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shortridge

Non-traditional summer camp MBs

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With camps fairly routinely adding non-traditional MBs to their lineups (such as Citizenships, Computers, Journalism, etc.) I'm curious what others have seen as far as "obscure" MBs at summer camp.

 

My former camp is offering Auto Mechanics, Graphic Arts and Golf (off-site) for the first time this summer.

 

They're also doing Archaeology, which would seem to be a natural fit.

 

Opinions? Observations?

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While not a MB, the camp our boys are attending this summer is offering blacksmithing (in connection to the metalworking MB, or as a separate activity). They are also offering Rail Roading MB.

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Painting and plumbing are naturals for summer camp. The camp gets free workers for maintenance and the boys learn something they can use the rest of their life when painting & plumbing their homes.

 

I wish our camp offered more outdoor scout MB's like hiking, backpacking, orienteering. I guess these are just too time intensive and would basically be the only badge earned that year with the exception of orienteering (and that would need to be a 2 hour class to be done right).

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Camp Friedlander in Ohio got our vote to visit with the wide selection of MB's that included Archeology,Cinematography,Motor Boating,Photography,Pulp & Paper and Plumbing.

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In regard to non-traditional merit badges, should we be looking at better utilization of camp properties by perhaps using camps for non-traditional themes during off season use, or early and late season? Could we, for example, arrange to have a specialty camp set up, inviting both scouts and non-scouts, and include related merit badges for scouts, but also certificates and so on for all in the skills or activities? Would we find takers from other groups who might want to do something like this, but do not have easy access to a property to handle it? Would it be another cooperative way to enhance the scouting image, indirectly? Just wonder what others may think.

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Interesting idea.

 

One of our council camps used to do an end-of-summer provisional camp called "Trail to Eagle," at which a lot of Eagle badges were taught. It was for older Scouts only, and part of the deal was that they helped with camp takedown. The staff was all-volunteer. After several years, it was folded into the regular summer camp program and given the name "Eagle Base." Scouts could still come provisionally, but classes were also open to those attending with their troops.

 

You seem to be hitting at the idea of opening up camp facilities to a broader group of non-Scouts as well. That's one area where I think councils could do more marketing during the year - targeting corporate retreats, conferences, church camps, non-Scout campers, family camping, etc.

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from one of the camps at our Council's scout reservation...

 

"such as Engineering, Nuclear Science, Computers, Electronics, and Photography. Come on in and enjoy the air conditioning."

 

...and you wonder why this particular camp is referred to as Webelos III

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". I guess these are just too time intensive and would basically be the only badge earned that year with the exception of orienteering (and that would need to be a 2 hour class to be done right)."

 

With a week of wilderness training, a Scout could earn Orienteering, Hiking, Camping, and Backpacking and maybe even Wilderness Survival. Now that would be a week of serious Scoutworthy merit badges.

 

(This message has been edited by Gold Winger)

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The camp we're off to in a few weeks is the first one I've come across so far that simply doesn't offer many "classroom" type Eagle-required badges. No personal management, no citizenships, no communications, no family life. I'm very happy about that. Boys who earn those badges at camp have very uneven experiences (I'm sorry but the notion of a 16 year old counselor/MBC teaching these badges makes me cringe) and besides they waste a week of otherwise-glorious summer, bored, often indoors, sitting in "class" all day. The camp does offer other, more outdoor-oriented Eagle-requireds like Environmental Science, Emergency Prep, Lifesaving, etc.

 

I helped our guys do the MB sign ups. Not one boy complained about the lack of classroom badges. Several of their parents did.

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I know what you mean. I met a Scouter one summer at camp who wasn't coming back because they didn't offer enough "good" merit badges. I said, "whadday mean? they have swimming, sailing, wilderness survival, canoeing, as well as COPE and a three day medium adventure program." He explained that those were "fun" merit badges and that the boys shouldn't go to camp to have fun.

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from one of the camps at our Council's scout reservation...

 

"such as Engineering, Nuclear Science, Computers, Electronics, and Photography. Come on in and enjoy the air conditioning."

 

...and you wonder why this particular camp is referred to as Webelos III

 

Olmstead? :)

 

Actually I know of at least one Scout in my kid's troop who has done all the waterfront, shooting, outdoorsy type badges. If Farm Mechanics and Animal Science were offered, that would be great!(This message has been edited by hint)

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>>With a week of wilderness training, a Scout could earn Orienteering, Hiking, Camping, and Backpacking and maybe even Wilderness Survival. Now that would be a week of serious Scoutworthy merit badges.

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