Re: Young MB Counselors (Semi-long)
Bruce E. Cobern (bec@PIPELINE.COM)
Tue, 5 Aug 1997 16:56:04 -0400
> From: Scott Patterson <scottpat@FELIX.TECLINK.NET>
> Date: Tuesday, August 05, 1997 9:53 AM
> You are correct in that age does not always mean ability, but many
> leaders do not like the youth summer camp staff signing off for MB's
> earned at summer camp. I have seen many adult staffers at summer
> camp(s) who will sign off on a MB if the scout comes to the class.
But the real question has NOTHING to do with the quality of the
instruction. The problem is that NATIONAL POLICY prohibits anyone under
the age of 18 from being a merit badge counselor, EVEN IN CAMP. Thus, any
merit badge card signed ONLY by a staff member under the age of 18 is
INVALID and could create problems for the Scout when he goes for Eagle.
What MUST be done in situations where the staff member responsible for the
badge is under 18 is for an older member of the staff to actually be the
one who signs off as the counselor. This is usually the "lowest" of the
area director, program director, or camp director who is over 18.
> As scouters it is our job to let the director know of any problems
> with a MB class on Monday or Tuesday and not wait till camp is over
> to complain.
> I have seen many scouters in our Council hold a MB earned at Camp
> until the scout shows the SM that he has earned it. The
> scout may have to do it all over again. This happened to my son on a
> MB earned at Camp in a class taught by a Adult who works in the field
> of the MB that he was teaching! The SM also works in this same field
> an felt that the class was not done to his standards.
> I did not agree with this. As a Dad and the District Commissioner
> and a ASM of the troop I did not make a large issue about it (my son
> did) but I put it on the shoulders of the Council advancement
> committee. They awarded the MB to my son, and the SM was asked not
> to do it again.
You were correct and the SM is wrong. He CANNOT refuse to award the merit
badge once the counselor has signed the card. He can have a SM conference
with the Scout and discuss whether the Scout believes he earned the badge
and process or not process the card accordingly.
Bruce E. Cobern
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City