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"However, because of the incidence of complaints to the national
Advancement Team that Scouts are receiving signed blue cards from merit badge experiences where they did not actually and personally complete all the requirements, the national Advancement Committee is considering a proposal to provide unit leaders a method of recourse, when it is clear and
obvious that requirements were not fulfilled as written."
This is because of so many complaints from Scoutmasters that a Scout attended a summer camp program and they know the Scout did not do a requirement but the MBC signed the Scout off on the badge. If a new process is put in place to address this problem it will likely be in the new Guide to Advancement 2013 due out 2nd quarter of this year.(This message has been edited by bnelon44)
Read what it says about using workbooks. They are an optional aid that the merit badge counselor can use to help the Scouts learn. However the requirements don't change. If it says, demonstrate, the Scout demonstrates, he doesn't fill out a workbook and expect to be signed off on a requirement.
His Mom may think that is how it works, but that's not how it works. Anyway, read the speaker's notes, it doesn't say that the workbook replaces the requirements, just the opposite.
Nice rant John! But I am pretty much in agreement. We have taken a very simple game and added far too many complicated rules. You really summed it up for me early on when you said "Scouting isn't school".
I don't know if your remember when we met at PTC in 2008, but I had my then brand new Scout son with me. He is now a 16 year old Junior in High school and just earned Star last night. That took a long time, and I don't know if he will make Eagle. But I do know that he earned every badge he has worn, and knows his stuff. Of that I am proud.
He finds the outdoors aspects of Scouting to be fun and that is probably the only reason he is still active. He finds most Merit Badges to be boring, too much like school. How many other boys are of the same mind? I will add to this by saying my son likes school and will likely be named a National Merit Scholar later this year. But once the school books are put away, he does not want to see worksheets.
What was supposed to be a gang of boys having fun in the outdoors, but learning to be good citizens without hardly thinking about it has become much too complicated. The Eagle I wear is because I wanted to earn it, not because my parents thought it would look good on my resume. In fact, I earned it after being accepted to my college. If my son earns Eagle, it will be because he wants to, not because I am pushing him.
We have diluted Scouting and lost our focus. And National seems to be OK with that. My motto will never be Be Prepared...for life. It will always be Be Prepared. And trust me, there is certainly an implied difference.
I'm not sure what suggestions you would have and I don't know how any of what you wrote relates to the fact that the National Advancement Team is responding to the demands of the field for better training materials, which I think is what the subject of this thread is.
But you know, if you have constructive input to the program there are ways to get it to those that create program and it isn't a mysterious "national." It is a whole bunch of volunteers, like you, and those you met at PTC.
Probably the most direct way is to send a note to email@example.com or better yet, keep attending PTC classes, a lot of feedback from the field is gathered there. Also keep your email up to date with your council so you will be polled during the Voice of the Scout polling every year, that program is having a direct impact on program.
But I wonder if, in fact, you are imagining an idyllic Boy Scout program that never really existed. There were requirements from day 1. The rule not to add or delete from requirements existed on day 1. There were Scoutmasters who acted as gatekeepers who really shouldn't have from day 1. There were merit badges with requirements that had to be performed before a MBC from day 1. And there were troops that ran like a school room; which national has been trying to discourage from day 1.
The program is what the individual unit makes of it.
Personally I am glad to see something like what is in Slide 38.. Let's hope the advancement team has the kahonas to carry through with it. Might it be used with a heavy hand by some SM.. Maybe.. But, in the past few years the Advancement team has been giving the helecopter parents too much leeway with new rules to allow them to get their kids their paper eagles without them having to get off the couch.. Nice to see something that might put some teeth into the program again, and allow a SM to put his foot down and say "NO"..
I'm with moosetracker. I like that there is recognition that an option is needed when it is obvious that a scuot didn't get the benefit from a merit badge that only comes from actually doing the requirements as written; no more, no less.