BSA Rules

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BSA Rules

Postby optimist » Sun Aug 15, 2004 12:03 pm

Messages moved from MeritBadge.com

wagionvigil
Counselor

Joined: 21 Jul 2004
Posts: 192
Location: PA
Posted: 07 Aug 2004 02:28 pm Post subject: BSA Rules

Where do we find the BSA rules?
1. Guide to Safe Scouting
2. Uniform and Insignia Guide
3. Scoutmaster Fundamentals
4. Scout Handbook ( there are 12 rules in it)

Thats about it as Far as I know. Any one else feel free to put
input your resourse.
Why do we have to make up our own rule? POWER that is the
only reason I can figure POWER
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Guneukitschik
Life

Joined: 02 Aug 2004
Posts: 162
Location: Waynesboro, PA
Posted: 09 Aug 2004 08:21 am Post subject:

What about the Troop Committee Guidebook?

I believe that the Rules are set and that's it...

However troops need to set policies for various circumstances.

Our troop has several: No eating/drinking in the Scout
Room......Dues must be paid up to attend outings, etc. None of
these have anything to do however with rank advancement....
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Canoeist23
Tenderfoot

Joined: 08 Aug 2004
Posts: 9
Location: Staten Island,NY
Posted: 09 Aug 2004 10:37 am Post subject:

My troop has a rule that the "seinor patrol" gets priority
over everyone and another one that all knives must have a
locking mechanisim. The second rule is good for introducing
younger scouts to knives and other pointy objects. The first
rule caused the seinor patrol to give themselves the name
"dictator patrol". It makes them too power-hungry and causes
other junior leaders like myself to lose privliges. The seinor
patrol leader has been the same kid for the past three years
because the leaders said so. He now hates the job but can't
really get out of it. If I wanted to take a shot at SPL when
the current one leaves, I would be able to because the "seinor
patrol" gets the "priority".
Any suggestions???
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Patrol Leader, Timberwolves
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wagionvigil
Counselor

Joined: 21 Jul 2004
Posts: 192
Location: PA
Posted: 09 Aug 2004 12:19 pm Post subject:

Troop rules that do not impact advancement are not against BSA
Policy. Rules that change how you advance or add things to the
requirements are not allowed and In My Own Mind the SM and
Troop Committee need to take a Long Hike. Even at the Expense
of loosing the Troop. There are other troops to join or Get
new leaders. Does everyone realize that Camo of any type is
against not only BSA Rules but our National Charter. ANy troop
that uses Camo for any type of uniforming can and should be
disbanded you can find more on this piece of information at
www.mninter.net/~blkeagle/camo.htm
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Guneukitschik
Life

Joined: 02 Aug 2004
Posts: 162
Location: Waynesboro, PA
Posted: 09 Aug 2004 12:28 pm Post subject:

I think if I were you I would rally up your fellow scouts and
approach your scoutmaster about the issue. The troop is a Boy
run unit....the leaders are there to guide you on the right
path. As for the knive rules...our troop has had to implement
a similar policy. There is always going to be the need to have
some type of additional policies depending on the
circumstances...however these should NOT effect any rank/merit
badges.

Camo is not part of the official scout uniform...I guess it
may be acceptable on a patrol patch...but other than that? The
BSA is not the Army!

Although a good game of capture the flag....I don't think
anyone would argue that one...

In the Venturing program...Hunting is an approved
activity..therefore camo would have to be acceptable as part
of the Hunting activity!
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optimist
Advancement Chairman

Joined: 27 Jun 2004
Posts: 148

Posted: 10 Aug 2004 04:48 pm Post subject:

I've never met a Scout troop that didn't have their own rules.
In some cases they may not be written down but they're always
there.

Troop rules in and of themselves are not necessarily a bad
thing. They tend to get bad when (1) they conflict with BSA
rules or (2) they get lengthy. I find a simple set of rules
generally works best - anything that takes up more than a
single page generally has gotten out of hand.

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t305spl
Tenderfoot

Joined: 12 Jul 2004
Posts: 8
Location: New York
Posted: 14 Aug 2004 10:07 am Post subject:

Hey Wagionvigil
Where online can we see these booklets that you first posted
on this forum.

