“Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men.” Alma 48:17
Building Captains’ Responsibilities
(The Captains may delegate or do these themselves.)
- Help secure MB counselors for your building. Especially try to have several Eagle-required MBs and as many other “popular” MBs as you can. We also want a good variety of the newer merit badges*.
- Start by inviting past merit badge counselors to help us out again this year. Then move on to new possible counselors. Ask adults who have moved in since last year and don’t forget the sisters in RS, YW, and Primary. They make great counselors too!
- Wear your uniform and be a helpful, cordial overseer of the activity. This event usually runs quite smoothly, but be prepared to put out fires and smooth ruffled feathers as needed.
- Make room assignments for each merit badge based on attendance projections.
- Get keys and open your building an hour before sessions begin. It might be good to have access to the library. Some MB counselors might need a TV, easel, or projection screen. They should contact you with their requests. Depending on the number of walk-ins, you might want access to the copier to add more handouts to some sessions.
- Create, print and put up signs for registration tables, room assignments, schedule, Merits of Scouting Poster, etc.
- Provide a couple of large boxes near the check in tables (or maybe inside the double doors) for the food drive. Each scout has been asked to bring four or five cans or boxes of food for each MB he does. At the end of the day on Saturday, please weigh the contribution and distribute to an appropriate food distribution center. You may want to pair up within your stake with another building Captain. Please notify me of the total # of pounds donated so I can share an accurate report with our Stake and BSA leaders.
- Personally phone MB Counselors who will be teaching in your building at least two weeks ahead and see if they have questions or special needs.
- Have a table with markers and name tags. Have Scouts make name tags before coming to the check in table.
- Provide a drink at lunch time. I believe McDonald’s will still provide free drink mix, cups, and coolers if you ask. Scouts will bring their own lunch, but it’s a good idea to have a couple loaves of bread and some PB&J on hand too. We promise that we’ll provide a drink for the Scouts. Your choice of what and how.
- Have a store of blue cards on hand for those who don’t bring any.
- Organize an opening ceremony (pledge and prayer, etc.) for Friday and/or Saturday morning. Post the opening time and location so all will know. You may just use Scouts or invite dignitaries to participate in your opening. These might include local community leaders (mayor, town council member, etc.), religious leaders (Stake or Bishopric representatives or leaders from other faiths), or representatives from BSA District or Council. They can simply be recognized or invited to say a few words.
- In the past, Veteran’s Day has been on our Friday or Saturday and many BCs took the opportunity to invite a Veteran to speak or have a couple of Veterans there to be honored by another dignitary. This year, Veterans Day is on Sunday and observed on Monday. You may still focus on a Veteran if you like since it’s still Veterans Day weekend..
- It’s all optional. You may have a brief opening with just Scouts doing the prayer and flag ceremony. You may invite others and have a slightly more elaborate opening. Or you might choose to have no opening. You have final say as to how you want the MBC to look in your building. If you do a significant opening, let me know so we can give journalists an opportunity to cover your event. We’ve had some great newspaper coverage in the past. This makes great PR for the Church and for Scouting.
- An opening might look like this:
- Welcome by the BC or a Scout in uniform.
- Briefly mention housekeeping items (the signs posted on rooms, central map, bathroom locations, etc.)
- Do a flag ceremony (11-year-old Scouts work well for this since it’s a requirement for their advancement).
- Have a prayer offered by a Scout or religious leader.
- Introduce dignitaries and give them a moment to speak.
- The whole thing should be kept to 10 to 15 minutes.
- Make sure Scouts are released to get to their MB session on time.
- The main thing is to make all feel welcome and appreciated. Have fun with this.
* Newer merit badges include:
- Dec. 2016: Exploration This was introduced after last year’s LDS MBC, so we definitely want to offer it.
- May 2015: Animation
- Feb. 2015: Signs, Signals, & Codes
- Apr. 2014: Digital Technology
- Feb. 2014: Mining in Society
- Visit https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/merit-badge-calendar/ for the complete list of new merit badges.