Jump to content
cchoat

Merit Badges and Summer/Winter Camp

Recommended Posts

Hello all.

 

I am currently working on my Commissioner thesis for my Doctorate in Commissioner sciences, and have hit on the topic that as a Commissioner, I have been approached by Scout Leaders in the past, this being, do scouts really earn the merit badges they sign up for at camp? 

 

The questioning comes down to various shortcuts, inexperienced staffers, and badges that the leader knows that the Scout could not have completed in the time and with the resources allotted.

 

As Scout leaders, what are your concerns?  What are your suggestions to fix this issue?

 

Attached is my first draft of this paper.  Your assistance and comments either way are welcome.

 

Thank you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry about that.  The attachment didn't take.  Here is the draft.

 

 

 

 

Promoting the “out†in Scouting.

Council Camps and Merit Badges.  Have we forgot we’re outdoors?

Clive S. Choat

District Commissioner, Thunderbird District, Calcasieu Area Council

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                   

 

 

            This thesis will look at the merit badge process, how it is being applied at council camps, and what we can do to both enhance the merit badge process, and the outdoor camp experience.  Some of the things that I am proposing is the elimination of "teaching" merit badges that can be worked in a classroom setting (such as the three citizenship merit badges, family life, emergency preparedness...) and concentrate more on those things that a camp environment can offer (swimming, camping, sailing, rowing, canoeing, wilderness survival, pioneering...).  I will also suggest ways that local councils through their districts can recruit and train merit badge councilors, thus delivering the promise of the Scouting program.

              This thesis does not intend to bash these council run camps, because we are aware that they are trying to provide the best program they can, given their limited budgets and resources.  It is our hope that it will cast a light on several glaring issues, and point the way to possible solutions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Defining the Issue

Summer camp—Summer camp is what many Scouts enjoy most. Camp programs provide numerous opportunities for Scouts to earn merit badges along their advancement trail. Resident camp includes at least five nights and six days of fun outdoor activities.

                                  â€• The Boy Scout Outdoor Program, BSA Website

            It’s well known that the outdoor adventure is the promise made to boys when they join Scouting.   As leaders, it is our responsibility to ensure that our Scouts get the type of program that that stirs their imagination and interests.    It is in the outdoor environment that our scouts have the opportunity to obtain skills that will allow them to become more self-reliant. It is here they can explore activities such as hiking, canoeing, sailing, pioneering as well as complete challenges they may have thought to be beyond their ability.   But is this the program we are giving them?

          As a Commissioner, have you ever had a Scout leader come up to you and question the validity of a scout’s merit badge progress report from a summer or winter camp?  Or a parent complaining that their Scout didn’t get all the badges he signed up for?  It’s become normal for Scouts (and their parents) to measure success by how many merit badges they (or their son) earn, and are vocal if the scout comes back with partial completions or no badges at all.  Given the cost of the camp, parents expect something tangible in return, else they feel that they have not got their monies worth.  Some camps therefore, have over the years cultivated a reputation (whether deserved or not) of being “easyâ€, with requirements and completions. 

          Thus the ability to earn merit badges have become one of the primary reason why many Scout leaders choose one camp over another.  A quick look at how the average council run summer/winter camp advertises itself based on how many different merit badges it offers, but not on the quality of its instruction or staff, or other programs that allow the scout to experience the outdoors.   To meet these promises, many of these camps rely primarily on either youth staff members under the age of eighteen, or those adult unit leaders, attending camp with their troops and hastily recruited to teach a merit badge that they not only were not expecting to do or prepared for, but quite often not even familiar with the merit badge requirements or field.  So although the promised “number of badges offered†is high, the quality of instruction is highly questionable.   

           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Merit Badge Program

          As Commissioners, let’s ask ourselves these questions.   Do merit badges exist simply for the purpose of providing scouts the opportunity to learn skills?  Is correctly utilizing the merit badge program important to a scout’s advancement?  Can a large group of scouts really earn Eagle required merit badges in a classroom environment in three or four 50 minute sessions?  Do Scouts benefit if they simply show up, do nothing and are awarded the badge?  What merit badges should and should not be offered at council run summer and winter camps?

