I would agree!
The current UK structure works because it broadly reflects typical peer groups here, particularly the scouts/explorers distinction. What we call secondary school is aged 11-18 and at most schools there is an element of separation between those in years 7, 8 and 9 (11-14) and those in years 10-13 (14-18) and despite being in the same school with the same teachers they are often referred to as the lower and upper school. Typically school sports teams tend to have year group based teams for years 7-9 with those in year 10 upwards competing for places in the over all school teams.
When scouting was going down hill here the age ranges were not reflecting typical peer groups and that was where things went wrong.
If BSA is going to shuffle its age ranges around they need to reflect American peer groups and not British ones.
Be careful here, and check the Guide to Advancement 2017.... page 20
"Boys who join Cub Scouting for the first time as a
member of an Arrow of Light den, or boys who were
previously members of a Webelos den but did not
earn the Webelos rank, shall work on Arrow of Light
requirements during their fifth-grade year. They can
earn the Arrow of Light Award without earning the
When I say walk out... it's usually during a break or done politely. they've only done it a few times now.
As for selection, they don't always get to choose. Sometimes it's a direct choice. Other times they are at summer camp or a merit badge fair. In those events, it's a throw of the dice if you are working with a good MBC. I've found too often people organize events to offer multiple merit badges, but then market some badges only to find they lack quality MBCs.
We actually don't know why you have to be an American to care about this sort of thing. It was just suggested me to this past weekend at a council training event we use "As a Citizen of the World..." to replace, "As an American..."
Interesting side note: My family was the inspiration for the article about the Simon and Kotter families of East Brunswick. When my youngest son, Matthew, earned eagle in 2017, I sent a photo and press release of My 86 year old father, who was a 2nd class Scout , myself (Eagle 1979) and two Eagle brothers, and my Life Scout eldest son and Eagle Scout middle son to the newspapers, and it was published. My high school classmate, Michael Simon, of the family in the East Brunswick article, read my writeup, and played "we can top that", which, of course, they did. We all had great memories of two fun Scouting families growing up in the same town, and competing against each other at camporees, since we were in two different troops. Good Times!
We road tripped to the Burpee Museum in Rockford, IL for their Archaeology merit badge class. The museum has Jane, a juvenille T-Rex and an interesting display of Triceratops-type skulls. They also have a paleontology lab, a lot of fossils and the museum runs trips to Montana and Utah.
Adding a wetsuit and prescription goggles helped my oldest with his swimming so much. He did great at his last swim lesson. Thanks to Amazon.com for their selection, pricing and quick delivery. I was able to outfit him for under $50 - a good deal and convenient to find the items we needed.