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Eagle94-A1

Virtual Merit Badges

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My council is also doing a wait and see regarding a physical camp. however they are also promoting this

 

What additional programming opportunities will be available? We are very excited to announce that we are putting together an all new program! We will be launching a Virtual Summer Camp that will offer some of the traditional summer camp badges from Camp $$$$$$ as well as new and exciting ones that this situation has allowed us to develop. This program is not a replacement for summer camp but rather a new addition. Scouts will have the opportunity to work on multiple badges that will even include materials that will be sent home. More information will be coming out over the next two weeks, but this program will take place in June. Scouts that are currently registered for summer camp or a virtual program will be given first access to register, followed by in-council units, and then nationwide. We are focusing on the quality and scope of the merit badges as we do not wish to cheapen the philosophy behind the merit badge program. Our class sizes will be limited so that students will get the same attention they would at camp. We are currently offering online merit badge courses leading up to a full summer camp program. We will begin offering weekday classes next week through May. We will also be having another Virtual Merit Badge Day on May 16th with morning and afternoon sessions. Our last session filled completely in 96 hours, with over 90% of registration occurring in the first 48. If you would like to become a volunteer merit badge instructor please email the Council’s Virtual MB Class Chair, $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

None of my Scouts are real fans of online MB classes, except 1. And in all honesty he is being pushed by Mom to get Eagle,  so the online classes are really a way to make her happy.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

Our class sizes will be limited so that students will get the same attention they would at camp.

None of my Scouts are real fans of online MB classes, except 1. And in all honesty he is being pushed by Mom to get Eagle,  so the online classes are really a way to make her happy.

This is interesting, even with liquidation pending and viruses (present and future) afoot, the BSA's strategy hasn't changed a bit:  The Importance of Reporting Smashingly Super Metrics to National.  Councils are still focused on quantity ("we've kept our numbers up, in spite of everything!) rather than quality.

Speaking of quality, I got a chuckle out of the "same attention they would at camp" sentence.  As we've discussed earlier, with overloaded classes and/or disaffected staffers as instructors, it's not a great selling point in some camps (I hope that's not the case at yours).

Parents are indeed the primary target audience.  I think most of the scouts would rather do something outside, even if it doesn't "count" towards a badge or it's in the backyard or city park. 

Edited by desertrat77
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On 4/22/2020 at 8:18 AM, Eagle94-A1 said:

My council is also doing a wait and see regarding a physical camp. however they are also promoting this

 

What additional programming opportunities will be available? We are very excited to announce that we are putting together an all new program! We will be launching a Virtual Summer Camp that will offer some of the traditional summer camp badges from Camp $$$$$$ as well as new and exciting ones that this situation has allowed us to develop. This program is not a replacement for summer camp but rather a new addition. Scouts will have the opportunity to work on multiple badges that will even include materials that will be sent home. More information will be coming out over the next two weeks, but this program will take place in June. Scouts that are currently registered for summer camp or a virtual program will be given first access to register, followed by in-council units, and then nationwide. We are focusing on the quality and scope of the merit badges as we do not wish to cheapen the philosophy behind the merit badge program. Our class sizes will be limited so that students will get the same attention they would at camp. We are currently offering online merit badge courses leading up to a full summer camp program. We will begin offering weekday classes next week through May. We will also be having another Virtual Merit Badge Day on May 16th with morning and afternoon sessions. Our last session filled completely in 96 hours, with over 90% of registration occurring in the first 48. If you would like to become a volunteer merit badge instructor please email the Council’s Virtual MB Class Chair, $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

None of my Scouts are real fans of online MB classes, except 1. And in all honesty he is being pushed by Mom to get Eagle,  so the online classes are really a way to make her happy.

We did an online MB course through Central Florida Council.  They ended up with around 900 scouts doing the Sustainability badge.  My son wasn't given credit for the last day's work (some of requirement 3, and 4, 5, and 6).  There was a link to report errors, but when you click on it, it says "This survey is closed".  It's been a mess, and he hated doing it.  Boring, boring.  I won't ever encourage him to do another online badge again.  He would have been better off doing this on his own with Zoom meetings and a local counselor.  Hopefully your council will have better results.