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wagionvigil
Counselor

Joined: 21 Jul 2004
Posts: 192
Location: PA
Posted: 14 Aug 2004 02:22 pm Post subject:

Guide to safe scouting is online at USScouts.org
Uniform and Insignia guide may be ordered through your council
service center.
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optimist
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Postby Bob White » Sun Sep 05, 2004 4:56 am

The policies of scouting effect four areas:
They are listed here followed by the BSA respources where the policies that effect a unit can be found.

Membership: Youth and adult applications
Advancement: Youth handbooks and The Advancement Committee Policies and Procedures manula
Uniform and trademarks: Insignia Guide 2003-2005
Safety:Guide to Safe Scouting

Hope this helps,
Bob White
Bob White
 

Re: BSA Rules

Postby kc9901mom » Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:55 pm

In this discussion, I am asking legitimate questions that I have. I am not implying, stating, saying, writing, and/or admitting that my children's troop have any of the rules listed below.
:)
I believe that this is the appropriate place for the discussion that follows.
1. What action(s) may a parent take when the rules are broken by adult leaders and troop committee members (specifically #33088 Guidelines to Advancement)?
From the training that I have completed and from what I have read, the correct action is to: discuss the matter with the Troop Committee Chair; if nothing is done or there is another conflict then a person can involve the COR. What if a parent goes to the COR and the COR sides with the SM and the actions are not in favor of the parent (just a question here)?

What if the SM of the troop has deep connections in the district (just a question)?

2. How is it permissible for a troop to make a rule that goes against #33088 or add their own rules?
These are just examples that I have found in the "rules" of various Troops' web sites.
Ex 1: A scout has 1 year to complete the MB requirements once he has permission to pursue a Merit Badge.
Ex 2: A scout has to have rank before he can ask permission to pursue a Merit badge.
Ex 3: A scout's parent may not serve as his Merit Badge Counselor nor signify that the requirements have been completed by his/her son.
Ex 4: A scout may not earn more than 5 merit badges from the same counselor.
Ex 5: A scout must use the worksheets on meritbadge.org or usssp
Ex 6: A merit badge counselor must endorse the use of the worksheets and may not make any changes to the worksheets in regards to font, format, etc.
Ex 7: A scout may not work on completing merit badge requirements until he has permission from the scoutmaster.
Ex 8: A scout must have another scout working on the same merit badge at the same time.

I am assuming that some will answer - find a new troop, so..
Lastly, what if all the troops in the area have some sort of rule that is posted above and none are willing to change (just a question)?
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Re: BSA Rules

Postby smtroop168 » Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:32 pm

Obviously hypothetical situations but"

1. Work the issue through the unit committee first, then the COR, then the Institution Head. You could ask for your unit commissioner's assistance.

Deep connections within the district are not an excuse for violating BSA policies. Your District Key 3 should assist.

2. Easy...none of these are permissable. Pg 2 of the GTA is the overarching policy statement.

Lastly...the District Advancement Chair needs to get involved if EVERY unit is in violation of the GTA.
"Providing Quality Info One Paragraph At A Time"
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Re: BSA Rules

Postby Mrw » Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:43 pm

I might add, you should choose your battles carefully and only take on the ones that truly matter.

Although we have none of those rules, many of them are directions in which we try to steer our scouts. I like to send them to a variety of counselors. Most of our parents who are MBCs prefer to have their own sone complete those badges with a buddy to ensure they are being fair and that others know they are trying to be objective.

I do tell parents though, that worksheets are tool and that there is no requirement on any badge that a worksheet be used.
Mother of two Eagles and troop Advancement Chair
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Re: BSA Rules

Postby FrankJ » Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:12 pm

The guide to advancement has changed dramatically since this thread was current.

Rather or not a scout can choose his own merit badge councilor or have to pick from a list approved by a scoutmaster is a debated topic. Ideally the scout picks a MBC with the guidance of the SM.

