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christineka

1st time teaching a merit badge- Help!

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I was asked to come into the scout meeting to have the boys pass off Family Life. There's a lot of stuff the boys have to do at home. Do I just stand up there, ask the needed questions, discuss the needed stuff, then tell them to do their family meetings and projects at home, then report back? What if it doesn't take a whole meeting? Is it okay to end early and let the boys play basketball the rest of the time? Am I supposed to come in with some awesome, fun lesson plan to teach the boys how to be great fathers or have kits or something for the projects? I don't do anything cutsie.

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I hope "pass off Family Life" was an unfortunate choice of words on your part and not the troop leadership. Read the pamphlet and requirements and then follow them. Nothing more nothing less. Don't let any men pressure you to do something you know is not right.

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I concur with KDD. I will also add to try to not make it into a "class". Scouting isn't school.

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I take it from your questions that you are not a registered (with the District), trained, Merit Badge Counsellor?

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I take it from your questions that you are not a registered (with the District)' date=' trained, Merit Badge Counsellor?[/quote']

I am registered. I sent an email to someone asking about training. I think the email must have gone into a black hole as it was never replied to. I have read all I could find about being a merit badge councilor.

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I hope "pass off Family Life" was an unfortunate choice of words on your part and not the troop leadership. Read the pamphlet and requirements and then follow them. Nothing more nothing less. Don't let any men pressure you to do something you know is not right.

The scoutmaster won't be there that night, so he was looking for a substitute, I guess and Family Life is a required badge. The 11 year old scout leader found out about this and wants to bring the "little" boys in to get Family Life done. My son is an 11 year old and quite frankly, I don't think he's ready to be discussing sex! He's not even interested in girls yet! He's also got 7 or 8 badges he's still working on. (The home stuff- several were started at scout and he was sent home to finish, but he's a busy boy, especially in summer.)

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OK, sorry about assumptions. Get the name of your Council training chair and call them requesting training. I think your dilemma is that the MB program was not designed to be done at troop meetings in a group setting.

 

From the BSA website:Your duty is to be satisfied that each Scout who comes to you meets all the requirements for the merit badge you are coaching. You do this by helping Scouts overcome the different hurdles of the requirements and making them aware of the deeper aspects of the subject through their learning experience. You may tell about your own experiences to help positively reinforce the subject matter. However, you may not tack on new requirements or extra work. While you may guide and instruct a Scout on the subject matter, he must do the work himself.

 

As each requirement is completed, you will test the Scout individually, with his buddy present. Update the blue card as the Scout completes each requirement. When the young man has completed all the requirements, you sign off on the card and the Scout returns the completed card to his unit leader.

 

You may wish to seek additional training from your local council/district on local policies and procedures for merit badge counselors.

 

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OK, sorry about assumptions. Get the name of your Council training chair and call them requesting training. I think your dilemma is that the MB program was not designed to be done at troop meetings in a group setting.

 

That was my understanding of the program, but the boys do merit badges at camp in huge group settings and then there are the pow-wows, so IDK.

 

There are two registered merit badge councilors in my area. I'm one of them. Apparently, there's a huge, unwritten list of guys who are non-registered merit badge councilors and they do the merit badges. I don't understand why they don't register- it's both easy and free. I would guess that there is no need for training, when there are only two of us that are registered. I will contact the council training chair.

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Although the program may not have been designed to be done in a huge group setting, National has tacitly endorsed this model by allowing camps, fairs, universities etc. From all your other posts it is clear the program in your area is less than ideal even for LDS. Family Life is a big and important badge and given the importance LDS places on Family one that should be approached in that light and not glossed over. Do your best to talk to the boys individually about each of the requirements. Take literally "discuss", "tell", "show" etc. I have an 11 year old as well and he is nowhere near puberty, however he is among boys who are and boys talk about sex and girls A LOT. In my opinion it is important to talk about sex in small chunks so he gets the truth and real facts and not "Bro Science". The "Once and Done" Big Talk may be more comfortable for the parent but is insufficient because it is a recurring issue in their lives. Like my son yours may not be "interested" in girls, but he is very aware of them and one may become "interested" in him. It is not how we approach other important topics such as faith and math. :) Look closely at requirement 8b, the boys are to have a family meeting and discuss sex with their family, not you.

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I'm thinking we discuss the discussion points. I'll give them a chore chart and have them pick their 5 or more chores. We will brainstorm project activities and have them submit their plan before they go (so that it's approved before they do anything), Then send them on their way to do their chores, projects, discussions. They would then have to report back when they get those completed and then we can discuss why they are individually important in their families

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This unit has always encouraged the boys to work both with their moms and the MB counselor on this one. And always on an individual basis for each boy. The moms, once they read the requirements, often get very enthusiastic about holding the boys' feet to the fire. Brings a smile to my face when their eyes read the words and light up.

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My biggest issue with Christine's situation is the "forced march" aspect. Around here, even in "group" MB situations such as summer camp or MB fairs, it is the individual Scout who decides what badge he is going to go for and when. Back when my son's troop did MB "classes" during meetings (which they no longer do), it was not compulsory. But here we have 11-year-olds being "brought in" to work on a badge that, assuming they are going for Eagle, they will have to earn sometime in the next 6 years or so. There seems to be no opportunity here for individual choice, which is supposed to be part of the MB program. As for the age-appropriateness issue of the Family Life badge at age 11, I guess it has never occurred to me. I don't think I have ever seen a Scout earn that badge before the age of 14, and usually it's more like 16 or 17. It's usually one of the last ones they get.

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NJ, not to hijack this thread but it seems to me this one would be most beneficial to work on earlier rather than later. Assuming it is as much about your current family as your future family, waiting until you are 17 and (hopefully) be on your own for a number of years before you start your own family.

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KDD, that may very well be good advice for an SM to give a Scout. But isn't it ultimately the Scout's decision whether or when to go for a particular badge? Leaving aside that the Scout needs a certain number of required badges for Star, Life and of course. But advancement itself is optional. A Scout can just go to meetings, camping trips and other activities for seven years if he wants to. I have seen a couple of Scouts age out at First Class. It was their choice.

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My wife works with a guy who was active and aged out as a tenderfoot. Do you think it is usually last because it doesn't have that boy appeal like the Citizen Trilogy or some other reason? In this particular situation I am not so sure how "optional" advancement is or how much of an option the OP has in in choosing who or how to counsel. I think the Christineka is on the right track here, but with a couple of modifications. The boys should be able to create their own chart and the parents need to be involved in brainstorming the projects as well and then seek approval. I just get the feeling leadership is expecting this to be done in one meeting.

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