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18 minutes ago, swilliams said:

We did an online MB course through Central Florida Council.  They ended up with around 900 scouts doing the Sustainability badge.  My son wasn't given credit for the last day's work (some of requirement 3, and 4, 5, and 6).  There was a link to report errors, but when you click on it, it says "This survey is closed".  It's been a mess, and he hated doing it.  Boring, boring.  I won't ever encourage him to do another online badge again.  He would have been better off doing this on his own with Zoom meetings and a local counselor.  Hopefully your council will have better results.

Our Council recently had virtual Key 3 fireside meetings.  One of the questions was why did our Council wait 3 weeks to develop any virtual MB events.  Central Florida Council was cited by our SE as an example of why they put thought into it and didn't rush it along, and why they put limits on our council sessions of 15 Scouts.  

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, swilliams said:

Boring, boring.  I won't ever encourage him to do another online badge again.  He would have been better off doing this on his own with Zoom meetings and a local counselor.  

I've seen this over and over again.  Maybe it's okay if the scout likes chasing patches for the sake of patches.  Most scouts roll their eyes at the tedious boredom and are frustrated with people wasting their time ... just like we hate our time wasted.  

The MB program was supposed to be face-to-face and scouts is about being "active" and "growing".  I'm betting few scouts learn something new or interesting in such as session.

IMHO, if the session is about getting the MB opportunity to as many as possible, then don't do it.  Either find a local councilor or wait for something special or unique or cool, 

Edited by fred8033
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2 hours ago, HashTagScouts said:

Our Council recently had virtual Key 3 fireside meetings.  One of the questions was why did our Council wait 3 weeks to develop any virtual MB events.  Central Florida Council was cited by our SE as an example of why they put thought into it and didn't rush it along, and why they put limits on our council sessions of 15 Scouts.  

There are plenty folks involved in this program who can't see the forest for the trees.

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1 hour ago, fred8033 said:

I've seen this over and over again.  Maybe it's okay if the scout likes chasing patches for the sake of patches.  Most scouts roll their eyes at the tedious boredom and are frustrated with people wasting their time ... just like we hate our time wasted.  

The MB program was supposed to be face-to-face and scouts is about being "active" and "growing".  I'm betting few scouts learn something new or interesting in such as session.

IMHO, if the session is about getting the MB opportunity to as many as possible, then don't do it.  Either find a local councilor or wait for something special or unique or cool, 

Our PLC is telling scouts to focus on the MBCs that require tracking (personal fitness, personal management) or are bookwork (Citizenships) right now.  The idea is to get those out of the way so you can focus on the outdoor ones later.  I thought that wasn't a bad idea.  

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2 hours ago, Eagle1993 said:

Our PLC is telling scouts to focus on the MBCs that require tracking (personal fitness, personal management) or are bookwork (Citizenships) right now.  The idea is to get those out of the way so you can focus on the outdoor ones later.  I thought that wasn't a bad idea.  

Agreed.  I organized Family Life MB for our group- perfect time to work on projects at home with family members and "be present" to do chores for 90 days, Music Mb same- able tow work on learning a new jig; and we'll be doing Personal Fitness Mb in a week or so for the same reason.  Leave the Nature and E Sci for another time.

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Good time to do the budget/spending tracking and calendar work for Personal Management.

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We’ve had scouts try a few of the online MB options from around the country.  Experience has been varied, generally correlated — inversely — with maximum enrollment size.  I get that some of the councils are doing massive classes to try to serve more scouts (and I really feel for the logistical and record keeping challenges some have gotten themselves into), but the very big ones have been very similar to “web based training” that most of us have experienced at work.  They haven’t inspired any excitement about the subject of the badges in the scouts, even of they “got them thru the requirements.”  Some of the smaller ones (some as small as 10-15 scouts) and that had a decent length of time to actually been interactive and engaging have been much more effective.

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The candidates are individually tested on each requirement?

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1 hour ago, TAHAWK said:

The candidates are individually tested on each requirement?

