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UncleP

Plan for Nephew to Earn Eagle Merit Badges

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I always told my Scouts to be aware of what they were learning in school, especially extra-curriculars like band, drama and sports.  Lots of those activities will satisfy MB requirements...just get them verified with a registered MB Counselor, preferably before starting.

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To tell the truth I do not see how camping and hiking will help him get all those citizenship badges, but you could fill libraries with all the material I do not understand.  In the long run all that matters is that he have fun.

 

Like it or not, camping and hiking aren't even specifically part of the Aims of Scouting.  Those are 1.) Character Development, 2.) Citizenship, and 3.) Fitness (Physical, Mental, and Emotional).  The Methods are how we get to those Aims (this is the Boy Scout list, which differs from the Cub Scout and Venturing list):

  1. Ideals
  2. Patrols
  3. Outdoors
  4. Advancement
  5. Adult Association
  6. Personal Growth
  7. Leadership Development
  8. Uniform

So those Citizenship badges you are knocking are actually more in line with the Aims of Scouting than camping/hiking (the Outdoors Method) or earning Eagle (Advancement Method, combined with Ideals, Leadership Development, Personal Growth, etc.), although one could argue that earning Eagle is actually the culmination of the Aims of Scouting in an individual Scout.

 

This is one of those twilight zone ares of Scouting... everyone thinks we are about the Outdoors, the Uniform, and maybe Citizenship... but if you ask the BSA we are all about Fitness, Citizenship, and Character.  All the rest is how we get there.

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Thank you for your input.  I have told my nephew to do just as you say - to concentrate on the outdoors and fun.  He is worried about all the merit badges, but I told him they will come.

 

To tell the truth I do not see how camping and hiking will help him get all those citizenship badges, but you could fill libraries with all the material I do not understand.  In the long run all that matters is that he have fun.

 

I'll be honest, the merit badges aren't that hard, especially for someone like your nephew.  We've got guys who are earning every imaginable merit badge because the love learning the stuff.  The outdoors and fun stuff is what your nephew NEEDS because it is a different experience from book learning.  The BSA Fieldbook would be a great resource to bridge that gap.

 

The camping and hiking won't get him the citizenship merit badges.  However, my son is volunteering at the local watershed conservation organization for his Citizenship in the Community merit badge -- learning about nature while learning about citizenship.  When I do Citizenship in the World, the boys will go into New York to visit the United Nations - we can call that an urban hike.  For Citizenship in the Nation, you have to visit a national monument - we did the Statute of Liberty and a camping trip to D.C.  However, it will give him experience for rank advancement (Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class) other badges like Camping, Cooking, Hiking, Backpacking, Orienteering, etc.

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To tell the truth I do not see how camping and hiking will help him get all those citizenship badges, but you could fill libraries with all the material I do not understand.  In the long run all that matters is that he have fun.

 

Yah, that's because Scoutin' works its magic in da background, eh?

 

There will be troop and patrol elections, so your nephew will see up close and personal how elections affect his life and other people's lives, eh?  How sometimes the fellow who is da best talker or da funniest or da one he agrees with most isn't the hardest worker or the best leader.   

 

He'll come to see a Patrol Leader's Council act as a legislature of sorts, settin' budgets and choosing activities.

 

He'll watch a Senior Patrol Leader and the fellows he selects serve as a sort of executive and cabinet, eh?  Gettin' things done, takin' on specific roles like managin' the troop gear, etc.  He'll learn that not every real leader is elected, eh?  Some just step up.

 

He'll see how his patrol and other patrols are also independent from da troop in many ways, and can run their own activities and set their own budgets and rules.  Just like states!

 

He'll have to resolve disputes about doin' dishes and what route to take on a hike and disputes between tent-mates, and begin to see da advantage of havin' independent mechanisms for resolvin' disputes.

