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So what do you think of this????

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those are some pricey merit badges. A scout going to this rec center for his merit badges will cost anywhere from $150 to $200 for the needed 21 merit badges. Nice. But then again, American Fork UT is a nice little town where the average household income in 2007 was $79,200.


I know in my area, MB counselors don't charge Scouts.

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ok I can see this with swimming, lifesaving, climbing, shotgun, and rifle. Where as a specific setting and training is required and a location has this and offers such a thing.


for example - around here only place the boys can do shotgun or rifle is currently at summer camp. I go to a local shooting range myself and I asked the guys there what they are certified in and they meet BSA requirements so I asked them if I brought buy merit badge books would they read through them and see if they would be interested. And guess what - they are! Boy can contact and set up times - arrive with their gun, ammo, and parent (can buy ammo there too) and the range officer will work with them. They will have to pay the normal range hourly rate. We have loads of hunters that prefer to use their own guns, but are not allowed to bring to summer camp so this is great thing for them.


As a swimming MBC myself - I will work with boys - in the winter we will go to indoor public pool. I will pay my own way in, but boy needs to pay his way in... I have had parents offer to pay my way too - it's not that big of a deal unless it's a full teach to swim that will take many, many trips - then I will let them especially if I know they can afford it.


I guess I just don't understand needing to offer every single badge through this place. Is it that hard to find MBC in that area? and if so how did they find so many to work through this place?

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clearly governments should not be organizing scout events themselves.


and in general i disagree completely with this system of organization which is essentially a merit badge fair. doing badges this way cuts out an important step of the merit badge process - namely actual responsibility of the scout, and the quality of instruction in many instances is lacking the ability to ensure every single scout fully understands and completes all the material and requirements.

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I've heard of merit badge mills, but a merit badge retail store is a new one!


Any notice that Jen, Kristen and Edi together cover about 45 badges?


Where is the local council advancement committee? Is this an approved MB university? Are the counselors all approved for all these badges?

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If these are serious courses in which the Scouts are meeting the full requirements (aka the minimum requirements)and have quality resources available to them to learn and do more through these programs, this is great.


It speaks very well of the people of American Fork that they produce and support programs like this for their youth.


(This message has been edited by Callooh! Callay!)

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Wow, charging Scouts for the privileged of getting their Blue Cards signed off.



If there is enough interest, a class can be

scheduled just to fill

out the paperwork. This merit

badge needs to be signed off by

the Scouts Leader.


There are other's similar.


Such a deal. I wonder how much of the $8-$10+ gets kicked back to the MBC.


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Looks like a scout could earn all the merit badges for eagle for about $250.


I would have to question the expertise of the counselors who are suppose to be knowledgable in the subjects. Counselor Edi has quite a background being so knowledgable in 13 different subjects. Jen has expertise in 17 different merit badge subjects!


Just goes to show you how important it is for the SM to approve of the counselors Scouts use.


To the SMs out there, would you allow or encourage your Scouts to take merit badges there?


FYI American Fork is just outside Provo, Utah(This message has been edited by Eagle732)

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Way Way back when I was in Grad School I had a Political Science Professor who was fond of saying "there is no free lunch"


Perhaps this is a life lesson which we need to instruct not only our scouts, but all citizens, nay residents There is no free lunch, or health care, or jobs, it all comes at a cost

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Our troop did Railroading Merit Badge at the Pennsylvania Railroad Museum. The instructor was one of the museum's volunteers, retired from the railroad and a Scouter who did not get paid. He put on an all day program and covered all the requirements. The cost was the same as admission to the museum so in essence there was no additional cost. I have no problem with a program like this.


Again, as a SM I would want to know the knowledge and level of expertise of the counselors . Take one of the counselors, Mrs Jen as an example. Now granted she might have multiple college degrees or years of work experience in American Business, Archaeology, Bird Study, Chemistry, Composite Materials, Public Health, Public Speaking and Medicine.

And she might also have an avid interest in Coin Collecting, Geology, Nature, Railroading, Reptile and Amphibian Study, Traffic Study and Painting.


But somehow I doubt it.


The American Fork Fitness Center also offers classes for parents in Boy Scout Advancement and Eagle Planning/Paperwork. The description for the Eagle Planning / Paperwork course states "Need help with the New Eagle paperwork and the whole Eagle process??? This FREE class is offered to help parents learn what is required for Eagle and how to get through the confusion"

I have mixed feelings on this. Isn't this something the District should be doing? Maybe they are.(This message has been edited by Eagle732)

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This is what I think of it:


"All classes are held in the Daycare Center unless specified."


Yep. That about sums it up. Right from the program.


So far, as a pretty new SM, this is maybe my biggest problem. The level of commercialism and bureaucracy that prevents the program from really doing what it is supposed to do, or maybe what I wrongly suppose it should do. I have a small troop, many from economically disadvantaged backgrounds and buying merit badges or buying the scouting experience isn't on the agenda. Nor is raking in thousands of dollars with fundraising (without turning it into something other than scouting. I can see the value of "Entrepreneurs of America" absolutely, but that isn't what these kids signed up for.


The alternative of course is having mom and dad buy the program for the kids, but what do they learn? I try to keep it boy run, they earn all the money for the things the troop needs and make the plans. Of course, with people charging fees for merit badges, it makes that a bit tricky. Especially when they want "minimum" amounts or "minimum numbers" at times.


Would I spend my free time training kids life skills and dare not to ask for compensation? Uh, yeah - that's what I signed up to do. Should we treat the Merit Badge app liek a vendor's license? I sure as heck don't think so.


Shouldn't we hammer home the "NO FREE LUNCH" dogma? I thought that's what EARNING the badge did? Or are people just rubber stamping the cards? I guess that's not enough, we have to tell them to go out, sell popcorn, take our cut, and then expect them to put forth some more effort to get the badge. Sure, that will create a bunch of great little workers - or jaded, greedy shills; take your pick.


Here's an idea - why don't we decide to INVEST TIME in our youth and not expect to get paid for it? Maybe this country wouldn't be going down the tubes on a wave of red and blue horse manure. Maybe we'd have some kids who wanted to give back to the community and not expect to get their cut - like their merit badge teachers do.



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As someone else pointed out, if a museum or other facility is putting on a program, and let me add a SOLID program with knowledgeable folks, that provides instruction with an expert, provides supplies, meets all requirements, etc, then I don't have a problem with it. The gun range is one example that was provided as well as the railroad museum ones.


My example is the OA chapter that did a day long Indian Lore MB class as a fundraiser so the fee covered supplies, lunch, and a dollar or two over for the chapter. Plus we got the students to help make some of the chapter regalia. We provided supplies, instructors, created a "museum" with various regalia and artifacts, etc. BUT we we told folks they would not complete it prior to the seminar and during the seminar because of the teach two games requirement. We did play the 3 games though, and told them to contact one of the chapter members staffing once they taught the two games.


But I have grave concerns with the AF place. 1-2 hours and complete the MB. I don't think so.


An aside, the chapter would have lost money because we bought more food than we needed. Cook crew though we had more attending than signed up. BUT there was a shooting competition at the same location, and the cook crew was driving those folks nuts with the smell of the food cooking. We ended up selling plates to them and made more money selling food than with the seminar.

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