           Before we explore each of these questions, let’s remember that as Commissioners, we are the guardians of the Scouting program.  As such, one of our responsibilities is that we are charged to see that the program is being delivered as directed by the guidelines and policies set forth by the national headquarters.  One of the keys to this program is Guide to Advancement which defines the merit badge program. 

          

“Earning merit badges should be Scout initiated, Scout researched, and Scout learned. It should be hands-on and interactive, and should not be modeled after a typical school classroom setting. Instead, it is meant to be an active program so enticing to young men that they will want to take responsibility for their own full participation.†    

                                                                                                          ― 7.0.3.0. The Process of Counseling

         

         The merit badge process was designed to give scouts the opportunity to get out into the community and meet with adults who in turn could mentor them on topics of interest to the boy.  It is designed to give the Scout the confidence achieved through overcoming obstacles, improve their social skills and develop self-reliance and allows the scout to explore fields of study and interest outside of the school classroom.  The process starts with the scout showing an interest in a merit badge subject and discussing this with his Scoutmaster or designated assistant. The Scout is connected to a counselor, who has registered with the BSA and has demonstrated knowledges and experience in the field the badge covers.  The merit badge counselor acts as a coach, assisting the Scout in completing the requirements to earn the badge.  While merit badge counselors are permitted to guide and instruct a Scout on the subject matter, the Scout must do the work himself.     

          When one counselor works directly with one Scout and his buddy, or with a very small group, personal coaching and guidance can be achieved.  This why the recommended best practice as stated in the national guidelines is the small-scale approach for merit badge instruction and requirement fulfillment. Large group instruction, while perhaps efficient, doesn’t provide the desired results when it comes to both learning and positive adult association that the merit badge program intends.  This is why it is important that districts and councils should focus on providing trained, qualified merit badge counselors for as many subjects as possible, and made available to the Scouts.

             Sadly, many scouts, instead of getting blue cards from their scoutmasters and seeking out merit badge councilors, are earning all or the bulk of their badges in a council sponsored camp environment.  In doing so, we have allowed the merit badge process, and in turn, the advancement process to be watered down, and have turned our summer and winter camps into factories, with the main goal to have the boys earn as many merit badges as possible.  This has led to a detrition of the merit badge program as quantity of badges offered takes priority over quality of instruction, and detracts from the outdoor experience. 

 

“In Boy Scouting, advancement requirements must be passed as written. If, for example, a requirement uses words like "show," "demonstrate," or "discuss," then that is what Scouts must do. Filling out a worksheet, for example, would not suffice. “

                                                           â€• 4.2.0.1 Scouting Ranks and Advancement Age Requirements

           

          Camp Directors will point out that 7.0.3.2 in the Guide to Advancement allows group Instruction.  And while it may be true that BSA deems it to be acceptable, and that under certain circumstances even appropriate that merit badges be taught in group settings, every Scout in attendance must “actually and personally†have completed the requirements, as spelled out by the merit badge. If the requirement states that the Scout must “show,†“demonstrate,†or “discuss,†then every Scout must do that.  The Guide goes even further, clearly stating that “It is unacceptable to award badges on the basis of sitting in classrooms watching demonstrations, or remaining silent during discussions.†(The Merit Badge Program, BSA National Website, 2017)   And yet we find in many council camps, groups of 20 or more Scouts are taking Eagle required merit badges such as Citizenship in the Community, Nation or World. 

              The expectation that badges such as these can be completed and earned in a group that large over a short period of time (3 to 4 fifty minute classes) is stretching the bounds of possibility, considering the fact that if conducted to standard, of the eight requirements, each scout would have to “discuss†four requirements, “explain†one, “show†one and “tell†two.  Yet somehow, scouts are returning home with completed Citizenship in the Nation merit badges.  Adjustments, compromises and exceptions have had to have been made to allow every Scout to “complete†the requirements to earn the badge.  Add to this mix, one counselor (who may or may not be underage, or inexperienced in the subject) can be found running several classes each day, and there is no way to know if a Scout actually actively participated, or just showed up. 

          National guidelines clearly spell out that “The same qualifications and rules for merit badge counselors apply to council summer camp merit badge programs. All merit badge counselors must be at least 18 years of age. Camp staff members under age 18 may assist with instruction but cannot serve in the role of the merit badge counselor.†(The Merit Badge Program, BSA National Website).  This means that those staffers serving as merit badge counselors must be registered in Scouting, and both knowledgeable and qualified in the subject that they are hired to instruct to sign off on merit badges.  It puts the onus on the Camp Director to certify that these standards are met, and that all badges earned where earned in compliance with the Guide to Advancement. 

