In today's hectic world, Scouts are finding it increasingly more difficult to find merit badge counselors to help them make their way on the "Boy Scout Trail to Eagle Scout." Most counselors are easy to find at summer camp since most scouting units will attend a week long session at a scout council camp but once the session had ended, where should Scouts look for other counselors?
The answer is simple. Just look at your teachers and advisers in school.
At a recent parent/teacher conference at Franklin Middle School in Green Bay and at Green Bay West High School, I found a number of teachers willing to help Scouts attending their schools with merit badges that pertain to their course subjects. Many teachers that have signed on to become counselors found that they can dove-tail merit badge requirements into the lesson plans and some have enhanced the teaching abilities in adding additional information or new projects that may spark students into further studies in and out of class sessions.
Some teachers will go as far as placing a sign in their classrooms to indicate that they are merit badge counselors for specific badges which helps some of the more timid Scouts come forward seeking help.
Becoming a merit badge counselors is simple if you know what is expected:
- File an adult leader application and merit badge counselor's application to indicate which badges you would like to help with and give supporting background information regarding those badges.
- Take the online training on Youth Protection and the on line training on becoming a merit badge counselor which is available through www.baylakesbsa.org.
Once approved, counselors are set and the rest is easy. Wait for Scouts to ask for your help and then set up specific meetings to cover the requirements.
Other counselors can be found by visiting members of your church or parish, business associates and family friends with a passion for a specific badge.
Finding teachers who wish to become merit badge counselors is fairly easy if you do your homework and all schools will have teachers that would be happy to help if only asked.