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SteveMM

Choosing merit badges for a Scout's first summer camp

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I guess logical and reasoning suggest matching maturity to the requirements gives the best chance for maximum growth from the activities. But, our scouts who take camping at summer camp have a lot of fun and look forward to each day's activities. If they have that much fun at summer camp, imagine the fun of finishing the requirements with the troop. 

Barry

 

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... we would all say? ...  When that happens, I'll go to another forum!

1 hour ago, SteveMM said:

Whatever we all disagree about, I think we would all say that it's monumentally stupid to take Camping at your first summer camp.  The Scout won't have the camping nights, and won't have any of the 9B requirements.  What you're left with is a partial that probably won't be finished for a year or more.  There's no point in bothering with this one until the Scout at least has the camping nights.  Once he has the camping nights, he'll likely have knocked out one or more of the 9B requirements as well, and can focus on figuring out ways to get the rest.

If I'm in a troop that camps a lot (say a long weekend every month) and some of the proposed outings sound super adventurous (from an 11 year old perspective) and the camp's MBCs in the scout-craft area seem really nice, maybe I want to take Camping at my 1st summer camp because I really want to represent my patrol well. Since crossing over in February, I may already have 10-12 camping nights that might have been full of little missteps, and I want to do better. Now, I might be mistaken about how busy my troop is, and they might not camp all that much. But, my family or youth group may. Or, at least they would if I came back excited to keep working the skills I just mastered.

So, I think I can very much see the point of a partial now, nights later strategy.

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5 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

I guess logical and reasoning suggest matching maturity to the requirements gives the best chance for maximum growth from the activities. But, our scouts who take camping at summer camp have a lot of fun and look forward to each day's activities. If they have that much fun at summer camp, imagine the fun of finishing the requirements with the troop. 

Quite right.

Some kids grow up faster than others, and some are much more driven than others. What makes sense for one scout (or even a large group), might not always work best.

Take Lifesaving.  I've always viewed this as a badge that is most appropriate for a scout who has already been active a couple years and who already has Swimming MB under his belt. But I know of a scout who was already a very strong swimmer who took Lifesaving his first year and excelled at it.  Good for him for making his own choice and not listening to old farts like me who say to just do Swimming the first year!

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One reason why scouts may be eager to sign up for merit badge days or programmed opportunities is that at least in our area it can be hard to find merit badge counselors, especially for certain badges. 

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14 minutes ago, qwazse said:

... we would all say? ...  When that happens, I'll go to another forum!

Yeah.  I'm new, and I'm now learning that there isn't much agreement around here.  That's not a bad thing so long as it's respectful.  

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1 minute ago, SteveMM said:

Yeah.  I'm new, and I'm now learning that there isn't much agreement around here.  That's not a bad thing so long as it's respectful.  

Well wait a minute, there is a lot of agreement around here. But there is also a lot of experience and experiences here too. I happen to believe that this is one of the best forums of like minded scouters because our opinions are expression of life's experiences, not illusions of our egos. We ran the ego guy off about a year ago. 

We aren't trying to change your mind (at least I'm not), we are just passing along information to consider. Or not.

Someone once posted, "I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only only make them think"- Socrates. Oh wait! That was me. LOL

Barry

 

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9 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

Well wait a minute, there is a lot of agreement around here. But there is also a lot of experience and experiences here too. I happen to believe that this is one of the best forums of like minded scouters because our opinions are expression of life's experiences, not illusions of our egos. We ran the ego guy off about a year ago. 

We aren't trying to change your mind (at least I'm not), we are just passing along information to consider. Or not.

Someone once posted, "I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only only make them think"- Socrates. Oh wait! That was me. LOL

Barry

 

Fair enough!  I need to remind myself that what seems obvious to me isn't always the case in other troops and other people's Scouting experiences.

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We think we know everything about how to coach scouts, until that next scout! Then we start posting here!

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3 hours ago, Eagledad said:

Can't scouts still ask to take classes at camp if it fits in their schedule and the class has an opening?

We were at our local camp last month.  Changing a MB class had to be done via the camp office, and only prior to noon on Monday.  

We were at our second camp of the summer last week (Daniel Boone in NC) and at the Sunday SM meeting we were told that they have an open enrollment policy.  Once camp starts if a Scout decides he does not want something he is signed up for, he just tells the instructor he is dropping, picks something else that fits his time schedule, and tells the new MB counselor that he is joining the class.  No muss, no fuss.  I had a couple of boys who said they were put into something they did not request; they were out and in another session with no problems at all.

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11 minutes ago, MikeS72 said:

We were at our local camp last month.  Changing a MB class had to be done via the camp office, and only prior to noon on Monday.  

We were at our second camp of the summer last week (Daniel Boone in NC) and at the Sunday SM meeting we were told that they have an open enrollment policy.  Once camp starts if a Scout decides he does not want something he is signed up for, he just tells the instructor he is dropping, picks something else that fits his time schedule, and tells the new MB counselor that he is joining the class.  No muss, no fuss.  I had a couple of boys who said they were put into something they did not request; they were out and in another session with no problems at all.

I know we are referencing the more extreme part of the topic, but many of our scouts see something that looks like fun and add it. I was thinking about our scouts taking a craft MB and enjoy it so much, they add wood craft, leather craft, metal craft, even basket weaving. Because camps have the tools, crafts are fairly easy and a lot of fun. Many scouts added three badges to their original list. They aren't Eagle required badges, but they make a lot of memories and gifts for mom. 

Barry

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23 hours ago, SteveMM said:

Whatever we all disagree about, I think we would all say that it's monumentally stupid to take Camping at your first summer camp.  The Scout won't have the camping nights, and won't have any of the 9B requirements.  What you're left with is a partial that probably won't be finished for a year or more.  There's no point in bothering with this one until the Scout at least has the camping nights.  Once he has the camping nights, he'll likely have knocked out one or more of the 9B requirements as well, and can focus on figuring out ways to get the rest.

Yep.   My son has done everything except the 9B & C.  I am hoping he will set a goal of trying to accomplish this by the end of this year.  Its getting him set up with a local counselor here to complete the B portion of it.   

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