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mashmaster

Merit badges for Venture and Sea Scouts

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Given that some of the Venture and Sea Scout requirements are merit badges.  When do you think they will allow scouts that aren't in a troop to work on merit badges?  Or can they?  I didn't think so.

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9 hours ago, mashmaster said:

Given that some of the Venture and Sea Scout requirements are merit badges.  When do you think they will allow scouts that aren't in a troop to work on merit badges?  Or can they?  I didn't think so.

Does that fall under the "no double dipping"?

 

If you are dual registered as a Venture/Sea Scout and a troop, can you earn the merit badge WHILE getting the Venture/Sea Scouts requirements done?

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2 hours ago, scotteg83 said:

Does that fall under the "no double dipping"?

 

If you are dual registered as a Venture/Sea Scout and a troop, can you earn the merit badge WHILE getting the Venture/Sea Scouts requirements done?

No and yes.

At least the way venturing awards and recognition was originally concocted, the goal was to get some nationally recognize certification (e.g. Red Cross First Aid) not merely a merit badge. So, mastering the skill that earned you that MB and the certification was not considered double- anything. Get the skill, get recognition once or twice, move on.

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1 hour ago, qwazse said:

No and yes.

At least the way venturing awards and recognition was originally concocted, the goal was to get some nationally recognize certification (e.g. Red Cross First Aid) not merely a merit badge. So, mastering the skill that earned you that MB and the certification was not considered double- anything. Get the skill, get recognition once or twice, move on.

There are electives in Sea Scouting that are scaled 1-4.   some of the 1's and 2's are to get the merit badge.  the 3's and 4's are more entailed like red cross life guarding certification vs. lifesaving merit badge.  For the higher ranks you need high difficulty electives.

And regarding double dipping, it is actually encouraged by both Sea Scouts and Venturing for many things.  Like complete the BSA swim test.  you don't have to do that twice, it is the same.  But for your Eagle or Quartermaster service project they must be different.

After Feb 1, is seems that they have to be dual registered in a Scouts, BSA troop to be able to complete merit badges.

Edited by mashmaster

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12 hours ago, mashmaster said:

Given that some of the Venture and Sea Scout requirements are merit badges.  When do you think they will allow scouts that aren't in a troop to work on merit badges?  Or can they?  I didn't think so.

In the case of NOVA awards, Boy Scouts meet certain requirements by earning merit badges, but Venturers and Sea Scouts can earn their NOVA awards by completing "Explorations". 

See: https://www.scouting.org/stem-nova-awards/awards/venturer-supernova-exptopics/ 

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2 hours ago, qwazse said:

No and yes.

At least the way venturing awards and recognition was originally concocted, the goal was to get some nationally recognize certification (e.g. Red Cross First Aid) not merely a merit badge. So, mastering the skill that earned you that MB and the certification was not considered double- anything. Get the skill, get recognition once or twice, move on.

Cool,

Haven't gotten into that yet personally.  My kids aren't old enough yet.

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Not sure about Sea Scout rules, but a Venturer, once First Class, May continue all advancement in the Crew. 

That, of course, is under the 2018 Guide to Advancement.  We will have to see what the 2019 Guide brings us. 

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41 minutes ago, John-in-KC said:

Not sure about Sea Scout rules, but a Venturer, once First Class, May continue all advancement in the Crew. 

That, of course, is under the 2018 Guide to Advancement.  We will have to see what the 2019 Guide brings us. 

Sea scouts are the same.  but what if they aren't dual registered in a troop?  Can they still get merit badges?

I am guessing that will always be the tack, dual enroll in a troop to earn merit badges.

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7 hours ago, mashmaster said:

Sea scouts are the same.  but what if they aren't dual registered in a troop?  Can they still get merit badges?

I am guessing that will always be the tack, dual enroll in a troop to earn merit badges.

The requirements don't say what kind of unit a youth needs to be in or what kind of rank he/she needs to hold to earn a merit badge.

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The 2017 GTA states "All merit badge requirements must be met while a registered Boy Scout or Varsity Scout, or a qualified Venturer or Sea Scout. Accomplishments before joining, or while a Cub Scout, do not apply."

The "qualified" item, while not explicitly stated directly alongside it, would be those who had earned First Class as a member of a troop/team.  Venturing awards don't explicitly state "earn" any MB - and my read of Sea Scouting is similar.  The Sea Scout Ordinary rank requirement states "Pass all requirements for the BSA's swimming merit badge", but it does not say "earn the BSA's swimming merit badge".    

 

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18 minutes ago, HashTagScouts said:

The 2017 GTA states "All merit badge requirements must be met while a registered Boy Scout or Varsity Scout, or a qualified Venturer or Sea Scout. Accomplishments before joining, or while a Cub Scout, do not apply."

The "qualified" item, while not explicitly stated directly alongside it, would be those who had earned First Class as a member of a troop/team.  Venturing awards don't explicitly state "earn" any MB - and my read of Sea Scouting is similar.  The Sea Scout Ordinary rank requirement states "Pass all requirements for the BSA's swimming merit badge", but it does not say "earn the BSA's swimming merit badge".

I would agree with @HashTagScouts that the Venturing's organizers were playing the "have your cake and eat it too" tune. Their intent was clearly to cajole former boy scouts to pick up where they left off in rank advancement. (This, if I understand scouting history correctly, was a play inherited from the Explorer book.)  One side-effect, as some troops began to micromanage every aspect of a scout's career, was that this policy could be used to entice dual-registered scouts in a troop to forget accountability to their troop-method SM's. This did not happen in my crew (my venturers kind of got the idea that I'd be the more demanding of skill mastery), but SMs made it quite clear to me that they were afraid it would.

