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  • Sustainability?

    Has anybody else read over the "Sustainibility" MB requirements? IMHO, it's a joke of a new MB. It takes a few of Environmental Science's topics and expands them to a mini Merit Badge. I'm and Environmental Science MB counselor, and I, for one, will never counsel this joke of a MB.

    It will be an easy MB to do at a MB clinic, though, which ES never was.

  • #2
    Last night at our court of honor, I closed with a Scoutmaster's Minute where I told the Scouts that Scouting is what you make of it. If you and the Scout make this super easy and a "joke" then you're doing each other a disservice. I just read the requirements and it doesn't look that awful to me.

    I'll make sure I don't recommend you for this badge though, Perdidochas. LOL!

    Comment


    • perdidochas
      perdidochas commented
      Editing a comment
      No worries, I won't counsel Sustainability. I like Environmental science too much.

  • #3
    The problem is that EnViSci requirements are largely *experiments* and *observation*.
    Sustainability requirements are largely "design" and "engineering".

    So regardless of how diligent he may be, a boy who doesn't like one may choose the other. It's been mentioned in other threads that scouting is traditionally a sport of observation. There has been a shift from that to one of informatics and activism.

    Comment


    • perdidochas
      perdidochas commented
      Editing a comment
      Probably the reason for my dislike. I'm into experiments and observation, as a former science teacher and current amateur naturalist.

  • #4
    "It's been mentioned in other threads that scouting is traditionally a sport of observation." (qwazse)

    There is nothing in the book that says one can't teach beyond the requirements for a MB or advancement. As a boy-led program, not only do my boys have to demonstrate in their advancements, they demonstrate by teaching it. That way I know they really know their stuff.

    Last night my one boy taught the new boy the square knot. Next week the new boy will need to "demonstrate" by teaching it back to him so he can get it checked off. So where's the observation part of it? When we were teaching the new boy how-to-teach we showed a number of different ways to tie the knot. He could teach it any of the ways demonstrated. He tied the knot as he was taught, the "teacher" boy tied it backwards from what was demonstrated (still comes up a square knot) and I used the loop method, but I tied a thief knot instead. Then the new boy teacher was to look at the results and he said we all "passed". But I said nope, look again. He looked, and looked for a long time and eventually the other boy piped in that he saw the difference, and filled the new boy in with the way the knot was tied. He was focused on the knot, not the ends of the ropes. We spent time talking about the names of the knot, Joining Knot, Square Knot, Reef Knot, and basically had fun with how knots were important for future work in the troop. Knots are also supposed to be easy to untie as well as tie and we worked the square knot, pulling the one loop leaving a lark head knot on a standing rope and pulled it free. Important when one ties a square knot in their expensive necker.

    It was kinda fun to watch the boys. My one scout got up, introduced himself and said he would be teaching tying the square knot. He pulled out his parachute cord teaching aid (two different colors), and asked the new boy to get out his cords. Of course he didn't have any. Then the one boy asked the new boy what the Boy Scout motto was. "Be Prepared" and admitted he wasn't prepared. My one scout said, "Oh yes you are. Look at yourself." The new boy desperately looked all over and said he didn't have a cord. Then the one scout said, "Sit down and take the laces out of your shoes." (OBSERVATION)

    When the new boy comes back next week, I'm thinking he has all the information and skill to teach the square knot to yet other new boys when they come into the troop.

    So, how many SM's take that much time to teach the square knot? Too many times I see the adult toss a piece of cord to a new scout and tell him to tie a square knot, which he does and then gets his book checked off. Yes, it passes advancement, but does it pass muster as something useful for the boy to use.

    Do I go beyond the requirement? Yep, big time, but eventually I'll have a PL that can really teach his boys. I'll have a SPL that will be able to teach his PL's what they need to know. I'll have a TG that can also teach the new boys and I'll have Instructors that can take any topic at the drop of a hat and teach it on the spot. With a boy-led program, I can't settle for anything less.

    Stosh

    Comment


    • perdidochas
      perdidochas commented
      Editing a comment
      While not quite as elaborate as your teaching, we try to teach more than just the knot. The usage is the important part.

    • moosetracker
      moosetracker commented
      Editing a comment
      Not in the MB pamphlet, but one of the main rules for any MBC, repeated constantly is " not add to, delete from, or modify the merit badge requirements in any way" Better stated is this..

      "◾Don't make the requirement more difficult—or any easier—than stated. A Scout may undertake more activities on his own initiative, but he cannot be pushed to do so "

      That at least gives you something you can do.. You can offer, to go further in the subject as long as it is an invitation, not a push.. If the scout is hooked on the subject, they will probably be happy to work further on the subject matter.. But if just going through the motions to get a signoff, you won't get him to go a step further then necessary.

      http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/...elorguide.aspx

  • #5
    Stosh,
    I agree. And every MBC should have a "look at this and tell me what you see" attitude.
    But, the requirements in these two MBs spell out very different approaches. At first glance, it seems that it's going to take a lot of creativity to make Sustainability as observation oriented as Environmental Science.

    I guess those hours in the woods watching and waiting for wildlife was one of the more memorable steps on my trail to Eagle. I'd like to think every scout on that trail would experience something of the sort.

    Comment


    • jblake47
      jblake47 commented
      Editing a comment
      After 60 years in the woods, I still sit for hours and just look and listen. One doesn't see the great horned owl unless you out wait him. Just last week I was out hunting deer and mentally saw my limit in squirrels, rabbits, saw a ton of stuff out there that only hours of patiently sitting quietly would allow for. So often our boys fly through the woods on their hikes like a bull in a china shop and wonder why the only thing they saw was the trail 3' in front of their feet.

      We had a very interesting "observation" while I was at Philmont. We were warned that there were multiple rogue bears in the park and to be on the look out for them and stay clear. It was late season and the boys happened upon a patch of wild raspberries and started to help themselves to the treat. Everything went well until I caught up to the group and passed right on by. The boys called out they had found some berries and I said, yes, I know, but I don't really want to stop and graze in the middle of some bear's kitchen. That was the end of the berry picking!

      The trail to Eagle is the same thing. One can focus on the goal so hard they forget to look around and enjoy the journey.

      Stosh

  • #6
    This is a pale merit badge compared to ES. I hope we don't see a precipitous drop in the number do ES being earned in the next few years.

    Comment

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