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CalicoPenn

Do We Really Need Eagle Required Merit Badges?

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Although I defiantly agree with the student learning to do without mom in tow at the college stage of the game.. I personally was not happy with not seeing the grades, luckily my son went to college locally and lived at home, and he was pretty responsible.. But, the only thing we could do was tell him if he failed a grade, he would pay to retake it.. We never would know if he was passing with D's or C's..  I always wondered how many parents spent thousands for students who partied their college away and four years later they found they were out thousands and their child passed little more then maybe gym class..

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The helicopter moms have devolved into velcro. No longer hovering and watching, waiting to swooop, but attached right to their kid. Only way to separate velcro is with a forceful rip. The good thing is parenting styles are never constant. The next generation will do it differently as will subsequent generations.

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Calico -- I like your idea. My only change would be to specify which categories must have two MB -- obviously toward the outdoor/scout skills side.

 

Pack -- I was hoping you would circle back around to the advising rant. Tenure is a wonderful thing, isn't it?! With OneCubSon graduating next month and TwoCubSon graduating next year, I've learned about FERPA. Every August, the boys and I swap tuition checks for signed FERPA release forms. I've only had to pull one out once, and that related not to anything specific with my son, but to general curriculum changes I felt amounted to breech of contract. As the guy paying the freight, I made an appointment with the dean of the college. He tried to hide behind FERPA until I put the form on his desk and said if he needed to verify it I would wait. :)

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The grouping of MB's with choice from within groups sounds great.   In fact SUPER!

 

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Although I defiantly agree with the student learning to do without mom in tow at the college stage of the game.. I personally was not happy with not seeing the grades, luckily my son went to college locally and lived at home, and he was pretty responsible.. But, the only thing we could do was tell him if he failed a grade, he would pay to retake it.. We never would know if he was passing with D's or C's..  I always wondered how many parents spent thousands for students who partied their college away and four years later they found they were out thousands and their child passed little more then maybe gym class..

I'm with moosetracker on this.  I agree that parents shouldn't be going to advising meetings with students, but if I am paying for my boys to go to college, I should have the right to see how they are spending my money.  At the school that my sons go to, we can see their final grades, but nothing during a semester to see how they are doing.  My sons also know that they better sign the FERPA paperwork or they won't get that tuition paid!

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Folks, you have Scouts right? Do this:

- Pay tuition.

- Limit extra $$$ to their reporting of grades to you.

- Cut off tuition if you need to. Make them pay for failed grades. Have their summer money in an account earmarked for failed grades. If none, allocate as speeding money.

- You cannot complain about helicopter parenting if you're not willing to let them learn their own lessons.

Failing out of college never hurt anyone. Might be a great life lesson. I know I learned my lesson. Got straight As in graduate school. :)

Edited by John-in-KC
Edited to correct what Mozartbrau meant to say!

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I think there need to be Eagle-required MB's. I do not think there need to be 13 of them. I think National needs to learn to make tough decisions and cut the list down to 10 or 11. Instead, National is afflicted with what I call Good Idea Syndrome. They implement every Good Idea that comes along. Having Cooking be required is a Good Idea. Same for Family Life, each of the three Citizenships, Communications, and all the rest. All Good Ideas, but add them all together and you have an imbalance between required and elective MBs. Same with the National this award and the National that award. All Good Ideas, but all together it's all too much.

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Pack -- I was hoping you would circle back around to the advising rant. Tenure is a wonderful thing, isn't it?! With OneCubSon graduating next month and TwoCubSon graduating next year, I've learned about FERPA. Every August, the boys and I swap tuition checks for signed FERPA release forms. I've only had to pull one out once, and that related not to anything specific with my son, but to general curriculum changes I felt amounted to breech of contract. As the guy paying the freight, I made an appointment with the dean of the college. He tried to hide behind FERPA until I put the form on his desk and said if he needed to verify it I would wait. :)

TwoCub, you handled that dean correctly. Changing the curriculum on a student before he's finished IS breach of contract. The student AND the institution are both supposed to be bound by the requirements of the curriculum year of entry as stated in the catalog of that year. That can be changed, of course, but only by agreement by both parties. 