            However, the Camp Director is limited by many factors, the most pressing of these is money.  In order to keep costs within the limited budget set forth by the council, the Director is limited to just how many staffers he or she can hire, and how much they can offer to pay them.  Coupled with a need to offer as many merit badges as possible, this means that hiring an all adult staff, qualified in the various badges offered is an unobtainable goal.  Instead, the pot is spread by hiring youth members, and assigning them as merit badge councilors for several different badges.  In addition, pleas are made for the adult leaders attending camp with their units to assist by teaching merit badge classes that the director could not fill. 

           

Restoring the Merit Badge Process in Council

             So how do we fix these issues? I suggest a two pronged approach to this issue. First, restore the credibility of the merit badge program by requiring that Scouts complete the requirements as written, and second review the merit badges that a camp should be offering, tailoring them to accentuate the facilities the camp can offer, and in turn, returning them to providing a great outdoor experience.

                  To restore the credibility of the merit badge program, we must first look to recruit qualified merit badge councilors.  While this may be the responsibility of the District or council advancement committees, (who are, by their nature, charged with the recruiting and training sufficient counselors in order to meet their unit’s needs) we as Commissioners must always be on the lookout for individuals that can serve.   

            An already present resource in the councils are their registered adult leaders.  Scoutmasters and assistant scoutmasters should be encouraged to sign up as merit badge counselors, taking on one to three badges of subjects that they are both qualified and comfortable.  Unit Commissioners should work with the Scoutmasters to identify other unit level leaders and parents, who might also be interested to serve.  From both of these sources, a master list should then be compiled for Scoutmasters to refer to when a Scout is ready to pursue a merit badge.   

            District and Council Commissioners can network with those who belong to the same civic groups as they do, such as the American Legion, the Lion’s Club, Shriners, PTA, etc. By doing so, we can gather names of people who may be qualified to serve, and pass them along to the advancement committee for follow-up.   In addition, we can help ensure that these individuals are fully supported by conducting both Youth Protection and the Merit Badge Counselor training. 

                                               

Suggestions for Improving the Camp Experience

 

            Camp.  The word as defined by Webster’s is “a place usually in the country for recreation or instruction often during the summer, a program offering access to recreational or educational facilities for a limited period of time, such as a resort offering boating and hiking campsâ€.   For the purpose of this paper, I will be breaking out the three types of camps currently run by the BSA, these being High Adventure, Traditional and Combination, but will concentrate on the Traditional. 

            At the pinnacle of Scouting’s camps lies the High Adventure Camp. (HAC)  These camps offer specialized, unique scouting opportunities such as back country  backpacking expeditions, sailing and scuba diving, wilderness canoe excursions,    Philmont Scout Reservation, Florida National High Adventure Sea Base, Northern Tier and the Summit Scout Reserve  are the best known of these, with Swamp Base in Louisiana and Sea Scout Base-Galveston two local examples. 

            A combination camp offers scout units the choice of either the traditional camp experience, or a specialized program.  One such example of this would be the Sid Richardson Reservation, run by the Longhorn Council in Texas.   This camp offers the troops Scouts to either participate in a traditional summer camp experience (earning merit badges) or in a series of high adventure activities that do not lead to merit badges, where the Scouts immerse themselves in various historical periods where the can experience life as a Texas Ranger, Civil War soldier, UFO hunter, and other fun activities.  

            This brings us to the Traditional Camp experience.  When one thinks about the traditional view of a Boy Scout summer camp, the mind congers an image of a woody place with hiking, canoeing, and campfires.   But today, many of our council camps have changed this view with a greater emphasis on offering as many merit badges as possible.  This is largely to counter a trend in decreasing enrollment in summer camps, due to competition from other council camps as well as non-scouting venues. 

             But you say, “Don’t the Scouts want to earn merit badges?† Yes, in a sense they do, and because of this, the camp has become almost an extension of school.  Instead of taking time to just relax and enjoy nature, our scouts are regimented into a schedule of six to eight periods of instruction of fifty minutes each with 10 minutes to move from class to class.  Many of the badges offered are neither nature or outdoors related at all, and are all but impossible to complete in the allotted time, and the subjects being taught could have just as easily been done at the Scouts normal meeting places or in his community.  While some camps take time off from this schedule to offer inter-camp activities, these are usually poorly attended by the units, as the boys tend to use this “free time†to do the things that they really want to do. 

