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mrkstvns

Cool Merit Badges that British Scouts Earn But American Scouts Can't...

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Have you ever looked at the differences between the Scouts program that serves youth in the UK?  There's quite a few similarities, but there's also some differences.  The Brits don't call them "merit badges" for starters, they're "activity badges", and there aren't quite as many of them as there are in BSA.

Nonetheless, the Brits have some badges that are really cool and that, I think, are more adventurous than what the too-timid BSA allows.  For example:

  • Caver
  • Dragon Boating
  • Martial Arts
  • Parascending (I think we would call this "parasailing")

Source:
https://www.scouts.org.uk/scouts/activity-badges/

Edited by mrkstvns

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How about Circus Skills?    

How to earn your badge:

  1. Select two skills from the table below:

    The two skills must be from different lists.

    Aerial Balance Manipulative Ground
    trapeze trick-cycling cigar boxes handstands
    roman rings stilts club swinging tumbling
    aerial ladder ladder devilsticks acrobatics
    aerial rope tightrope diablo  
    wire walking wire walking    
      perch    
      roller bolo    
    Clowning Juggling Spinning        
    make up with three objects or more yo-yo  
    costume   poi spinning  
        rhythmic gymnastics  
        (twirling ribbon)  
        spinning plates  
           
  2. Carry on putting effort into your two selected skills and show some achievement.

    Someone with experience should guide you throughout.

  3. Demonstrate your two selected skills in front of an audience.
  4. Find out things about circus life and talk about these with an adult.
  5. Watch at least two circus or street performance events.

    Talk about what you saw.

activity-sc-circus-skills.png

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Just to add.... the link you provided is for the scout age range which is 10-14 year olds. There is a similar list here for explorers, 14-18 year olds, the two sections essentially overlapping what you call Scouts BSA. There are similar lists for Beavers (6-8) and cubs (8-10)

Those badges marked as "staged" can, at least in theory, be done at any stage from 6-18. In reality the younger sections do the lower end ones and the older age ranges the higher end. For example at my group our cubs, as standard, look to complete emergency aid 2 before moving to scouts and we look to get them through emergency aid stage 3 before they move up to explorers.

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19 hours ago, mrkstvns said:

Nonetheless, the Brits have some badges that are really cool and that, I think, are more adventurous than what the too-timid BSA allows.  For example:

  • Caver
  • Dragon Boating  **
  • Martial Arts
  • Parascending (I think we would call this "parasailing")

** Prerequisite for Dragon Slaying?? 🤣😋 

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Hmm, I wonder if we could replace World Citizenship merit badge requirement with a WOSM scouting organization badge of a scout's choice.

Sure, there will be some logistics and safety issues or maybe we piggyback with online course providers EdX, Coursera, etc. 

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21 hours ago, Jackdaws said:

How about Circus Skills?    

 

I don't know how I overlooked a great badge like Circus Skills!

Somehow, I can't imagine BSA telling kids it's okay to practice their skills as a trapeze artist.

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29 minutes ago, mrkstvns said:

I don't know how I overlooked a great badge like Circus Skills!

Somehow, I can't imagine BSA telling kids it's okay to practice their skills as a trapeze artist.

I am in a overseas Scouts Facebook group and I see pictures of Scouts skinning and cooking rabbits. Personally I think that is really cool.  Sadly I don't think it would fly here in the USA.   PETA would have a fit.  :laugh:

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1 minute ago, Jackdaws said:

I am in a overseas Scouts Facebook group and I see pictures of Scouts skinning and cooking rabbits. Personally I think that is really cool.  Sadly I don't think it would fly here in the USA.   PETA would have a fit.  :laugh:

A long time ago, that was also a required skill here in the USA.  I think it was one of the requirements for First Class....skin and cook the rabbit or pluck and cook a chicken.

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58 minutes ago, Jackdaws said:

am in a overseas Scouts Facebook group and I see pictures of Scouts skinning and cooking rabbits. Personally I think that is really cool.  Sadly I don't think it would fly here in the USA.   PETA would have a fit. 

