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sctmom

New Merit Badges - Again

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Let's recap the serious part of the thread and some of the suggestions for inclusion in merit badges, new merit badges or changed merit badges.....

 

1) Gourmet cooking and how to be a chef somewhere beside the trail

2) Something about how clothes are made

3) Some simple lessons in sewing a patch or mending clothes while on the trail (fishing line & duct tape? - I'm not joking)

4) Manners (I like the James Bond badge)

5) Combining some badges

6) Linguistics - learn a foreign language

7) Learn about another culture

8) U.S. Flag Study

9) Bring back Botany

10) Bring back beekeeping

11) Competitive Swimming

 

How about local history? Maybe that's connected to Citizenship.

 

Anymore?

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The Venture Program has an elective called Living History. Something on that order, to learn about a period of time and participate in a re-enactment would be good. Not at the same level as the Crew requierments, just a little less

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Maybe not a merit badge, but is there any interest out there in Signaling? Used to be a lot of fun lashing a tower together and then sending flag signals to the other patrols.

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Chief, thats a wonderful idea.

 

Just like the NFL has had a degree of sucess with its "throw back jerseys", why not have "throwback" series of meritbadges, all being applicable to electives in Star and Life and Eagle ranks. it could include the already mentioned BeeKeeping, Signaling, learning both semaphore and morse code and sending/receiving a message of prescribed length. The design would be crosed flags over a telegraph key. The series would either reserect old "retired" badges or be composed of skills not associated with life today. I know there is a horse/equestrian meritbadge, but is there one dealing with hitching horses or oxen to sleds, wagons, or buggies? WOuld be a thrill at summer camp or a Klondike Derby.

 

Or a Lumberjack merit badge featuring non-motorized lumbering. Chop down a duly selected tree, trim it, use a two man cross cut saw, use wedges to split the wood and make planks, and then make a bench without any nails, just drill holes and use plugs. The design would be an axe, a 2 man buck saw over a bench

 

One more, Have the scout(s) make a birchbark canoe or dug out. Study how it was originaly done and try to follow it as much as possible. Use the canoe to carry supplies for an overnight, the food being based on anative american tribe, dried meat, fruit, roots, etc.

The design would be a canoe on a shore with a fire and shelter

 

More?

 

Would be fun to see the kids learn this stuff and them appreciate what we have today.

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I had my Webelos make butter by shaking a container of whipping cream for 20 minutes. Then they tasted it without salt, first. Then on saltine crackers to add the salt. Then we talked about ways to do it faster -- what kind of machine could you invent. I asked them what if you had to do that every time you wanted butter on your pancakes or other food --- one very quickly decided he would not eat butter! They did have fun with this because they were instructed to NOT sit still for 20 minutes!

 

I wish I could get them a day on a real farm. We live in the suburbs of a major city. Most have seen farm animals but not done farm work. To spend time outside on a small working farm would be a lot of fun - cows, pigs, chickens.

 

I would think the boys would love to learn semaphores and morse code --they love secret codes. Most like to be able to do things that others can't. Learning how to do some of the things OGE would probably be a big hit and goes along with the ways of scouting - making do with what you have, being independent, being resourceful.

 

Have you ever seen the lumberjack competitions on TV? It is amazing to watch.

 

Taxidermy? Maybe not, I guess it would require hunting . My brother enjoyed taxidermy as a hobby while a teenager. He considered doing it as a career. Also, remember a friend's brother tanning rabbit hides.

 

 

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For merit badges and possible changes these are my thoughts

 

Consolidat:

Coin, and Stamp Collecting into the more general Collecting badge.

 

American Heritage, and Indian Lore into a Living History badge

 

Bring back Stalking

 

Restructure...

Cycling - open it up more for options in BMX, Downhill, Single Track, Touring, Commuting, Road and Velodrome racing, and Adventure Cycling

 

Climbing - an option for alpine climbing would challenge the older scout. This badge needs to add anchor and pully systems into the requirements.

 

Change Orienteering to Path Finding, adding a land navigation option, (GPS, UTM c0-ordinate syste,, etc.)

 

For a new merit badge, but only for the older scout (15 and up)

 

Wildnerness Rescue - introduces the scout to the fundlementals of back country rescue work and basic river rescue.

 

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Le voy, I like the wilderness rescue idea.

