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  1. Every year, parents of first year scouts ask, "What merit badges should my son sign up for at summer camp?" Every year, I hear different responses from the SM and from the different ASMs. Some of the responses make sense. Some don't. What I usually recommend is a 3-point approach: Swimming merit badge Pick fun, outdoor-oriented merit badges that aren't easy to do back home using local troop merit badge counselors or local merit badge workshops. Good choices include: - Archery - Canoeing (or another boating activity) - Rifle Shooting - Horsemanship - Wood Carving, Basketry, or Leatherwork (or another craft) Avoid classroom-oriented merit badges and most Eagle-required badges. (Only Swimming and First Aid are really good fits for first-year scouts, and we do First Aid as a troop in-house workshop.) I'd like to hear what kind of advice other scouters give to first-year scout parents. Thoughts?
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