 

He'll start to experience how on hikes da stronger boys take care of da weaker ones, or how on a bad-weather campout da stronger patrols help out the ones that need help.  So he'll begin to see that's often what we try to do as good citizens as well, eh?  He'll learn that lots of times good citizens have to work extra hard to clean up da mess that was caused by a friend or another patrol, and sometimes he'll be the one that causes a problem that his buddies have to fix.

 

He'll play Capture The Flag against other troops, and be proud of both his patrol and his troop as teammates workin' together.  He'll have to negotiate game rules with other troops, just the way countries negotiate treaties, and he'll also learn that other troops do things differently but can still be friends, allies, or honorable rivals.

 

Boy Scoutin' and all that camping and hiking is what makes citizenship real to the boys, eh?  Not just an abstract thing that yeh learn in school, but somethin' that really matters and that each boy is really a part of.  That's the magic of what we do, eh, and what's really behind all that campin' and hikin' and adventurin'.

 

Beavah

Edited by Beavah
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Thank you for your response.

 

The leadership and "Patrol Method" is something I think my nephew will have problems with.  He is a total loner, and very bright but solitary.  I think being outdoors though may spark something positive in him.  He loves animals and likes open spaces.

 

I personally could never understand the cult of "leadership" thing.  I worked for and with many organizations, and they more they talk about leadership, the worse the organization performs.  From my experiences the nature of work is changing so much, that "leadership" is kind of obsolete.  But maybe something will spark in my nephew - still waters run deep.

Leadership can be by example.  A Troop scribe who does a conscious job of keeping the troop records is a leader, even if he hardly says "Boo."

 

"Leadership" has many definitions, but either persuading other that the "job" belongs to them or helping others to do better both seem simple, understandable, and true.

 

Talk is useful only when it leads to useful behavior.  I too worked for a giant company that was to be operated by "bottom up" leadership, and I never saw it.  

 

But I have seen the results of excellent leaders.  Briefly, consider a high school in Cleveland that was the worst in the system in every way you can measure - grades; violence; parent participation; attendance; even athletics.  Change one thing - the principal.  In two years, the high school was the best in the system in every way that could be measured - student won the NATIONAL History Day Essay contest; chess team won the state championship, and absent its two best boards, fourth in the national HS chess tournament; scholarship money granted up 2300%   One little short Jewish guy in a ghetto high school was the only addition.  (Sadly, The Board was apparently embarrassed.  Expectations had been raised.  They closed the school.  Hundreds of outraged parents attended Board meetings.  After several years of INCREASING outrage, the Board agreed to rebuild the school.  Reopened, it remained the best even without the principal [sent packing].  So he's gone, but what he did changed everything, and not just in the one school.)

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Troop Scribe - He has a job to do, how well he keeps track of the money, correspondence, registrations, etc. are all management expectations.  How well he takes care of the people behind all those numbers is what makes him a leader.  He reports to the SPL little Johnny didn't get the council campership and can't afford the go to camp, he told the PL he wasn't interested in going.  Suggests he relay that information up the line to the SM.

 

Patrol is in major need of a new tent, the one got trashed  QM reports  it is not salvageable,  Scribe says the patrol has $XXX in their account.  QM relays that back to the PL.

 

Yes, we are dealing with JOBS, but there are human faces behind all those jobs that need leading.

 

I like @@TAHAWK bottom up leadership that doesn't work.  If done right is does.  A toothpaste manufacturer had a problem that every now and then the machine would not put toothpaste in the cartons and they would get shipped off to the customers.  It was a hassle and the customers weren't happy.  They hired a consultant to come in and do an assessment on the situation.  The boxes coming down the line that weren't full slipped through.  So the recommendation to put a scale in the line and that when a carton came along that wasn't full it would stop the line and someone could take it off and set the line going again. 

