Merit Badge Counsellors
Settummanque, the blackeagle (waltoml@WKUVX1.WKU.EDU)
Fri, 10 Feb 1995 19:15:49 CDT
(Don Robinson...where in the Cherokee Area Council are you at? I'll
be in Chattanooga in the morning....let me know please!)
Here's what the BSA has been telling local Councils about merit badge
counsellors. Some of this has already made its way here from prior
postings... and in the process, I'll see if Don's fears can be
First, the Board of Review is the WRONG place and time to bring up the
fact that there are several merit badges which "are not approved".
Period. This should have been done between Scoutmaster and District
Advancement Chair (or Council Advancement Chair) (or District
Executive...that is part of his or her job to resolved conflicts
between units and the local Council!). This meeting should have taken
place almost as soon as the discrepanicies were found at the Council
office, and not in front of the Scout nor parents (whom don't really
understand the policy anyways).
Second, the BSA has instructed ALL local Councils two years back, at
the start of the program year, to IMMEDIATELY REGISTER MERIT BADGE
COUNSELORS, and those that do not appear on the Council's charter, to
return the applications to the unit leader along with a letter stating
that the counselor is not on the "Council's list of approved merit
badge counsellors" and that one of three things should take place:
* the Counselor fills out, signs and sends to the Council office the
enclosed Scouter's application (and whatever, if anything, the Council
uses to assign counsellors) to the Council office.
* the Unit leader finds another Counsellor, which has been approved by
the Council, who will "verify that the requirements for the badge has been
complied with". This person will sign the Merit Badge application card
or form someplace and return it to the Council office.
* the Unit leader will work with the Scout to find an substitute for
the merit badge for the one without an approved counsellor.
When local Councils and many, many Scouters wrote National and told
them that "we're not going to make teachers, Scoutmasters and others
registered adults and public service professionals (fire, police,
emergency service, city or county services) PAY to be counsellors when
we've asked them to please spend their personal time to do this for
us", the BSA backed back down from the mandatory registration
requirement and insisted that while the application must be completed,
that monies don't have to change hands.
There were STILL some Councils that have dragged their feet about this
new policy, and the BSA placed the final "nail in the coffin". It
told their field professionals that since 1 Janurary last year, that
ALL Eagle applications would be subject to "random cross-checking
against Regional registration and advancement records" and that those
Councils that had differences would be getting a letter from the
Regional Director to the Council Scout Executive.
(remember that the registration and advancement records are NOT kept
in completion at the National Office; instead, they are kept at four
Regional adminstration sites)
What *should* have happened, in this case, it that your Council, Don,
should have told your Scoutmaster or Troop Committee Chair TWO YEARS
AGO, that you would need to be registered as a merit badge counsellor
with the Council in order to serve as "certified merit badge counselors".
That was the *COUNCIL'S* fault, not yours, and this would be the basis
for appeal with either the local Council or the National Court of
Hope that this adds to the discussion!
Settummanque, the blackeagle... (MAJ) Mike L. Walton (
co-Owner, Blackeagle Services ___)_
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