Merit Badge Counselors: Annual Renewal

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Did you know that

  1. Merit Badge Counselors are considered part of the “District Staff” and not as an adult member of the Troop or Crew that enrolls the Merit Badge Counselor? Consequently, this position does not appear on the unit’s recharter paperwork.
  2. District has a member of its Advancement Committee, Merit Badge Counselor Registrar Mike Yates, whose primary duty is to maintain an accurate list of Merit Badge Counselors living or serving within the District?
  3. District has to recharter just like any of our units?
  4. Merit Badge Counselors who have not maintained their Youth Protection Training are scheduled to be dropped from the list?
  5. As part of that process, Merit Badge Counselor staff are subject to a drop-add from membership in the district rechartering process?
  6. While District Executive Con Sullivan is primarily responsible for the District Rechartering, he relies heavily on the accuracy of information from the units and Mike Yates?

Background

You may remember in July of this year I published an article about why many long-time Merit Badge Counselors suddenly in 2015 found themselves no longer registered as Merit Badge Counselors. This de-registration was primarily due to the District Rechartering process and our prior District Executive’s adherence to the Guide to Advancement’s procedure (section 7.0.1.5 page 47), described in that article, for determining if Merit Badge Counselors are willing to serve in the new year.

Current Status

Our District Executive Con Sullivan has begun the process for rechartering the district for 2016 in cooperation with the District Chair Steve James, Advancement Chair Mark Pishon, District Merit Badge Counselor Registrar Mike Yates, and District Commissioner Jeff Heck.

Troops and Crews can facilitate this process by making sure that the Troop/Crew Committee Chair has appointed an Advancement Chair (in larger units, a Unit Merit Badge Counselor Registrar is recommended to share the workload). The District will presume renewal this year. So the Committee Chair should make sure that the advancement chair or MBC Coordinator sends the the list of retiring MBC’s or address corrections to both Mark Pishon and Mike Yates. These emails are due by Tuesday, November 3rd. (Their email addresses will be sent unit key 3 members presently, to avoid posting them on the internet.)

See the email to the Troop and Crew Key 3 Leaders for last minute details.

Required Training

MBC’s are required to take the MBC Training (Powerpoint and speaker’s notes). Council offers the training on the first Thursday of each month at 7:00 pm at the Scout Service Center. Your unit can offer the training during a Troop meeting to interested parents, using the BSA syllabus, and report the attendees to District Registrar. You can ask the Commissioner Service to schedule a unit training for you during a troop meeting.

MBC’s who have never taken MBC Training are subject to the District MBC Registrar in cooperation with the District Executive and the Advancement Chair striking the MBC from the MBC Roll, regardless of the counselor’s wish to remain on the Roll.

If your MBC has taken the training but it does not appear on your unit’s Training Manager at my.scouting.org, have your MBC or your Advancement Chair contact your unit Key 3, your unit’s Training Coordinator as listed on my.scouting.org, District Commissioner Jeff Heck, or your Unit Commissioner. All have the authority to update your unit’s training records. Make sure that you have a Certificate of Completion with the date that the training was completed as proof of the training.

Future Updates

Your Unit Merit Badge Counselor Registrar can keep up to date on Merit Badge Counseling from the District blog using this link.

Next Steps

Remember, failure to report for your unit’s MBC list for 2016 will require the District MBC Registrar to communicate directly with your MBC’s. Any MBC’s who fails to reply to the Registrar may be stricken from MBC Registration as part of District Rechartering for 2016. Your assistance is critical. Make sure District gets your updated MBC list promptly, when the procedures are announced in the coming days.

Remember the biggest problem with an inaccurate list is that the Scoutmaster gives the scout a wrong name for counseling and the scout gets frustrated. Your help is important in making sure our scouts have the best experience possible.

In summary, immediate actions needed from units are

  1. Committee Chair appoints an advancement chair (if vacant) and in larger units appoints a Merit Badge Counselor Registrar, too.
  2. Committee Chair reports these appointments to District Advancement Chair Mark Pishon.
  3. District Advancement Committee announces renewal procedures.
  4. Unit Advancement Chairs or MBC Registrars promptly reports their unit MBC list within the renewal procedures.
  5. Any MBC who wishes to Drop or Add merit badges to counsel should review this blog post and complete the form. (Please serve the district not just your unit.)
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