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Posted (edited)

I have a general question.  
 

Scouts has Citizenship in the community, nation and world

Communications

American Heritage

American Culture

4 of these are required for Eagle.  Perusing the content, there is overlap in many. All engage in culture, past, present and future in a wide range of ways.  
 

I am at great pains to comprehend the need for yet another required merit badge that deals with precisely the same areas of concern.  I am assuming, which given the facts seems only correct, that requiring a new merit badge of diversity, there will be little need for many of these anymore.  Indeed, American Heritage and Culture seem superfluous.

If the BSA is dead set on constantly beating all these same areas of interest into young people, there is a problem.  This set of facts and apparent intent would lead one to believe that young people are either too stubborn or too stupid to develop into responsible, open-minded citizens.  This begins to take on the theme of a revamped political indoctrination organization.  There are plenty of examples of this in history around the world.  
 

I would invite any reader to review the required and non-required merit badges I just listed and reasonably and comprehensively suggest how this is not the case.  I would like to hear honest and thoughtful analysis of how a diversity required merit badge adds to the existing ones and why there would not be continued over coverage.  My suspicion is that anyone would be hard pressed to argue the point in an honest way.

This thread invites discussion, not divisiveness.  It’s shocking to me that I’d even have to qualify it as such. 

 

Edited by Troop75Eagle
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Posted (edited)

In any of the Merit Badges you listed, I don't see anything that seems too superfluous.  Yes, some of the requirements parallel some found in Cit. in the Community, Cit. in the Nation, and Cit. in the World.  I liken it to being in college and having to take a general US history class to meet a graduation requirement, and then finding it interesting, taking a separate class on the Civil War or the Industrial Revolution as an elective. An interested and invested Scout will see the differences and nuances in each Merit Badge and learn from them accordingly, especially with an invested MB counselor, Troop leader, or parent to assist.

As I recall from the press release, the proposed new Merit Badge is Diversity and Inclusion. Emphasis mine.  Everyone seems to forget that part.  I never thought that Diversity and Inclusion was something necessary for instruction because it seems a no-brainer, but having gone through some mandatory D&I training at work, I do see the value of it.  While the Merit Badges you mention give examples of diversity, they don't necessary explain why it's important.  Likewise, I don't feel they don't cover inclusion and its importance much.  It was explained to me as such:  Diversity is being invited to the party; Inclusion is being asked to dance.

Diversity and Inclusion is not political, it's an act of kindness.

 

Edited by NDW5332
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I hear what your saying and am interested in your training. After 33 years,?i don’t have the most up to date.  I may tedpond more fully later for a set per understanding. As to your last statement, love your neighbor as yourself usually covers this.  Scouts invites all.  But insofar as diversity and inclusion not being political, I disagree.  Anytime you have forced instruction on community, cultural and demographic differences, it becomes political.  Anytime you have compulsory requirements that involve exposure to media And it’s inevitable diversity of social ills, solutions and differences, it becomes political.  Suggesting  acts of kindness is a  a solution.  One would have no need to suggest kindness if there were not problems of various kinds that were conflicting.  Every aspect of the afore mentioned merit badges is up to their necks in political involvement and actually requires the scouts participate.  Whatever the end goal of the merit badges, they are political.  

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I also want to add that I am not finding fault in the objectives of what is trying to be achieved.  Nor do I in any way mean to  take away from what you are saying about it and likewise hold yo be true.  Both are good.

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Posted (edited)

Not a single current merit badge requires any discussion of racism.

20 minutes ago, Troop75Eagle said:

Anytime you have forced instruction on community, cultural and demographic differences, it becomes political.

Then you must object American Heritage, right (Choose THREE groups that have different racial, cultural, national, or ethnic backgrounds, one of which comes from your own background.)

 

Edited by CynicalScouter

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I object to what I perceive as redundancy in 5 merit badges.  If it turns out that American Heritage and American Culture can be absorbed and or consolidated then yes.  I object to what I perceive as a heavy handed approach if not over kill to many of the same required actions of scouts in the same areas.  
 

it gets to a point where it looks like academic requirements for a diploma with pointless redundancy.  So to be consistent, yes.  The name is not as important as what the required content and engagement steps among them is.

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Posted (edited)

There are lots of elective merit badges with redundant or near-redundant elements (pets vs. dog care?).

And no one has to take American Heritage or American Culture

Edited by CynicalScouter

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No indeed, they do not have to take them.  All the citizen ship and community merit badges they do.  There is a lot of overlap in form and content there which is why I mentioned them.  It’s surprising to me the electives are there.  More does not always mean better.  Redundancy in merit badges may well warrant re-examination.  

there is a long history of exactly that action for such purposes.  There is nothing wrong with review, streamlining and consolidation.  
 

But adding another required merit badge on top of that extensively does many of the same things is, in my opinion, a waste of efficient and opportunity that has, at best, been poorly thought out.  

 

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Posted (edited)

Advancement is voluntary.  If you don't like it, don't do it.

 

Edited by David CO
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That is certainly true, but that’s not the point is it.  The point is the content, form and substance combined how best to administer development.  To read your rather terse answer, it would seem you find the entire idea absurd and beyond the need to review or subject to thoughtful debate.  Indeed, many on the forum would appear to regard any approach to this topic as a overt or clandestine attack on the concept of diversity.  It comes across as people being threatened entirely by some boogeyman of a conservative backlash and subversive activity.  I was unaware that scouts had morphed into a ‘as your told and ask no questions’ mentality.  Indeed, there is need for a merit badge of how to follow the party line and not voice ones thought.  Do as your required or get out.  Adults do as your told or get out.  Hardly a recipe for diversity, inclusiveness or growth.  But each is entitled to an opinion.  It’s simply helpful to stay on topic and fully develop contrary or dissenting viewpoints. 

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2 hours ago, Troop75Eagle said:

To read your rather terse answer, it would seem you find the entire idea absurd and beyond the need to review or subject to thoughtful debate. 

Not at all.  Debate all you want.

It has never been a secret on this forum that I am not a big fan of the advancement program.  I think it has little value, and is a royal pain in the neck.  The recent politicizing of the advancement program has not improved my opinion of it.

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I would rather it was incorporated in a fashion such as Cyber Chip, not as a MB.  Primarily, I say that because if the message intended to be delivered is that on point, how does it make sense that a now 11 year old waits to work on that MB 2 days before their 18th birthday so they can get their Eagle application signed? 

I'll wait until I see the content of what is going to be included to pass judgement if it is duplicative or comprehensive, etc.  I would not be against anything that helps to crystallize any point of the Scout Law into our youth, especially Friendly, Kind, and Reverent.  There's enough going on in the world right now that they are experiencing that it seems pretty relevant to me.  If our society were more idealized as Scouting is (or as some may argue, should be), perhaps it would not be so.

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