Thoughts on Merit Badge Counseling

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The role of the Merit Badge Counselor always needs to be re-examined. It helps us keep the mission of the Counselor top of mind.

To that end, read this short article on Bobwhite Blather.

An important point is

Although not expressly prohibited, large group counseling is generally frowned upon. The Guide to Advancement cautions that in such situations, the counselor must confirm that each and every Scout completes each and every requirement, including the show, demonstrate, do and tell actions. It is not sufficient for a Scout to just sit in a class, write notes on a worksheet and turn it in.

The counselor, therefore, needs to tailor his or her counseling style to the merit badge and to the Scout. This means determining just how much teaching and hand-holding the counselor should do versus how much self-study and learning the Scout is expected to accomplish. Generally speaking, a Scout will learn more if he studies on his own, but he can certainly benefit from the teaching that a counselor can provide. As with other interactions with Scouts, it’s more effective if the counselor leads the Scout to learn and discover the answers on his own, rather than handing them over, as might be done in a classroom setting.

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