district required registration

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district required registration

Postby lambeausam » Fri Aug 25, 2006 2:45 pm

Our district is now requiring all merit badges to register for the district, rather than being able to specify working solely with a unit.

A) Can they do this?

B) Does anyone else live in such a district?

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Postby riverwalk » Fri Aug 25, 2006 2:53 pm

Hmmm, well the Council already has an App on all Counselors, or should. The times I've seen Districts do this, was for the sincere purpose of having Counselors others could call on as needed. Generally around here anyway, only the Counselors willing to be known outside their Unit would submit to this. I don't think Districts can demand it...but might try it for the reason stated.
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Postby Lynda J » Fri Aug 25, 2006 4:13 pm

I have been counseling merit badges for over 4 years now and our Council has always required that counselors be registered and approved. Even if they are only working with their own troop. It is part of that Youth Protection policy. If they are registering only as a counselor they don't have to pay any registration fee.

I have taken over making sure that all counselors in our District are registered.

Some people get bent out of shape about having to fill out registration forms. But we expect the boys to "do the paper work" So we have to do the same thing.
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Postby FrankJ » Fri Aug 25, 2006 6:08 pm

A)Registering counselors at the district or council level is a national requirement so yes they can do this and should have been doing it all along. That is why there is a code for merit badge counselor on the adult leader registration form. The only reason that a merit badge can be taken away once it has beed awarded is by using an unregistered merit badge counselor.

B) Yes our district does this.
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Postby WVBeaver05 » Sun Aug 27, 2006 1:14 pm

I agree that they can and should be registering all Merit Badge counselors!!

I don't know about requiring them to work with everyone. There is a place on the MB Counselor form (No. 34405, the one in addition to the Adult application) that asks whether they will work with a single unit, or all units. Does that mean that the Counselor gets the choice rather than the Coucil? Looks that way to me.

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Postby FrankJ » Sun Aug 27, 2006 11:20 pm

Being a volunteer a counselor can choose how they will work with. They can limit themselves to a single unit or limit the number scouts they are working with at one time.

The counselor must also be approved by the district advancement committee. I suppose they could require a certain availabilty as part of the approval, but they would be short sighted to do so.
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Postby lambeausam » Mon Aug 28, 2006 2:31 pm

I think I need to clarify my question. All merit badge counselors ARE being registered via the adult application and have been in the past. That hasn't changed. However, on the Merit Badge application that lists the intended badges, the bottom section indicates two options - work only with Troop XYZ or all scouts. Our district is taking away this option.

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Postby momma_bee » Tue Aug 29, 2006 7:15 am

But, the counselor retains the option to say 'no, I'm not available' if someone calls.

I can see the problem. I know of folks who wouldn't sign up if it was for anyone out of our valley. They don't have the time.
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Postby Lynda J » Tue Aug 29, 2006 9:49 am

Contact your Council Advancement Chair and ask them if the District can require a counselor to work with all troops. I doubt it they can.
The MBC application form is a National form. I don't think they would want a District to alter it.
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Postby riverwalk » Thu Aug 31, 2006 3:54 pm

Thanks for your clarification. I didn't realize the issue. That's very interesting?
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Postby Mad Dog » Fri Sep 01, 2006 11:22 am

Our council took away the option to work with a specific unit as well. It is expected that if you are a registered councelor you will be wiling to help any boy that contacts you not just the boys in the unit you are affiliated with. Obviousely you could be "busy" when other boys call.
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Postby lambeausam » Fri Sep 01, 2006 1:33 pm

See I understand the "busy" option. However, I see that as pretty dishonest. I would rather be honest with the district coordinator and say, I would only like to work with Troop XXX. If a scout is given a list of five counselors to call, four of which only really want to work with an individual troop, it is a disservice to him and a waste of effort. It is very discouraging to continually go down a list to ask someone to help you and be denied. I would rather hand the scout a list of people that actually signed up to work with all the district troops.

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Postby WVBeaver05 » Fri Sep 01, 2006 6:08 pm

I'm with you on that Sam!!

I would have a hard time telling someone from another unit I was "busy" in the context of the Scout Oath and Law. And that would cause me to be reluctant about filling out the form without the option of only working with a single unit (if that is what I wanted to do).

A discussion with the Council Advancement folks would seem to be in order. Something like this "... so you would rather not have a a counselor at all than have one for this unit...? ...I'm not sure I understand the benefit...?"
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Postby mhjacobson » Sun Sep 03, 2006 4:58 pm

It is a National BSA policy that all merit badge counselors register with the local council. This is for the following reasons:
1) to make sure that they undergo the background check, if they are not registered;
2) to ensure that they undergo MB training -- the most important part of which is the reiteration of the "Nothing More -- Nothing Less";
3) to have some sort of self-qualification for the Badges for which one is serving as the MB counselor (simply fill out the form);
4) to assist the council in the development of a current MB counselor list (and to keep it current -- most councils send out an annual form that needs to be completed to keep current as a MB counselor).

There is nothing wrong with completing your annual form or adding a statement on your MB counselor application form that you would like to only be a counselor for XYZ troop.

However, unless you have counselors for all 123 MB, you will have scouts from your troop going outside of the troop MB counselors for assistance. Is that fair if your troop leaders/parents who are MB counselors for MB that scouts in nearby troops need refuse to assist these scouts if your scout are going out of troop for MB?
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Postby fritz1255 » Sun Mar 02, 2008 11:56 am

We have several of our adult leaders registered as Counselors, myself included. Almost all of us are registered to only do badges within our own Troop. Our Council is spread out over a large geographic area. One guy who used to be on the general Council list was getting calls requesting that he do badges with Troops an hour or so's drive away, six sessions or more, some even from Troops in other Councils who had somehow gotten hold of our Council's list. Yes, you can always refuse these type of ridiculous reqests, but I'd just as soon not get those kind of calls at all.

We are willing and do badges with other Troops in town, but this is strictly word-of-mouth - we know most of the leadership of the other Troops through Roundtable and other District functions. Most of the badges do not require a degree in the field to do them. If you are having a tough time hooking up with Counselors on the list, suggest that you get some of your parents registered.
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Postby riverwalk » Sun Mar 02, 2008 2:08 pm

Districts do try and locate counselors for the area. Doing a Badge just for one's own Troop, leaves many units trying to duplicate the same effort, and approach some of the same folks anyway due to their vocation. Beyond the district, doing certain Badges for Council could be problematic. My Council covers 11 counties. I have said I would do a specific one anywhere in that area. Have yet to be asked.
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Postby joat » Sun Mar 02, 2008 3:26 pm

fritz1255 wrote:One guy who used to be on the general Council list was getting calls requesting that he do badges with Troops an hour or so's drive away, six sessions or more, some even from Troops in other Councils who had somehow gotten hold of our Council's list. Yes, you can always refuse these type of ridiculous reqests, but I'd just as soon not get those kind of calls at all.
If a boy wants to travel an hour to meet with a counselor, why would that be a problem for a counselor?
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Postby fritz1255 » Sun Mar 02, 2008 6:06 pm

What they had in mind, of course, was for the counselor to drive to their Troop meetings to teach a class.
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Postby evmori » Mon Mar 03, 2008 8:26 am

I have never understood the "Troop only" MB Counselor. I kinda wonder why? I have always been open to counseling Scouts form other Troops on MB's. I think it should be encouraged.
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Postby wagionvigil » Mon Mar 03, 2008 8:27 am

right with you Ed. Think it is not kosher so to speak.
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