                So what is a cash strapped Camp Director to do?  First, take stock of what your camp has to really offer a Scout, in order to get the most out of his outdoor experience.     A summer camp environment should allow the Scout to learn new outdoor skills in a safe and nurturing environment.   What merit badges can you offer that a Scout that fits your camp environment?

 

 

 

 

 

References:

 

A Guide for Merit Badge Counseling, No. 512-065,

 

The Merit Badge Program, BSA National Website http://www.scouting.org/home/guidetoadvancement/themeritbadgeprogram.aspx#7011

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unfortunately, most do not actually earn the merit badges. Some requirements get signed off that could not possibly have been completed.

 

A more frequent issue is the "DO, Show, Demonstrate" parts of the MB are done, shown or demonstrated by the counselor in a group setting.

 

This past Summer at our camp, the MB classes were given by instructors (many of which are under 18 and cannot be counselors anyway). The instructors would sign off that requirements had been covered, but MB Counselors back at the unit (or Counselors from District or Council) would test the Scout and sign off if they felt the work was completed according to the requirements. It was a bit of delayed gratification for some scouts, but that is not a bad thing. It also ensured that the Scouts did and understood the requirement. In some cases a requirement may need to be redone if the counselor was not confident the scout understood/completed the work.

 

IT worked well for us. The Scouts didn't seem to mind, because they were interested in doing the work and having fun. As leaders we liked it because we felt confident that the scout earned the badge.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some quick feedback:

 

I like it so far and I generally agree with the premise that MB assembly lines at camp is a bad thing.

 

I have a general disagreement with the cause of the problem which upon my quick read through, appears to be missing. The "Why" the parents and scouts are shopping for camps in that way. The fact that camps cater to them is the SYMPTOM of the ailment, not the ailment itself. In other words, if you want to cure cancer, you have to find out what is causing the cancer. Giving a prescription to treat the symptoms doesn't cure it.

 

My hypothesis is the that ailment - parents and scouts shopping for a camp based on the MBs they offer - is caused by having way to $#@$(* many merit badges. We have created a culture of achievement, from the first meeting of cub scouts, that is based on DOING IT ALL. By the time cubs crossover into BS, they and their parents have been hard-wired to want to get each and every merit badge, every patch, every little bit of everything that is available. It only then logically follows that the members (and their parents) desire to achieve the MBs in the easiest, cheapest (both time and money), and quickest manner possible.

 

You state that the MB process should only be completed as written but that is logistically impossible in some cases without some major re-writes of the requirements. Take Home Repairs for example. There are something like a dozen home repairs required that are to be completed under the supervision of the MBC. How is that going to work? I invite the MBC into my home and my son and him/her paints my walls or fixes the leak in my sink? Is that MBC going to invite the scout to his house (YP potential problems) to repair something? How many scouts can that MBC actually serve with such a requirement?

 

I don't know about other councils but locally it can be quite a chore to find a qualified MBC to volunteer for some or the more labor intensive MBs. Asking your Advancement Committees to more actively recruit such individuals might be more work than they are willing to do, considering the 138 or so MBs that are out there.

 

I think you might be asking too much of Camp Directors to change their business model absent a change in the market they are trying to serve. BSA has created this crazy demand (so much so that nearly every time someone earns every MB, it is celebrated in print) that is unlikely to change unless the emphasis on the requirements and achievement changes. Parents and scouts will continue to shop for a camp based on what they think is important. Asking camp to change the customer isn't likely to be successful.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a current scout, I’ll share my present opinion as I experience this yearly.

 

I agree and disagree with your reasonings. Not all summer camps are “MB assemnlylinesâ€, some actually coach, teach, whatever you want to call it.

 

What I think you should emphasize on as well is the SIZE of classes, you only talk about that a little bit. Example, I was in a cooking class with at least 30 people (5+ picnic tables filled). We did not actually cook food, we boiled frozen chicken tenders. I think you should also include how the QUALITY of the classes can be ruined by the size and inexperienced instructor(s). I went to the bathroom once with a buddy during the class and they didn’t even notice I came back! I probably could’ve never came back and still got the requirements done for that day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One fine point

...

