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  • LATEST POSTS

    • Funny you mentioned FingerPrinting MB.  My Son earned it at summer camp in under an hour as well.   MB colleges are different everywhere.  Alot is on the what badge it is.  But if its a badge that can be taking at Summercamp, then its not much different then a MB college IMO
    • I think it's entirely dependant on how each course is presented and how invested the boys are in the programming.  When I was young, our district would put on a few MB days a year as fundraisers. Seating was limited to 8 boys a course (effectively a MB 'patrol'), and course teachers were highly qualified in their fields. Courses were also taught on-site; for example, I earned the Atomic Energy MB at the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant, and my MB Counsellor was an actual nuclear scientist who took us through the entire facility. It being an hour's drive away, we had to work out our own transportation, and we really needed to work closely with the counsellor to demonstrate that we understood the materials (which, being nuclear science, was NOT easy - it was one of the most difficult badges I ever earned). But WOW did we learn a lot that day! It opened my understanding to a whole world of science about which I had known precious little before, and I had a fantastic time. That day was a powerful argument in favor of the idea. Conversely, my first day as a Scout, the day after my 11th birthday, we went to a MB course nearby my home, where after 40 minutes I earned the Fingerprinting merit badge. Sure, I still remember everything I learned from the two requirements I passed off, but that isn't saying much. 40 minutes! It was a bit too easy perhaps ... So I don't think it's about the concept of MB universities itself, but how they are executed and how the boys interface with them that needs to be perpetually reviewed and assessed. 
    • IMO, it depends on the badges being offered, and the structure (ie how many Scouts per each MB class).  If the MB event is a whole day or two half days dedicated to Rifle Shooting, Shotgun Shooting or Archery, and on the same limits of the number of Scouts that is used at summer camp, then I see it as no different than summer camp.  If it is First Aid, and again uses the same # of hours & Scout ratio as your summer camp would use, then I see no issue.  If it is Personal Management, with 20 Scouts in the class with one counselor giving it lecture style, then I would absolutely agree with you, it is not an appropriate way to present that MB.  
    • Welcome to the forums! To the first question: it depends. To the second question: it depends. No MBU is identical to another. If the objective of self-reliance is undermined, you are correct. If the event helps scouts be more self-reliant you are on base. The justification for an MBU is simple: it introduces a scout to someone deemed most qualified to counsel that badge. Take, for example, motorboating. You might have a dad in your troop who takes his boat out once a month, or you might have a retired grandparent who built or tested racing hulls, or you might have the captain of the coast guard. When I attended our district's MB Pow-Wow as a scout, I got to meet the counselor of a badge I was interested in, do cool stuff, got his contact info, then follow-up with him at a later date to complete the badge. Partial completions on the day of the event were the norm. There are some things that are done much better in groups. For example an officer of the court might want to demonstrate a jury trial. Well, he/she could talk to the scouts and show video, or he/she can get twelve scouts to sit in the juror's box, listen to arguments, elect a foreman and deliberate. It's all in the details. And if your MBU is not attending to the details, then send your scouts elsewhere.
    • I am sure you camp would love to hand off that responsibility to you.  My scouts want their showers. Maybe it is the 90-105 degree temps during the day, or being covered in sweat, dust, mud, blood and ticks. Maybe it is covered with the smell of horses or grease or insect repellent or fish. At night, there is a line for the showers so they can cool off from the 80+ degree temps and sleep. They adults usually can't get into the showers until well after midnight. I cant count how many times I have been to summer camp. I cannot remember a single week that we did not have 2-3 "scheduling" issues at minimum, double that number if there was a female leader along. Throw in a couple dozen female youth and I am sure the number of incident increases.  As for portable toilets, a conservative estimate is about $2200 per unit for Summer camp duration, likely closer to $3000 given the amount of maintenance. Even if we only covered 1/4 of our camp sites and a hand full of program areas are talking $44-60K minimum for the Summer. And portables cannot be placed with the current bathhouses, because of terrain. They would need to be at or near the road, which makes them PUBLIC restrooms for all practical purposes. Scoutmasters round table at Summer Camp is usually full of trivial complaints, but often the biggest and most contentious issue is Scouts/Scouters using another units latrine facilities because it is closer and not taking care of them (i.e. the Troop has to clean other peoples mess). Oh, and who gets the portable toilets, the boys or the girls? That is a can of worms in and of itself.  I am the first to step up when my daughter isn't being treated fairly. Well, maybe second, she is not bashful about sticking up for herself. But both she and I, as well as the vast majority or female Scouts and their leaders, understand there are practical concerns that need to be worked out, and most camps just are not there yet. And it will take time and money to resolve those issues. Is limiting weeks a perfect solution, far from it. The so called easy answers are just not that easy. But most understand we are working to get to a place where all Scouts have full access to our facilities. 
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