Re: Merit Badge Counselors
Bruce E. Cobern (bec@NYC.PIPELINE.COM)
Tue, 6 Aug 1996 13:52:21 GMT
On Aug 06, 1996 05:31:45, '"Timothy J O'Leary" <tjo@CPTCHR.AFIP.MIL>'
>MBs are part of a program to help our Scouts grow. If we keep this in
>mind, I suspect we can run the program in a number of different ways and
>it will make little difference.
Agreed, as I indicated in my reply to Mike Montoya's post. There are
various circumstances which would make me ignore my own advice. We are
involved in all sorts of different size districts with different
>Parents who counsel their sons should work hard to made sure that they are
>doing the "best thing" for the boys. If parents sign off on too many MB's,
>then the Scout is going to miss out on the important experience of working
>with a number of different adults. On the other hand, if we refuse to
>counsel our sons at all, they may end up having learned less than they
>might have otherwise.
Again agreed, except that there are "downsides" to counseling relatives
that are beyond the control of the counselor/parent. These include the
"impression" that the parent gave preferential treatment to their son or
the actual requiring of MORE performance from the son. Either way, it is
not fair to the son.
I had a father sign up to counsel five merit badges shortly after his son
joined the troop (I was dist adv ch and not sm so I didn't sign the blue
cards). Within about a month his son had "earned" all five badges and no
other badges and I can't recall any other Scouts earning any other badges
with him. (He is still on the mb counselor list and in the many years
since, I can't remember his name appearing on any mb cards at any Eagle
BORs.) So, it seems, he got what he wanted. He signed up, counseled his
son, and was done. His son dropped out without ever having accomplished
>I personally wish that my son had taken First Aid from me. He would know
>the material a whole lot better now....
I understand that many people feel that they are the "best" resource for
the things we do. If you really feel that the other first aid mb counselor
was "inferior" then don't send your boys to him. If not, but you feel you
can teach more, then teach it, outside the mb setting.
>Scouts today have a whole lot more demands placed upon them than I did.
>It is probably unrealistic for many of us to demand that our Scouts do
>90+% of their MB work with "out of troop" counselors, as I did.
I'm not sure I agree that there are really that many more "real" demands on
today's kids. Why would you now feel the inability to send your Scouts to
outside counselors? We still do, although we don't insist on any large
percentage. I send our scouts to many inside counselors, but many of the
insiders, who are parents of Scouts or alumni or parents of alumni, are
just as much strangers to the Scouts as the outsiders.
My problem is that too few of the merit badges are earned outside of summer
camp. Over and over I see Eagle applications with NO badges outside of
camp other than the required badges that are not offered in camp. That
bothers me because it indicates that for the rest of the year the Scout is
not exercising any initiative in his Scouting outside of the scheduled
>Mount Soapbox: The diversity of opinion that we bring to this movement,
>as reflected by our programs and the effects on the boys that experience
>our guidance, is one of the good things about Scouting. As a movement, we
>are probably better off with the diversity of interpretations and
>approaches expressed on Scouts-L, than we would be if we all agreed!
Bruce E. Cobern
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City