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mashmaster

Online Merit badge counselors

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I am building a list of merit badge counselors that are in my area that are willing to do online merit badge counseling .   That way our scouts that can earn merit badges and want to can do so during quarantine.  Anyone else doing the same thing?  

I am looking for someone who is a Public Health merit badge counselor that would be willing to do it.

For those that have taught one online, how did you do it?  Was it open forum like, slide show based?  How do you test their knowledge and retention of the material?  I am not a fan of just being present.  I would think that someone presenting could do it prerecorded with a followup of the material but that doesn't seem as good as a live video forum.

Thoughts?

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looking to do the same in my area -  finish up some Merit Badges that can be accomplished over a virtual environment, and then look at those that can be partially accomplished virtually.  I a thinking small groups (3-5) to keep them engaged, not just listening.   I am looking at platforms like Zoom (others are MS Teams, Chrome Meeting maker, and others) where you can host multiple people at once, share your desktop to show illustrations, slides, etc.   Probably in the evening, as in our district, the kids still have school work they are working on at home. 

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This is a great idea. I have seen some councils promoting this on Facebook. I hope that it works out!

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below are links for councils that I'm aware of.  various degree of details provided because people are still sorting things out.  Public Health is offered.  I've glanced at the stuff but haven't dug deep.  I know one of them is using Zoom.

https://scoutingevent.com/083-OnlineMB?fbclid=IwAR0OlD9MG5A2lsmjLoVqPw12BaXojfg_sNBipWyUo92Syo4igF-GH6D-BUo

https://www.piedmontcouncilbsa.org/mbuonline?fbclid=IwAR35r0wBZGyDUWlJg8VXQAj2pbRIqxAJqaSbxoepvjr378tQFaY94Am80ow

https://lecbsa.org/at-home

https://www.facebook.com/HeartofAmericaCouncil.BSA/photos/pb.192070054202737.-2207520000../2839205596155823/?type=3&theater

 

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I don't like the idea of "classes" or "teaching" merit badges, but I think I could meaningfully counsel all of the requirements for Citizenship in the Nation or Scouting Heritage.

Citizenship in the Nation requires at least one in-person visit to a historic place.  But the list of possible sites is so broad that, chances are, the scout has visited on recently.  Under normal circumstances, I would ask them to go to a new one, but I think it would be OK.  Also, many of those are outdoor spots, so if their family is OK with it, they could do that requirement.  Or maybe that's the one requirement that would have to wait.

Scouting Heritage requires scouts to play a game with a group of scouts.  But a creative scout should be able to figure out some game that could be adapted to play online.  The other requirements, such as interviewing old scouts, can be done by phone or online.

I posted this idea on a district facebook page, and there didn't seem to be any interest.  It would take some work on my part to set up online sessions, and I would need some help.  (At the very least, I would need another adult to attend any webinar for two-deep purposes).

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I think Zoom works but the class can't be too big and there has to be interaction to ensure they understand the information.  Not all requirements can be completed virtually.

I am helping a girl about 3 hours away from me for the camping merit badge.  I will only sign off on what I see or discuss.  So her scoutmaster will have to valid some things.

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Not an MB, but I did 4th+5th grade Sunday School class via Google Hangouts, arranged with parents' assistance it. The only problem was that I stubbed my toe in a game of "fetch." It was fun. We'd call out an object, and everyone would have to run off camera, find it, and return with it to show. I'll repeat it next week.

I'm putting my hat in the ring for Public Health MB. (How I'll get the paperwork to HQ is another issue.)

My buddy consults for the CDC, his whole job is online (with the occasional visit to Atlanta). He's swamped at the moment. Just like our mutual Korean friend was a few weeks ago. It's been like having friends with an extra season ticket to a slow motion train wreck. When the dust settles, I'm dragging him to a meeting and giving the scouts a sense of what it was like from the inside.

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1 minute ago, qwazse said:

Not an MB, but I did 4th+5th grade Sunday School class via Google Hangouts, arranged with parents' assistance it. The only problem was that I stubbed my toe in a game of "fetch." It was fun. We'd call out an object, and everyone would have to run off camera, find it, and return with it to show. I'll repeat it next week.

I'm putting my hat in the ring for Public Health MB. (How I'll get the paperwork to HQ is another issue.)

