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Air Conditioned Eagle Encampment

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I honestly do not understand the issue here. Teens these days are ridiculously busy; I don't see a problem with having some kind of retreat where they have the time and space to work on academic type Eagle requirements. As long as they also have opportunities to work on other things that require to go outside, what's the issue?

 

I would have to brush up on the requirements, but I seem to recall several merit badges required for Eagle that would HAVE to be earned outside. (camping? hiking? swimming?)

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Well ok. I'm not a fan of "school-work" Eagle badges in general and I'm seriously not a fan of them being done in herds. The way these badges are typically done at summer camps is ludicrous and I don't think anybody gets anything out of them. I wouldn't have much faith that they'd be better handled at an Eagle encampment (or retreat, or what have you). To have any meaning I think these need doing on an individual basis.

 

Also, I think a whole weekend working on these badges would be extremely boring for most boys. And it would not be possible to fully complete any of these badges at an Eagle encampment (unless one is doing some serious pencil whipping - almost all have extended timeline requirements, or community participation requirements of some sort). For these reasons, I would actively discourage boys in my unit from signing up.

 

But. If I were planning some "school work" event for mid June in Florida, I can see the allure of air conditioning.

 

And momof2cubs - yes there ARE many elements of other Eagle-required badges that need to be done outdoors, but apparently, this merit badge weekend focuses on badges like:

 

Citizenship in the Community

Citizenship in the Nation

Citizenship in the World

Communications

Family Life

Personal Management

 

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Is there a BSA requirement that a merit badge cannot be done with other scouts (or maybe stated as in a ...herd)?

 

Ummm...no.

 

Is the a BSA ruling that a Council cannot do a multi-day merit badge training for youth with merit badges needed for Eagle Scout?

 

Ummm...no.

 

Is there a BSA issue with youth attending a Scouting Event in mid summer that is presented in a WB style?

 

Ummm....no.

 

Their activity is a Council endorsed activity by the Board Executive Council.

 

Guess who is on their Council Executive Board...Tico Perez...BSA National Scout Commissioner.

 

I'm thinking if it's ok by them...then the Boys are not doing anything wrong.

 

Thanks and have a great day!

 

Oh and...

 

Take your negative attitudes somewhere else.

 

 

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Well Lisabob, I really don't see the issue. All those merit badges you listed are very academically based. I don't see what is so wrong with scheduling some kind of camp where the boys have dedicated time and space to complete. What difference does it make if the boy works on them in his room on his own, sitting under a tree sweating bullets with other boys, or in some classroom in the air conditioner?

 

There still are over 10 other MBs that are required for Eagle, and quite a few of those need to be done outside. Personally, I totally would encourage my son to do this one summer if it were an option around here.

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This just points just how watered down, and ludicrous the boy scout advancement program has become, and to have this at an outdoor camp is just plain outrageous. Now these cupcake scouts working on Eagle can say they have been to camp, just never went outside or learned any outdoor skills. They ought to name the place Camp Nerd Scout, where your boy can become an Eagle without ever going outside and in complete air conditioned comfort. Heck, they just ought to put the whole scouting program online, a complete virtual program, so their mommies don't have to worry about their little boy getting a boo-boo.

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That's a little harsh Baden, don't you think?

 

Do you actually use words like "cupcakes" and "nerds" when talking to our youth?

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momof2

 

No I never use those terms with youth, however the youth are using those words. However many of us involved in scouting for many years have witnessed, as Kudu puts it, "the dumbing down of the boy scout program." National has lost its way and as a result the numbers of boy scouts and troops continues to dwindle at an alarming rate each year. The further the program gets away from the outdoor program of BP and William Hillcourt the less interest it holds for the boys. This thread is just another example of whats wrong with boy scouts today, it has become a club for boys who have no interest in what scouting is supposed to be, an outdoor oriented organization where they learn how to appreciate and protect our natural resources, the outdoor skills to live within our forests and wilderness areas, and the leadership skills that they will use for their entire lives. This Eagle camp is just another example of "powderpuff" scouting.

 

This kind of powder puff Eagle camp is typical of the cupcake scouting that National has been promoting under the guidance of CSE Mazzuca and his staff.

 

 

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Nothing about enjoying Air Conditioning one week precludes one from being outdoors another.

 

Nothing about being academically proficient precludes one from being proficient in other areas.

