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-KJ-

Attn MBCs: WHAT DO YOU WANT?!?!?

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Just had this question the other night!

 

Take a deep breath and relax. There is a LOT of stuff thrown at the parent at the beginning and Merit Badges seem pretty confusing. The main thing is HE needs to be initiating it and you just support him when he asks--like driving him someplace if he needs it.

 

Expect him to fall on his face or lose interest on a MB sometimes.

 

As a new scout he will have a lot to learn and will probably do a MB at his first summer camp as others have said. Exceptions are a really mature, organized young man--especially one who is home-schooled and has a flexible schedule.

 

He might want to start on some like Camping MB early as he learns his skills. That one just takes a lot of time.

 

IMHO the main thing is:

 

(1) Don't put any artificial barriers in front of him.

(2) Help him learn to make phone calls, organize himself, and schedule appointments.

(3) Let him pick things that interest him not just forward his advancement. One my younger sons just loved Plumbing and Painting. Good introductions to those skills.

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Scouting should be a journey, not a race.

 

Relax, Dad. Watch him learn outdoor skill basics. Set a tent, stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Watch him get better at swimming. Watch him learn to cook.

 

If he has hobbies, in time, let him pursue his hobbies through the merit badge program.

 

Take a step back, enjoy his journey :)

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And what is a MBC? Just a human with maybe a little extra knowledge of a particular subject. Second the other guys opinions about new scouts and merit badges. Give him a little time. As he moves through TF, SC, and FC, you will see his interest pick up. Encourage it!

 

Merit Badges are meant to help a boy get a quick look at a variety of subjects, some of which could be possible career paths. Ranging from obviously elementary (Swimming and First Aid) to much more complex (Family Life and Personal Management), they tend to be sort of a side program which seems not to lend itself to any particular order. This is great because the Badges of Rank program is very exacting in requirements and the boys need an outlet lending itself to more free form expression. Merit Badges are typically taught in the troop, at camps, at home, and by out-of-home counselors. And the best part is the SM awards the badge, so he has a real say in what is going on with the scout.

 

Our troop uses adult leaders, boy leaders (each SPL is required to teach at least one Merit Badge to the troop), outside experts (Aviation at Letourneau University, Fire Safety at the fire department, etc.), camp counselors, and parents with the SM's permission. That is a pretty wide range of talent, with a snafu now and then, but overall very good results. Our typical Eagle Scout has around 40 MB's.

 

We also have a process of approval: The MB counselor signs and dates the front page of the work, regardless of the format, then the SM checks it and awards the badge. Out of maybe 500 MB's, I have sent back only a couple that had glaring deficiencies!

 

Maybe a rough process, but it seems to work, and we have yet to have an Eagle candidate unprepared for a BOR. Merit Badges seem to be just the ticket to being prepared.

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KJ

 

Your son's goal should be to get to 1st Class in one year. If he does that he will learn the basic training of Boy Scouting and he will keep active and have fun.

 

As others have pointed out: Merit Badges are purely optional at this stage. Chances are he will get some badges at summer camp. Focus on earning rank right now.

 

If he really wants to pick up a badge outside of summer camp, have him talk with his Scoutmaster or Asst. Scoutmaster for New Scouts.

 

People have posted the merit badge process already. More information on merit badges can be found here: http://www.bsatroop14.com/advancement

 

This isn't Webelos Scouting. Earning all the "pins" is not the goal. The goal is to build moral character, good citizenship, physical, mental, and emotional fitness, and to teach leadership. These things take time. We do it in the outdoors. Building his outdoor skills is extremely important at this stage. He will build them by going through the rank requirements (that's what they are for.)(This message has been edited by bnelon44)

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smalltroopSM,

 

We are getting off topic and maybe a new thread is in order, but the Merit Badge process is a Council/District process, not a unit process. After assigning a duly commissioned Council/District Merit Badge Counselor, the Scoutmaster has no review authority for Merit Badge or the process. He cannot review and reject a merit badge. Once the Merit Badge Counselor signs off the badge, the Scout has earned it. What is done is done. There is no going back.

 

The Scoutmaster signs the blue card acknowledging receipt of the MBC signed application, that's all the signiture means (read the card.)

 

More information on what the Scoutmaster Signiture means can be found here:

 

http://scouting.org/filestore/advancement_news/512-075_March.pdf

 

and

 

http://scouting.org/scoutsource/GuideToAdvancement/TheMeritBadgeProgram.aspx

 

 

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