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    • For the record, I was speculating that the parent wanted the scout to be isolated. From what in particular? We have no idea. I’ve had more than a few parents who became increasingly worried about who their child was befriending as he/she moved into adolescence. As a parent I’ve had the opposite experience in that kids from outside our local circle actually were the best people I could ever wish to have in my children’s life. The requirement as worded gives a tremendous amount of latitude. Maybe it does subvert the objective of the lesson. But, maybe for some scouts, a little step can be a big experience. Considering the parents’ views a little bit more deeply, I can imagine holding a belief that they shouldn’t see anyone as being different. Thus, connecting with someone on the basis that they are different may fly in the face of that.
    • Since the requirement states that a parent's permission is required and that permission is not given, seems that the scout has met the requirement.  BSA gave the scout an out with the parent's permission required statement.  Seems reasonable that if 1) the MB is eagle required, and 2) there is this caveat, then 3) the absence of said permission does not negate the entire MB, just that specific requirement.  Having said that, and adult bias aside, I think the MB is very effective in prompting good discussions on some serious issues. 
    • Yet for some reason we need a virtue signaling merit badge for it.  Every other citizenship MB deals with some governmental structure and the Scout's position in it.  This one is essentially application of the Oath and Law.  You could do the same thing with Scoutmaster Minutes.
    • Our unit has had some discussion on this requirement.  In our mind the key phrasing and verbiage is "who has an identity that’s different from yours" At it's most general, the definition of identity is "the fact of being who or what a person or thing is".  This really could quite literally be anyone, other than an internal dialogue.  All of us have some different traits, beliefs, or characteristics than someone (anyone) else.  It is not saying a person of Christian faith must speak with an atheist.  That would be enlightening no doubt, but not required. They (the scout) should have the conversation with someone else, no more, no less than the requirement asks
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