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  • Scouting Heritage MB

    As a Scouting history buff, I'm very interested in Scouting Heritage MB, but am curious if any Scouts are. Has anyone had any interest in it from their Scouts yet? Any leaders thinking of including it in program in coming years? Does it seem like a good idea? I'd like to be a counselor, but it seems difficult to get Scouts for the required MBs, if you're not directly connected with a unit.

  • #2
    Kahuna: I have been a counselor since the outset; the only one for a short time in our council. Still not very many. While most scouts that see displays I put on two or three times a year are mildly interested, there are few that spend any time with in depth viewing or ask me specific questions. On the other hand, at the last Eagle dinner in Spring I could not find one of my history books and got worried; finally discovered a scout and his mother sitting on a bench pouring over the book. Every once in a while, when I ask my Scouting History question that is now a part of our Eagle boards, I have one very well versed; but most have the bare minimum from the handbook. Other than after a merit badge gathering the first year it was available, I have had no calls. But it still has its place. Not sure how to get more interest, as almost all scouts focus on the Eagle badges, a few really fun ones, and the easiest outside of the Eagle.


    • Kahuna
      Kahuna commented
      Editing a comment
      That sort of follows my thinking on it. Not being Eagle required, which it probably should be, definitely is a downer. It's not particularly easy, either, and requires actual reading and study. A real shame, since most Scouts and leaders know little or nothing about the legacy of Scouting. I'm glad to know you do historical displays. We have a gent in our council who does a display at many events. He is a major collector and has quite a lot of great history.

  • #3
    I'm a counselor for Scouting Heritage. I'm not connected with any particular troop--I'm just on the Council list waiting for the phone to ring, which hasn't happened yet. I did do it at a "Merit Badge University" type event, and I was quite disappointed that most of the scouts (despite be instructed to do so) didn't really bother to read the merit badge pamphlet, or even the requirements. To encourage them to do so if I do it again, I made the following web page which outlines my expectations, and has some ideas about sources of information:


    • skeptic
      skeptic commented
      Editing a comment
      When I met with the group of scouts at the group session the first time, I added Green Bar Bill and Edward Robinson to the list of possible bio's. Both are very important in the history of the program. Another is Norman Rockwell; of course he fits with the Boy's Life info too. I like your approach to the prep, especially if it is to be a group session. Thanks for sharing.

    • Kahuna
      Kahuna commented
      Editing a comment
      I really like your web page. I'd like to use it as a guide in case I get some live Scouts who want to do the badge. I was also curious about the University of Scouting results. Sadly, I think most kids go for the exciting stuff or merit badges you can knock out in a day at ours. We had some historical items and books at our Sea Scouting display last year and surprisingly a number of boys and leaders took time to pour over it. I think I'll do the paperwork to get on the approved list and see where it follows from there. Thanks for posting that!

  • #4
    I wouldn't expect much interest in this merit badge. First of all its essentially bookwork and research which generally isn't something a boy will willingly choose to do and likely will only do in school. Also it isnt eagle required so that immediately will knock it off the interest lists of many other scouts.

    It likely would help the scouts to learn about the history of scouting as understanding early scouting is essential in realizing where it is currently going astray. More of this information really should be a standard part of the handbook.


    • #5
      I have had one or two boys in my troop express interest. I think it would be great for scouts to learn about the history of scouting. At a recent Eagle BOR, the candidate was asked which merit badge he would add to the list of Eagle required. He said Scouting Heritage.


      • #6
        I'm thinking of using Story of the Boy Scouts by Wyatt Blassingame as a basic primer when I offer this badge; any opinions on the book? I like it because it acknowledges Seton and Beard's pre-BP roots (though it does neglect to even give events' years with those two while meticulously dating BP's actions).


        • Kudu
          Kudu commented
          Editing a comment
          Scouter99 commented

          Patrols, pg 82

          "The Birch-Bark Roll offered 'a coherent scheme for organizing boys into manageable self-governing units...
          Scott is quoting the rabidly anti-Baden-Powell leftist Michael Rosenthal.

          I had marked the facing page because it was the first time I had ever seen David Scott agree with Tim Jeal.

          Ever :-/

          However, Jeal does not agree with Rosenthal:

          "Seton's most serious accusations should not be taken seriously, nor should Michael Rosenthal's recent argument that Baden-Powell found in the structure of the Woodcraft Indians 'an organizational model that provided solutions for almost every problem he faced'." There were indeed similarities between Seton's Indian 'bands' and Baden-Powell's Boy Scout 'patrols'. Both were placed under a boy leader who was himself under the more distant authority of an adult, but there were many other precedents which Baden-Powell could just as well have chosen to follow. When the True Blue War Library was running its Boy Scout stories, the newspaper inaugurated a boys' society called 'The True and Trusty Band'. Members swore to obey various laws, and joined groups of from six to eight under a boy captain. There were secret signs, and badges to be won.

          "In the 5th Dragoon Guards and in the S. A.C., Baden-Powell had trained men in groups of six under an N. C.O. rather than an officer, and had long been an admirer of the public school system of supervision by senior boys. Seton's bands were considered viable at anything between 15 and 50 boys; Baden-Powell therefore followed his own precedents in determining the number for each Scout patrol. The name itself came from his own book Cavalry Instruction (1887), in which he had called all small scouting groups 'patrols'. Nor is Rosenthal correct in thinking that Baden-Powell derived his idea for First- and Second-Class Scouts from Seton's division of his Indians into Braves and Warriors. Scouts in the 5th Dragoon Guards had been divided by ability and knowledge into 'First and Second Class' [Jeal, The Boy-Man, page 380].

