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Citizenship in Society - MBC Orientation


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Great - another sit in a class and try to stay awake merit badge. Boy Scouts, in order to differentiate the program in the market place, needs to be action and activity oriented, not more schooli

One of the minor problems I have with this badge, which is the same issue I have with the disability badge, is the requirement to find and talk with someone who is disabled or, in this case, different

This is a huge topic, but I agree that a complete review is required. My bio, resume, or whatever it is, on my profile, many positions held for 5 to 15 years simultaneously, I have had extensive

2 minutes ago, yknot said:

This kind of turns different scouts, as it does with disabled scouts, into unwitting and perhaps in some cases unwilling "specimens" for investigation to get a badge.

I have a gay non binary scout in my Troop.  I was just thinking they are going to be busy talking with a lot of other scouts if I'm not careful.  I'll need to talk with them to see how they would want to handle this.  (I'm still getting comfortable with using the proper pronouns).

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On 10/27/2021 at 7:58 AM, Jameson76 said:

Great - another sit in a class and try to stay awake merit badge.

Boy Scouts, in order to differentiate the program in the market place, needs to be action and activity oriented, not more schooling.  News flash, there is a ton of sit in class stuff available to youth these days.

As has been noted, better solution would have been to work some changes in to the EXISTING Citizenship MB's and move on

#1  Purpose of MBs ???  ... Going tangential.  Not directly on this MB.   I agree with "...there is a ton..." ... I fear this is yet another where BSA does a light weight, cheap, shallow introduction to a topic done much better in school and church.  ...  Scouting has historically been reactionary to society trends.  Think STEM.  Think the 1970s new scouting program that moved away from outdoors.  At this point, I'm a bit lost on purposes of rank requirements versus MBs.  I used to think MBs were about either skills development or career exploration.  Now, MBs seem like a disorganized dumping ground for things we think kids should know.  ... If it were for me, scouting should be focused on distinguishing itself by keeping kids moving and doing things they can't get elsewhere ... aka outdoor adventure and physical skills.  Hiking.  Swimming.  Camping ... Welding.  Wood working.  etc.  

#2  Synonyms ... About this badge ... Society and Community are synonyms.  They mean the same thing.  We have two MBs named the same thing.  

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All things aside ... just a verbage issue ... the term Upstander is junk.  Shakespeare would weep.  ... It sounds like a committee met repeatedly to pick a rallying word, but had to pick something.  So, they chose upstander.   

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Random thoughts:

I probably could not get past the "Key Terms" as they are defined and maybe that would be the first class, e.g., is diversity about "identifiers" or is it about "experiences",  "opinions", "ideas"?

Replace "upstander" with "Scout", as in a Scout helps other people at all times.

Saw no requirements related to federal, state, local laws, not even how to interact with police. What is does "Rule of Law" mean?

Will the BSA's DRP come up when discussing inclusion?

My $0.01,

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1 hour ago, fred8033 said:

All things aside ... just a verbage issue ... the term Upstander is junk.  Shakespeare would weep.  ... It sounds like a committee met repeatedly to pick a rallying word, but had to pick something.  So, they chose upstander.   

This is not a BSA created term, but one that has been used for years to identify someone who steps up and takes action when they see a wrong.  It draws attention to and differentiates between watching and acting. It calls out and encourages a person to step up and  takes actions despite what others are doing.  For a teen, it can be a challenge to step up against how their peers may be acting, be it in a group or otherwise. 

What is the issue with taking the time and emphasis to help the Scouts understand what "helps other people at all times"?  Knowing what to do is easier for the Scouts when it is something like a medical incident where first aid is required, for example.   But it is much different for a teen to stand up and counter what others are saying, especially if it among their peer group or in  public. The requirement to discuss what it means to stand up for those who need it is a great discussion topic.  For teens, who are looking to fit in with others, there is value in helping them understand why in a situation where no others are standing up to help someone who who is being called out or bullied, it is so important to not simply watch but important to act.  It takes courage, it takes risk on their behalf, and not everyone has that.  Giving a word to describe that courage, that need for intestinal fortitude, gives the Scouts a way to comprehend what they are being asked to do. 

 

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4 hours ago, Navybone said:

This is not a BSA created term, but one that has been used for years to identify someone who steps up and takes action when they see a wrong.  It draws attention to and differentiates between watching and acting. It calls out and encourages a person to step up and  takes actions despite what others are doing.  For a teen, it can be a challenge to step up against how their peers may be acting, be it in a group or otherwise. 

