counsellors, and
have been provided with a spare copy of the merit badge booklet, the Scout
Handbook, and a page and a half on "what to expect from working with Scouts"
that was done by a LTC working with Scouting on the military installation
(the books were bought through a project sales....good going Lincoln Trail!)
The maximum number of Scouts that can work "off-Troop" with a Counsellor is
three...the location of the work must be at a location which offers the
maximum visibility (Paul says "to promote the Scouts"; I say "to keep the
BSA from being sued..") and should be done in the early evening hours and
NOT LATER THAN 8pm. (I like that "not later than" rule....)
Much of the work can be done in classes, and the high schools in the two
counties as well as Fort Knox have "forms" that the teacher verifies the
completion of, signs it, and gives to the Scout for sharing with the
I did bring up the idea of Mommie and Daddie going with the Scout to the
sessions...Paul Boals agreed with me that most parents will go the first
couple of times and then "let's go"..will get old quickly. I don't know how
to handle that. As a "sometimes parent" of three, I can see how Mommie will
be saddled with sitting in on a session that could last a couple of hours...
with other siblings "hanging around".
I think the policy is sound...it was written with a good purpose: to protect
the program AND the youth from those who could potentially abuse either or
both. My personal feeling is that somehow we have gotten away from the
true intent of why the program was structured to satisfy today's socia;
needs and influnces, and that could be why we are drawing less youth and
less public support to the programs.
Troye, in NO WAY I am suggesting to return to those "good ol' days" where
everything was swept under rugs and "shussed" for "the good of the program".
I am stating that maybe we need to relax those policies and allow each of
Scouting's councils to react and adjust to local needs in their own territory
to respond to those changes.
Remember what we did in 1973-74 to "make the program accessible to all"??
We changed our name, we changed the uniform, we even made it possible to
earn Eagle WITHOUT having to set one foot on a campground someplace. It
wasn't until 1977 and ALL OUT FOR SCOUTING! did we wake up and realize that
the outdoors and the adult association and the campouts and the demanding
work was what brought kids to Scouting...not the fancy uniforms (which we
*did* keep, after all, Oscar deRenta designed them! You don't throw away
Oscar's products!), the colorful patches (*you better believe it!*), the
enhancements (we improved on them..including getting rid of those skill
awards), or the "universality" of Boy Scouting (because, as we have ALL
told our professionals, and sometimes they listen and sometimes they don't!)
but Scouting...the program!
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City