Merit badge councilors are required to be registered & approved by the council for each merit badge. How well this list is kept up varies from pretty good to laughable. Even so it up to the merit badge counselor to decide what evidence they will accept that a requirement is met. I have yet to require a parent's verification for anything. If I cannot take the word of the scout along his description of what he has done, I will tell him to find another counselor. (I have yet to actually do this.). But it up to the MBC to work out with the scout what documentation is needed. It not up to the parent, advancement chair, or scoutmaster to dictate this other than the expectation the requirements for the merit badge are followed. The signature from an approved merit badge councilor is all that is required since merit badges are not subject to review. No more, no less as the saying goes. If the troop had different expectations, I as a merit badge councilor would take it up with the district advancement committee. As for my interactions which the parents, I am happy to talk philosophy & even how to help their scout; as for specific requirements & if their scout has met them, I tell them to read the requirements & compare that to what has been done.

While requiring a specific work sheet is not actually allowed. The ones on meritbadge.org & usssp are peer reviewed (In a sense at least). It is a little bit of tilting at windmills to argue the point. I would save my bullets for more important issues.

You can take up any advancement irregularities with the district advancement committee. If you troop is basically functional, they probably will not get involved in minor irregularities. If all the troops in your area are really doing the same thing then I would not expect much help from the district. Do remember that although they can rule on appeals, the district committee cannot replace your troop leadership.

The requirement to have another scout working on the same merit badge probably comes from the no one on one YP rule. A bit of misapplication since there are other ways to meet this rule.

Do realize that troop rules, however misguided, generally come from people trying to make the program work & provided quality.
Frank J.
Venturing Crew Adviser, Assistant Scout Master, Renegade Merit Badge Counselor
Owl-2 WB 92-49
Foothills District Atlanta Area Council
I never teach my pupils. I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.--Albert Einstein
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Re: BSA Rules

Postby Nuts4Scouts » Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:33 pm

kc9901mom wrote:1. What action(s) may a parent take when the rules are broken by adult leaders and troop committee members (specifically #33088 Guidelines to Advancement)?
From the training that I have completed and from what I have read, the correct action is to: discuss the matter with the Troop Committee Chair; if nothing is done or there is another conflict then a person can involve the COR. What if a parent goes to the COR and the COR sides with the SM and the actions are not in favor of the parent (just a question here)?

I guess it would depend on what rules - specifically - have been broken, and how.

While no one can add to, or delete from requirements, BSA allows Charter Organizations a pretty free hand in modifying the program to fit their organization (look at the LDS program).

If it is a major departure from BSA rules, and is hurting the Scouts, and the program, then I would first discuss it with the Scoutmaster (SM). If that lead nowhere then next up the line would be the Committee Chair (CC). After that it would be the Charter Organization Representative (COR). Last course of action would be the Institutional Head (IH) of the Charter Organization.

However, if the COR and the IH do not see a problem, then there is not a whole lot left for a parent to do. You could have a talk with your District Advancement Chair, and the District Commissioner, but there is not a lot that they can/will do other than possibly having a talk with the parties involved.

Just a note - Whether or not the actions of the SM/COR are "in favor" of the PARENT matters not one darn whit. Their actions should favor the SCOUTS.

kc9901mom wrote:What if the SM of the troop has deep connections in the district (just a question)?

So what? What kind of "deep connections" can the SM have? Is he related to the District Executive?

I can't think of any "deep connections" that would matter to a particular unit's program, or it's volunteers.

kc9901mom wrote:Ex 1: A scout has 1 year to complete the MB requirements once he has permission to pursue a Merit Badge.

It is up to the individual Merit Badge Counselor (which is a District position) what work they will, or will not, accept. A Troop has no control over that. A Troop can not tell a Counselor that they are not allowed to accept partials over a year old. The counselor can simply ignore them.

kc9901mom wrote:Ex 2: A scout has to have rank before he can ask permission to pursue a Merit badge.

While this does break a rule, it would not be a major deal breaker to me. A typical new Scout can reach Tenderfoot in a month or two. I see no major problem with having a new Scout settle in before he takes on a Merit Badge.

