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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 C
Our PLC has been doing a huddle after every meeting. Works well for this SPL, who quickly goes over upcoming program and responsibilities and asks about problems. The troop guide came up a few from his new scout patrol. My general advice to guides is to focus on advancing the natural leaders in their groups and find something fun for the rest. He brought up what he thought were several barriers to that. One was a scout who said he's only there because his dad makes him. (This came as a surprise to me because he seemed like one of the more enthusiastic young men in the bunch.) I may o
Readers looking for a heated discussion on patrol assignments might likely look under this forum, but actually there's one roiling away in Advancement (http://scouter.com/index.php/topic/28189-positions-of-responsibility/?p=437306 somewhere around post 50). The way I see it: this is community dependent. In some communities, the boys come "networked" with older and younger boys -- even as cross-overs. This was my case as I was tighter with the older boys in my neighborhood and church than with the boys in my den. So, dropping into a mixed-age patrol was like putting the bluegill back i