Re: All Merit Badge Counselors within the Troop
Mark Arend (arend@CENTURYINTER.NET)
Mon, 22 Dec 1997 16:53:38 -0600
At 08:46 AM 12/22/97 -0700, Jan Mussler wrote:
> why is it bad to have
>the Merit Badge Counselors come from the parents...
The parents are a good start but you need to have "outsiders" as well for
several reasons (not necessarily in order of importance):
First: one of the purposes of the MB program (at least as I see it) is for
boys to learn how to make contacts with adults they don't know.
Second: It can be very impressive for boys to go to Dr. x for First Aid,
Lawyer y for Law, or Banker z for Personal Management. These busy people
(otherwise unconnected with Scouting) are willing to give their time to help
them. That can make a big impression.
Third: Another of the purposes of the MB program is to let boys explore
possible future careers & hobbies--that's why there's so many of them.
Unless you have a very large Troop you are unlikely to be able to find
parents for all the badges. So the temptation will be to get counselors for
the required badges and just a few of the more popular & easy optional badges.
>particularly if that Troop is relatively isolated from other Troops,
>district office and larger populations from which to draw counselors from?
You can always find people to serve as counselors--you just have to ask.
I've maintained a list for our city for many years. We have doctors,
businessmen, local politicans, lawyers, professionals, teachers & many
others. The hard part is ferriting out who they are--it takes a lot of
phone calls, a lot of mailings and a lot of legwork.
And you can't just do it once--you have to maintain it. One of my childhood
memories is of getting a name of a counsleor off our district list and
(since the address was close by) riding my bike over and knocking on the
door; Mr. so&so has been dead for quite a while. That's why I call everyone
on my list every 12 - 18 months to see if they can still help.
>Would it be better in a case such as this to have Merit Badge Clinics,
>where you set up a workshop or seminar and take the whole Troop through a
>Badge? Then you could justify bringing in someone outside the Troop?
This is an option and works good for some subjects--we had a great first aid
night a year or so ago when we brought in students from the nursing program
at the local tech school. But lots of badges shouldn't be taught that way
and others will have only 2 or 3 boys interested.
>I would think it helpful in spreading the load around if all the parents
>were asked to counsel for a badge or two as part of their remaining
>involved with the Troop.
Again, this is a great start. But don't stop there. Get out & beat the
bushes in your community.
Mark W. Arend
Beaver Dam Community Library
311 N. Spring St. Outside of a dog, a book is
Beaver Dam, Wisc. 53916 man's best friend. Inside of
(920) 887-4631 (fax 887-4633) a dog it's too dark to read.
Scoutmaster, Troop 736
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City