          I will try to respond to more of your quoted passages, as best as this poor sufferer of "BP Blindness" is able. :-/
          Last edited by Kudu; 08-14-2013, 09:21 PM.

        • Scouter99
          Scouter99 commented
          Editing a comment
          I will try to respond to more of your quoted passages, as best as this poor sufferer of "BP Blindness" is able. :-/
          You're welcome to, and I enjoyed your quotes for their insight, but I'm not looking to engage you in a debate; you asked me to provide the passages in Scott's book that had informed my statements, I did. Very little of history is concrete, we all interpret though a perspective.
          Last edited by Scouter99; 08-17-2013, 02:49 PM.

        • Kudu
          Kudu commented
          Editing a comment
          I'm just posting what I learned from Tim Jeal's biography of Baden-Powell.

          I had hoped to Google up some of my own posts from 15 years ago, in which I also give examples of Baden-Powell "borrowing" the badge system and other program elements (including some Birch Bark games) from Seton's program.

          As for my "B-P-Blindness," only my legendary modesty prevents me from pointing out that I was the first person in the world to provide Seton's (and Beard's) entire pre-Scouting handbook on the Internet. In the years before Google Books and the rise of the Gutenberg Project, my Boy Scout Website was the only such digital reference anywhere, including the links on Wikipedia and the Seton Institute itself.

          B-P's military patrols, however, (and his military scout games like Capture the Flag, Spider & Fly, etc.) predate Seton. Real Patrols are the reason that Scouting became overwhelmingly popular with boys. Their absence now is why most American boys hate Scouting as much as they would hate sports if we removed the physical distance elements of any game and replaced them with "leadership skills."

          Last edited by Kudu; 08-18-2013, 11:41 AM.

      • #7
        After reading the Jeal book, I can understand why BSA limits access. Jeal briefly mentions the other women BP was interested in and who turned him down, and focuses on a few parts of letters. Doesn't take into account the mores and customs of the Victorian time period, nor the sense of duty that the British military instilled. BUT i Olave did destroy all the old correspondence after BP's death. The few letters between BP and the ladies of his bachelor days are to be found with their families.


        • #8
          Please, lets not continue the vendettas against everything National into this too. While the original patrol system is not the same, it still exists; and in many units it does a very good job of doing what it was developed to do. Certain realities in our society dictate many of the rationales in today's softened strictures. We live in a super litigious culture where much of what we did easily and with little concern as youth (those of us from the earlier periods; the old guys) is now simply not allowed due to fears of legal issues and overly protective and fearful people. Ironically, at the same time, we allow things today, actually almost encourage some, that would have gotten people beat, jailed, or worse forty or fifty years ago. Still, while we continue to fight to keep the basic skills in the program, good units do. We also do things that would never even been attempted back then, due to newer technology and superior equipment. Most camping in the old days was done with the assistance of vehicles of some sort, either wagons, carts, pack animals, and so on. Almost any early memoir predating 1940 talks about getting there without carrying anything but basic stuff on their backs.

          I am not claiming that today is better than yesterday. What I am saying is that many of the comparisons are simply not true. I have a troop that is 92 years old; and fortunately I also have many photos from early days, as well as various short write ups of activities. They camped in orchards, on farms, and sometimes "drove" to the end of the road, set up camp, and day hiked. They also took their fishing poles, rifles, and sometimes small game traps, while having staples on the truck in which they arrived (literally; on top of the gear).

          The animosity a few continue to post is often simply over board and often, to anyone who has done any "serious" readings, obviously slanted and sometimes inaccurate. Am currently reading a book from 1961, THE BLACK PANTHER BANNER, about a Lone Scout group in the Wichita area in the thirties. Read the book THIRTEEN YEARS OF SCOUT ADVENTURE by Walsh, or early boys' magazines. You will see something of what I am speaking.


          • #9

            So you Googled "Baden-Powell" and "Scouting Heritage Merit Badge" and found this thread? Here is a checklist you can use to compare Baden-Powell's "Patrol System," to your Troop's "Patrol Method."
            When camping as a Troop, how far apart do you camp your Patrols?
            a) 300 feet (Patrol System)
            b) 5-20 feet (Patrol Method)

            From whom did you learn your Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class skills?
            a) My Patrol Leader, of course (Patrol System)
            b) Troop Guide, Troop Instructors, and strangers at summer camp (Patrol Method)
            Who officially confirmed you as a Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class Scout?
            a) My Patrol Leader on a Patrol Hike (Patrol System)
            b) Mommies and daddies at a Board of Review (Patrol Method)

            What is a Troop committee?
            a) Patrol Leaders, of course. There is no adult committee (Patrol System)
            b) Parents (Patrol Method)
            Who controls the Troop's money?
            a) The Patrol Leaders, of course (Patrol System)
            b) Some adult (Patrol Method)
            How long have you had the same Patrol Leader?
            a) As long as I have been in Scouts, but he's our best woodsman (Patrol System)
            b) We vote for a new one every six (6) months (Patrol Method)
            What is the purpose of your Patrol?
            a) To explore the woods by ourselves (Patrol System)
            b) To learn "leadership skills" next to other Patrols (Patrol Method)

            Which do you think is actually boy-run, the Patrol System or the Patrol Method?
            a) Baden-Powell's Patrol System, of course
            b) My Scouting Heritage Merit Badge Counselor says there is no difference! (Patrol Method)
            Last edited by Kudu; 08-18-2013, 03:18 PM.