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  • The All-Scoutcraft Eagle

    Since every good thread deserves a digression...

    With some virtual prompting by this forum, there's a mental exercise I've gone through, but have never shared...seeing as how a bunch of us are dissatisfied with the "classroom" nature of E/R merit badges, what would the list look like if we had an "all Scoutcraft" Eagle? Just off the top of my head:

    First Aid
    Wilderness First Aid (a new merit badge in my fantasy world -- similar to the Swimming/Lifesaving "continuum")
    Swimming
    Lifesaving/EPrep/Search and Rescue?
    Camping
    Cooking
    Canoeing/Rowing/Kayaking/Sailing?
    Hiking
    Backpacking
    Orienteering
    Pioneering
    Wilderness Survival
    ...and perhaps a couple of nature-oriented MBs (Weather, Nature, etc)

    In fact, how about in my fantasy world First Aid MB is a required part of Wilderness First Aid MB (just like Swimming/Lifesaving)? Or Camping and Hiking as a step before Backpacking? Remove cooking requirements (and boating/hiking/etc) requirements from Camping MB, because you really don't need the overlap.

    I wouldn't even mind something like a "Trekking" merit badge, which emaphasizes group leader and organizational skills going in to leading a trek, either on foot, or by boat (yes, I know -- Backpacking and Hiking merit badges have some of that already...but only some).

    Please note -- I don't have a problem with the way things presently are -- but this was more or less just a game where I imagined what it might be like to have an all-skills collection of Eagle-required merit badges.

    Yes -- I know -- it wouldn't fly. But I can still daydream, can't I? :-)

    Guy

  • #2
    I think what you guys want isn't the Eagle Scout award (which always had a component of citizenship in it) but an ultimate outdoorsman award.

    We have that already and people are not earning it. Why?

    see:
    http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/BoyScouts/Youth/Awards/NOA.aspx(This message has been edited by bnelon44)

    Comment


    • #3
      I said long ago that anyone who earns the NOA is a very well rounded scout and has sampled, in a very complete manner, what scouting has to offer.


      I presented it to the troop maybe a year ago and they are working on it. Right now they are a pioneering merit badge away from camping and hiking merit badge away from the camping and hiking segment. a couple are a mile swim away from the aquatics one.

      Comment


      • #4
        Bill, with all due respect, I think you're missing my point. I think there are two reasons why Scouts aren't earning the NOA -- 1) it's new, and 2) it's not Eagle. On this last part, I've had some rather embarrassing experience with a troop where it became only about earning Eagle (another thread, already well-hashed).

        But I'm saying, as a thought exercise, what if that were turned around? Not that I want an ultimate outdoorsman award, but what if Eagle were an ultimate outdoorsman award? What would it look like?

        (like I said in my text, I don't have a problem with the way things presently are -- this is just strictly a "what if" game)

        Now -- present Eagle plus NOA. Sure, but it's not perfect. I'm speculating about "better" (implying better than what we have now) -- I am also not implying that Citizenship has no place in it.

        Please understand -- this is not an attack on present advancement, hence there is no need to defend the present system. This is (supposed to be, anyway) brainstorming about "better", or maybe even "different".

        Guy

        Comment


        • #5
          Look through the requirements for Venturing's Ranger award. It has more focus on development and application of knowledge in these areas.

          Comment


          • #6
            Great idea, I LIKE IT! Scouting is a journey with Eagle being the destination for my more ambitious scouts. My scouts viewed NOA as a side trip or a bunch of side trips? They can map their own.

            Focus on the outdoors and scoutcraft and leave the classroom stuff to schools or as electives.

            Maybe replace Wilderness First Aid MB with a real WFA course. In general, scout-up the requirements for these merit badges, in particular Wilderness Survival and SAR.

            Replace Eagle project with an Eagle trek. Eagle candidate plans and leads a patrol on a trek, no adults.

            Did I say I like it?

            Comment


            • #7
              What are the aims of Scouting?

              Comment


              • #8
                I said long ago that anyone who earns the NOA is a very well rounded scout and has sampled, in a very complete manner, what scouting has to offer.


                I presented it to the troop maybe a year ago and they are working on it. Right now they are a pioneering merit badge away from camping and hiking merit badge away from the camping and hiking segment. a couple are a mile swim away from the aquatics one.

                We have one guy with the Camping segment (1 gold device and closing in on his second), and two more guys who are a group first aid kit (last Firat Aid MB requirement) away from joining him. Another guy is a Lifesaving MB away from the Aquatic segment. Several more guys are excited about and pursuing the NOA.

                I think few people earn it because it is challenging. It's hard. And that's not a bad thing. The value of an award isn't based on how many people earn it. BSA has made a mistake emphasizing the number of Eagle Scouts. Earning the NOA requires a great deal of outdoor adventure, which implies a higher standard for skills and self-reliance than is required for Eagle. And for leadership, the NOA does require the Scout to plan and lead an extended wilderness trip, which is a bigger leadership challenge than many Eagle Projects.

                Comment


                • #9

                  Gee, I wonder what an all-Scoutcraft program would look like?

                  Um, Baden-Powell?

