How many open merit badges

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Re: How many open merit badges

Postby wagionvigil » Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:12 am

Cowboy I agree but how about the Introop counselors. I know a couple of troops that have a counselor for all the REquired MB in their Troop and these counselors work only within that troop.
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Re: How many open merit badges

Postby mhjacobson » Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:38 am

Yes - we all know who they are as well as those where a scout has to earn a Ph.D. (or JD) in the subject in order to earn te badge. Both are equally damaging to the MB system. A as member of the Council Advancement Committee I can tell you that we do receive the occasional complaint about a MB counselor. If we receive only one complaint, the MB counselor coordinator files it in his records. However, if we receive more than one complaints we take it very seriously and we will (during annual MB counselor reregistration time) send a letter to the counselor "Thanking him/her for her service."

Until that happens, I will carefully select 2 or 3 local counselors for the MB and give the scout the list. There are some additional reasons why I do this: 1) our council is the result of the merging of three different small councils. Scouts who chose a counselor in one of the other districts could have to travel over 40 miles to see a counselor; 2) some of the scouts have special needs (they can do the work but need someone who is understanding and can work with them) and some counselors are better than others when working with these scouts; some counselors are more available due to their work constraints and are not always there when the scout is available; and 3) while counselors are wonderful and are available, it is important for the scout to go to a variety of counselors for his MB, rather than have most of them come from one counselor.

It has been debated on this site whether the meaning of the wording in the handbook means ONE counselor, or a LIST of counselors. I find that it is more practical to give the scout a list of two or three counselors for the following reasons:
1) some MB counselors will tell the scout -- I am working with XX scouts at this time, can you call me back in X weeks; 2) some MB counselors are not available due to work/personal situations (including being at summer camp); 3) and some counselors are located where the scout cannot get to him/her in a reasonable time given homework, etc.

I remember where the scout making the initial contact with the counselor was an important element of the MB process. If I give the scouts the name of a 'friendly' counselor each and every time, I lessen the importance of giving the scout the responsibility of making the initial contact, setting up the appointment, etc. By giving the scout a list of choices, he certainly can fulfill that portion of the process, while I am eliminating possible problems with the scout having to come back to me to request a different counselor because the counselor is not available, etc. etc.
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Re: How many open merit badges

Postby Mrw » Thu Jul 15, 2010 11:32 am

I am the keeper of the MBC list for our troop and I often give the boys 2-3 names to pick from when they ask for a counselor. I do steer them to those who I know will do a good job. this does eliminate the problem of a boy calling me back when the first MBC is not available.

And I will not give out a name a second time if for some reason the boy (or the parent who drove him to the meeting) had a legitimate reason they did not like the person.
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