In my experience, most of the complaints of this kind come from parents pushing their sons, and not from the Scout himself. If the Scout himself really was interested enough to jump right into the deep end with merit badges as soon as he crossed over to a Troop, then he should be able to go to his SM on his own to explain his interest.

kc9901mom wrote:Ex 3: A scout's parent may not serve as his Merit Badge Counselor nor signify that the requirements have been completed by his/her son.

For the first half - Again, while the Guide To Advancement (GTA) clearly states a parent can be a counselor for their son, the GTA also states that Scouts should be encouraged to meet with counselors outside of their families, and units. The GTA states that this "broadens their horizons", and that the Scout will learn more when exposed to the "perspectives of many teachers".

Troops often institute this kind of rule when they have been burned by self-serving parents who register for every merit badge, and then counsel their own children exclusively. Often simply signing off on badges without having their son actually do any of the work. In the eyes of the Troop this rule insures the Scouts in the unit get a good merit badge experience.

For the second half - It is not the parents role to "signify that requirements have been completed" for merit badges, and a Merit Badge Counselor is not required to accept a parent's word in the matter. Work on a merit badge is between a Scout and his Counselor for that badge.

kc9901mom wrote:Ex 4: A scout may not earn more than 5 merit badges from the same counselor.

Again - a rule often put into place because of abuses on the part of adults.

Many councils will also limit how many badges they will approve a perspective Counselor for. Some require some kind of proof of knowledge, or expertise in the subject matter. While this might be a bit of a stretch of the rule, the GTA specifically gives councils the right of approval.

kc9901mom wrote:Ex 5: A scout must use the worksheets on meritbadge.org or usssp
Ex 6: A merit badge counselor must endorse the use of the worksheets and may not make any changes to the worksheets in regards to font, format, etc.

A bit on the grey side of "adding to requirements". However it is up to the particular Merit Badge Counselor to decide what work is, or is not, acceptable.

Again, Merit Badge Counselor is a district position. No unit can tell a Counselor how to do his/her job. If they try, it is well within a Counselor's purview to simply ignore the unit. It is also well within the unit's purview to recommend their Scouts not use a particular Merit Badge Counselor.

kc9901mom wrote:.
Ex 7: A scout may not work on completing merit badge requirements until he has permission from the scoutmaster.

Lots of discussions on this one. However the GTA specifically states that a Scout must have the approval from his unit leader. If we are going to follow the GTA to the letter then this does not really break, or even bend, any rule.

kc9901mom wrote:Ex 8: A scout must have another scout working on the same merit badge at the same time.

Per the Guide to Safe Scouting, and the GTA, it specifically states there can be no one-on-one with youth, and adults. The GTA goes on to state that if the counseling session is not held in a location that is in full view of others, the Scout MUST have a buddy with him. Having that buddy be another Scout who is also working on the same merit badge is one way to accomplish that.

kc9901mom wrote:Lastly, what if all the troops in the area have some sort of rule that is posted above and none are willing to change?

No one is perfect. Those that state they are are simply fooling themselves, or have deeper problems.

It is impossible to know for a fact that every single Troop, in an entire area, is violating one rule or another. It is even more impossible to be able to state that they are all unwilling to change.

Again - no one is perfect.
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Re: BSA Rules

Postby White Bear » Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:10 pm

From the training that I have completed and from what I have read, the correct action is to: discuss the matter with the Troop Committee Chair; if nothing is done or there is another conflict then a person can involve the COR. What if a parent goes to the COR and the COR sides with the SM and the actions are not in favor of the parent (just a question here)?


A). What training have you completed?
B). If the Scoutmaster, Committee Chair, and Charter Organization Representative are ALL in agreement; you can do one of the following:
i. Fill out an Adult Leader Application.
ii. Find yet another troop.
iii. Keep your mouth shut and let your boys be boys.

What if the SM of the troop has deep connections in the district (just a question)?

A). So what? It is possible he has been there longer and had volunteered more of his time and money to Scouting.


2. How is it permissible for a troop to make a rule that goes against #33088 or add their own rules?
These are just examples that I have found in the "rules" of various Troops' web sites.

