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wtr100

is this adding requirements or not?

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The list doesn't seem like it's unreasonable, but the reference book listing with page number is too much. That part is turning an outdoor activity into a research project.

 

Don

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I think that Wingnut has it right. It may or may not be adding requirements but it sucks the fun right out. This is supposed to be a fun exercise. I fear that this is making it into a school project. Kids have enough school projects.

 

As I see it, the key thing isn't the animals per se, it's going into the outdoor, looking for and finding the animals.

 

Having said that, I don't think I'd have a problem if the Scout were required to show evidence that he would choose of having seen the animals or evidence of them. Best of all would be to go on a hike with his PL or other senior Scout and show them. But photos, tracings of tracks, photos of tracks, casts of tracks, droppings, etc. would work too.

 

Provided that it's fun.

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In my troop, it is sufficient to record the animal's name on the page provided in the Scout Handbook. The book recommends (not require) research of the animals or signs that are observed. It appears that your troop is enforcing this, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Requiring a reference for the research, however, is technically adding a requirement because this is not directly asked for.

 

Why should this practice continue in your troop? The research requirement will allow the scout to better identify the animal when observed (barn owl versus just any owl, for example) or allow him to identify which animal has left its sign. The reference is simply proof of the research.

 

The real issue sounds like the "fun" has been removed from this achievement. It is your mission, if you choose to accept it, to find the fun rather than change the procedure. A good start would be to try a scavenger hunt approach with possible prizes for the fastest turn in.

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I think the list is fine. It isn't necessary. If it is used as a tool to make the exercise smoother, perhaps easier, then no problem. But if that sheet of paper is required, then I object.

(This message has been edited by packsaddle)

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One cannot change WHAT is required but one is allowed latitude in figuring out HOW the requirement will be met. I see no problem with asking for some kind of documentation but one can cross a line somewhere, as has been pointed out, in making it less fun and interesting for the scouts.

 

For example, in teaching how to identify Posion Oak, I would in the past cut some Poison Oak (very carefully I might add) and put it into a zip lock bag. I would place other cuttings of other plants in other zip locks and see if the scouts could identify the Poison Oak. This also was a good teaching vehicle. By providing a bona fide test with real samples, I was not adding to the requirement.

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Considering the requirement in question is

 

Identify or show evidence of at least ten kinds of wild animals (birds, mammals, reptiles, fish, mollusks) found in your community.

 

all the Scout must do is tell the SM he completed the requirement. There is nothing in the requirement requiring any type of documentation.

 

Ed Mori

1 Peter 4:10

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I did notice that the requirement lists only two phyla (mostly Chordata) and makes no mention of arthropods or other creatures. I wonder why? Are they not to be included as part of the wild animals? Or was the suggested list non-exclusive? Any thoughts?

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I've noticed that, too, and I assume the list of animals to be exclusive. I believe it is a practical choice. It's too easy to turn over a rock and identify 10 insects. We want the boys to be looking around in the woods as part of their first experience. At least, that's my assumption about the reasoning behind the requirement.

 

 

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Let's have some fun with this. It also mentions 'kinds', implying a biblical basis. The meaning for that is somewhat equivocal but perhaps it wouldn't count unless the boy found evidence of two of each kind...if it's raining at the moment. ;)

On the other hand, the level of specificity in the suggested list includes four classes and one phylum. So why not include the amphibians or the Urochordates? Moreover, if a boy finds evidence of a raccoon and separate evidence for a beaver, that takes the level of identification to the species level...and I'd allow them to count the arthropods if they could take it to that level of identification. I'd be very impressed, actually.

 

Come to think of it, I could probably find two or three species of wildlife living ON the boys themselves, for that matter. Probably need a magnifying lens, though (yes, and some surgical gloves).:) Eeeeewww!

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Let's see ... I've allowed crayfish, newts, centipedes, tarantulas, junebugs, and probably a few more more unauthorized critters. No one can call me a Mammalian (or Chordate) supremecist!

 

But I sure hope I don't have to track down all those fellows and revoke their Second Class badges!

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How about a Merit Badge counselor that REQUIRES the the scouts complete the merit badge worksheets before he signs off on the merit badge. I have seen evidence where the counslor has said that the scout had finished the merit badge but didn't finish the worksheet to his satisfaction, so he wasn't going to sign off on it.

 

Isn't that considered adding to the requirments?

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If the counselor KNOWS the boy has finished the requirements, then that should be all that is needed for him to sign off on it.

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But the counselor will not give the scout his signed card until AFTER the scout has filled out the workbook to the counselor's satisfaction.

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In that case it's time to have a friendly talk with the counselor about getting trained. You need to find a way to make him understand that HE doesn't get to set the requirements, only to make sure the boy has passed them. If he won't sign the card and release it until the boy has filled out his extra paperwork, and if a friendly conversation can't shake the guy, then contact someone at the next level, maybe the DE or the district advancement guy if there is one. Just make sure the boy gets the recognition and advancement that he has earned. That's the important thing.

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