You state that the MB process should only be completed as written but that is logistically impossible in some cases without some major re-writes of the requirements. Take Home Repairs for example. There are something like a dozen home repairs required that are to be completed under the supervision of the MBC. How is that going to work? I invite the MBC into my home and my son and him/her paints my walls or fixes the leak in my sink? Is that MBC going to invite the scout to his house (YP potential problems) to repair something? How many scouts can that MBC actually serve with such a requirement?

...

@@Hawkwin, up until recently, Home Repairs was the one MB where parents could (and usually would) automatically serve as the scout's counselor. National's YP paperwork demands have got in the way of that. So, that's been revised with a footnote:

  • Either a parent or the merit badge counselor may supervise the Scout’s work on any Home Repairs requirements.

How that actually works out on the ground is between the parent, the boy, and the MBC. But it does show that we as a scouting family are permitted to use our wits to make it work for everyone involved!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Example, I was in a cooking class with at least 30 people (5+ picnic tables filled). We did not actually cook food, we boiled frozen chicken tenders.

 

 

You won't (and didn't) know this before you signed up for the class so there is little that can be done to stop that. They larger issue is whether or not you signed up for that camp based on the MBs it offered. If you did, then that is the topic the OP is trying to address. If camps continue to offer MBs then there would be little Nationals can do (absent auditing every single class and program) to ensure that they are run according to standards.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A scout is trustworthy. Any council that allows (let alone promotes) one of their camps to regularly and systematically bypass the guide to advancement with willful ignoring of the merit badge guidelines should have their leadership removed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hawkwin makes a good point. There's another issue - cost. It's costly to staff shooting and aquatics activities. It's cheap to staff a mb where you can pay a 16 year old less than min wage to stand up and talk. My scouts used to sleep during mb classes to make up for playing hard. Anyway, this problem also needs to be looked at if your council will buy in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You won't (and didn't) know this before you signed up for the class so there is little that can be done to stop that. They larger issue is whether or not you signed up for that camp based on the MBs it offered. If you did, then that is the topic the OP is trying to address. If camps continue to offer MBs then there would be little Nationals can do (absent auditing every single class and program) to ensure that they are run according to standards.

We did not signup just for the merit badge (most camps have cooking anyway), but large classes can be prevented by having a limit on how many can be on one class.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BSA knows cheating is going on - expressly directed by the "professional" staff and desired by many volunteer unit leaders, but BSA elects to allow it to continue.   

 

National Camping Standards require "All advancement must be consistent with BSA advancement policies.... Recognizing that an important part of the merit badge program is that the Scout meets with a qualified counselor, due care is taken to ensure that all merit badge requirements are met."

 

"BSA advancement policies," of course, require that only a registered Merit badge Counselor can act in that role and that all requirements must be individually passed and certified as individually passed by a registered Merit Badge Counselor (i.e., and adult registered as a Merit badge Counselor with a Local Council).  However, camps are routinely certified by "visitation" teams with no evidence whatsoever that this mandatory minimum standard can or will be followed.  I saw a fourteen-year-old "Merit Badge Counselor" last Summer at camp Week 1 (and Weeks 2,3 and 6). And he didn't know much.

 

Absent a public scandal, there will be no reform.  Advancement chairs who try to fix things are plowed under as volunteers have little actual power in BSA Scouting.

We are left with encouraging unit leaders to not allow this scandal to include their unit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a former 14-year-old instructor (and again at 15, 16 and 17, before finally being a real MBC at 18), I'd like to represent the camp staff perspective. I agree the system is flawed. I was certainly not qualified to teach some of my badges that young (but for others, I was, and did a solid job if I do say so). There are two solutions, both of which will run up against local unit opposition.

 

1. Most camps can't afford to hire all 18+ staff as instructors. It's difficult enough in some cases to hire the required 18 and 21s for area director roles. The fix is to pay more money and recruit more heavily among that population, particularly college students. When you're competing against career-oriented internships or jobs that pay five times more, there is no contest. That will lead to higher camp costs.

