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18 minutes ago, Jameson76 said:

1972 was the BIG change.  Many of the core badges (swimming / camping / cooking) were part of the group that could or could not be earned.  That was the change wherein one could become Eagle and not have camped at all and basically not have gone outside at all

 

Like the cooking MB, I don’t believe camping should be a required MB for what a Scout should be an expert at doing anyway by age 14. A Eagle Scout should be as much of an expert in the woods as a first class scout. I feel the rank badges should require the minimum number of Scout skills to qualify the scout to be a confident outdoorsman. The Eagle should be more skilled in public speaking, group management and leadership.

i like that first-aid qualification idea. We did that as a troop. 
 

Barry

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IMHO it would also be a good time to rethink "Eagle required" merit badges - subject areas, number, difficulty...

Most scouts I talk with don't get much out of the MB program as it currently exists. Anything that actually helps them learn a skill is appreciated by the scouts. Anything covered in school is conside

Good. Those who oppose the mere existence of this badge will cheer the delay. Those who want it done right will cheer that this was rushed and will now be properly vetted.

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2 hours ago, Eagledad said:

 

i like that first-aid qualification idea. We did that as a troop. 

For our Ship and Crew we have the youth get Red Cross First Aid certified and encourage them to get Wilderness First Aid certified as well.  The problem is that those are pricey options

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14 hours ago, mashmaster said:

When I ask scouts at their EBOR what merit badges they think are the most important ones it surprises me when they say Personal Management or the Citizenship MB's.  But this answer happens a lot.  I never get the answer of Swimming or Camping.

Swimming and camping are part of being a scout.  If you earn First Class, you should effectively have those.

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14 hours ago, CynicalScouter said:

They may never camp or swim the day after the EBOR. They will, however, be a part community, nation, and world the rest of their lives.

Distracting tangential comment ... Two of my sons who earned eagle (19 and 24) have both coordinated multiple camping trips for them and their friends.  One with his patrol mates.  My fourth son has started talking with his friends about camping with his friends.  ... My oldest said his friends had no clue.

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14 hours ago, RememberSchiff said:

 

Would I have First Aid, Swimming, Personal Fitness, Cooking merit badges? Nope.

I’m going to specifically disagree on Cooking.  Because of it, I could cook a steak, make pasta, build a salad, make corn on the cob ,  and a few other meals. 
 

suddenly, in 1999, I found my wife legally desiring to be my ex. We had a 9 year old at the time. Suddenly, I had to feed him, even as I made sure he got his homework done. Suffice it to say, my skills served me well. 
 

cooking is an important man skill.  I’m glad National returned it to the required list!

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13 hours ago, Eagledad said:

Like the cooking MB, I don’t believe camping should be a required MB for what a Scout should be an expert at doing anyway by age 14. A Eagle Scout should be as much of an expert in the woods as a first class scout. I feel the rank badges should require the minimum number of Scout skills to qualify the scout to be a confident outdoorsman. The Eagle should be more skilled in public speaking, group management and leadership.

i like that first-aid qualification idea. We did that as a troop. 
 

Barry

Unfortunately, if Camping and Swimming MB are optional for Eagle, then Camping and Swimming will be optional in our ever more STEM oriented scouting program.  That’s how I see units and parents these days. 

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14 hours ago, mashmaster said:

For our Ship and Crew we have the youth get Red Cross First Aid certified and encourage them to get Wilderness First Aid certified as well.  The problem is that those are pricey options

I like that.  Those do not really need to be pricey options though, depending on the instructor.  I am a Red Cross instructor for First Aid/CPR/AED and Wilderness First Aid, so I know what instructors pay Red Cross for those certification cards, and would wager that in many cases it is nothing close to what they are charging the student. 

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I understand the cost issue, but it is helpful maybe even required in their job hunt for scouts (and scouters) to have business recognized first aid certifications from the American Heart Association, American Red Cross, SOLO, NOLS.

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7 hours ago, John-in-KC said:

Unfortunately, if Camping and Swimming MB are optional for Eagle, then Camping and Swimming will be optional in our ever more STEM oriented scouting program.  That’s how I see units and parents these days. 

First class requirements. 
 

Barry

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Most scouts I talk with don't get much out of the MB program as it currently exists. Anything that actually helps them learn a skill is appreciated by the scouts. Anything covered in school is considered a waste of time. Cit badges are all a bust. Shooting, climbing and watercraft badges are great. Camping is surprisingly neutral. They like pioneering if they get the chance to make something fun. First aid is appreciated, but they don't believe they'll ever need it. So, most of the eagle required badges are just hoops they need to jump through.

But this is about a specific mb. I think it could be made interesting, but not with the mindset that's driving the entire program. 

This might be part of why scouting is losing the interest of youth. The one thing that is pushed is Eagle, and it's largely based on merit badges, which most scouts don't even care for. Time for the new-vision people. 