                  B-P's 1938 PO&R:

                  http://inquiry.net/traditional/por/proficiency_badges.htm

                  A mid-1960's program (which by then had drifted):

                  http://inquiry.net/traditional/handbook/index.htm

                  Yours at 300 feet,

                  Kudu
                  http://kudu.net

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    B-P didn't like the BSA's take on advancement. Even when the BSA grew much faster than his Scouting Association and stayed the much larger organization. Even when the Eagle award out-shown every other Scouting award in the world.

                    Again, since we are talking about the Eagle award and not some award from some other organization, what are the aims of the BSA? The Eagle Scout rank should and does represent the fulfillment of those.

                    The BSA is not just another camping club and the Eagle Award is not just a camping/outdoors award.

                    (This message has been edited by bnelon44)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      GKlose, I think your idea is outstanding!

                      bnelon44, your commitment to having scouts sit at picnic tables, doing homework MBs, it both amazing and puzzling at the same time.

                      To borrow Basement's comments about the NOA, I think a scout who earns Eagle under GKlose's plan will be a well rounded scout as well.

                      Less time sitting on a bench, more time in the field.

                      Instilling the aims of scouting, and then seeing the aims become a part of life, is best done by actual involvement in life. Preferably the outdoors. A 500 word essay doesn't prove much.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        My thoughts

                        First Aid
                        Wilderness First Aid (a new merit badge in my fantasy world -- similar to the Swimming/Lifesaving "continuum")

                        Personally I do not know why FA MB cannot have WFA skills. It's been a while since I read the WFA stuff, can't affford the course or instructor cert yet, but a lot of what I read reminded me of my FA MB class way back in the day. Yes we sat some and practiced some skills, then we took some hikes with scenarios thrown in to make us use those skills. Best FA course I ever took, or have taught so far. A heck of a lot better than watching a video for AHA courses.


                        Swimming
                        Lifesaving/EPrep/Search and Rescue?
                        Camping
                        Cooking
                        Canoeing/Rowing/Kayaking/Sailing?
                        Hiking
                        Backpacking
                        Orienteering
                        Pioneering
                        Wilderness Survival

                        100% right on.


                        ...and perhaps a couple of nature-oriented MBs (Weather, Nature, etc)

                        I'm good with.

                        I do hate to say it, but I think 1, possibly 2 paperwork MBs are needed. I think A) combine the three Citizenships into one MB as the kids these days are not learning about our government in the schools and B)Possibly keep Personal Management, but gear it more towards saving for trips, gear etc. Again kids are not getting these concepts in the schools like they use to.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Eagle92, well thought out...heck, I've got to agree, at least 1 homework MB is probably in order. Perhaps include personal finance concepts in the citizenship superb badge as well? Paying bills and saving money are hallmarks of good citizenship, I believe, though it's been awhile since society has believed that.

                          One big homework badge...with a special border...imagine the relief when that is complete!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I like the idea GKlose. I wish that had existed when I was a scout. Actually, the only difference would have been some merit badges that didn't exist back then and the NOA awards and medal themselves. I pretty much did the rest anyway. It's one of the reasons I've had great admiration for BPSA and Kudu's approach.
                            So your idea and some of the things Eagle92 suggested look good to me.(This message has been edited by packsaddle)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thanks, guys, for joining in the spirit of this post -- I'm not lobbying for a change, I'm playing a "what if" game --

                              And, yes, Bill, I am catching your point -- but let's say I'm going to start ignoring the spirit of your post as much as you're ignoring the spirit of mine...

                              In my "secret fantasy world", the Citizenship badges would have been combined a long time ago. It (the one badge) would concentrate less on bookwork, would have 3 major components (maybe even 4), including Community, Nation and World requirements (overlap between the three MBs would be removed). It would also be about 3 times harder than any individual Citizenship badge is now, or at least take 3 times as long.

                              Yes, E92 -- the thought of moving First Aid MB requirements to ranks, and "toughening it up" so that it has more WFA skills came to mind. I like that idea. But I also like the idea of establishing a Swimming-Lifesaving type of relationship with FA-WFA. It had also occurred to me that similar to the way PADI certification takes care of the bulk of Scuba MB, a certified WFA course could take care of the bulk of WFA merit badge.

                              And yes, Kudu -- those proficiency badges were definitely on my mind --

                              In general, if I had a hope for the people on the national task force(s) looking at advancement, whoever they are, and whatever they're doing, I wish that they'd start thinking outside of the box a little. We get plenty of changes, but honestly things aren't really much different than when I was a Scout (70s). Adding Cooking MB back, and adding a Sustainability MB option isn't exactly racy stuff.

                              I do think there have been (or are going to be) positive changes -- I like the additions of Geocaching, Scuba, Kayaking and Search and Rescue. I like that they FINALLY did the right thing and are splitting up Computers into several different MBs (that's almost 10 years past when it would have made sense).

                              Check out Canadian Challenge Badges sometime. Look at how they're set up, and maybe do a side-by-side comparison with one of our merit badges. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

                              I know that many of us don't disclose our real life identities, and what we do professionally -- let's just say I'm an engineer in the telecomm world, and I've devoted all of my professional life to making better products for everyone, and I would think it is hard to argue that things aren't dramatically better now than they were even 10 years ago. That's why I play "what if" games.

                              Guy

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