What is the issue with taking the time and emphasis to help the Scouts understand what "helps other people at all times"?  Knowing what to do is easier for the Scouts when it is something like a medical incident where first aid is required, for example.   But it is much different for a teen to stand up and counter what others are saying, especially if it among their peer group or in  public. The requirement to discuss what it means to stand up for those who need it is a great discussion topic.  For teens, who are looking to fit in with others, there is value in helping them understand why in a situation where no others are standing up to help someone who who is being called out or bullied, it is so important to not simply watch but important to act.  It takes courage, it takes risk on their behalf, and not everyone has that.  Giving a word to describe that courage, that need for intestinal fortitude, gives the Scouts a way to comprehend what they are being asked to do. 

I'm familiar with the word.  It's a relatively new word introduced as many words are by inverting another word; bystander.  The idea / concept is great.  We want our scouts to have backbone to confront wrong.  My issue is it started as a linguistic play-on-words and smells like a design-by-committee word.  Too forced.  Like Unobtanium from Avatar.  

Plus, I question whether it's a real opposite of bystander.  A bystander is a person who does nothing when faced with a traffic accident; a crime; a wrong or a crime.  We're often talking about dangerous situations.  

Or are we talking more about playing off the word "upstanding"; as an upstanding citizen..  ... At that point, it smells of PC.  ... What is an upstanding citizen?  It's in the eyes of the beholder.  

I like the idea.  I just have contempt for the word.  

 

Edited by fred8033
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3 minutes ago, fred8033 said:

It's in the eyes of the beholder.  ...  This week's huge controversy is whether an upstander is a 17 year old boy that stands up against bullies, intimidation, arson and looting in Kenosha.  Is he your example of "upstander"?  For many he is.  For many he is not.  

More than a little extreme of an example here, no?  There is nothing to imply in anything within the CIS MB that an upstander is someone who goes out of his/her way (like miles) to get into a situation (voluntarily) that requires him/her to use a weapon (that the person brought although they were underage) on someone.  Are we blowing right past the more likely situation where a scout would see/hear something that would put him/her in a position where they may have to call undesired attention to themselves in an effort to stand up for someone else?

I think the discussion is less constructive if we focus on extremes or out-layers rather than reality. 

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Extreme examples are often useful in debates.  Many view him has an upstander.  Others don't.  But, I can accept your point. It's too inflammatory example for now.  ...  It's just the one I was reading about in the news today.  ... It came to mind because he clearly stood up for what he believed was the right thing to do.  He did not want to be the guy sitting 20 miles away doing nothing but watch a city burn.  ... but you are right ... probably too inflammatory for now.  ... I'll remove that sentence.

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6 hours ago, yknot said:

... Not every disabled kid wants to be thought of as disabled and many in fact actively push back against that idea. I imagine it could be similar for kids who may be taken aback or even offended to learn that they are thought of as different when perhaps they themselves don't think so or are fighting that label. ...

Son #2's best friend, as he advanced into adulthood, made the conscious decision to no longer be considered as having Asperger's Syndrome. It's not been easy for the young man. But, for him, "fighting that label" gave him a lot of courage.

I don't know if, as a scout, I would have been willing to be an Arab American "object of study." I might have been able to say, "Come over for dinner."  It wasn't until college (and even after) that I realized that it's sometimes helpful to be a foil against which people could sound out their experience of being discriminated against (or a discriminator). I do know that these conversations among adults sometimes disappoint because nobody is a perfect metaphor for someone else's troubles, but it's really easy to come of like you're trying to be just that.

If you're going to counsel this badge, you're going to have to accept that you can only do so much to prepare a scout for it.

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On 11/1/2021 at 10:24 AM, Eagle1993 said:

I have a gay non binary scout in my Troop. 

This is in fact a serious question.  If Non Binary is an umbrella term for gender identities that are neither male nor female‍; identities that are outside the gender binary, how could they also be gay as they do not identify as male of female?

Just curious as I would think they would identify as one (gay) or the other (non-binary).

 

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This entire issue is continuing to be a very large vat of worms, IMO.  As has been noted by many since the outset, there is nothing new with this.  The entire concept is, and continues to be covered by already in place parts of the idea of Scout Spirit, which includes the Oath and Law as primary components.  IF a youth is doing their best to live by those simple ideas, then they should already be meeting the MB requirements.  By making these issues more than normal "societal" concerns, things you learn to deal with as a part of the community, then you may cause at least confusion, and in some ways, engender problems where none were before.  Just as we cannot stop certain human beings from doing certain things in their own lives and on occasion finding ways to intrude on the lives of our youth, we cannot reach into the minds of others to truly understand.  We come back to basic acceptance of the rights of others to lead their lives.  But remember, a right is not license, nor should we being doing the job of the parents and family.  And forcing this discussion on immature youth is not, IMO, a valid part of the program we are trying to salvage.

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