 

You got most of the essence of the rant with the example I described. I advise a few more than 30 students and it's impossible to 'know' each of them with the level of detail that they can for themselves. 

As for 'tenure', I'm hoping that was tongue-in-cheek. Tenure, in my view is bad and when I was offered it during the hiring process I rejected it. I consider the tenure system to be intellectually bankrupt and ethically suspect. If I ever get to visit you again sometime I'll tell you what I REALLY think about it. 

Suffice to say, while it might protect a maverick now and then, it also protects a forest of dead wood occupying obscenely-paid, do-practically-nothing administrative positions, occupied by failed academics who have no skills other than to enjoy committee meetings and an ability to create new forms for people to complete. 

 

So....was that as good for you as it was for me?  :p

 

Pargolf and Moose, it seems that both of you are successfully exploiting the ultimate source of leverage: money. At age 18, that might be all you have left if the 'adult' child decides to go it alone. 

Edited by packsaddle

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... Same with the National this award and the National that award. All Good Ideas, but all together it's all too much.

The phenomenon is called "profusion" the exponential growth of choices that folks never had (and really never needed) before.

 

I'm really cynical about tweaks in requirements. Plenty of changes since 1980, and non of it has patched the membership drain. Non-scouts come to me asking if I have early edition handbooks. They have a sense in their head that there are some novel challenges.

 

Also, no regrets about the required ones. Contrary to popular belief, my sons were never asked in school to report about their neighborhoods. They were never asked to review or track their spending, family obligations, or excersize habits. They weren't asked cook meals over a fire. They were never asked to emcee an assembly -- even a classroom one. Nobody in our school district would ever suggest a kid grab a buddy on a day off and hike 10 miles through the North Side into town, then over the Hill onto Pitt's campus to meet with an ASM who was on a study break playing assassin in the Cathedral of Learning, cook lunch in Shenley Park, then hike that same distance home.

 

In just a few years these kids will be sitting in a bar talking politics or travel or finance or how to be a responsible dad, and one or two of these "pencil whipped" factoids that the fella first learned while meeting a counselor will rattle out of his head and command a little respect.

 

At the very least, the guy will know he has what it takes to arrange office hours wih a prof, or to meet with his seargant, or come prepared to talk with the manager and request to understand some nuance or another.

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Heh, heh, send them on to me. Here's how the conversation went. 

I only have one chair in my broom closet...oops, I mean my office. When they walked through the door my first question was, "Which one of you is the student?". When the student identified himself, I asked him, "Why is SHE here?" By that time she had already seated herself and he was leaning against the door frame (no room elsewhere in the office). At that question she had a shocked look on her face and she apologetically explained that she was just making sure that her son understood everything. 

I looked at him again and responded to him, "You did notice, didn't you, that I asked YOU that question and not her, right?" He was looking a little shocked too, and she was about to protest when I turned to her and asked, "Do I have permission to be just a little stern with your son?" I guess she wasn't expecting that one so she nodded slowly.

I told him, "You're over 18." "It's time to cut the umbilical cord." "You are now responsible for your own life and you need to seize that responsibility."

I turned to her, "Do you know what FERPA is?" shaking her head silently. "It means that it is illegal for me to discuss this student's status or record in your presence, without his written consent...which I do not have." "Being the parent does not alter this." "Please wait outside while I meet with your son."

She slinked into the hallway and as he took the nice warm seat, I closed the door and then we had an advising meeting. 

The young man has since taken an active role in his plans. He's asking the right questions and I think he'll do fine. Perhaps in time, Mom will also realize the favor I did them.

 

It kinda sounds like what I do but I can't call in FERPA reinforcements.  :)

 

The first day of our new troop in order to set a precedent, I showed up extra early and found a place at a table in the church basement.  All the boys and parents came and sat down at the table with me.  As soon as 7:00 pm rolled around they all got nice and quiet and I let the silence ripen.  Finally the parent who would be my biggest opponent would speak up.  The longer it took, the less aggressive they would be.  No problem.  

