I saw a topic on this from 2002 but would like to re-open it as the issue seems to have gotten worse and not better.
I am opposed to merit badge universities and one-day merit badge events. I think they focus entirely on the getting the badge and checking the box.
I believe they violate the spirit and intent of merit badges in the following ways:
A scout is to take personal responsibility for earning the badge
The MB curriculum is designed to have the scout dive into the material and not just gloss over it.
The MBU is less about accomplishment and more about just showing up.
Logistically, it is almost impossible to actually test each scout individually.
Part of the idea of earning the merit badge is learning to interact personally and directly with adults, both in taking the initiative to contact them and schedule appointments and demonstrate their skills.
The scout is supposed to actually develop skill and knowledge, not just pass a test.
Am I off-base? Is there really a justification for MBUs?