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  • #16
    If a unit has a proper yearly program in place consisting of a true outdoor program then many MBs will be EARNED by the boys just by participating in the troop's events.

    Some MBs will require the classroom lecture format unfortunately. But in my opinion, scouts should be all about kids DOING things not sitting there in class, they get to do that already in school.

    And lastly, to touch upon my 1st point again, I prefer to focus on the program (activities during meetings & outings) and the skills and lessons learned on the journey and not on ranks, badges, and rewards as those will come naturally for any scout who fully embraces the program.

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    • #17
      Along with attending a class on how to fill out your son's Eagle paperwork you can do this too:

      Advancing in Scouting Binder
      Every Mom or Dad needs help to organize their Boys workbooks and keep track where their son is in scouting.
      This is the perfect solution! Come check it out!
      The cost is $15. Worth every penny! It includes a $5 off a
      merit badge class coupon!

      Crazy me told my son to keep track of his own stuff! No wonder he didn't Eagle out at 14.

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      • #18
        Outdoors says:

        If a unit has a proper yearly program in place consisting of a true outdoor program then many MBs will be EARNED by the boys just by participating in the troop's events.

        "Many"? Which ones? Camping, Cooking and Swimming, presumably. Probably First Aid (leaving aside whether that is considered an "outdoor" badge or not.) That's four so far, which I don't consider "many". Which others?

        And then there is "just by participating." That may be a bit of an exaggeration in most cases. It is mostly true for the T-2-1 requirements. If a Scout passes a T-2-1 requirement while participating in a camping trip, for example, and an older Scout or an adult leader sees him pass the requirement, it can be signed off right then and there, and he's passed the requirement. But what if an MB requirement says "Demonstrate for your counselor..." or "Show your counselor"? Is the MB counselor there on the camping trip? Maybe sometimes, but usually not. There are some requirements that do not have to be done in front of a counselor, such as the 20 nights camping for Camping MB, and that obviously IS done "just by participating." I am not sure how many of those there are, though.

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        • #19
          I find it truly amazing that every time I make a post on these forums that implies that a Boy Scouts should get outdoors to camp, hike, canoe, fish and just simply be outdoors people here immediately jump all over me.

          These should be part of a monthly program (not all of these every month, but every month should including an outing that includes one or several of these activities) (first aid skills should be practiced on a regular basis):
          backpacking, camping, canoeing and/or kayaking, cooking, first aid (actually every outing should have at least one WFA certified person), fishing and/or fly fishing, hiking, orienteering

          And these probably a little less often but part of a yearly program
          climbing, cycling, geocaching, pioneering, rowing, swimming, whitewater, wilderness survival

          I could find several more if I looked at the list more closely.

          That is just my opinion of course. Flame away as everyone here always does. I apologize for sharing some of the ideals of Baden Powell and Green Bar Bill in my desire to get kids outdoors which is no longer part of the modern core program. Which is why, if you really do want to be part of a program that teaches kids leadership, responsibility, respect, and many other values using the outdoors as a classroom then BSA is not the place. BSA could be and there are many troops that do an awesome job at it, but personally for me finding like minded people that share my opinion has been a lost cause.

          Being involved with scouting has reduced both the quality and quantity of the camping and other outdoor activities I enjoy with my family and I am not so sure that is what Scouting's founding fathers intended.

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          • #20
            "I find it truly amazing that every time I make a post on these forums that implies that a Boy Scouts should get outdoors to camp, hike, canoe, fish and just simply be outdoors people here immediately jump all over me."

            I'm all for getting boys outdoors! No jumping here.
            I'd be interested in hearing what a typical camping schedule is for some of our most active posters here. I'll bet many of them never leave the house!

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            • #21
              Outdoors says:

              I find it truly amazing that every time I make a post on these forums that implies that a Boy Scouts should get outdoors to camp, hike, canoe, fish and just simply be outdoors people here immediately jump all over me.

              Since I was the only person to respond to the post in question, I'll assume you were talking about me. I didn't "jump all over you." I questioned one specific statement that you made, which I still question. You have pointed out more activities that should be part of a troop's outdoor program that relate to merit badges, but I still think the phrase "just by participating" is an exaggeration. Participating in a program that includes all the things you mention will fulfill some requirements of some merit badges, and will provide the "instruction" (or whatever you wish to call it) and practicing of skills necessary to pass other requirements.

