Re: Merit Badge Work
Michael F. Bowman (mfbowman@CAPACCESS.ORG)
Sun, 16 Jul 1995 01:08:36 -0400
In your posting you listed some of your Troop's rules regarding merit
badges. After looking at them, I think there are some points you may want
R2. All Merit Badge Counselors shall be approved by the Troop
Your Troop Committee does not have authority to approve all merit badge
counselors. Each Council and District have merit badge counselors
available to all Scouts and approval for them has already been made at
the Council level. And all Scouts can use these counselors. Your Troop
committee can help the COR to review membership applications for people
registering as Counselors via your Troop only.
R3. Merit badges shall only be signed off by the troop-assigned merit
badge counselor or the designated alternate.
Again this is beyond the authority of your Troop. Merit badges can be
signed off by any registered Merit Badge counselor in any Council
regardless of whether your Troop "assists" them or not. The Troop should
be recruiting merit badge counselors and using them, but there are going
to be a number of merit badges where you will need outside counselors
because of their expertise, when you don't have people really qualified
among the Troop's counselors. This is also true for Summer camps,
camporees and other Scouting events with merit badge midways.
R4. The Scoutmaster or his/her designated alternate, shall be the only
person authorized to sign off for rank and special awards.
I would drop the "and special awards" from this. For example, at Camp a
Scout may complete the Hornaday Award and have it signed by the Camp's
R5. No parent shall sign off their own child on any merit badge,
advancement or special award, unless the requirements
specifically require a parental signature.
This is not a BSA rule or policy. Many Troops feel strongly because of
the perception that either the parent will just sign off with no real
work or the opposite - will make the Scout do twice the required work.
This is understandable and not a bad idea, but a hard and fast rule can
come back to haunt you. What happens when you have a Life Scout one
required MB from Eagle and his parent is the only parent who will
volunteer to act as counselor for that MB? By accident of birth the
Scout is disqualified from being an Eagle? I hope not.
Speaking only for myself in the Scouting Spirit, Michael F. Bowman
DDC-Training, GW Dist. Nat Capital Area Council mfbowman@CAPACCESS.ORG
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City