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And yes I am shouting! ;)


Now only if they it was out about 15-20 years ago, i know a guy who would have been a shoe in for it. His project was building portable obstacles to help train the SAR dogs, and as soon as he was old enough legally to join the local SAR team, he did.

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Wilderness Survival MB is still broken, WFA content is still not in First Aid MB. Fix both and make both prereqs for a SAR MB, then show me the remaining requirements which should include reading search reports of past lost scouts - what they did right/wrong, expense of search, injuries to all involved,... SAR MB is the right idea just do it right.


Imagine Wilderness Survival back in BP's day, I bet scouts would be challenged to survive a solo overnighter (weekend) in each season, find game trails and build snares, or at least use the survival kit they assembled.


IMO, more thought and challenge went into Chess MB than the current Wilderness or First Aid MB.


My $0.01 for being a grouch

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" then show me the remaining requirements which should include reading search reports of past lost scouts - what they did right/wrong, expense of search, injuries to all involved,..." When I teach wilderness survival, that's always been something that I've highlighted. Now that his movie has come out and he's more wildly know, I mention Aron Ralston. He's done amazing things, his resume is incredible. In most situations, he's a great example of what to do. That one trip of his, though, is a great example of what not to do.


He went out without a buddy, left a note that said he was actually going to a completely different location (so searchers were wildly off base), didn't really bring any good water supplies, his knife was dull, didn't have any sort of first aid kit, he pretty much broke every "rule" in the book and he paid for it by having to cut his own arm off to escape the predicament he was in. Accidents happen, they're why we should carry "day packs" when we go hiking. Sidenote, other than water, everything you really "need" can fit into a gallon-size ziplock bag.

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Good to hear, Ralston's experience is a great example. There are unfortunately an abundance of examples: Eagle scout does a spur of the moment solo hike in NH White Mts winter/spring thaw, two 14yr scouts with SM get lost hiking from scout camp,...


Using examples of those their own age, might alter the following misconceptions:

Can't happen (lost, injury) to me.

Can't happen to us.

Bring along my iPhone and iGoodTaGo


Daypack definitely. I pack a little more - be prepared to hunker down for night due to injury, weather, getting lost (who me?). What time of day do most people realize they are lost? Usually later (losing daylight) when they are tired.


Also, we as scouts should go into the woods, prepared to help others. Seems obvious but it should be part of trip planning, i.e., SPL notifies local ranger, police, fire of unit trip plan, cell phones, and rescue gear and abilities. "We have maps, compass, GPS. With our training & first aid kit we can.... We have tarp, extra water. Keep us in mind to aid others out there this weekend."


When we past other hikers, I ask my scouts do you think that group was prepared for a hike or just a walk in the woods? We might be the only hiking group in miles with a first aid kit! Do you think they might need our help later? As the day goes on, scouts quickly size up other groups and ask 'need water', 'where ya headed',...good feeling helping a young family who unknowingly took the wrong trail and some college jocks bruised from downhill boulder bounding.


That should be the last chapter in the MB pamphlet - examples of scouts who have helped others. We want more cases of scouts rescuing others than being rescued themselves.


I want the bar set high for this merit badge, starting with reading the pamphlet :).


My $0.02,

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I hope it mentions something about this as well: http://www.npr.org/blogs/krulwich/2011/06/01/131050832/a-mystery-why-can-t-we-walk-straight

I mention that when I teach wilderness survival -- I'll usually blindfold someone, have them try to walk across a big flat area that we have. Usually they'll start turning within 20 feet. In search & rescue, I have been told that it's more of a problem finding the right trail that a person took (which was their most recent path) than finding their trail at all. By that I mean, people will walk in big loops and if a person's trail crosses itself multiple times it's just going to take that much longer to figure out which was the most recent trail and actually find the missing person. You need an outside reference, a map/compass, a map/GPS, a solid trail that you're following, whatever, if you want to avoid getting lost.


The more I think about it, the more I wonder whether search & rescue will just be wilderness survival + climbing merit badges. At least we won't get any more discussions about why so much emphasis on "don't worry about food" and why we aren't teaching how to recognize edible plants anymore. ;)

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  • 2 weeks later...

any idea when the req will be published?

My 16 year old came home from Philmont NAYLE course on Saturday and went straight to his job working at summer camp.

but the txt he sent me says that he did all but 3 req for SAR merit badge.

ok, I hope he has a list of what those req are, cause I can't find them!

and then gotta find someone to be a SAR MB Counselor too!

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"To meet the requirements of the Search and Rescue merit badge, Scouts must complete a series of nine requirements relating to SAR fundamentals such as:

The process and safety methods of working around specialized teams such as aircraft, canine, and aquatic rescue teams

Identifying differences between search and rescue environments, such as coastal, wilderness, rural, and urban landscapes

Determining when Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) and latitude and longitude (Lat/Lon) should be used"


I thought Search and Rescue would be a combination of Wilderness Survival and Climbing, but it appears to actually be a combination of Wilderness Survival and Geocaching (the only other merit badge to discuss UTM vs Lat/Lon and when either should or could be used).

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  • 1 month later...

This was offered over the weekend at Washjam on Ft Lewis in Washington. The local Council had to get permission from National to make it happen. One Scout that I know of earned it. I suspect others did too. Though, the Blue Card is dated 8/20 and it was earned on 8/18.


An ASM posted a photo of the card...

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