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Badges - Scouts with Expertise

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Has anyone else found that the merit badge program is great for introducing concepts but neglects boys with any expertise?

I discovered this during a BoR for Eagle. This wonderful young man was competing and placing in sailing at a state level and had even gone to national competition. But when he wanted to earn the badge, the ONE counselor in a 50 mile radius said he couldn't work with him unless he had *witnessed* him sailing. That the boy should come to camp XYZ. In the end, he could never earn this badge when plenty of boys do with far lesser skills and knowledge.

I've found this occuring with Music and Theatre. It is difficult to get "credit" for accomplishments that boys earn out of Scouting. It's as if it didn't happen at a merit badge factory, it didn't happen.

For me, as a very ironic counselor for Personal Fitness, I find it almost embarrassing to micromanage accomplished athletes. But I try to focus on their goals and training rather than being pigeon held by the sit and reach. 

 

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It all depends on the merit badge counselor.  Personally, I wouldn't have responded the same was at the Sailing one. 

 

My son had no issues with Music, just had a note from his Band director showing time in band.

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What's unfair is that there was only one Small Boat Sailing MBC, and that the scout's sailing coach was not recruited to be a another one.

Regardless, it's hard to imagine that in the age of hand-held recording devices that this would be an issue.

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Some are never recognized for their talents yet in Scouting repeat recognition awards are common place. Why?

My sons have done what is required and beyond for Home Repairs, Plumbing, Painting, Electricity, ... but at home where it really counts, same for Reading, Scholarship, Chemistry, and Athletics ... but at school where it really counts. No merit badges attempted.

If I was a state champion in Sailing why would the merit badge matter after the fact?

My $0.02

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55 minutes ago, qwazse said:

What's unfair is that there was only one Small Boat Sailing MBC, and that the scout's sailing coach was not recruited to be a another one.

Regardless, it's hard to imagine that in the age of hand-held recording devices that this would be an issue.

My experience, like many I suspect, was many teachers, coaches, and professionals weren't willing to register with the BSA nor go through the training, to become a MBC.  They were happy to review requirements with the boys and sign off, but, it all depended on the individual MB counselor as to whether that was acceptable.  I get the YPT issue, but, based on the OP I think this MBC was wrong.  I agree a video should suffice as witness and a meeting for any discuss/describe requirements would be in order.

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