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Citizenship in Society MB - Eagle Required


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Has anyone actually led Scouts through this merit badge?  What worked, what didn't, and what suggestions do you have? It's Eagle required in the second half of the year, so we need to figure out how to do it. 

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This one continues to be a serious point of confusion for many of us I fear.  Our leaders have touched on it once or twice, but nobody feels confident in how to approach it.  The general consensus verges on making it a general group discussion for all the youth, or perhaps more than one, focused on THEIR perspectives and input.  The vagueness and simply point that the subjects are controversial and bound to be viewed in widely distanced ways does not help.  The one thing though, upon what most adults and even more senior scouts is that the intent has always already been part of the basic tenets, and this simply muddies that.

Edited by skeptic
spellin
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3 hours ago, Better4itall said:

Has anyone actually led Scouts through this merit badge?  What worked, what didn't, and what suggestions do you have? It's Eagle required in the second half of the year, so we need to figure out how to do it. 

I have not, but I've listened to a feedback by a counselor.  His feedback was it needs the right MBC and the badge can go south really quick. 

His experience was concurrently counseling multiple scouts.  He was careful to not present his views, but other scouts felt very comfortable giving their own.  He was less a MBC and more a mediator keeping the peace between scouts. 

It's why I'll never MBC this badge.  I just could not help but to inject my thoughts (liberal or conservative).  It's the whole purpose of being a MBC; to inject your skill and life experiences.  

Edited by fred8033
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31 minutes ago, fred8033 said:

... He was less a MBC and more a mediator keeping the peace between scouts. 

It's why I'll never MBC this badge.  I just could not help but to inject my thoughts (liberal or conservative).  It's the whole purpose of being a MBC; to inject your skill and life experiences.  

This is why, on the other hand, I am considering counseling this MB. Part of learning to be a crew advisor was coaching youth on how to host an ethical controversy.

Plus, as an Arab American, there were specific requirements for coming to dinner (or any gathering). Discussions on politics, religion or both were mandatory, so ...

  • Come prepared to defend your opinion to someone on the opposite end of the table (room).
  • If that person already has your opinion, defend the opposite.
  • Do so simultaneously while other pairs/groups are discussing a different topic.:excl:

So, I feel like I can bring something to the table ... even if I'm not a human resources type.

My main concern about counseling is the desire for "high speed, low drag." Nothing about this badge would make me want to do this in a troop/classroom setting. ... Maybe in a patrol setting around a campfire or during a hike. An interesting approach would be getting scouts from different neighborhoods together. Also, a boy's patrol and girl's patrol might be able to hash some of this out. Best case scenario would be four First Class scouts from markedly different troops reflecting on this material. (In fact, that was the best thing about venturing ... when youth from different parts of the region got together and talked through life.)

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Oh, wow - those are some good ideas.  As I've been pondering it I had also considered bringing together members of different units.  A dinner setting would be really good - could tone things down some.  Our unit tries to reserve Family Life and Personal Management for Life Scouts - I was thinking this should fit into that space too - but you are pointing to first class?  Could be a foundation for the second half of their Scouting career - hmmmm.  Although there's going to be bunch of older Scouts needing to pick it up to finish in this first round here.  Please update on your progress.  Many thanks!

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I'm seeing a lot of folks getting spun up over this MB...It's just a MB...follow the requirements and ensure each scout completes them just like any other MB.  This "you must be a PHD specialist to be a counselor for this MB" is nonsense.   Family Life has a "sensitive discussion" requirement to hold a family meeting and discuss 7 different topics, some which are likely uncomfortable to some families.  A number of CIS requirements are questions I heard at EBORs.  Answers are much more interesting than "what was your favorite MB".

Remember   N + C + W = S.    A Good Citizen in the Nation and Community and World = A Good Citizen in Society.  MB completed! 😉

This is why IMHO, this MB is unnecessary, particularly as an Eagle Requirement.   But no one at the powers that be is interested in MHO. 

 

 

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11 hours ago, PACAN said:

This is why IMHO, this MB is unnecessary, particularly as an Eagle Requirement.   But no one at the powers that be is interested in MHO. 

I think the term in vogue now is "virtue signalling."

