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RogueRiverRun

Earning Merit Badges before rank of "Scout"?

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I think leaders (adult and youth) should actively and positively encourage Scouts to participate in all aspects of the program.

 

That sounds nice.  But do you mean, from Day One?  So as soon as the boy walks in the door you are simultaneously encouraging him to work on Scout-to-First Class, merit badges, Mile Swim, STEM award, 50 Miler, Hornaday Medal, and all the rest of the things in the back of the handbook?  I doubt it.  Why would you?  Some things are designed to be done very early in the Scout's career.  I would encourage doing those first.  I'm not suggesting that anything the boy is eligible for should be placed off limits.  What I am talking about is guiding a young man to follow a logical path, especially if the young man is prone to distractions, as so many are at the age of 10.  Maybe there are some Scouts who can "do it all" right out of the gate.  But for most of them, I am concerned that trying to do too much at first will result in completing nothing at all, leading to frustration.  Let them get a little older and more sure of themself first.

Edited by NJCubScouter

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That sounds nice.  But do you mean, from Day One?  So as soon as the boy walks in the door you are simultaneously encouraging him to work on Scout-to-First Class, merit badges, Mile Swim, STEM award, 50 Miler, Hornaday Medal, and all the rest of the things in the back of the handbook?  I doubt it.  Why would you?  Some things are designed to be done very early in the Scout's career.  I would encourage doing those first.  I'm not suggesting that anything the boy is eligible for should be placed off limits.  What I am talking about is guiding a young man to follow a logical path, especially if the young man is prone to distractions, as so many are at the age of 10.  Maybe there are some Scouts who can "do it all" right out of the gate.  But for most of them, I am concerned that trying to do too much at first will result in completing nothing at all, leading to frustration.  Let them get a little older and more sure of themself first.

I'm pretty sure that's not what @@MrBob meant. :rolleyes: Ain't nobody loosing if a kid is working on a rank advancement an MB of his own choosing. Certainly, the more he wants to do "right now" the more likely a lot of those things won't be accomplished. So, yeah, we need to check that.

 

But, consider my first PL (who Eagled at 14 ... had his bird before I joined the troop). He nailed that mile swim his first year at camp, and was gearing up for Phlimont (had his jacket from there the first time I met him as well). The kid was raring to go out the gate. Now, I have no clue if he had earned any ovals before camp. The SPL was a stickler for details (transfer from another troop, specifically so SM could learn "the ropes"), so I'm pretty sure there were no "fast tracks." But this guy probably did knock it out as soon as he saw the "to do" list.

 

So, for every rule you think should be there, you'll find a couple of exceptional boys who prove you wrong. Life's easier when you don't try reading between the lines.

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That sounds nice.  But do you mean, from Day One?  So as soon as the boy walks in the door you are simultaneously encouraging him to work on Scout-to-First Class, merit badges, Mile Swim, STEM award, 50 Miler, Hornaday Medal, and all the rest of the things in the back of the handbook?  I doubt it.  Why would you?  Some things are designed to be done very early in the Scout's career.  I would encourage doing those first.  I'm not suggesting that anything the boy is eligible for should be placed off limits.  What I am talking about is guiding a young man to follow a logical path, especially if the young man is prone to distractions, as so many are at the age of 10.  Maybe there are some Scouts who can "do it all" right out of the gate.  But for most of them, I am concerned that trying to do too much at first will result in completing nothing at all, leading to frustration.  Let them get a little older and more sure of themself first.

 

reductio ad absurdum

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My boys became Boy Scouts the first of June. The first meeting was an intro to boy led patrol method, three rules of the troop and summer camp coming up in 2 months. They decided what camp they wanted to go, do the first year program and look at the MB'S to see which 2 they would be interested in. The second meeting they selected their patrol officers. So, yes, they were aware of advancement and MB'S from day one.

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I agree, I see a lot of "boy led" programs that have no clue what the patrol method is all about. It's really hard to watch all that leadership from the boys going to waste. I am constantly telling my boys to not let the adults steal their leadership opportunities.

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I have decided that the most important thing about the Patrol Method is that the Scout primarily experience Scouting in the context of his patrol.  BP and Bill said so, and B.S.A. says so - in some places.  Without that, the central ideas of the method are lost.  

 

And yet the standard Troop Meeting Plan form is almost all troop, troop, troop.  In this as in other issues, BSA speaks with a divided voice, and some of its spokespersons don't know much about Boy Scouting.

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