 

Joe on the line was given the task of keeping the the scale clear.  The first couple of hours the alarm went off fairly regularly and everyone was surprised how many were really slipping though.  But the second day the alarm didn't go off, and it didn't go off and so they went to check to see what happened.  Well, Joe got tired of knocking the empty boxes off the scale and resetting the machine that he stopped at Walmart on his way to his shift the next day and bought a huge fan.  Set it up on the line just before the scale and it would blow off the empty cartons before it got to the scale.  Problem solved.  The consultant charged $14,000 for the scale set up and Joe's fan cost $50.  The consultants got the job done, but they didn't take into consideration the human part of the problem.  Joe did. Lead from the bottom up.  The people at the bottom are those closest to the customer.  Remember, in the BSA, that's the PL.  He's the most direct contact with the customer.

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Yah, that's because Scoutin' works its magic in da background, eh?

 

There will be troop and patrol elections, so your nephew will see up close and personal how elections affect his life and other people's lives, eh?  How sometimes the fellow who is da best talker or da funniest or da one he agrees with most isn't the hardest worker or the best leader.   

 

He'll come to see a Patrol Leader's Council act as a legislature of sorts, settin' budgets and choosing activities.

 

He'll watch a Senior Patrol Leader and the fellows he selects serve as a sort of executive and cabinet, eh?  Gettin' things done, takin' on specific roles like managin' the troop gear, etc.  He'll learn that not every real leader is elected, eh?  Some just step up.

 

He'll see how his patrol and other patrols are also independent from da troop in many ways, and can run their own activities and set their own budgets and rules.  Just like states!

 

He'll have to resolve disputes about doin' dishes and what route to take on a hike and disputes between tent-mates, and begin to see da advantage of havin' independent mechanisms for resolvin' disputes.

 

He'll start to experience how on hikes da stronger boys take care of da weaker ones, or how on a bad-weather campout da stronger patrols help out the ones that need help.  So he'll begin to see that's often what we try to do as good citizens as well, eh?  He'll learn that lots of times good citizens have to work extra hard to clean up da mess that was caused by a friend or another patrol, and sometimes he'll be the one that causes a problem that his buddies have to fix.

 

He'll play Capture The Flag against other troops, and be proud of both his patrol and his troop as teammates workin' together.  He'll have to negotiate game rules with other troops, just the way countries negotiate treaties, and he'll also learn that other troops do things differently but can still be friends, allies, or honorable rivals.

 

Boy Scoutin' and all that camping and hiking is what makes citizenship real to the boys, eh?  Not just an abstract thing that yeh learn in school, but somethin' that really matters and that each boy is really a part of.  That's the magic of what we do, eh, and what's really behind all that campin' and hikin' and adventurin'.

 

Beavah

Well said. My son did not understand leadership until he was the 'glue' that held a hiking crew together for a week. I got all sorts of praise on how he did on the AT: calming down a wild child, fetching water when the others were tired, being peacemaker, teaching the young scout on how to figure where they were on the AT. He said "he was just helping out" but I told him that was what a leader does. 

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I think, conceptually at least, I understand what you are saying.  It is out of my sphere of experience, and I have not seen anything like it.  I am not a "joiner" and with the exception of work, have never belonged to any organization.

 

That is one of the reasons I want my nephew to develop the skills I never did.  The world is a much nastier place today, then when I was a boy, and he will need to do things that I never could to get by in life.  Maybe it is just me, but the world just seems to have turned against boys.  Local governments spend fortunes on senior facilities, but not a cent on anything for boys.  Last night some movie star was on TV talking about how superior girls were to boys.  The world seems to have become very feminized.

 

It is a shame that scouting is not more popular, it might help out a great deal.  Though in all honesty, I think you are doing yourself a disservice with all the school merit badges and other requirements. 

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Perhaps Eagle might not be his cup of tea. Take a look at the National Outdoor Award Program. Very little school work and is much more intense than Eagle and rare. It just doesn't have decades of branding. In addition since it is now open to Venturing he would have until 21 to complete it. There are even rumblings about expanding Venturing to 26.

 

http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/BoyScouts/Youth/Awards/NOA.aspx

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Boys have historically been more "active" and even "aggressive" than their female counterparts.  They were the warriors, defenders, etc. of past cultures.  Our culture today no longer views those attributes as positive and thus the medication to stifle those tendencies.  There is a reason why more males are on ADD/ADHD medication.  Being male is a mental disorder. Sitting passively and keeping quiet is the main attribute the school systems are insisting on with their students. 

