Young MB Counselors
Calvin H. Gray (405geezer@IGG-TX.NET)
Thu, 7 Aug 1997 15:04:21 -0400
It seems as if the BSA needs to change the rule that states that summer
camp merit badge counselors must be age 18. I can't believe the BSA
hasn't already made some provision for this. Does anyone know?
In practice, most Scout camps can't attract enough 18 year old staff
members because they don't pay enough, the term of employment isn't long
I know I've never been to a camp (and I've been to 9 different camps)
where all the counselors were age 18. The "oldest" camp staff I've seen
was at Camp Pupukea in Hawaii and I just bet they have lots of college
students from the mainland wanting to be on staff.
At most camps, maybe 20-25% of the merit badge counselors are age 18.
Did the quality of instruction suffer because the counselors were 16? I
don't think so. I've seen many 16 year olds who are much better summer
camp MB counselors than learned adults. Why? Simply because they have
the ability to communicate with the kids and lets face it, many adults
can't do this.
A few years ago, my Eagle Scout son (over age 18) had a chance to work
at a Boy Scout camp for eight weeks during the summer. His other choice
was to work at a YMCA camp ALL SUMMER which paid almost twice what he
would have made each week as a BSA employee. Guess which employment
opportunity he chose?
So, I think the important question is do we want to see summer camp fees
sky rocket or even see the camps close down because they can no longer
provide a quality program? If the rule needs to be changed so that 16
year olds can "legitimately" serve as MB counselors, let's get it
Calvin H. Gray
Scoutmaster, Troop 405
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City