Re: MB Counselor 5 Badge Limit?
Mike Walton ("Settummanque)
Sun, 19 Nov 1995 00:47:10 -0600
Bill Gremillion wrote:
>Our Council is instituting a policy whereby a Merit Badge counselor can
>sign up to counsel not more than five badges. Does your Council do
Neither Council closest to me has this policy; as a matter of fact, it
is against National policy to have such a restriction. The BSA's
Advancement "policy book", states in the section dealing with Boy Scout
Advancment that may not be such a restriction.
I think that several folks here already answered that part.
> If so, how has it worked? The reason given is that it's to
>prevent abuse of the system by unqualified counselors.
That's NOT the reason, Bill. Councils are trying to "clamp down" on the
"straphangers", those Scouters that aren't registered but are performing
the local Council or for units in the local Council. A good example is a
Scoutmaster that have served for years as Scoutmaster, but was replaced or
He still associates with the Troop, participates in their campouts and other
as a member of the Troop, and serves as Merit Badge Counsellor for several
There's NOTHING wrong with this from *my* perspective...I can use all of the
extra hands I can get; from the BSA's perspective, unless he's registered to
do something with the
unit or with the local Council, or the parent of a Scout in the unit, he's
not supposed to be around.
Another good example is that of a parent of a Scout who serves as a
"signs off" several of the boys in his son's unit on Emergency Prepardness
and First Aid but when approached by other boys from other units to do the
same, explains that "he is a counsellor for his son's unit only".
In both cases, the counsellors are qualified and may have been approved by
the Council or by a District. However, there has to be some agreement on
what the Counsellor can and cannot do, which in the past, there was little.
Counsellors knew that they were to work with the Scout on the badge. They
knew that they had to have the Scout to meet the requirements as written, no
more, no less (even though many threw this part out the window as soon as
the "orientation" or training session was over). They knew how to fill out
the form or sheet and whom to turn it in to or how the Scout was supposed to
handle this. They also know that they are supposed to serve for all of the
boys in his or her's District, not just the ones in his or her son's unit.
They also knew that they were to do this for free.
Counsellors did not (or had very little knowledge) about the BSA's Youth
Protection Plan, they cared not about working with multiples of two Scouts
at a time, nor did they care about attempting to be "current" as far as the
requirements for the badge is concerned. The biggest thing is that the BSA,
in losing adult membership nationally, is looking at the merit badge
counsellor pool as a way to kill two birds at once: to strengthen the youth
protection plan, as well as to provide additional adult volunteers for units
primarily and for the Council secondarily. The registration provides that
check and also outlines in writing if necessary, what the role of the
Counsellor is and how it is to be applied. It also "mandates" that those
willing to be Counsellors do so for all youth and adhere to the BSA's youth
protection and other policies.
Collectively, we fought back when the BSA announced that counsellors would
have to pay to be counsellors, and I feel that this "policy" on your
Council's part will likewise
backfire as well. What will happen is that with a "limit to five" you'll
get a lot of counsellors to work on the most common, the Eagle required, and
a few camp-related badges but very few to work with Scouts on other badges.
> Merit badge "green sheets" will be compared to the approved Council list.
This is already being done in most Councils, and is the best part about this
"clampdown". In the past, it was "post the badge to the advancement report,
post it to the District Summary of Advancement, and throw the card in the
basket"! Now there's actually someone LOOKING at these cards to insure that
the Scout saw someone that is approved to serve as Merit Badge Counsellor.
(note that this was SUPPOSED to have been done in the past; this is one of
those things that have come back to bite several Councils and now that it
did, everyone is going back insisting that the checks are done.)
Congrats to your son on attaining Eagle, Bill!!
(MAJ) Mike L. Walton (Settummanque, the blackeagle) (
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