Re: Young MB Counselors
Stephen Salyards (salyards@EURIDICE.ESS.UCLA.EDU)
Thu, 7 Aug 1997 13:48:07 -0700
It has been many years since I have worked on camp staff and only
a few less since I went to summer camp so these comments must stand
as a bit of history on this debate.
I personally began instructing Astronomy MB when I was 15 and
not even on staff at the camp. The staff had no one who knew
the stars well enough so *with the >18 year old counselor present*
I instructed parts of astronomy. In a sense I tested the scouts as
well, but by that point the instructor who was present had learned
enough from me that he could verify the test. Was this
appropriate? I would say that it was.
The next year I was on staff and again instructed, and now tested,
that merit badge as well as others. That year we under 18 were allowed
by the camp to sign. I believe that was in violation of the rules
since the next year we were informed, in no uncertain terms, that only
the senior staff signed the cards. Junior staff were still allowed
to test, initial, and with our approval the senior staff signed the
Finally I turned 18 and became senior staff and began signing cards.
When I became director of the ecology-conservation area we held to the
policy that from others' posts appears to be the present rules: Junior
staff instructed and could test, one-on-one, if I was present. Every
written report I read and there was no initialing of cards for me to
sign. I knew if the scout passed because I was there for any testing.
However, I trusted my junior staff to do the test in my presence.
So, for three of my four years on staff I believe we held to the
regulations. And for some of the merit badges I was glad that my
junior staff (<18) was there because I learned a lot from them and they
were better able to instruct and test some topics than I was.
Hope this contributes something to this topic.
P.S. Counting the days (42) until my oldest son begins tiger cubs.
For the last few years I've just been a GSUSA dad and husband.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City