In the small ones they were individually tested for the major "demonstrate" requirements (e.g., each individually giving presentations required, etc.), and -- at least in principle -- their participation in discussion was related to meeting the "discuss" type requirements.   In the larger ones, the individual testing was all about written work/filling in worksheets -- so very "schoolified" in that case.

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Posted (edited)

One council here is offering a virtual First Aid merit badge class :blink: via Google classroom at $20/student. Drive thru online registration and virtual learning...

As a former First Aid MBC,  my scouts spent all sessions hands-on - practicing (again and again) assessment, bandaging , proper splinting, transport, ... never charged a student .

Need to add a third panel on left showing a scout staring at his smartphone!

C_2nd107.gif

Well...maybe my son can take his driver test virtually.

Taking my 2 aspirin now.

Edited by RememberSchiff
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Posted (edited)
43 minutes ago, RememberSchiff said:

One council here is offering a virtual First Aid merit badge class :blink: via Google classroom at $20/student. Drive thru online registration and virtual learning...

As a former First Aid MBC,  my scouts spent all sessions hands-on - practicing (again and again) assessment, bandaging , proper splinting, transport, ... never charged a student .

Need to add a third panel on left showing a scout staring at his smartphone!

C_2nd107.gif

Well...maybe my son can take his driver test virtually.

Taking my 2 aspirin now.

Wow. I can’t believe they’re doing first aid online. I use to work in the FY scout program, but I did instruct the first aid merit badge one week due to being short handed. I hated giving just lectures, so I did a bunch of scenarios with them and hands on practice. I don’t know how they could’ve learned by only lectures.
 

I believe that it’s impossible to do the first aid merit badge online, unless they have every supply they possibly need to practice (which I’m sure they don’t, because who has a CPR dummy at home?). 

Edited by ItsBrian

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, RememberSchiff said:

One council here is offering a virtual First Aid merit badge class :blink: via Google classroom at $20/student. Drive thru online registration and virtual learning...

As a former First Aid MBC,  my scouts spent all sessions hands-on - practicing (again and again) assessment, bandaging , proper splinting, transport, ... never charged a student .

Need to add a third panel on left showing a scout staring at his smartphone!

C_2nd107.gif

Well...maybe my son can take his driver test virtually.

Taking my 2 aspirin now.

I've told this story before, But I enjoy telling it, so I beg for your  patience. Our older scouts spent a month planning a simulated car wreck on a road at one of our local camps. The did research for making fake blood, bones and exposed muscle tissue to add the realism. Our troop was camping at the camp that month and SM decided the troop should hike in the last mile where they hiked into the simulated wreck. It was interesting to watch the scouts; at first they weren't sure what to do, so they walked slowly up to the wreck studying the situation, which is what first responders are supposed to do so they don't walk into danger. But for the scouts, it was more of preparing to see the worst. They finally built the courage to walk fast analyse the scene.  

It only took them a few seconds to realize it was the older scouts in their troop and the scene was fake. The older scouts encourage them to try and they did pretty good. Then the older scouts reviewed how the did and how they could do better next time. It was fun.

Three months later the troop was driving to summer camp and happened on a SUV that rolled over just seconds before we got there on the rain slick road. Three of our adults where doctors, so they took over checking the driver and passenger (who worked at the camp where we were going). Because we were afraid another car was going to come around the curve and loose control on the slick road, we moved everyone else back about 100 yards. I'll never forget the scout who looked at me and said " you gave us all that training and now you won't let us work". He was serious, and I felt bad about it. It was hard to explain that his safety came first. 

During my 10 years with the troop, we had several scouts and past scouts make the front pages for giving first responder aid at an accident scene. One past scout (Eagle), resuscitated a toddler who was found unconscious in a pool. Our troop always planned a month worth of activities specifically on first-aid. You just never know what little bit of information learned during scout training will be a life changing recovery for someone in an accident. First aid for me as a scout was hard to learn because we never trained it realistically like simulated wreck. Adding more realism to the training has more learning impact, but it also gave the older scouts a lot of pride. They took that experience to their OA activities and camporees.

Barry 

Edited by Eagledad
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