 

Finally a parent took the initiative and said, "Well, does any one have any questions?"  I looked up and smiled and said,"Yes, I do.  If this troop is going to be boy led, why are all the boys sitting at the adult's table?"  The boys were a bit sheepish, but they collected up their stuff and began to move off to the other end of the room.  I said, "If you need any help, with your new troop, just invite me to your table."  :)

 

We now have a tradition.  Occasionally I get invited to the boy's table for instruction and discussion, but only at their invitation.  It seems to be working well.  They came up with the PL on their own and they've been doing quite nicely ever since.  Yes, they were all at that time, Webelos cross-overs.  

 

The best compliment I have gotten from them was when one of them said to me, "You really meant it when you said boy-led, didn't you?"  :)  Yep.

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I think there need to be Eagle-required MB's. I do not think there need to be 13 of them. I think National needs to learn to make tough decisions and cut the list down to 10 or 11. Instead, National is afflicted with what I call Good Idea Syndrome. They implement every Good Idea that comes along. Having Cooking be required is a Good Idea. Same for Family Life, each of the three Citizenships, Communications, and all the rest. All Good Ideas, but add them all together and you have an imbalance between required and elective MBs. Same with the National this award and the National that award. All Good Ideas, but all together it's all too much.

 

I'm not sure why there are THREE Citizenship badges.  This is coming from an attorney who was a Political Science major in college and who is married to someone who heads up one of the partisan staffs for the state legislature.  It's too much.  I remember a bumper sticker when I was growing up "Think Globally, Act Locally" and Tip O'Neal's maxim that "All Politics Are Local."  Based on those ideas, why not have one Citizenship badge with three components?

 

I'm an MBC on Family Life and Personal Management.  I recognize that the skills and knowledge in those areas is important, but, the material is so boring.  I'd rather have Backpacking and Wilderness Survival be required-- at least you typically don't learn those skills at home or at school.

 

On the other hand, I'm glad they made Cooking Eagle required.  I have a lot of fun working with the boys on that one.  We spend a day cooking in my back yard and the parents join us for the dinners and desserts cooked by the boys.  I actually had one boy sign up who had earned the merit badge at camp but wanted to cook and eat with his buddies.  Cooking is a skill you will use throughout life.

 

I do like the idea of catagories and having the boys pick from each catagory.  That allows the boys to choose their own path.  As I tell my son, the journey you take to Eagle tells a story about who you are. The less requirements the more personal the journey.

Edited by Hedgehog

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I do think there should be more than 2 required Eagle MBs, but less than the current number of required.First Aid, Camping, Swimming and Citizenshipin the Nation are definates. I like Cooking, but you can throw those requirements  into Camping.

 

Since this did take a turn into college, I mave some mixed emotions on this one. On one hand, I firmly beleive that the students need to take responsibility. So mommy and daddy don't need to be hovering around on every little thing. On the other hand, the ones who are footing the bill, should have access to the records. If there are problems, then it should be discussed with the child, not the school.

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Or... let the kid foot the bill and have a little skin in the game.  I paid for my college education as did my kids.  It's a wonderful thing turning 18, you become and adult and you answer to no one and you make your own way in the world.  Otherwise you end up being 45 years old and still living in your parent's basement.  Maturity and personal pride go a long way in making that determination.

Edited by Stosh

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Or... let the kid foot the bill and have a little skin in the game.  I paid for my college education as did my kids.  It's a wonderful thing turning 18, you become and adult and you answer to no one and you make your own way in the world.  Otherwise you end up being 45 years old and still living in your parent's basement.  Maturity and personal pride go a long way in making that determination.

 

So true.  I also paid for college, ok I'm still repaying the loans.  I did work study, had a part time job or 2,  and worked every summer except one to pay for college. That one summer was the European Camp Staff Program, a trip of a lifetime.

 

I worry about my kids paying for college.  Nowadays, it is darn near impossible for teens to get jobs.In my neck of the woods, you have adults fighting for them. Heckone ASM we have has 3 part time jobs trying to make ends meet.

 

I told my wife that summer camp staff, while not paying alot, would gain them alot of expereince. She has been hesitant to do this, but as they get older and the job situation gets worse, she's starting to consider it.

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