 

Given enough medication even recess is no longer necessary to "blow off a bit of steam" from having to sit quietly in class.  The Zombie Apocalypse, compliments of Walgreens and CVS.

 

Leaders to champion the cause are no longer necessary, as long as everyone accepts the herd mentality everything will be just fine.  I think one just flew over the coco's nest.

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I think, conceptually at least, I understand what you are saying.  It is out of my sphere of experience, and I have not seen anything like it.  I am not a "joiner" and with the exception of work, have never belonged to any organization.

 ....

 

You highlight something we experience all over the country. We have an increasing number of non-joiners. Some dads I know actually find a club to belong to after they see how it helped their son's experience.

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It is a shame that scouting is not more popular, it might help out a great deal.  Though in all honesty, I think you are doing yourself a disservice with all the school merit badges and other requirements. 

 

 

We've got 50 boys in our Troop and there three other troops in the same town -- pretty popular if you ask me.  :D

 

I share your frustrations with the "school" merit badges and the "school' parts of other merit badges.  However, you have to understand that Eagle is not just a measure of the boy's competence in the outdoors (Camping, Hiking/Biking/Swimming, Cooking) (actually, I think that there should be more emphasis there) but also is a reflection on character (Personal Management, Family Life, Personal Fitness), citizenship (Community, Nation, World) and stewardship (Sustainability / Env. Science) and preparedness (First Aid, Emergency Preparedness).  It really is about being prepared for life.  The "school" merit badges can be pencil whipped or they can be active learning experiences.

 

 

Perhaps Eagle might not be his cup of tea. Take a look at the National Outdoor Award Program. Very little school work and is much more intense than Eagle and rare. It just doesn't have decades of branding. In addition since it is now open to Venturing he would have until 21 to complete it. There are even rumblings about expanding Venturing to 26.

 

http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/BoyScouts/Youth/Awards/NOA.aspx

 

I think the National Outdoor award is more challenging than Eagle.  My son is working toward the National Outdoor Medal .  He has his camping segment with one gold pin so far getting his second gold by the end of the summer.  He  will complete the merit badges he needs for the hiking segment at camp this summer.   Looking at taking through his junior year in High School to to get the medal -- it will be a lot of work and will take him longer than Eagle.

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Perhaps Eagle might not be his cup of tea. Take a look at the National Outdoor Award Program. Very little school work and is much more intense than Eagle and rare. It just doesn't have decades of branding. In addition since it is now open to Venturing he would have until 21 to complete it. There are even rumblings about expanding Venturing to 26.

 

http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/BoyScouts/Youth/Awards/NOA.aspx

 

That is an excellent suggestion for a long term goal for my nephew.  Right now I just want him to get started and to "get his hands dirty".

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Boys have historically been more "active" and even "aggressive" than their female counterparts.  They were the warriors, defenders, etc. of past cultures.  Our culture today no longer views those attributes as positive and thus the medication to stifle those tendencies.  There is a reason why more males are on ADD/ADHD medication.  Being male is a mental disorder. Sitting passively and keeping quiet is the main attribute the school systems are insisting on with their students. 

 

Given enough medication even recess is no longer necessary to "blow off a bit of steam" from having to sit quietly in class.  The Zombie Apocalypse, compliments of Walgreens and CVS.

 

Leaders to champion the cause are no longer necessary, as long as everyone accepts the herd mentality everything will be just fine.  I think one just flew over the coco's nest.

 

I know what you mean, I was on Ritalin for most of my elementary school years.   Being a boy these days is a "square peg in a round hole" situation. 

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You highlight something we experience all over the country. We have an increasing number of non-joiners. Some dads I know actually find a club to belong to after they see how it helped their son's experience.

 

That surprises me.  I thought I was the last lone wolf left.  Everybody I know seems to love the "herd" way of doing everything.   

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