Scoutson  earned his 4H Diamond badge with Rabbit raising.  Won some ribbons, county fair, state fair, mom and he went to a national convention and brought back some awards.  

He did, for sure, had some "rabbit connections" . On a Scout Skills weekend with his Troop,  he offered, and his buds said yes, to bring some freshly butchered rabbit. They further cut 'em up, roasted them over the fire, and had a grand time.  Sorry, the skins were already removed, but still, an education.   Scoutmaster said "great".   Rabbit is not a commercially raised meat in most parts of the country, FDA inspections being required for such, but if you know who to ask.... 

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One of our elder scout leaders was talking (hooray for Scouting Heritage MB) to some scouts about the days of yore... somewhere around the late 70's. Oh how I wish I had that recorded. Anyway, he talked about one of the SMs of the time after lunch was done brought out a live chicken.

"Here's dinner. I'm going to teach you how to do this." 

He then proceeded to assist/teach the scouts in the process of making a live chicken a cooked chicken dinner. I don't know who killed the chicken (some legends say he still wanders the woods today), but the SM definitely showed/taught the scouts with them doing the hands on how to pluck, gut, and cut the chicken into the ingredients for chicken dinner. Then they cooked that chicken for supper in a most scout like fashion. Go Camp Fire! Most definitely not something you would see today. Got propane? 

If you get down to it, it's comparable with the skills for cleaning fish. Honestly though, most folks are more likely to clean fish than prepare animals (chicken/rabbit). 

I would never show scouts this with a live chicken today. Even with permission/agreement of parents/family/troop/scouts/CO etc, no way I'd touch that landmine. However I am all for buying a whole chicken and working with the scouts how to cut it up, demonstrate on my own bird and let them work on theirs. That's a skill most folks don't know about, sadly. I had to learn as an adult and I still need more practice at it because it is cheaper and easier to buy it pre-cut and even de-boned. 

This is something we even had a debate/discussion with the other adults in my current unit about. Yes, it is far easier to buy something ready to cook, but it is cheaper and more satisfying to do scratch when you can. Adults also like the easy life. I'm all for using the knife. Sadly, while I can say I'm no expert at all, I am better than most of my fellow scouters in my cutting/chopping skills. 

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3 hours ago, mrkstvns said:

I don't know how I overlooked a great badge like Circus Skills!

Somehow, I can't imagine BSA telling kids it's okay to practice their skills as a trapeze artist.

Some of mine have done the circus skills badge but alas no trapeze involved. Simply impossible to find the facilities!

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5 hours ago, Cambridgeskip said:

Some of mine have done the circus skills badge but alas no trapeze involved. Simply impossible to find the facilities!

What, no "Pioneering" ?  Lash, knot,  poles,  and voila ?  

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16 hours ago, Buggie said:

If you get down to it, it's comparable with the skills for cleaning fish. Honestly though, most folks are more likely to clean fish than prepare animals (chicken/rabbit). 

A lot of people still catch fish and eat them. Scouts who learn to clean and eat what they catch fulfill requirement 10 for Fishing MB (and possibly requirement 7c of Fish and Wildlife Management MB if they take the time to study the contents of the fish's stomach to learn what they eat in the wild.  

 

16 hours ago, Buggie said:

I would never show scouts this with a live chicken today. Even with permission/agreement of parents/family/troop/scouts/CO etc, no way I'd touch that landmine. However I am all for buying a whole chicken and working with the scouts how to cut it up, demonstrate on my own bird and let them work on theirs. That's a skill most folks don't know about, sadly. I had to learn as an adult and I still need more practice at it because it is cheaper and easier to buy it pre-cut and even de-boned. 

Yeah, I know what you mean.  I heard a news report recently about protests against an Orthodox Jewish community that was planning a Kaporos ceremony as part of their Rosh Hashanah celebration. Evidently, the idea is that they transfer sins to live chickens, then kill the chickens. The meat is donated to the poor.  

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