…as with anything… one can ADD TO, but not subtract from the rules. The military is famous for doing this.

Ex 1: A scout has 1 year to complete the MB requirements once he has permission to pursue a Merit Badge.

a). I have seen the 1-year rule. It helps keeps Scouts moving upwards and stops stagnation.

Ex 2: A scout has to have rank before he can ask permission to pursue a Merit badge.

a). Seen this rule too, it is probably better that a scout have at least a summer camp (and swimming merit badge) under their belt before they attempt Lifesaving Merit Badge.

Ex 3: A scout's parent may not serve as his Merit Badge Counselor nor signify that the requirements have been completed by his/her son.

a). This is a good guideline for units to have in place. It helps keep favoritism out of the Advancement program.

Ex 4: A scout may not earn more than 5 merit badges from the same counselor.

a). See answer above to Ex.3 also, when it is time for their Eagle Board of Review there are NO QUESTIONS – a Scout IS trustworthy.

Ex 5: A scout must use the worksheets on meritbadge.org or usssp

a). That is up to the individual unit or counselor. I have seen units use them, I have seen units stay away form them.

Ex 6: A merit badge counselor must endorse the use of the worksheets and may not make any changes to the worksheets in regards to font, format, etc.

a). The people at USSSP and Meritbadge.org take exactly what is written in the Merit Badge pamphlets, put it in an easy to read format, and ALLOW you to use it FOR FREE. Or you can pay $4.49 for each pamphlet (figuring your son earns the 21 required for eagle…$94.29, or $583.70 for all 130 merit badges)

Ex 7: A scout may not work on completing merit badge requirements until he has permission from the scoutmaster.
'
a) . Direct from #33088: 7.0.0.2 Unit Leader Signs Application for Merit Badge (“Blue Card”)…any registered Scout may work on any of them at any time, as long as he has the approval of his unit leader.

Ex 8: A scout must have another scout working on the same merit badge at the same time.

a). YES!!!! Youth Protection Training DEMANDS THIS.

7.0.3.1 The Buddy System and Certifying Completion
Youth members must not meet one-on-one with adults. Sessions with counselors must take place where others can view the interaction, or the Scout must have a buddy: a friend, parent, guardian, brother, sister, or other relative—or better yet, another Scout working on the same badge—along with him attending the session. When the Scout meets with the counselor, he should bring any required projects. If these cannot be transported, he should present evidence, such as photographs or adult certification. His unit leader, for example, might state that a satisfactory bridge or tower has been built for the Pioneering merit badge, or that meals were prepared for Cooking. If there are questions that requirements were met, a counselor may confirm with adults involved. Once satisfied, the counselor signs the blue card using the date upon which the Scout completed the requirements, or in the case of partials, initials the individual requirements passed.

Lastly, what if all the troops in the area have some sort of rule that is posted above and none are willing to change (just a question)?

a). Please refer to 5.0.3.0 in the Guide to Advancement (2011) page 31.
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Re: BSA Rules

Postby Quailman » Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:25 pm

We've been through some of these before. Requiring use of the MB Worksheets is ADDING TO THE REQUIREMENTS! Sorry about shouting, but this has been covered here many times before. There are many merit badges for which nothing has to be in writing. If they say "discuss" or "demonstrate" or "show", there's nothing to write. I've known MBCs who would accept completed worksheets and not discuss anything - just look them over to see if the scout filled it out. An example - Cit. in the Comm. Req. #1: "1.Discuss with your counselor what citizenship in the community means and what it takes to be a good citizen in your community. Discuss the rights, duties, and obligations of citizenship, and explain how you can demonstrate good citizenship in your community, Scouting unit, place of worship, or school." Nothing to write in that requirement. Requiring him to write anything is adding to the requirements. Not discussing it with him is short-changing him on his association with adults - one of the methods of scouting.

That being said, I suggest that scouts who wish to work on a MB with me use the worksheets, but I specify that they do not have to write anything if the requirement doesn't say to. They may wish to use it to organize their thoughts and refer to it during our discussions.

