Re: Merit Badge Requirements
Steven G. Tyler (sgtyler@EROLS.COM)
Tue, 23 Jun 1998 12:07:02 -0400
Cheryl Singhal wrote, in part:
> On Sun, 21 Jun 1998, Bruce E. Cobern wrote:
> > Except that UNLESS THE REQUIREMENTS SPECIFICALLY SAY OTHERWISE, they can be
> > done in any order, whether that seem logical to the counselor or not, and
> > the counselor is not authorized to require otherwise.
> All right, I know what Bruce is saying, and I sort of agree.
> Where I'm having a philosophical problem, or maybe it's just a mental
> blind spot is:
> With these bizarre exceptions, I'm willing to agree that 90% of the time
> it doesn't/shouldn't/won't matter what order things are done.
> YMMV, of course, and I could be all wrong ...
I agree with Bruce that the MB counselor cannot insist on a purely
arbitrary order of requirements being met, but I also agree with Cheryl
that there are some implied order of requirements fairly ascertainable
from the text of the requirements (real agreeable sort, ain't I? 8->).
With that said, I think it's important that we not try to box in the MB
counselor too tightly. In many cases, s/he has developed a path through
the materials, and sequenced the activities, in a manner that s/he has
found most conducive to the Scout's learning experience.
I personally view the requirements more as a required curriculum, the
exact details of the presentation and satisfaction of which are
entrusted to the MB counselor, and not as either a lock-step mechanical
prescription, or a mere suggested "guide" to be navigated in the most
painless and minimal fashion. Asking a Scout to "repeat" a previously
accomplished requirement in order to enhance the significance of other
elements does not necessarily mean the MB counselor has "added" to the
requirements, nor does giving credit for previously accomplished
requirements diminish the MB requirements, as long as the MB counselor
is doing his/her job to ensure the Scout has acccomplished the tasks and
encompassed the learning and experiences intended for that MB.
Frankly, I would never (well, almost never) intervene in a dispute
between a MB counselor and a Scout over a MB. Short term, the MB
counselor either signs off the Scout or not. If not, and the Scout
can't work it out with the MB counselor, the Scout can be reassigned to
another counselor. In either event, if there are indications that a MB
counselor is either adding requirements or giving a "free ride" on some
of the requirements, the conversation should be between the SM or
Advancement Chair (Troop or District) and the MB counselor, with the
result that either the MB counselor mends his/her ways, the SM refuses
to send any more Scouts to that MB counselor, or the MB counselor is
removed from the Troop/District "approved" list.
YIS, Steve on Cattail Creek <Steven G. Tyler>, Severna Park, MD, USA
"The Computer Counselor," Technology Consulting for the Law Office
Advancement Chair and de facto Webmaster, Troop 339,
Baltimore Area Council, BSA (http://members.aol.com/troop339/)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City