News & Notes, December 2021

A few items for this month:

Citizenship in Society Merit Badge

The requirements for the new Citizenship in Society merit badge have been released, along with guidelines for counselors for the badge.

There is great concern that counselors for this badge have the correct understanding about how the badge is to be facilitated (not taught), and that they have a temperament that will foster discussions without promoting particular views.   Continue reading “News & Notes, December 2021”

News & Notes, October 2021

Information you need to know this month:

Online rechartering changes

Internet rechartering, version 2, is here. It’s more straightforward than the previous system. It works through the existing my.scouting portal. Unit Key 3 have access, and there’s no access code needed. Documents can be uploaded into the system.  Payment can be made online, and the chartered organization representative can approve the recharter application online. The Key 3 can Continue reading “News & Notes, October 2021”

Group instruction of merit badges

You find them in just about every council. They can take place once or several times a year. Sometimes they’re run by the council; much of the time they tie in with a local college, museum or company. They’re attended by dozens or hundreds of Scouts.

I’m referring to events known by various names: Merit Badge College, University, Clinic, Badge-a-Palooza, Badge-O-Ree or just Merit Badge Day.

These are events, typically on a weekend and often lasting anywhere from a few hours to a couple days. They offer instruction in anywhere from a handful to dozens of merit badges, conducted by a field of experts and merit badge counselors.

They can be very efficient ways for a Scout to earn one or more merit badges in a short period of time. Continue reading “Group instruction of merit badges”

Summer camp, or merit badge factory?

Summer camp is one of Scouting’s great traditions. For youth and adult alike, it’s great to get away for a week or more, camp under the canopy of trees, enjoy the fine summer weather (yes, even the liquid sunshine!), and get back in touch with the great outdoors and what’s really important.

However, most camps are set up just like school. Scouts are up and off to breakfast, then fill their days with a schedule of classes. There’s a short break for lunch. Dinnertime comes around, and there are more merit badge opportunities in the evening. If a Scout wants to work really hard, he can earn seven or eight merit badges.

Is that the point of going to camp? Continue reading “Summer camp, or merit badge factory?”

The merit badge counselor’s role

If you’re a merit badge counselor, you’re probably pretty familiar with the role that merit badges play in the Boy Scout advancement system. Once they reach First Class, Scouts must earn a certain number of merit badges to continue advancing, with some drawn from the list of badges required for the rank of Eagle Scout and the rest on any subject at the Scout’s discretion.

The merit badge counselor, therefore, has a pivotal role in the advancement process for our older Scouts, and the Scouting experience for all Boy Scouts. Continue reading “The merit badge counselor’s role”