And YPT does not demand that another scout work on the same badge at the same time. That's one way to accomplish no 1-on-1 contact, but there are others. I've gone to other troops' meeting places and met with a scout in a corner to go over what he's done. I've also met with a scout and his father. I love to cite this example, but what if there hadn't been another boy interested in the Cinematography MB when Stephen Spielberg wanted to pursue it?
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Re: BSA Rules

Postby kc9901mom » Tue Nov 06, 2012 7:07 pm

White Bear wrote: iii. Keep your mouth shut and let your boys be boys.

A little bit rude and unnecessary in my personal opinion. This is a discussion forum. This discussion is not about my boys and their scouting. This discussion has to do with GTA and how Troops have rules, guidelines, and/or handbooks that "violate" GTA and how does one proceed when he/she know(s) that the troop's rules violate GTA. :)

White Bear wrote:It is possible he has been there longer and had volunteered more of his time and money to Scouting.

:!: Busted - an assumption has been made here and not by me. :)

White Bear wrote:The military is famous for doing this.

The BSA is not the military.

Here is my take on some of these rules, both as a parent and a merit badge counselor:
I can certainly see and understand why some Troops have one rule or another that "violates" GTA. However, I can also see where such rules can hinder and/or discourage a scout.
Ex 1: A cub scout crosses over into boy scouts. The new Scout has looked up merit badges and decides that he wants to earn the pets mb. He already has a pet that he is responsible for and he sees that it takes 4 months to earn the badge. So, he goes and he asks the SM and the SM says no that the Scout needs to focus on rank. Yes, the SM has the discretion to do this but at what cost to the scout? Shouldn't a scout's first experiences be positive? Shouldn't an SM take the time to have a discussion with the scout maybe to find out if he already has a pet before making a decision? There are other badges also such as reading or dog care or fingerprinting or Art or Weather. (Yes, I have heard a new scout ask permission to work on a badge and his request be denied but then another new scout from the troop's feeder pack go and ask the SM to work on a badge and his request was granted. The SM did not take the time to discuss anything with either scout. This did not happen in the present troop nor did this incident involve my children.)

Ex 2: Scout K's dad is a merit badge counselor for a lot of the outdoor merit badges (fishing, fly fishing, canoeing, rowing, motorboating, swimming, water sports, kayaking, fish and wildlife management, oceanography, weather, and mammal study). Scout K's troop attends a merit badge event and one of the badges that Scout K takes is Oceanography even though Scout K's dad is a counselor for this particular badge and is the only counselor for this badge in the District. Scout K finds out that this badge is a partial completion because the Event coordinator did not publish which requirements would be covered before the event or that the badge would a partial. Scout K's troop has a rule that a parent cannot be his/her own son's merit badge counselor. All of the requirements except for two were completed at the event and they were initialed by the event counselor. For the sake of argument - the event counselor was from another council and is a professional so he/she does not give out his/her contact info. How is Scout K supposed to complete the Oceanography merit badge?
If your troop has this rule, how is this situation handled?

:) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)
Last edited by kc9901mom on Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: BSA Rules

Postby smtroop168 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:59 pm

kc9901mom wrote:Here is my take on some of these rules, both as a parent and a merit badge counselor:
I can certainly see and understand why some Troops have one rule or another that "violates" GTA. However, I can also see where such rules can hinder and/or discourage a scout.
Ex 1: A cub scout crosses over into boy scouts. The new Scout has looked up merit badges and decides that he wants to earn the pets mb. He already has a pet that he is responsible for and he sees that it takes 4 months to earn the badge. So, he goes and he asks the SM and the SM says no that the Scout needs to focus on rank. Yes, the SM has the discretion to do this but at what cost to the scout? Shouldn't a scout's first experiences be positive? Shouldn't an SM take the time to have a discussion with the scout maybe to find out if he already has a pet before making a decision? There are other badges also such as reading or dog care or fingerprinting or Art or Weather. (Yes, I have heard a new scout ask permission to work on a badge and his request be denied but then another new scout from the troop's feeder pack go and ask the SM to work on a badge and his request was granted. The SM did not take the time to discuss anything with either scout. This did not happen in the present troop nor did this incident involve my children.)

