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EagleScout441

Chess Merit Badge Class

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Seems to me that one sure way of upsetting someone is to tell them that they are doing it all wrong.

Lord knows that I've done more than my fair share of book thumping and when it comes down to being right?

I'm your man! I thought I was wrong once, but I made a mistake.

A good many of us do what we do, because that's the way we do things. Or because that's the way it's always been done.

 

I strongly dislike MB classes, parents who are MBC for their own kid and the idea that a Lad can earn just about every MB out there without ever going outside of his own Troop.

But...

It happens and like a lot of what happens, when it goes on long enough it just becomes the way things are done.

I always seen it as being sad that a group of new adult leaders would attend trainings, see all the good stuff that can be done. Stuff that is not hard to find or do.

Only deep down I also knew that once they got back to their Troop. - None of it was going to happen.

 

If there is one area that over time has become: Abused, misused, confused and maybe ruined by good intentions. It's Advancement and Merit Badges.

Sure, it's easy to point out all the stuff that's in the good books.

Sure some of us can see and understand that what others are doing. Is not the way it should be done and maybe some of us can get on our high horse and call out everyone who isn't doing the way we should do it or the way we might go about doing it.

The fact is that a lot of Districts, a lot of Troops and some Councils have ways of doing things that don't follow the good book.

 

I haven't played chess in a very long time.

Kinda think that if I was a Lad, looking through the books that this Chess Merit Badge might seem that it was one that I could fall into.

Kinda think if I were a SM who had always covered Merit Badges at Troop meetings. (I'm not and never will be!!)

This one might be something that was a great fit for November when it's cold outside, when because of the holiday time will be cut short.

Also think if I was lucky enough to have an older Scout who knew what he was talking about? I'd be happy to let him get on with it.

 

During my stints as a member of the District Key 3. The biggest pain I endured was the District Merit Badge List.

Rightly or wrongly? For a few badges the District Advancement Committee said it would be OK if a teacher went over the requirements with the Lad and with the go ahead from the District signed the card.

In this case. If the Troop does things this way?

I see no harm in a youth going over the material, explaining whatever needs to be explained and doing all the leg work.

Hopefully the SM or some other adult might go about finding someone who is acceptable to the District Advancement Committee to sign off.

 

There is a chance that maybe? Just maybe a Lad might sneak by and get the badge without really meeting all the requirements.

This of course is never a good thing.

But at the end of the day isn't igniting an interest in a subject almost as important as just proving that the Lad is good at it?

Eamonn

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There was an article in the most recent edition of Chess Life (the publication of the United States Chess Federation, or USCF), about a parent in Virginia who organized a chess weekend for Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts. She did not do the actual teaching, but got experienced adults and scouts to help. I can't link to the actual article, because access is for USCF members only, but perhaps USCF would send you a copy if you asked nicely. It should have some good ideas. I believe (but not sure) that Cub awards and mb were earned, but I don't remember the logistics of how that was done.

 

And here is an article about two scouts who organized a successful chess tournament at a local library.

 

http://hasbrouckheights.patch.com/gr...ate-leadership

 

If you haven't seen the 'Recommendations for Chess Merit Badge Counselors' from merit badge.org, you might want to check it out, just for background info.

 

http://meritbadge.org/wiki/images/5/...counselors.pdf

 

Good luck!

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