 

As our troop ages a bit and we do more extreme things, the First Aid Boy Scouts teaches becomes less adequate all the time. Learning how to react in real outdoor Emergency Situations is needed.

 

Just a thought, Rather than just restrict the badge to those 15 or older, make the prequisities all the first aid requirements for ranks, the first aid merit badge, the camping merit badge and emergency preparedness. Or some other combination to be sure the scout has the knowledge base to absorb the skills.

 

Wilderness Rescue/First Aid is a skill which requires more attention by scouting(This message has been edited by OldGreyEagle)

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I see what you're saying - could work. Start em off at Tenderfoot with a few basics, adding additional skills for each rank, and with a Wilderness Rescue/First Aid badge as the capstone. Might be something to present to National for their consideration - it is needed, no denying that.

The reason I was looking at an age limit was to focus more difficult badges towards the older scouts as an effort to keep them interested in Scouting...

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I though there was a signaling merit badge?

 

I wouldn't chenge the name of the orienteering MB (I just don't think it's necessary to do so) but I would definately add the high tech techniques as an option.

 

I wouldn't put age limits on badges, just make them hard or require prerequisite badges.

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There used to be a signalling merit badge, but I think its gone the way of the dodo. No one seems to have an interest in semaphor anymore, as there seems to be no practical use. The advent of the cell phone, and the other technologies pretty much make that a skill that arouses little interest.

 

One thing that I've often wondered about, though, is how merit badges are supposed to give a Scout just a little taste of one field of endeavor or another. What happens when a Scout shows a real propensity for one, and achieves all the requirements? He pretty much has to stop there and go outside of Scouting to follow the trail. There's merit in that, for sure. But what if the BSA was to embark on an effort to provide different "levels" within a merit badge? Say level one is just for the rank requirements. Level two offers more about the subject, and has something to do with rank (palms for Star? palms for Life?). Level three is for the Scout who is really into the subject, and wants to know more, and more. Aggresive? Sure. Troops, Districts, and Councils would have to come up with counselor lists that would address the needs of the various levels. But I think it could be done. I also think it would give a Scout an opportunity to investigate the area of his interest even further, but within Scouting...where he seems to like it.

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Folks

This is a great thread with some really good ideas surfacing.

I'm particularly impressed with the idea of a 'Classic' series, and would support multiple levels of achievement within an individual MB offering.

Lets not neglect some of the career interest type of Merit Badge, and lets pay some attention to the Technology tracks. Perhaps we could expand Engineering into multiple disciplines?

How about a Robotics MB?

Is maybe part of the problem the amount of time that it takes National to survey interest and design course material? What can

be done from our level to expedite that process?

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Great ideas to keep the merit badge program interesting and relevant. I think working new technology into an existing merit badge is good. I also think we should try to incorporate the teaching of Morse Code and other signalling methods into the program again, maybe as part of the Communications merit badge. Movies like "Independence Day" point out the foolishness of relying on our technology too much. Part of survival is not having electricity and technological gadgets.

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I like the idea of breaking the Engineering into multiple disapplines.

 

Also, jmcquillan has a good point. How can we best encourage a Scout who has a natural proficiency or inclination toward a particular subject. Would it be possible to have an Independent Study Merit Badge? It would have to be based on either an existing MB or some other subject approved by Council. The requirements would have to be approved by the MB Councilor (assumably a domain expert) and the Scoutmaster, Troop Committee, Council, or whoever...

 

Is this worth pursuing?

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In my opinion, not offering a merit badge because it has no "practical" use in today's world is a little strange. There is a lot the boys learn that most people get through life without ever knowing (like how to set up a tent). It's not just the "hard" skills but also the process of learning that is important.

 

The Girl Scouts produce books of the requirements for each badge but not all the background information like the BSA Merit Badge pamphlets have. Should the Merit Badge phamplets still be used? Do most boys have access to this information from other places -- library, school, MB counselor, internet, etc?

I hope they are not using only the info in the Merit Badge book, even though I like the phamplets.

 

I like the idea of different levels of merit badges. To mention Girl Scouts once again, they have more age levels than BSA. So 11 year olds are not working on the same requirements as 15 year olds. They may earn the "hiking" type badge at 10, 13, and 15. Each time it has a slightly different name and more difficult requirements.

 

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