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Thanks, but these comments really don't help figure out how to make make it happen.  I'm hoping we can get some meaningful discussion going about experience and advice.  A Scout is courteous, I'm purposefully withholding my opinions on all this and seeing how we can help Scouts get to Eagle.  Is it more effective at First Class or after CNW (Cit. Community, Nation, World)? Is it better in a single unit setting or across units, maybe at the district or council level like they are trying in NYC?  Would a setting like a meal or campfire be more conducive than a conference or seminar room? How do we keep it from turning into either Kumbayah or The Hunger Games?  

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Again...it's just a MB.  How do you make other MBs happen in your troop?  Same process applies.   MBs are most effective when a scout is enthusiastic about earning it and not force fed to check a block.  Do you have lots of one-on-one counseling when a scout asks?  Do you hold troop MB meetings and do MBs for all?   This MB can be done in any of the ways you suggest.   I would not be a fan of feeding or campfire or ZOOM because the scouts will get distracted.  What works best for your scouts?   Small groups of say 4 where the scouts discuss each requirement amongst themselves and reports out their discussion might be a way.   Too large a group means that the chance of each one actually meeting the requirement is unlikely.  

 

Just MHO.    

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52 minutes ago, Better4itall said:

Is it more effective at First Class or after CNW (Cit. Community, Nation, World)? 

My opinion is always "WHEN" is in the scout's control.  Even suggesting "when" risks adults planning the scout's advancement too much.  I even more fear troops that try to plan out the badge.  

As for MBC preparing thinking about when to do the badge, your comments could apply to most badges.   A meal or camp fire setting is great for many badges.  Great memories sitting against a tree talking about citizen of the nation.  District / council level event is fine if the MBC is strong and can "MC" it.   My least favorite is conference room / seminar setting as scouting should not look or smell like school.  

As alluded earlier, this is just another badge.  Same methods to make other badges meaningful apply here ... with the exception that the MBC needs to tap dance around political issues and listen far more than speak or teach.  

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Hmmmm - you're right @Fred8033, the Scout needs to drive their own advancement cadence (sometimes maddeningly) but some MB's need some placement; Swimming before Lifesaving, and in our Troop we feel that Family Life and Personal Management are much more meaningful at age 16-17 than 12-13, so some steering happens there, too.  At a minimum, the MBC can distribute the reqs and check them off, I expect a lot of that this year.  I'm hoping for insights to make it better than a TPS Report.

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1 hour ago, Better4itall said:

Hmmmm - you're right @Fred8033, the Scout needs to drive their own advancement cadence (sometimes maddeningly) but some MB's need some placement; Swimming before Lifesaving, and in our Troop we feel that Family Life and Personal Management are much more meaningful at age 16-17 than 12-13, so some steering happens there, too.  At a minimum, the MBC can distribute the reqs and check them off, I expect a lot of that this year.  I'm hoping for insights to make it better than a TPS Report.

Don't forget the cover sheet...hmmm...that'd be great...

That reference is actually more applicable in another regard, as this badge is really just "flair"

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21 hours ago, Better4itall said:

... Our unit tries to reserve Family Life and Personal Management for Life Scouts - I was thinking this should fit into that space too - but you are pointing to first class?  Could be a foundation for the second half of their Scouting career - hmmmm.  Although there's going to be bunch of older Scouts needing to pick it up to finish in this first round here.  Please update on your progress.  Many thanks!

First of all, the only older scouts needing to pick it up at all will be those interested in obtaining Eagle. Secondly, most will not need to do so all at once. How many 17.5 year old life scouts -- or more specifically, how many scouts dead set on earning their bird between June and September -- do you have in your troop?

I am thinking 1st class as in the concept, not the patch. So, basically a mature scout that's getting out there in the world and meeting folks outside their usual spheres. It could be through other extra-curriculars ... in person or online. Those are the youth who would benefit most from this. I think.

 

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We've got 2 Scouts that will need to hurry on this, then we can set up a plan for the rest. Luckily we have a handful born in the first half of the year that dodge the bullet.  It might be cool to set up a means of connecting Scouts to Scouts, but that would need to be done carefully.  Around first class is when Scouts often enter the Ninja phase - they don't want anyone to know they are associated with Scouting, so it can't be public on social media.  It's cool when they are younger, but it doesn't become cool again until they make Eagle.

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