Re: Registering MB Counselors
Settummanque, the blackeagle (WALTOML@WKUVX1.BITNET)
Wed, 25 Aug 1993 01:02:46 CDT
I'm sorry for not answering this one and the next three or four messages
individually...I am in the midst of doing several "ball tossings" --trying
to find out all I can about a opening as the local Red Cross executive
director; trying to get all of my clients in this first week of school;
entertaining Jessiann's mother; and catching up with some other
.....but mostly dealing with and remembering all of the events which
lead up to my movement away from Richmond, Kentucky, and my later starting
to date Jessica Ann Ryan. The last stuff happened two years ago, and
its STILL fresh in my memory (and Yale's note last week in which I had to
retrash much of this, didn't help things....it's not his fault, it's just
something that I have to deal with and deal with...ad infinitum.....).
(it's an anniversary day)
Subj: Re: Multiple registration
From: Don Izard <IZARD@UBVM.BITNET>
My only comment is that BSA has improved a great deal in the past
few years as far as record keeping for transfers and multiple
registrations. At one point When I was a Cub master, plus on the
Troop charter as a committee member, Plus I was OA chapter advisor,
and my wife was Den Leader and Den Leader Coach, we recieved 5
copies of Scouting Magazine, and for a time Three copies of
boys life, after my younger son also transferred to the troop.
My younger son is NOW an eagle scout, and we get ONE copy of
Boys Life and ONE copy of scouting, WITH NO PROGRAM HELPS!
I am still M.R. on at least two charters, plus for a while I
was also a council member at large (for reasons I do not understand,
except I had to pay more money)
I have aslo recently even heard that the OA has rejected OA memberships
(but not the dues of course) when the members name could not be found
in the computer on any current charter etc. Which brings to mind a
current and somehat related question. What provisions is there for
a person to "register" as ONLY a MERIT BADGE councilor these days?
Is there any provision for a person to register as JUST a MBC, and not
be on any unit charter? If a person is not a register scouter can he
still sign off on a MB, such as a parmedic for First Aid? Are NOT the
merit badge concilors still required to complete the NEW adult application?
I think there are people signing MB cards that have NOW completed the newer
adult applications. Is that a problem with Youth protection etc.?
Here are the EXACT, OFFICIAL ANSWERS to your many questions, taken one at a
"What provisions is there for a person to "register" as ONLY a
MERIT BADGE counselor these days?"
The BSA (that is, the National Office) states that as of 1 Janurary
1992, that ALL Merit Badge Counselors WILL be registered (this makes it
clear to me that all of the local Council's counselors _must_ be
registered) WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THOSE CURRENTLY EMPLOYED BY A LOCAL
SCHOOL SYSTEM, COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY, OR MEMBERS OF A PUBLIC SAFETY OR
PUBLIC PROTECTION AGENCY LOCATED WITHIN THE COUNCIL. Registration will take
the form of the counselor filling out the Adult Scouter application,
forwarding it to the local Council office, where the District Executive
will approve and forward the application to the Council's registrar for
entry into the national registration system and updating the Council's
registery of Merit Badge Counselors. Those employed by a local school
system, a college or university or by a public protection/safety
agency must be approved IN WRITING by the District Executive of the District
in which the proposed counselor resides.
Local Councils have added onto the Director of Operations' memorandum by
stating that "all Counselors must have attended training...." or "all
Counselors must attend a youth protection program..." or things like that,
which is fine for the local Council to do but is NOT part of the original
message, which was dated 8 May, 1991 (and which we discussed and tore apart
here on Scouts-L...just to let those that just joined us know that we
indeed are on the "cutting edge" of new items in our youth programs!!"
"Is there any provision for a person to register as JUST a MBC, and
not be on any unit charter?"
Yes, registering as a Merit Badge Counselor ONLY *should not* place you on
ANY UNIT CHARTERS...(but there ARE some stupid foolish professionals out
there that may attempt to do that...especially in local Councils that
haven't implemented the new accounting and charter control software yet!).
Your name appears on the District or local Council's charter (according to
the way that the local Council agrees to carry you....most cases, it's on
the District's charter, since that information is shared with other
District volunteers in the putting together of a Merit Badge Counselor's
"If a person is not a registered Scouter can he still sign off on
a MB, such as a paramedic for First Aid?"