 

2. Many camps don't limit the number of Scouts who can take a certain class, leading to 30+ Scouts in a Pioneering or Cooking session under one instructor. The solution is to limit session size to 5-8 - a standard patrol size, same as if the patrol had signed up for lessons from an expert outfitter or guide on a trek. This will lead to Scouts not able to get in to their desired badges.

 

My personal favorite solution is to go the Cub Scout camp route and offer activities rather than formal classes. On Cub camp staff, we didn't sign off on anything, as that was Akela's job. We just ran fun stuff. Boy Scout camps could do the same thing. Instead of Cooking MB class, they do sessions on various types of cooking - Dutch oven, backpacking stove, freezer bag. Instead of Kayaking and Rowing and Canoeing, there's instructional boating and open boating periods. Instead of Environmental Science, there are structured observation hikes and guided experiments on certain subjects.

 

The bigger question is whether anyone would go for this approach. Would units and parents pay for a camp where their Scouts learned rather than earned?

Edited by shortridge
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My personal favorite solution is to go the Cub Scout camp route and offer activities rather than formal classes. On Cub camp staff, we didn't sign off on anything, as that was Akela's job. We just ran fun stuff. Boy Scout camps could do the same thing. Instead of Cooking MB class, they do sessions on various types of cooking - Dutch oven, backpacking stove, freezer bag. Instead of Kayaking and Rowing and Canoeing, there's instructional boating and open boating periods. Instead of Environmental Science, there are structured observation hikes and guided experiments on certain subjects.

The bigger question is whether anyone would go for this approach. Would units and parents pay for a camp where their Scouts learned rather than earned?

You didn’t sign off on requirements? I had worked this summer at a camp and we had signed off on requirements for them, but it was only to show the parents we did this, now review it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some quick feedback:

 

I like it so far and I generally agree with the premise that MB assembly lines at camp is a bad thing. 

 

Thank you for taking the time to help with this project thesis.

 

I have a general disagreement with the cause of the problem which upon my quick read through, appears to be missing. The "Why" the parents and scouts are shopping for camps in that way. The fact that camps cater to them is the SYMPTOM of the ailment, not the ailment itself. In other words, if you want to cure cancer, you have to find out what is causing the cancer. Giving a prescription to treat the symptoms doesn't cure it.

 

I am using this forum to gather other opinions and comments other than my own. This is why you may find some "missing' parts, as I am trying not to make this a "me" paper, but a "we" paper. 

 

 

My hypothesis is the that ailment - parents and scouts shopping for a camp based on the MBs they offer - is caused by having way to $#@$(* many merit badges. We have created a culture of achievement, from the first meeting of cub scouts, that is based on DOING IT ALL. By the time cubs crossover into BS, they and their parents have been hard-wired to want to get each and every merit badge, every patch, every little bit of everything that is available. It only then logically follows that the members (and their parents) desire to achieve the MBs in the easiest, cheapest (both time and money), and quickest manner possible.

 

An interesting point.  it kind of feeds into the Pokémon mentality of "Got to get 'em all"

 

You state that the MB process should only be completed as written but that is logistically impossible in some cases without some major re-writes of the requirements. Take Home Repairs for example. There are something like a dozen home repairs required that are to be completed under the supervision of the MBC. How is that going to work? I invite the MBC into my home and my son and him/her paints my walls or fixes the leak in my sink? Is that MBC going to invite the scout to his house (YP potential problems) to repair something? How many scouts can that MBC actually serve with such a requirement?

 

The point I am trying to make is that camps are having to bend the rules in order to pass the Scout.  This defeats the purpose of earning the badge.

 

I don't know about other councils but locally it can be quite a chore to find a qualified MBC to volunteer for some or the more labor intensive MBs. Asking your Advancement Committees to more actively recruit such individuals might be more work than they are willing to do, considering the 138 or so MBs that are out there.

 

What I will be recommending is cutting back on the number of merit badges offered, limit them to outdoor activities, and offer more "fun" things to do.

 

I think you might be asking too much of Camp Directors to change their business model absent a change in the market they are trying to serve. BSA has created this crazy demand (so much so that nearly every time someone earns every MB, it is celebrated in print) that is unlikely to change unless the emphasis on the requirements and achievement changes. Parents and scouts will continue to shop for a camp based on what they think is important. Asking camp to change the customer isn't likely to be successful.

 

This paper may not change the minds of the professionals, but it may tweak the business model (One can hope)

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×