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Why do we need the Citizenship in Society merit badge?


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4 minutes ago, Navybone said:

So do we do the same with Personal Fitness?  Kids have to take PE in school. How about swimming -  kids have to know how to swim in our school district.   If a scout takes a class like environmental science in school, should they go ahead and automatically earn merit badges that cover the same topic, Eagle required or not? 

This is a real question that we should discuss.  

If a kid joins scouting and is already in a swim team and is a skilled swimmer, does the "swimming" merit badge add value?  Perhaps scouts should be required to get 21 MBs to show "growth".  We can list "core" (such as swimming), but if the kid is already a good swimmer, they get a badge for effectively no work in scouting.  Perhaps swimming should be replaced with canoeing or hiking or ?????

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I went from hating the idea of this badge and being very dismissive of it to thinking it has a valid place for a variety of reasons. 

I think many of us would agree the aims of scouting including citizenship development.  The question is the how (methods). In order to achieve the top rank in UK Scouts, you have to complete 9 ch

If the Oath can require duty to country and physical strength, and then we can require Citizenship in the Nation and Personal Fitness, the template has been cast for the overarching things to tell us

1 hour ago, Eagle1993 said:

In order to achieve the top rank in UK Scouts, you have to complete 9 challenge awards.  Of those, 1 is similar to BSA's Citizenship list.  Below are the requirements of the "World Challenge Award". 

Thanks for sharing this info.  Very interesting approach to citizenship.  You say it is mandatory to complete this award to process in UK Scouts?

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1 hour ago, Navybone said:

Thanks for sharing this info.  Very interesting approach to citizenship.  You say it is mandatory to complete this award to process in UK Scouts?

This is required to earn their top award (Chief Scout's Gold Award)

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4 hours ago, Eagle1993 said:

I think many of us would agree the aims of scouting including citizenship development.  The question is the how (methods).

In order to achieve the top rank in UK Scouts, you have to complete 9 challenge awards.  Of those, 1 is similar to BSA's Citizenship list.  Below are the requirements of the "World Challenge Award".  You can see all of our 4 Citizenships in this one award.  I also notice that it would be tough to earn this sitting in a classroom (in fact, there is almost no classroom aspect to this award).  This is about taking action (6 of the 7 requirements are about taking action, 1 is about self-directed research).  Now compare to our Citizenships which use the term "explain" all the time with no linkage to actively participating in anything.  Simplify & combine our Citizenships and focus on action ... that will lead to better results (from actually gaining and retaining knowledge to BSA retaining scouts).

World Challenge Award Requirements:

Whether you’re volunteering in your local community or learning about an international issue, this award is all about exploring the world from your doorstep and making a positive impact.

How to earn your badge:

  1. Choose an aspect of local community life and find out as much as you can about it.  You could learn about:
  • local government
  • local history
  • different faiths and beliefs
  • types of farming/industry found locally

 

2. Spend a day volunteering with and finding out about a service in your local community:

  • What are their challenges?
  • Who relies on this service?
  • What positive impact could you have on this service in the future?
  • Services could be homeless shelters, local nature reserves, care homes and food banks.

 

3. Take part in an activity that reflects upon and explores your own beliefs, attitudes and values (this may or may not include religious beliefs).  What values do we share as Scouts? Which Scout value means the most to you? 

4. Take part in an activity that explores common beliefs and attitudes towards gender or disability in different societies.  You could look at this in the context of music, sport and fashion. 

5. Take an active part in an environmental project.

6. Investigate and try to make contact with Scouts in another country.
Make sure you and your leader read the International Links Guidance.

7. Take part in an activity that explores an international issue.

I like "take part" vs. "explain". 

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4 hours ago, Navybone said:

So do we do the same with Personal Fitness?  Kids have to take PE in school. How about swimming -  kids have to know how to swim in our school district.   If a scout takes a class like environmental science in school, should they go ahead and automatically earn merit badges that cover the same topic, Eagle required or not? 

There is no national standard for education.  Scout provides a leveling for those who participate, giving them a significant jump on being successful adults.    I would argue that the eagle-required MBs are inline with the mission of Boy Scouts and its identified methods.   

I absolutely think some of these things should be looked at in the program. There are some things that have equivalency. I also think this kind of review needs to be done at the cub level. Swimming might not be the best area unless you can correlate it to a universally regarded lifeguarding test or standard. For personal fitness, though, 6-8 could definitely be accomplished outside scouting if a scout is involved in a youth sport or has a semester of PE targeted toward fitness or one of the relevant fitness awards. It could only be a positive for a scout to be able to create linkages between scouting and a merit badge counselor and his or her chosen sport and coaches. Our high school has an environmental sciences academy. Why shouldn't those students be able to apply their work towards a merit badge? Frankly, I think the merit badges do not give much of a jump on the adult world because the very tools used to execute them are so far behind the times. There is very little that is current about many of them. Finding ways to make them more relevant would be a positive step in my book.  

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17 hours ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

Just make sure you remember my correct pronouns when we get lost together.

Your Majesty / His Majesty

"Get lost together?"

Hopefully, you'll have a sticky tag with all the pronouns you prefer for your body bag.

And so, at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, a cocky boatman asked me what I'd do if I were lost in the Grand Canyon?

"I'd set a huge fire. It would be seen. Rescue folks would arrive."

"You can't do that.  This this is the GRAND CANYON!"

 

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Unfortunately the politics won on establishing this MB as an Eagle required vice adding a section to each rank requirement.  My guess that if it wasn't Eagle Required it would fall behind Bugling in popularity.  These requirements should be taught by the scout's parents/guardians.   My friend did a session and the  feedback from the scouts was "this stuff is so obvious to us"  This tells me his program is working.

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We did CIS as a troop and I believe it was really good for the scouts and adults. 

One of the things I brought up was that people come from different economic backgrounds and that we help with scholarships for those families that need it.  One scout stated that no one in our troop needed that.  He is wrong.

I also shared with them the story of my 91 year old father who came to the US (Arkansas) from China.  When he was a child, he was not allowed to attend school in his town because of the Jim Crow Laws, i.e. my father was labeled "colored" and therefore wasn't allowed to attend school.  Most  kids (and adults) don't know about this part of history.  It seems that since it didn't affect them personally, it wasn't all that important to focus on, or they felt "that couldn't happen now".

My son told me a scout mentioned online that if one of our Southeast Asian scouts became SPL, he would "knock that towel-head back to India". This same scout referred to another scout (a good friend of his) as "Jew Man".

Even though the scouts say the Scout Oath and Scout Law, not all really UNDERSTAND what it means, i.e., it's just something they have to memorize.   We don't know what is taught in their schools or their homes, but as a troop we felt it was important to discuss situations and role-play to help them get a better understanding.  Not all will get it, but our goal is to reach some of them.

 

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