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OscarTango

First Merit Badge

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Just an interesting little question. What was the first merit badge you earned (if you remember). Which one was your favorite?

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I earned Metalwork, Swimming and Canoeing at my first summer camp. Can't remember which one I actually earned first.

 

Space Exploration was probably my favorite.

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Wilderness Survival was my favorite, First Aid was a close second. I'm going to go down the basement and see if my merit badge sash clues me in to which one was first.

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Earned Fishing, Nature, Conservation and Basketry my first year at summer camp.

 

Overall, I can't really say which was my favorite, but Hiking was certainly most memorable. Over the summer, a bunch of the guys and I hiked all over. Our moms would drive us 10 miles out into the country, drop us off and we'd walk home. Lots of good stories from those hikes, not all I'd care to share with the Scouts!

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Swimming and First Aid at my first summer camp. Swimming was my favorite because I was able to qualify for Lifeguard training and then spent the next summer sitting in the tower working on my tan.

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First Aid as it was also required for First Class in my day. Had an excellent MBC and I am so glad I followed my SM's advcie to wait until summer camp and take it with the MBC that he strongly recommended. Put real life outdoor scenarios to what we learned.

 

Funnest was Wilderness Survival. But I didn't earn it as part of a normal summer camp class or with a MBC. The camp created a high adventure program that took us in the backcountry for the week. part of the program was wilderness survival, and I had a blast that week. Best week of camp I ever had as a camper.

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No idea which was first.

 

Most memorable was cycling. I was about 14 years old and planned that 50-mile bike trip with my best friend. We rode bikes all over the place for that badge. That was just darn fun.

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I earned Woodcarving, Basketry, Indianlore, and Leatherwork all at my first summer camp. I'd have to look at my MB sash to see which one came first, as I put them in order that I earned them.

 

As for my favorite...I'd have to say Woodwork and Metalwork. While I was living in Germany, our middle school shop teacher was our MB counselor, and let us use our lunch hour to work on projects, even if we weren't in the class. I had a lot of fun building bookcases and bending metal!

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Rifle and shot gun. Back when you has to be able to shoot to get it. Now it's so watered down you might as well let the kid poke the holes with a pencil. Shooting from a bench.

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My first merit badge was Coin Collecting. It's tough to remember (or choose now) what my favorite was. Maybe Dog Care, or Pet Care, or whatever it was called. I think that after more than 40 years it's pretty good that I even remember what my first one was!(This message has been edited by njcubscouter)

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My first was stamp collecting. It was my favorite, it was my only merit badge. :)

 

I wasn't one of my SM's "favorites" so I spent 4 years in Boy scouts, got 1 MB, 2nd Class and eventually dropped out when it became evident there were better ways to spend my time. As a matter of fact, about three quarters of my patrol went with me.

 

Stosh

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My first one was either scholarship or reading; they were definitely the first two. I was, as they called us then, "a book worm".

 

Most memorable ones were canoeing, which I DID NOT PASS, and reptile study, which was my last. I lived on the edge of Joshua Tree National Monument, and my counselor for reptile study was the monument superintendent. I hiked into 49 Palms Canyon, which is on the edge of the park near where I lived, and captured 4 or 5 tree frogs from the oasis there, put them in a container of water, and brought them back. Then I put them in a big washtub with screening and a small artificial habitat and did the observations. Somehow I managed to not have any of them die, and after the 30 days was up, I took them back and released them; they all were alive, and surely happy, as frogs can be anyway, to be "home". When I described my observations for the counselor, he gives me this "look", then the voice clearing; you likely all have heard it. After very sternly explaining to me how he could arrest me for federal violations, one for each frog, and so on, terrifying me, even at 17, he smiled and said something to the effect of, "I'm sure you will NEVER do something like that again!", and approved the merit badge. Of course, I have been ultra-aware of these types of reg's ever since.

 

Canoeing was as a 15 year old on Jenks Lake near Crestline, Ca. Old Camp Arataba, summer of 1959. Could not master the j-stroke, and so never completed it. Everything else was a snap. Funny encounter with a row boat of girl scouts while doing the swamping thing. They appeared while I was turning it over in the water to get into and paddle into shore to empty. They wanted to know if I needed help; of course they found this to be amusing, based on the giggling from some (think there were 3). Arataba was right next door to the still in use, Tahquitz owned by Long Beach Area Council. My troop has attended Tahquitz the past 2 years, and we are going again this year. Arataba, along with its FS lease, was sold in 1960 after they had a disastrous fire over the winter that burned the lodge to the ground, along with a storage facility with most of their tents and so on. Arrowhead Area Council just happened to have had the land donated that year that became Helendade in Running Springs. So, they built the new camp, with Arataba's last year being the summer of 1960 using tentage and other material furnished by the two nearby Marine bases.

 

(This message has been edited by skeptic)

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skeptic, that hurts because I tried to get my son, as well as some of his friends, to get both Scholarship and Reading, but they never made the effort. And all the kids I'm talking about made Eagle, and my son ended up with about 30 MB's in total, and he/they could have gotten these badges in their sleep. Even after I pointed out to my son that he had already done the "hardest" requirement for Reading (work x hours in a library, which he did for other reasons), he still didn't go through the incredible Herculean effort to get a blue card signed (30 seconds) and go see the counselor(s) for either of these badges (I'm guessing an hour, each, tops.)

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Yep, as now a counselor for both reading and scholarship, if prepared ahead of time, most boys spend less than an hour with me. Occasionally one shows up without needed documentation, or has not put in the effort to write a "real" essay, or something. But those coming for these 2 are usually prepared.

 

Yeh, I know looking back that there were likely a dozen or so badges I could have completed the last couple of years, after Eagle, since I was 15 and 1/2, and ended up with more than 1 palm. But, I had too much going on, and never got around to it. Did earn God and Country though, which I am glad I did.

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