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Gold Winger

Iggle required merit badges, which would you add?

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Since it looks like cooking is coming back on the list for Iggle, this is a good time to play what if.

 

If you were in charge and could make up the list of Eagle required merit badges, which would you add to the list or take off of the list.

 

I'd add Wilderness Survival but I'd change it to make you catch dinner and eat it.

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I'm glad to hear that Cooking MB is being considered to added to the list of Eagle required merit badges. It is a MB that teaches a life skill.

 

I would like to see Pioneering added to the list. This MB teaches scouts about construction, team work, and engineering.

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I think Orienteering would be a good one to add. The activities required would make for good campout and summer-camp program features.

And I think that Citizenship in the World would be a good one to remove. Not really a lot of hands-on in that one; (seems more like school work...yuk!!)

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Here's a thought to really stir the pot.

 

Have specific merit badges required for Star, another group for Life, and yet another group for Eagle.

 

For example: Star could require Swimming, First Aid, and Citizenship in the Community.

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Cooking, Orienteering and even Backpacking are good candidates in my opinion. I would remove Cycling, as a matter of fact I never understood why it made the list in the first place.

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I agree with GW and Gnome1952. For Eagle, I would require Wilderness Survival, Cooking, Backpacking, and Orienteering. I would remove Cycling.

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I think 12 required badges is already a lot, so when they add back Cooking, I hope they will delete at least one. It is difficult to see which one(s) that would be, though. If I had to pick two for removal they would probably be Cit. in the World (added in 1972, formerly World Brotherhood), followed by Family Life (added in the early/mid 90's.) However, removing either one would probably be perceived by some as a "message" (political, social or otherwise) that the BSA does not wish to send. So it is difficult to see a likely candidate for removal.

 

Removing Cycling would not help in this regard because it is only "optionally required" anyway. Presumably they wanted to have two specific physical activities (Hiking and Cycling) as options to Swimming.

 

Speaking of optional, I wonder how many Eagles actually earn Lifesaving rather than (or in addition to) Emergency Prep. In my son's troop I think only 1 or 2 have earned Lifesaving over the past 5 years. Those 2 MB's aren't really that much alike to justify them being options of each other, but I doubt they will change that.

 

I briefly thought about Personal Management as a candidate for removal, but it is probably needed now more than ever.

 

As for adding any (besides Cooking), I think it would be reasonable to take several of what might be considered the "advanced Scout skills" badges and make them an optional group, for example the Scout would have to earn Backpacking OR Wilderness Survival OR Pioneering OR Orienteering. But again, I don't think they should keep adding required MB's without removing at least an equal number. I also think that adding back Cooking will probably be seen as sufficient to increase the amount of "Scout skills" on the list.

 

Just for fun, I went down the entire list to see if I could find one that has not been mentioned that would make sense to add. The one that kind of jumped out at me was Public Health, although I suspect they would probably regard First Aid and Emergency Prep. as being sufficient for that general area.

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Most of our Scouts end up doing both lifesaving and emergency prep. If they only do one then lifesaving is usually it. Both are offered at our Council summer camp and, at least according to my sons (who have done both), lifesaving is a much more fun and interesting way to spend the week than emergency prep.

 

I like the idea of adding the Cooking merit badge back. I also like NJCubs idea of an advanced skills badge with options such as wilderness survival, pioneering, etc. To reduce the number of Eagle required badges, the three citizenship badges could be combined into one.

 

If I could do away with a badge I'd get rid of family life.

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" I wonder how many Eagles actually earn Lifesaving"

 

Nearly everyone in my son's troop did/does Lifesaving during their second summer camp.

 

 

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I like getting Backpacking added, possibly to replace Cycling in that list. A Scout not knowing backpacking just seems wrong. We are (responding to the PLC request) adjusting our camping schedule to have enough backpacking trips in a year to be able to earn the Backpacking merit badge.

 

I like adding a new "advanced stereotypical Scout skills" category of having to earn one of the following (Pioneering, Orienteering, Wilderness Survival). Most, if not all, of our Scouts earn those three during their first year at Summer Camp anyway.

 

I like having the advanced medical category of E Prep and Lifesaving. I wonder if we should add a Wilderness First Aid MB to that category someday. Most of my Scouts earn E Prep, very few earn Lifesaving (my son is an exception - he did Lifesaving at summer camp, and commented that he felt that the effort needed was twice the work of E Prep).

 

To keep the list shorter, I would consider the following:

- Earn 2 of 3 Citizenships

- Earn either Family Life OR Personal Management

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I'd add one of the human-powered water sports badges - Canoeing OR Rowing OR Small-Boat Sailing.

 

Pioneering and Orienteering would be other solid additions. It's embarassing to see Eagles (or Iggles) who can't tie a taut-line hitch or do a square lashing that holds together.

 

Backpacking would be great, though I'd like to see a renewed emphasis on making your own gear, rather than just buying off the shelf. In addition to opening up a whole new set of skills, it teaches thrift!

 

Glad to see Wilderness Survival has so much support. It's always been my favorite badge - earned it at my first summer camp at age 10.

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Lifesaving and Emergency Prep are very odd counterparts. I'd like to see more active work for EP, including some new requirements focusing on search and rescue.

 

I'm very conflicted, and feel somewhat hypocritical, about first-year Scouts working on Wilderness Survival. Some of them are ready for it and some aren't. Speaking as a former WS summer camp MB counselor, it's tough to teach flint & steel to someone who doesn't know how to build a firelay - just as one example. I think it's a great older Scout badge, because you need a basic level of outdoors experience to "get" everything out of it.

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I must admit a slight personal bias here: My son (a few months shy of 17) has only Family Life and Personal Fitness (plus the small matter of a project) left to go for Eagle, and he already has Cooking. If they were to eliminate one of the two he has left, it would make his life a little easier (as well as mine, although I know I'm not supposed to be pushing him.) I'm not really serious about this, because he has to get working on these anyway and has no time to bank on changes that may or may not be made, and may or may not become effective before he turns 18. It is interesting that this is happening right now, though; if there were an official announcement in the next month or so, it could possibly affect him. (I know, I know, he should just get the merit badges, but it's getting to be enough already!)

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