Ex 2: Scout K's dad is a merit badge counselor for a lot of the outdoor merit badges (fishing, fly fishing, canoeing, rowing, motorboating, swimming, water sports, kayaking, fish and wildlife management, oceanography, weather, and mammal study). Scout K's troop attends a merit badge event and one of the badges that Scout K takes is Oceanography even though Scout K's dad is a counselor for this particular badge and is the only counselor for this badge in the District. Scout K finds out that this badge is a partial completion because the Event coordinator did not publish which requirements would be covered before the event or that the badge would a partial. Scout K's troop has a rule that a parent cannot be his/her own son's merit badge counselor. All of the requirements except for two were completed at the event and they were initialed by the event counselor. For the sake of argument - the event counselor was from another council and is a professional so he/she does not give out his/her contact info. How is Scout K supposed to complete the Oceanography merit badge?
If your troop has this rule, how is this situation handled?

:) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)


Ex 1. The "approval" language in the GTA is likely to be removed in the 2013 edition and be more in line with the new Blue Card language: "I have discussed this MB with this Scout & recommended at least 1 MBC". That being said, the SM is unreasonable to not allow a scout to work on a MB if he wants.

Ex 2. I assume the MBC contact info is not written on the back of the scout's BC. If this is so, shame on him. The Event Coordinator should be of assistance to provide the info. If that fails, the scout should complete the MB with the Council approved MBC (scout's Dad) and turn it into his SM. If the SM refuses to process it, file an appeal with the Council Advancement Committee.
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Re: BSA Rules

Postby Fred Johnson » Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:44 pm

smtroop168 wrote:Ex 1. The "approval" language in the GTA is likely to be removed in the 2013 edition and be more in line with the new Blue Card language: "I have discussed this MB with this Scout & recommended at least 1 MBC". That being said, the SM is unreasonable to not allow a scout to work on a MB if he wants.


I look very forward to that change.
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Re: BSA Rules

Postby FrankJ » Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:18 pm

While I get the SM should not deny scouts from working on a merit badge when he wants to philosophy, the whole point of the scout/SM relationship is to help guide the scout. In a healthy relationship sometimes no or not yet is the right answer.

I bet the SM trying to help guide the scout with the scout's best interest at heart is far more prevalent than we gotta slow down the scout for his own good mentality.
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Re: BSA Rules

Postby Quailman » Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:59 pm

If the scout's dad is the only Oceanography MBC in the district, then he's the one who would have been offering the badge at the MB clinic. How can the troop reasonably restrict thus boy from earning it?

The reason given to me during MBC orientation oh those many years ago for discouraging not prohibiting parents from counseling their kids was that if they are truly experts in their field (like this oceanographer), they'll expect more than the minimum from them.
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Re: BSA Rules

Postby Mrw » Fri Nov 09, 2012 9:23 am

I am amused that Oceanography is the badge in question here as we do not have a MBC for this one anywhere close. Took me quite a while to find one for an interested boy! There would not have been any question if his dad were a counselor for this one that the boy had not done the work.
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Re: BSA Rules

Postby FrankJ » Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:07 am

It is a convenient hypothetical case. You can also make an hypothetical where there are many councilors available & the SM feels the parent is not requiring the scout to actually do the requirements as written. Both cases are probably in the outlier category. It is bad policy to make absolute rules based on outliers.
Frank J.
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Owl-2 WB 92-49
Foothills District Atlanta Area Council
I never teach my pupils. I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.--Albert Einstein
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Re: BSA Rules

Postby kc9901mom » Sun Nov 11, 2012 9:38 pm

@Quailman
The Merit Badge Event could be hosted by another Council or another District within the same Council.

@Frank J - I agree.

My children have the choice of three different Councils and 4 Districts within a 50-mile radius. There are 3 major universities (2 Big 12 and one SEC) within a 110-mile radius all of which offer annual Merit Badge Universities and there is a 2-year Tech College that offers an annual MBC. All of these are in different Councils and Districts than where I reside.

