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fred johnson

Walking out on merit badges

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The postings from Wisconsin Momma reminded me of a rule that I accidentally established with my sons and that I'm glad exists now.  

BACKGROUND:  My sons signed up for a Saturday MB program.  The two badges they signed up for "could" be interesting if done well.  A morning MB.  Then pizza.  Then an afternoon MB.  The guy teaching the morning MB had zero expertise in the topic.  Nothing special.  He was a college kid who signed up because they needed a warm body as the counselor.  He had PowerPoint slides walking the requirements with bulleted text that looked pretty much right from the handbook.  It was painful to watch.  My sons wanted to leave half way through around an hour in.  I told them to sit through it.  At lunch time, we learned the same situation was going to happen for the second badge.  ... we left.

When I attend seminars, I often walk out of the room and change to a different session if the session I choose is lame or not useful.  I told this to my boss and he was 100% okay with it.  His comments were that if I'm not getting something out of it, it's a waste.  Go switch and see if there is something else I can draw value from.

NEW RULE:  If my sons are having a bad experience, I'm okay with their leaving.  If it's so-so, I ask them to stick it out as a good habit.  But if it's just painful, I'm okay with leaving.  I don't want them to waste their time.  They just don't need any single MB that bad.  For Eagle badges, they can always find another counselor or session.  

 

What do you think?

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If one does "walk out" for those reasons, I would encourage that those reasons be communicated to the persons in charge.

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14 minutes ago, DuctTape said:

If one does "walk out" for those reasons, I would encourage that those reasons be communicated to the persons in charge.

Agree... can't make it better in the future if they don't know what was wrong.

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Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, fred johnson said:

NEW RULE:  If my sons are having a bad experience, I'm okay with their leaving.  If it's so-so, I ask them to stick it out as a good habit.  But if it's just painful, I'm okay with leaving.  I don't want them to waste their time.  They just don't need any single MB that bad.  For Eagle badges, they can always find another counselor or session. 

 

What do you think?

SOP. I consider this part of "adult association" method, that is  in part, learn who best to associate with in order to meet your needs and goals in a timely way. Good practice for the future where they may similarly decide to drop a college course/team due to a poor instructor/coach, change doctors, fire a contractor, ...

Edited by RememberSchiff
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Go to any research conference and sit in on a presentation session. Everyone has a laptop. If the presenter is good then everyone is taking notes. If the presenter is bad then everyone is working. Yes, it really sucks.

With respect to your sons, walking out because they don't like it can lead to some short attention spans. Good books can sometimes be a slog for the first half. I'd say they should give it an honest try for the first half. If it's still bad then go ahead and leave. They should also consider doing their homework ahead of time, as in, what's the background of the counselor? If the person has no experience then consider a wasted half as likely.

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You guys are starting to make me feel really nervous about the course I'm teaching at UoS Saturday. If someone walks out, I loose 1/4 of the class. :blink:

 

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2 hours ago, fred johnson said:

What do you think?

I think it is rude to walk out on a merit badge counselor. 

A scout should put some though and effort into selecting a merit badge counselor. He should not only take into account the MBC's expertise and experience, he should also consider whether or not the MBC is someone he would be interested in getting to know (adult association). If a scout is too lazy or too disinterested to take this selection seriously, then he deserves to pay the price by sitting through a few boring sessions. 

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, David CO said:

A scout should put some though and effort into selecting a merit badge counselor. 

When I say walk out... it's usually during a break or done politely.  they've only done it a few times now.  

As for selection, they don't always get to choose.  Sometimes it's a direct choice.  Other times they are at summer camp or a merit badge fair.  In those events, it's a throw of the dice if you are working with a good MBC.  I've found too often people organize events to offer multiple merit badges, but then market some badges only to find they lack quality MBCs.

Edited by fred johnson
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, David CO said:

A scout should put some though and effort into selecting a merit badge counselor. He should not only take into account the MBC's expertise and experience, he should also consider whether or not the MBC is someone he would be interested in getting to know (adult association). If a scout is too lazy or too disinterested to take this selection seriously, then he deserves to pay the price by sitting through a few boring sessions. 

I got the impression from the OP that this might be the kind of event where the Scouts did not know who the counselors would be in advance.  They show up and there is a counselor there.  Is that the case @fred johnson?  If that is true, then the Scouts would not have the opportunity to do the research and "select" the counselor.  Of course, one could argue that a MB event that is set up that way should be avoided.

(This is probably obvious, but I did not see Fred's latest post before I posted, for some reason.)

Edited by NJCubScouter

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I agree with this and I fight with an AC that believe simply attending a MB class constitutes competition.   When the topic came up on her son's cooking MB I asked where did you hike to complete the meal prep while backpacking.....CRICKETS

 

Tired of seeing lame excuses for MB Classes.

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14 minutes ago, JasonG172 said:

I agree with this and I fight with an AC that believe simply attending a MB class constitutes competition.   When the topic came up on her son's cooking MB I asked where did you hike to complete the meal prep while backpacking.....CRICKETS

 

Tired of seeing lame excuses for MB Classes.

So are someof the Scouts. Oldest REFUSES to even discuss one MB because it is handed out like candy at summer camps, without Scouts actually doing all of the requirements. He now has 1 requirement, demonstrate several specific moves, and he is done. But because of the summer camps and folks getting it without earningit, he's lost all interest.

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On ‎3‎/‎20‎/‎2018 at 1:01 PM, qwazse said:

You guys are starting to make me feel really nervous about the course I'm teaching at UoS Saturday. If someone walks out, I loose 1/4 of the class. :blink:

 

What are you teaching

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I'm a SM now and one of our traditions when awarding completed MB is having the scout talk about 1 MB and when he learned...I had one bone head say (I don't know, I slept through it) it was First Aid....Well guess what! he doesn't have that MB and is now retaking it lol

 

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6 hours ago, JasonG172 said:

What are you teaching

@JasonG172, it was about not making a high adventure your 1st adventure. More specifically about folding a conditioning program into your troop's regular schedule over 18 months. Because of the small class size, I was able to help scouters rough out some short-term objectives.

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17 hours ago, qwazse said:

@JasonG172, it was about not making a high adventure your 1st adventure. More specifically about folding a conditioning program into your troop's regular schedule over 18 months. Because of the small class size, I was able to help scouters rough out some short-term objectives.

Ahh so this was a for scouts?

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