Legally, NO. Local Councils have the authority to appoint Merit Badge
counselors and the Council/Scout Executive may have issued a "blanket
authorization" to cover school personnel, public safety and protection
personnel, and related personnel (such as medical personnel) to sign off
merit badge applications/cards. But if a person, say, is a Red Cross First
Aid instructor and signs the kid's card, it may or may NOT be legal in the
eyes of the local Council (which despite everything which was stated
earlier about "...being a franchisee of the National organization...", IS
the FINAL WORD in this matter.
The reason I say "legally, NO", is that the BSA WANTS to have ALL of the
people whom have ANY contact whatsoever with youth members REGISTERED
through a local Council. It makes sense. If the person messes with a
youth member, he or she can be placed on a listing which BSA maintains
(and which not yet, a "national register" of child molesters/abusers)
as "undesirable individuals" which can be tracked by a variety of ways.
Likewise, when the person moves to another local Council, the process for
continued service is not a long and lenghty one, but a trip to the local
Council to "get the credentials receritified".
"Are NOT the Merit Badge Counselors still required to complete the
NEW adult application? Is that a problem with Youth Protection etc.?"
ALL Adults that wish to work within the BSA MUST complete an adult
application. This is a BSA policy (see referenced memo above) but as you
will read further on down, there are a alful lot of local Councils that are
ignoring that policy and for GOOD REASON:
As I explained before, the new application format was written to
DISCOURAGE as much as possible those that would tend to use the BSA as a
"pick up place" for young boys or girls or both. The application process,
which DOES NOT START WITH THE HANDING OF A BLANK APPLICATION AND BEING TOLD
TO "please fill this out and give us seven bucks", starts with an
INTERVIEW with the Chartered Partner Representative and the unit Committee
Chair (or both, depending on unit), and THEN, filling out the application.
The application is then verified and checked by the Chartered
Organization Representative, which signs the application and send it
to the local Council with the seven bucks (or prorated fee).
The application asks for much information that legally, you are NOT
obligated to reveal (the biggest being your social security number and your
drivers' license number). There is NOT a federal Privacy Act statement on
the application either....but failure to provide that information is one
of the things that professionals are keen to pick up on and which is taught
at the Chartered Organization Representative training courses (which there
is now a National format for...).
Therefore, giving that application, as we've discussed here before, to Mr.
Altman, a 65 year veteran of the BSA and was a Scoutmaster and Commissioner
way before I was even a twinkle in my mother's eyes, and telling him that
"Well Steve, after all of that service and several generations of you
teaching Indian Lore, we're now telling you that you have be registered
again with the BSA....and you have to fill out this application...." would
cause lots of corarnies, not to mention that LOTS of people will take this
as a slap in the face ("What!! After all of these years, you NOW want to
register me?? You KNOW that I've NEVER touched ANY child before!!!", etc.)
and many will give the BSA the ol' "victory sign" (given with the middle
finger, for those that don't know this...) and go on living without helping
...so, lots of local Councils have either tuned a deaf ear and blind eye to
the WRITTEN POLICY or have created special "Merit Badge Counselor
applications" which ask for the same information but in a non-threating
manner. Other local Councils have done a project sale (a one time begging
of a key industry...kind of like funding underwriting) to cover the fees of
each new Merit Badge Counselor.
(to Don: I am STILL working on the position patch for you and me that
state just "SCOUTER"!!!)
From: Olan Watkins <o.watkins@GENIE.GEIS.COM>
Re being registared as a Merit Badge councilor only, I believe there is a
provision that allows a no fee registation as a MB councilor. I think they
must fill out the application, but no fees are colected.
The fees are covered by that project sale mentioned above. There is NO
PROVISION for a Merit Badge Counselor to not pay the seven dollar (or
prorated) fee to serve as one. It's just that someone else has paid his or
From: Olan Watkins <o.watkins@GENIE.GEIS.COM>
To Nathan Brindle
Re multi registrations, pay at the highest position that you hold and multi
the other positions. That way you will maximize the amount of mail that you
receive from the Council office. <G>
You're exactly correct in your statement, but let me throw a monkey wrench
into the conversation:
With the new program year, the BSA is FIRMLY RECOMMENDING to the local
Councils that volunteers be registered in a UNIT if all possible. They
have experienced the most positive successes with the Youth Protection
Guidelines with Scouters that are registered primarily with a unit (that
is, they can have the chartered partners deal with any liability issues
easier than the local Council can if a Scouter is registered with a unit as
the primary role). Councils are being picky about the number of Scouters
that get to serve as registered primary members of the District and
Besides, unit leaders get MORE mailings, not less, from the local Council
than their District and Council counterparts...and the mailings come from
both National and Local Councils. I know *grinning, looking at piles of
old newsletters and catalogs *!!)