Warning - I think I am opening a can of worms here...
Does anyone know if BSA is going to address internet capability as it applies to earning merit badges or meeting merit badge requirements?
I can digitally sign documents for my children's school. My children are enrolled in an online public school and can earn their High School Diploma through this school. My kids have also participated in Occupational Therapy via the internet. I can earn a Bachelor's Degree or Master's Degree or Ph.D from the comfort of my home. Why can't scouts earn certain merit badges via the internet using social media (as long as the rules are followed)?
A lot of City Councils/Town Halls record their meetings and make them available on their web site. Just my personal opinion here, but I don't think it makes a difference whether a scout attends the meeting live or watches a recording for the Citizenship in the Community Merit Badge. The outcome is the same but maybe less time is spent watching the recording at home versus having a parent drive the scout to the City Council/Town Hall meeting and having to find a parking place. This is just one example that I can think of where technology should be allowed in meeting a requirement. The parent could even make the scout wear his Class A while watching the recording :lol: :lol:
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Re: BSA Rules

Postby Quailman » Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:29 pm

Watching a recorded meeting has been discussed here. The general consensus was that much of the interaction is missed when you aren't there in person. For example, you can't see the guy at one end of the table roll his eyes and sigh when the chairperson says something he disagrees with and so forth.

The requirement says "Attend a city or town council or school board meeting, or a municipal; county, or state court session." (emphasis mine). Boys have to attend campouts for the Camping MB. They have to attend a meeting for Citizenship in the Community MB.

As for internet capability, it would be up to the MBC. I would be glad for a scout to e-mail me his requirement 1 for American Heritage (rewrite part of the Decl. of Ind.) before we meet to discuss the remainder of the requirements. Things that say "show", "discuss", or "demonstrate" don't lend themselves to the same process.
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Re: BSA Rules

Postby cballman » Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:18 am

I will stick out on this one.

First: When tha requirment says to attend a meeting then you should at all possible arrange that. You will see and here much more that if you watch the edited version. You also dont get to see the council members body language when someone is talking a bunch of bullcrap.

Second: As an Eagle scout from 1977 I do not want to see the program watered down so the MY Eagle looks like just a patch for a resume.

Third: What I would do if I had so much problems with the Scouting program I would just pull my son and daughter out of the scouting program and do my own thing.

Fourth: I am not the most educated person around but when the adults want to relive their childhood through their own children it becomes a mess. Why because little Johnny cant keep up with the older kids and his parents want everyone else to cater to little Johnny. Not gonna happen in my troop. Little johnnies parents will have to understand that their son will have problems that they cant fix until he has a few more pounds and inches to help him overcome.

Fifth: If you want you children to earn merit badges at a pace that the troop dont understand like running around to more than one council worth of merit badge fairs then I would have a problem with that. If all you want is for the kids to earn merit badges the by all means do BUT when it comes time to schedule outings with the troop the kids had better be there because as an ASM I would not remember the child if they are never at our troop meetings. It then becomes a struggle as to what the child in in Scouts for merit badges or learning the Scouting way.

Final: If I had a parent who questioned everything that more than two troops that they were part of did that they didnt like then they would be asked to leave our troop.

I will ent this on a famous quote "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one"
Charlie tha BEAR with issues
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Re: BSA Rules

Postby Fred Johnson » Mon Nov 12, 2012 2:53 pm

I'm generally a BSA fundamentalist. If it says attend, it means attend. Some flexibility, but generally it means attend. As for the rest, I try my best to be guided by the BSA's published documents. If there is no age restriction, I'm not going to impose one. It's up to the scout to complete the requirements. If he can, great. If not, that's a learning lesson too. But at least the scout is in control of his own advancement.

BUT ... Our troop does have one rule. Parents are not scouts. Scouts manage their advancement. Scouts ask for SMCs and Boards of Review. Scouts hand in merit badge cards. Scouts complete MB requirements. Scouts plan and do. Incidental parent involvement is okay. Parents as motivators is okay. Parents that support scouts is great. BUT parents as a driving force to plan and complete requirements is NOT okay.

I'm equally against troops being used by adults to re-live their youth and adults that protect the scouting program against unworthy youth.
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