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I have a bad feeling...

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  • I have a bad feeling...

    You might recall that a number of months ago I asked about a troop organized merit badge clinic for personal fitness that seriously shortcut the requirements. At the time my son, with a little coaching on my part, decided to do the badge as written.

    Fast forward a few months. Now the troop is starting a clinic for the camping MB. The first meeting is tomorrow. I already knew this was one of the harder ones (despite being done at summer camp) so I looked at the requirements. Ummm...yeah. I have no idea how they are going to do all this individual planning and execution in a group setting. And I'm pretty sure we don't have any equipment for trail cooking with lightweight stoves.

    Now, I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt and wait to see what is actually covered but I have experience as my guide here so I'd like to have a general idea in my head of what to do if they say "we're not gonna do that."

    I know people don't like MB clinics and I don't disagree but the situation is what it is.

    Any thoughts?

  • #2
    Personally, I wouldn't be giving anyone the benefit of the doubt.

    I'd be looking carefully at who will be doing it, who is supporting it and who has approved it.

    Has it been approved by the Scoutmaster? That's the most critical decision maker.

    What are the expectations of the Scoutmaster for how such a program will be conducted? Frankly, once it gets started, it's probably going to roll over any opposition, since Scouts will be invested in a poor program, if poor it is.


    • #3
      so brew what part of the country are ya in?????

      I maybe able to loan ya the gear you need to make it work.....


      • #4
        There are advantages to working though camping MB as a group. Emphasis on *working*. E.g., each boy get assigned a calendar month to plan an outing for his patrol. Boys tally each other's camping nights, making sure that everything is counted fair and square. Boys discuss tough questions like "Is cabin really camping?" or "Tent or tarp?"

        In other words, learn as a class, demonstrate as individuals.

        It is fair to ask the MBC for the course to hold to the requirements. It is fair for your son to raise the bar for himself and the patrol. As long you're not overachieving, you're in safe territory.


        • #5

          Ask the MBC, in advance, how you can help him get the boys to meet the requirements, as written. Because they obviously can't do it in a 3-4 hour class.


          • #6
            Perhaps complicating the discussion is that the first meeting is tonight...the more I read the requirements with a knowledge of the troop's typical program, the more leery I am.


            • #7
              It took me personally 2 years to flesh out the requirements for camping merit badge. That was 2008-2009.

              Yours in Service,
              Sentinel.(This message has been edited by Sentinel947)


              • #8
                What is the SM's view on all of this? Have you asked him?


                • #9
                  What I decided to do was ask my son to read all the requirements beforehand. He quickly understood how involved they are. I told him it was going to take some time and we discussed how it was his responsibility to be sure he had completed everything fully.

                  At the meeting, there were some tabletop excercises to handle some of the "describe and prepare" stuff. They also reviewed all the requirements so that the boys understood it was their responsibility to do and keep track of tasks, camping nights, and so on, and report back when they are done. As it turns out, this is a regular session the troop holds in fall to get boys started on the process and not the "one and done" that I had worried about. I feel comfortable that my son understands it's his responsibility to do the work required.


                  • #10
                    Oh, good!

                    Best news on the forums so far today!


                    • #11
                      Good to hear that your Scouts are really going to experience the badge fully.


                      • #12
                        Well, we do still have the "troop method" issue to deal with but we are making progress. I've made it a ticket item. We'll probably be a bit of a hybrid for a while but hopefully will make it closer to the patrol ideal.