From: "Jack W. Weinmann" <bk233@cleveland.Freenet.Edu>
As far as I have heard ONLY *registered* (read Adult Application completed)
Merit Badge Counselors may sign off the MB cards.
Jack, if the local Council is online with the new chartering and membership
control software, it only takes a matter of seconds to find out if the
person is registered or not...and if not, if that person is on the
District's Merit Badge Counselor listing.
The entire intent of this is NOT to cause more pain and suffering for the
poor Scout that must ask questions to his Scoutmaster "Who is the counselor
for the Atomic Energy Merit Badge?", "Who else in the Troop you think would
be interested in earning this badge with me?", and the all-important one,
"is this person approved to work with us?"
The intent is to protect the person, male or female, that works with Scouts
by saying "Hey, we know that you are doing this out of the goodness of your
heart, and we do appreciate this...but we want to protect you in the
unlikely event that one of the Scouts you work with don't like you or
decide to make life misable for you. There are some things you need to
know about our youth protection program and about the merit badge program.
We also would like to have you officially recognized as a part of our
education and vocational program of the BSA. In order to do this, we are
asking your cooperation with us in filling out this application. We are
also asking you NOT to accept individual Scouts to work on a merit badge
with you...it's not that we don't trust you, but we are teaching our Scouts
that the old "buddy system" should be used any time they deal with adults
in a situation which demands "personalized attention". "
As far as the Youth Protection issue, MB Counselors SHOULD take the YPP
training (they ARE registered Scouters and deal with the youth members) and
it would be in their BEST INTEREST to attend a session (as has been
witnessed recently here on the list!)
I agree with you wholeheartely, Jack!!
From: Greg Highfield <gjh@ASD470.DSEG.TI.COM>
> In my earlier posting, I forgot to point out that ALL MERIT BADGE
> COUNSELORS MUST BE REGISTERED! Sorry for shouting, but it's important.
> I'd hate to see a boy miss eagle because his counselor wasn't registered
> and, in these days of computerized records, such a possibility exists or soon
> Carroll Hale
Are you 100% sure on that.
Well, if you don't want to take Carroll's word for it, as a
longtime District Scouter and as a training chair in his district, take
mine. ALL MERIT BADGE COUNSELORS MUST BE REGISTERED (see first entry
And what do you mean by registered? Registered
(ie, certified) to teach a particular merit badge, or just turn in a leader
Once more, the person MUST BE REGISTERED WITH THE BOY SCOUTS OF
AMERICA THROUGH A LOCAL COUNCIL to serve as that particular Merit
Badge Counselor. Of course, part of that registration is that the
person must prove that he or she is capable of teaching and coaching
Scouts and Explorers in that particular merit badge skill.
I asked our District staff advancement person about that
last week and he said I just needed to turn in a registration (mute since I'm
It's NOT a mute issue, Greg....you DO NEED to complete the additional
application and return it to your District Executive so that he or she can
to act as MB councilor within out troop, and only needed to
register/certify with the district if I was going to act as merit badge
councilor to other troops in the district.
...and it DOES NOT MATTER if you are going to serve as a unit's Merit
Badge Counselor or as a MB Counsellor for any other units in your District.
You will be registered to serve as a MB Counselor period...and this is an
ADDITIONAL POSITION other than your "primary one" as Assistant Scoutmaster.
Whatever the rule is, is it national, council, or just local discretion?
It is a NATIONAL POLICY that local Councils have to implement, and as
was mentioned several times, the local Council has the ONLY option of
how far to implement the policy. However, as lots of local Councils
(including several that don't exist anymore) found out, the National
Council don't take "ignorance of the National Councils' policies" very
well...particularily when it ends up costing the BSA literally millions to
"bale them out" from an extremely sticky situation or litigation!!
So they might as well follow the policy to the letter anyways. Most do,
some don't and the ones that don't......
Hope that this all helps! Off to bed....PT with the "youngu'ns" start
REALLY, REALLY early!!
Mike L. Walton
( Settummanque, the blackeagle... ) )
( (MAJ) Mike L. Walton (among other "endearing" names) ( )
( AIS/MR Recreation/Leisure Specialist, Lifeskills Inc. ___)_ )
( Phone 502-782-7992 (home) 502-842-2274 (office) |-=-|] )
( 3201-D Cave Springs Avenue -- Greenwood, KY 42104-4439 -------- )
( WALTOML@WKUVX1 / "No such thing as strong coffee, only weak people" )
( KYBLKEAGLE@AOL.COM (America Online) / (available Scouting speaker) )
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Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City