Venturers of years past had a pretty clear understanding that they could not earn merit badges if they were never in a troop. However, this caused confusion as well. I had one of my crew try to check out a sailboat at a council camporee only to be told she had to have earned Small Boat Sailing MB. She was an expert member of a sailing club! I happened to be walking by and was able to stick up for her and her Boy Scout buddy. Multiply that by 50K and you have a lot of venturers who were slighted for the lack of one little round medallion or another.

However, the fact still remains that no rank (let alone 1st Class) was ever a qualification to earn any merit badge. So, without further clarification, this is one more place where somebody somewhere is going to manage to push applications through.

Frankly, I wouldn't like it, but if I had a class of venturers who were obsessed with MB's and wanted to earn them all with no concern for rank advancement, I'd find a way to make it work for them. Then when they were adults, I'd lean on them to register as counselors for whichever one became their career/hobby.

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I 100% agree qwazse.  I do this this was to help keep troop numbers up artificially IMHO. 

One thing we have encountered in my son's Sea Scout Ship and Venture Crew is that if he wants to finish his Eagle they aren't willing to do the advancement work so he had to dual register with a troop.  Of course the troop is confused because he rarely attends troop meetings because he is almost always at a Ship activity or Crew activity they aren't really willing to help him with signoffs.  So he is kinda stuck to either find a troop that is more willing to work with his signoffs or not finish.  The advancement states clearly that the skipper or Crew Adviser can do the sign offs and positions in the Ship count, but they have the out to only do advancement if they are willing to.  Kinda a catch 22.

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I would say that @qwazse is on the right track of "how we got here".  The Explorer program was really set about as one of many attempts by BSA to have an older scout program, and at various times in its existence advancement was allowable in similar fashion as it is in Venturing today, at others times it wasn't.  Eventually that was all spun off and became Exploring, and the concept of "Venture Patrol" within a troop began.  I was around for those later days of Explorer program, and my CO chartered both a troop and a post.   Heck, the spruce green shirts for Venturing came from the Explorer BSA program.

For our crew, our CO also charters a troop and a pack.   We haven't yet had anyone that came from outside of that particular troop who wanted to work on Eagle solely as a Venturer, but the Advisor and I both are in agreement that we have the experience that we would absolutely do so (I am the CC).  For those that are dual registered with our crew and that troop, we do talk with their leaders to keep them apprised when we do activities that would be counted towards Scouts BSA advancement, and they are good with it.

Venturing to me is just so misunderstood by a number of folks within BSA, let alone outside of BSA.  I've lamented in previous posts how much I wish BSA would have blitzed the living heck out of marketing Venturing, especially when the current advancement tract was added.  The Summitt Award is really no joke, and it deserves it's due from both within the organization and by those outside scouting.

If any crew wanted to use MBs to give recognition to a Venturer or Sea Scout for their skill mastery, I say let them.  Some individuals just really like to have that moment where it's about them and the pat on the back, and it would be worth the couple bucks IMO to give them that little round patch if it is the confidence builder they need. That those outside of those programs would be that obtuse as to not at least ask a female at that camp what her experiences were in boating (obviously at that time, it would not have been possible for her to have earned a MB) before passing judgement would tick me off. 

My son had hit his ranks just so in regards to his age that he never had to earn CyberChip for any advancement requirements.  When he expressed interest in working on Digital Technology MB, his advancement coordinator at the time gave him a bunch of guff about getting CyberChip done first but they "weren't ready to start a group yet"- my son is in a technical high school, in the computer info tech program.  Earning CyberChip should have been about a 3 minute conversation, not sit around and wait for a group mentality.  As a MB counselor, I'm always willing to talk to a scout and see what experiences they have from school or life, and if it meets a requirement, I am fine with signing off on that (unless the MB requirement explicitly states do this first, or do this while working on...).

  

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On 2/4/2019 at 10:16 PM, mashmaster said:

Sea scouts are the same.  but what if they aren't dual registered in a troop?  Can they still get merit badges?

I am guessing that will always be the tack, dual enroll in a troop to earn merit badges.

A Venturer, once past First Class, may work on merit badges from his/her Crew. 

A Venturer must be a member of a Scouts BSA Troop to earn Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class. 

Edited by John-in-KC

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19 hours ago, John-in-KC said:

A Venturer, once past First Class, may work on merit badges from his/her Crew. 

A Venturer must be a member of a Scouts BSA Troop to earn Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class. 

Folks are tripping over "qualified venturer", because nobody knows what that means anymore. We think it means qualified to work on Star, Life, Eagle, and Palms but that's not spelled out in https://www.scouting.org/resources/guide-to-advancement/the-merit-badge-program/.

How, pray tell, would internet advancement "know" that you can order an MB for one venturer, and not another? I mean, there's no business logic for a troop that keeps them from ordering MBs for a pre-1st class scout? Is there business logic to tell me who is a "qualified venturer."

The whole MB thing was written back when nobody thought Venturers who weren't in a troop would care about them. We thought we could tell them, "Earn a bronze award, it's way more cool." That worked 0.1% of the time, thus the new ALPS program. Not sure how much better that's working.

What if we're missing something? Maybe we've wrongly linked MB's with rank advancement. What if it's simply fun to earn an MB with another venturer? What if this bar of "qualified" is keeping someone from proposing an MB-related activity to his/her crew?

 

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