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37 minutes ago, MattR said:

Anything covered in school is considered a waste of time. Cit badges are all a bust. 

Sadly I have seen the schools NOT prepare the Scouts for the Cits. I was working on Cit Nation with a group in my car after doing  Washington DC.  3/5 had Civics in high school, and 1 was taking civics in HS. ONLY THE 5TH GRADE HOMESCHOOLED WEBELOS COULD ANSWER ANY OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR CIT NATION! (emphasis, not shouting)

 

 

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4 hours ago, MattR said:

Most scouts I talk with don't get much out of the MB program as it currently exists. Anything that actually helps them learn a skill is appreciated by the scouts. Anything covered in school is considered a waste of time. Cit badges are all a bust. Shooting, climbing and watercraft badges are great. Camping is surprisingly neutral. They like pioneering if they get the chance to make something fun. First aid is appreciated, but they don't believe they'll ever need it. So, most of the eagle required badges are just hoops they need to jump through.

But this is about a specific mb. I think it could be made interesting, but not with the mindset that's driving the entire program. 

This might be part of why scouting is losing the interest of youth. The one thing that is pushed is Eagle, and it's largely based on merit badges, which most scouts don't even care for. Time for the new-vision people. 

Dead on right.  I think your camping statement is right.  Most scouts don't appreciate the camping MB because they start in their 3rd or 4th year of camping with the scouts.  Most of the topics in the MB SHOULD be done in your first six months as a scout.  ...  It's like the fifth time I had to re-certify electrostatic discharge training.  You roll your eyes having to do it yet again.  Imagine that 5th time getting a MB for it.  I'd roll my eyes too.

Even worse, when schools cover topics they take quarters or whole classes to cover the topic.  MB coverage can feel very shallow, choppy and rehashing school topics.  Even worse if the MB effectively is filling out a packet to then flatly discuss with the MBC.

Tempted ...  If I were the scoutmaster, I'd automatically start every scout on the camping MB.  Make sure the topics are covered with each scout.  On their 20th night camping with the troop, they automatically get the badge ... (assuming we covered all the other details).  I knew a scoutmaster who did similar for canoeing. 

No one likes to waste time.  No one is proud of unearned praise.  This DE&I badge is exactly that.  Put it as rank requirements, but a DE&I MB is an eye roller.

I wish there was a mechanism to focus on "growth" and "choice"; not specific MBs.  Leave required specifics to the "ranks".  Perhaps a way for a SM to replace certain MBs with others where the scout would grow.   ... OR ... perhaps a way to automatically complete specific MB requirements before they have a MBC.  Example, this easily applies to first class, camping, cooking, citz, etc.  "Mr. SM ... I just got an B+ in my American Government class in school.  Can that fulfill my Citz of the nation MB?"   ... Our patrol assigned responsibilities, selected tent locations, setup tents and slept in them.  Can you sign-off  on the MB requirements now? (before starting the MB and having a MBC)

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27 minutes ago, fred8033 said:

 

I wish there was a mechanism to focus on "growth" and "choice"; not specific MBs.  Leave required specifics to the "ranks".  Perhaps a way for a SM to replace certain MBs with others where the scout would grow.   ... OR ... perhaps a way to automatically complete specific MB requirements before they have a MBC.  Example, this easily applies to first class, camping, cooking, citz, etc.  "Mr. SM ... I just got an B+ in my American Government class in school.  Can that fulfill my Citz of the nation MB?"   ... Our patrol assigned responsibilities, selected tent locations, setup tents and slept in them.  Can you sign-off  on the MB requirements now? (before starting the MB and having a MBC)

I really like that idea. It would cut down on the repetitiveness  and homework like components in the badges. I did something like this years ago in cubs for some of the Webelos pins where they duplicated what was covered in school. For  Geologist, for example, there was already a class trip to a mineral mine. Since the entire Den attended, and den leaders went as chaperones, we counted that towards the pin. In scouts, the Cit in Community and Cit in Nation MBs are redundant and repetitive with school curriculum. They could easily be combined and allowing grades or a teacher sign off or attaching copies of tests that demonstrate the knowledge would make sense. I also like the idea of allowing more choice within broader content areas.

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Unfortunately one of the primary purposes for mBs has been long since ignored. Mbs  are a  medium for the Adult Association  method with an expert  in a specific field of study (and an adult who is new to them).

Too often the processes used deny scouts this opportunity whether it be because the scouts use troop mBs who they already know, camp mBs with older scouts acting as mBCs, mB Universities with large group presentations and almost zero personal interaction between a scout and the mBc, or scouts filling out workbooks and calling a mBc who just signs off aftfer the scout reads from their workbook, etc... All of theseexamples are where the process is designed to "earn the badge", not for scouts to engage with some subject of interest to them and an adult expert in that field.

I agree the mBs are too much like schoolwork, and there is far too little choice with so many mBs being required. I just do not want to lose sight of the adult association method of scouting vital to accomplishing the aims through the mB process. 

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