My buddy consults for the CDC, his whole job is online (with the occasional visit to Atlanta). He's swamped at the moment. Just like our mutual Korean friend was a few weeks ago. It's been like having friends with an extra season ticket to a slow motion train wreck. When the dust settles, I'm dragging him to a meeting and giving the scouts a sense of what it was like from the inside.

Ouch!

I heard from a friend that a troop in Wyoming is looking for one for Public Health MB.  If you are cool with that, let's connect privately and see if you can help them out.

The biggest issue with that one is requirement #5.  I don't see how that can be done virtually.

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19 minutes ago, mashmaster said:

Ouch!

I heard from a friend that a troop in Wyoming is looking for one for Public Health MB.  If you are cool with that, let's connect privately and see if you can help them out.

The biggest issue with that one is requirement #5.  I don't see how that can be done virtually.

Laughing out loud ... Son #2 just got hired to build and test a mobile wastewater treatment prototype! The plant could literally visit them. (If the client would let the scouts on the property.) That is, once the shipping container it was built to fit in starts its journey across the Pacific. :mad:

I remember a town hike as a scout to the wastewater treatment plant. It's a pretty good show.

Obviously some requirements will have to be delayed for any MB.

I could try to make distance-counseling work. But, I'd really be concerned about some bean-counter busting on scouts' chops if my paperwork would be delayed. It's one thing to mess with your own scouts, but scouts from a different region? Besides, it's the personal, local connections that make this whole thing worthwhile. I could (on better days) arrange a bunch of scouts to meet online with our county director of public health ... she's a very good presenter ... but, that doesn't do the scouts much good if the person they really should get to know is their local public health officer. This is really important because, aside from this pandemic, teens face different health crises depending on where they live.

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21 hours ago, qwazse said:

We'd call out an object, and everyone would have to run off camera, find it, and return with it to show. I'll repeat it next week.

THANK YOU!!!!   I needed something fun for our virtual cub meeting this Monday.  This will be perfect.  I might turn it into Bingo too.

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The SM team looked through the long lists being posted as doable at home and have norrowed it down to these:

Digital Technology - 

Family Life - 

Genealogy - 

Programming -

Salesmanship - assumes you have participated in unit sales.

Scholarship - 

Weather - assumes you can easily find parts for a rain gage

American Business - 

Collections – 

Citizenship of nation - assumes you have been to a place registered as National Historic or to DC/state capitol (we are not allowing virtual tours) 

There might be more but we want to do this with local resources if possible.

We also would like to keep within the spirit of MBs in that the scout should start with an interest in a subject, meet with his SM, contact the MBC the scoutmaster provides or contacted a registered MBC after the SM has checked YPT .

 

 

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37 minutes ago, TMSM said:

Citizenship of nation - assumes you have been to a place registered as National Historic or to DC/state capitol (we are not allowing virtual tours) 

In my area, there are hundreds of places that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, so almost 100% of Scouts will have been to one recently.  Some are pretty mundane, such as bridges, park buildings, libraries, etc.  Normally, I would ask a Scout to just go see a new one for purposes of the merit badge, but under these circumstances, they could pick one out that they've been to recently and find out more information.  So that takes care of requirement 2(a).  Requirement 2(d) (national monuments) specifically does not require a personal visit, so that can be done online, even in normal circumstances.

At my website, I have online resources for Citizenship in the Nation, so feel free to use that if you think it's helpful.  Some of my links are only relevant locally, but most will be helpful anywhere.  (I noticed I haven't updated it for a while, so I need to change our members of Congress.)

http://w0is.com/scouting/CitizNation.html

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IMHO, we are thinking about this wrongly.

It seems to me that we need our trained, registered, MC's and SM's who have developed conferencing abilities (and we have a lot of them) to be prepared to host meetings of scouts with themselves, or scouts with other adults (be they SM's, MBC's, MC's, district representatives, etc ...). This could be via phone, the internet that Al Gore and I built, or ham radio. Basically, we need to get back our "1 hour a week".

The goal should not be doing only the MBs that you can complete during confinement. Rather, the goal should be learning what you and your team-mates are doing, and coming along side them to make their effort truly epic. This may mean you start a badge and hit a road block. No worries, that's what partials are for. Then you conference with your patrol, and line up a weekend or two to do the "do" requirements that imply some necessary social proximity.

Who knows? If you guys push those confined minds to think "out of the box," one of you might have some patrol welding the manifold for a motorboat during a water skiing weekend!

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