scouts-l Mail Archive for April of 2000: Re: Committee Chairs & MB Counselors
Paul S. Wolf (Paul.s.Wolf@ALUM.WPI.EDU
Wed Apr 12 2000 - 10:44:52 CDT
Darryl Hammill wrote:
> I recently had a father who's son has just completed his Eagle
> Project approach me with a problem I have not encountered before.
First of all, POLITELY tell the dad that HE is not the one who should
have approached you. His SON is the one working toward Eagle. If his
son has a problem, then his son should approach you.
> His son is working on the Environmental Merit Badge with a counselor
> who happens to be the dad of another Scout in our Troop (and is well
> qualified to lead this MB). The problem is that the Counselor is
> demanding a certain quality of the reports/etc. for this badge. No
> grammatical errors, no misspelled words, and sometimes greater detail
> on paragraphs.
I have to agree with Ted. Nothing in the above is beyond what''s
required for the merit badge. It does sound like he finally hit a
merit badge counselor (on his 21st badge) that is a stickler for proper
> I have asked the MB Counselor from time to time how it was going -
> and he more or less reiterated what I am reporting here. The Dad
> claims his son feels that the MB Counselor is constantly switching
> his mind, missing meetings they set up together, and the like.
Again, that's something the SCOUT should be reporting to you. Missed
meetings and changed demands could be problems that you do have to
speak to the counselor about, but you should have first hand reports,
not second hand.
> he feels he is trying to hit a moving target. I must admit that this
> one scout is working alone on the Badge and not with another Scout
> (because no one else wanted to work with him).
Not really a problem.
> All YPG are being adhered to (either the meetings between MB
> Counselor and Scout happen in plain sight of the Troop or with Mom or
> Dad present if off campus).
Sounds like its being handled just right.
> I am being asked to intervene by this Dad because he says his son is
> getting discouraged.
Why don't you approach the Scout and ask how things are going, and see
if you can pull the truth out of him? If HE has a problem, and tells
you, you can step in to help. If not, you can report back to the dad,
saying, "I asked Johnny how things were going and he had no complaint,
and since it's his merit badge and advancement that's involved, I have
to take HIS word for it."
> I feel a bit uncomfortable getting involved or pressing this matter
> because this is a matter between the MB Counselor and the Scout. I do
> not think. based on my conversations with the Counselor, that he is
> asking for anything unreasonable.
Sometimes a third, uninterested party (you - not the dad) can mediate,
when there are conflicting expectations. Nothing wrong with that.
> So, I am left with a quandary. I need to respond to the Dad
No, you don't, other than as i described above.
> and (though indirectly) to this Scout. I need to keep out of the
> business the Counselor handles for the Troop. I do not want to get
> between Counselors or Scouts - to me one of the side benefits of
> Merit Badge work is to learn how to work with other people.
Usually a good thing, but there are times when you do need to step in.
Paul S. Wolf, PE mailto:Paul.S.Wolf@alum.wpi.edu
Advancement/Safety Webmaster, USSSP http://www.usscouts.org