              I don't think there are many people in this forum who would disagree with your belief that an active outdoor program is a good thing. I certainly don't disagree with it. You seem to have sort of a "chip on your shoulder" about it, and I don't understand why.

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              • #22
                Outdoors,
                It takes about 300 posts before you get banged around enough to get a real big chip on your shoulder
                You need some think skin to hang out here, don't take stuff personally.

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                • #23
                  Charging a fee for merit badge instruction beyond the cost of materials? Is this "kosher"? Does Council/National approve of this?

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                  • #24
                    Yes you guys are right, wasn't in a good mood I think when I posted that and I sound a bit crazy now that I read it. Sorry. We can all call ourselves crazy once and a while can't we?

                    NJ, that list is in fact all merit badges. I grabbed the list and just read down it and typed in the names of the outdoorsy ones. And you are correct, by participating a boy will not gain 100% of the requirements for the badge. But they will get 100% of the knowledge and skills. The rest is paperwork and perhaps a "formal" test/demonstration.

                    But still, it is the knowledge learned that is important and that is what you gain from an outdoor program. The rest is just a badge you can sew on your sash for recognition.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      I see this as a scheduling place centralized on merit badges. I'm currently putting together a Merit Badge Academy and I can't tell ya how many no's I've gotten or no answers to emails or phone calls. Today's world so many are busy, busy, busy so having someone else do the logistics of planning and I as a MBC just show up or a Scout just sign up makes things easier on both ends. Reading through some of these descripts shows that Scout are not just simply showing up to a class and getting signed off. Some have field trips and weekly meetings. Workbooks are being utilized. This is great for a Scout that wants to complete ALL 130 of BSA current offerings of merit badges. Its also easy for the parent or scout that has multiple things happening to coordinate their schedules or find a MBC. Some of those classes are really small as it says a class can only be started when 4 scouts are on the waiting list.

                      What used to be done in Troop meetings and in the outdoor program easily is now competing with many other other activities. I can remember doing 5 campouts in 6 weeks in the fall and 4 campouts in 6 weeks in the spring. Nowadays we're lucky to get 1 campout a month.

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                      • #26
                        >> I'm currently putting together a Merit Badge Academy and I can't tell ya how many no's I've gotten or no answers to emails or phone calls

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                        • #27
                          Eagledad, In my council we have a similiar Merit Badge Challenge. At least in my troop, we tell the boys "Hey MBC is coming up, you need to get your blue cards filled out.". The scouts fill em out and bring em to the Scoutmaster. If they don't, their wasting their time and money and MBC.

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                          • #28
                            Outdoors,

                            You won't hear me griping about kids and the outdoors. I believe Green Bar Bill said "OUTING is three-fourths of ScOUTING."

                            E92

                            PS current BSHB misquotes him. Outing is not 2/3 of Scouting, just do the math

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                            • #29
                              Deaf did it ever occur to you that the merit badge councilor are not responding to you because the know that it is WRONG?

                              I know as a MBC I would not participate.

                              so what is the charge going to be?????? $25 for 4 merit badges in two hour sessions.

                              You understand that the boys learn absolutely nothing in two hours......how can a MBC work a room of 10 boys in two hours and give them a quality experience and know they understand the material.


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                              • #30
                                ...having someone else do the logistics of planning and I as a MBC just show up or a Scout just sign up makes things easier...

                                We'll thar's yer p'obem rite thar!

                                The purpose of the merit badge program -- and advancement overall -- isn't to give adults the opportunity to make things easier. It is a series of surmountable problems which teach the Scouts any number of life skills, inparticular, and as they relate to my point, tenacity, dealing with adults they don't know, making and keeping appointments, dealing with logistics and more.

                                Creating Merit Badge Universities, encampments, challenge -- whatever you call it -- cheats the Scouts out of the opportunity to overcome those obstacles and learn those skills.

                                I WANT my Scouts to have to deal with those problems themselves.

                                THE NUMBER ONE PROBLEM with advancement, in my opinion, is adults who apply their adult view, their 40 or 50 years of life and business experience and education to the advancement program. A 10 year old Webelos cracks open that new Boy Scout Handbook and thinks, "man, that a lot!" An adult looks at the requirements and starts figuring ways to double-count requirements, how to group them together, organizing classes, making the program efficient and thinks, "if we do this right, we can knock out Eagle in 18-to-20 months tops!"

                                Like I said, thar's yer p'obem rite thar!

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