 

"Camp Nerd Scout" Great idea for a name BadenP. It might inspire some of the scouts who attend to follow in the footsteps of great nerds who developed things like this internet we're using. Ζήτω σπασίκλες!

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I think you are over reacting. Just because a scout spends a week in an air conditioned classroom doing MBs that are CLEARLY academic in nature, doesn't make him a nerd (not that that is a bad thing), a cupcake, or a powder puff. The same scout could very well spend the next week leading younger boys through a wilderness hike or water rafting or mountain climbing.

 

A scout can become proficient in MANY areas through scouting, and there's NO reason to denigrate a boy that chooses to spend one week indoors working on mandated academic MBs. The scouts *I* know spend plenty of time outside too.

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I live here.

 

June > August are hot, humid, filled with gnats, Mosquitos, and horseflies.

 

Regardless of that, Camp Lenoche is filled for the entire summer program

 

The Encampment that is being slammed actually requires significant preparatory work before the event.

 

The syllabus has the youth in no less than 40+ classroom hours working on their required merit badges.

 

That is a lot of work.

 

These Scouts are paying about $200 - $250 each for this intensive scholastic merit badge academy.

 

The Scouts will be doing 3 full 3 1/2 hours of training a day...morning, afternoon, and evening.

 

This course is no gimmee.

 

It's a shame that it may be perceived as such, but the Council, Council Advancement Committee, and many scouters have invested much time, money, and effort in pursuit of providing the youth of our Council an excellent opportunity to work on some merit badges that are sometimes more challenging.

 

Times are changing...and so is, the BSA. They are listening to what their members want.

 

Is this a good thing? Listening to its members???

 

I imagine that would be viewed as a good thing.

 

Peace.... S.

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The wheels come off the Boy Scout program -- especially advancement -- when the adults start trying to figure out the best way to get from point A to B. Adults, with college educations, years of business experience and the maturity and perspective of living for 40 or 50 years, look at the program and start figuring ways to make it more efficient, productive and easier. We read the requirements and think, "this should be that hard, I could knock that out in a couple hours." Well, yes, you could. But that's beside the point.

 

So instead of asking the boys to reach, we start pulling the limbs down low for them. Instead of asking them to demonstrate some initiative and arranging to meet with a MB counslor themselves, we organize merit badge classes. Of course, if earning one merit badge is good, earning six is even better. After all, we'll stick to the requirements exactly as written, even if they are sitting in a class and having the requirements fed to them. And they're not getting the experience of making an appointment with a counselor, preparing for the meeting and keeping the appointment.

 

This sounds like a very-well done program. I have no doubt there is a demand for this sort of program, but I'm not of a mind that simply because there is a demand for something like this it needs to be met.

 

It's not something we would allow our Scout to attend.

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Everyone states the list is academic.. Well most is.. My beef is with Family Life being on it. That is not academic, I don't see it as a MB for this place or summer camp.

 

I am sure the 3 month chart is done before hand. But what about the project for your family.. What about the project with your family? What about the family counsel?.. After that what is left to do at camp? Very, very little.. Besides which the more important discussion with the MBC is BEFORE you start the badge, so that you do it with the right attitude, not after.

 

I have heard of people jerry-rigging this to put in in camp before. I asked how and I was told, they consider the group they are camping with their temporary family for the week.. Really?? You really learn how to respect and understand and work with your family in this manner?

 

For the rest of it, I am of two minds, and I know my views are only my own.. Getting some meritbadges at camp are OK.. But, not all. At least quarter to a half should be done by seeking out a meritbadge councilor and setting up meeting times.. There is a wealth of value learned from this process that should not be overlooked.

 

It is not about what National accepts or does not accept. As stated National has lost it's way and will be the death of the whole scouting movement.

 

It is what is beneficial for our boys, how we can make the time they have in scouts the most rewarding and filled with memories to last a lifetime. How can we use scouting to shape their character.. Memories of sitting for hours in classroom settings.. Finding ways to rush through the process as quickly as possible to pump out 13 yo Eagles, by just concentrating on advancement, and doing away with all the unnecessary distracting "fun" "adventurous" other stuff. Well, that to me is not the way to build memories or character.. It is a way to get a piece of paper with the words "Eagle" on it that you can use for a college app or to bump your pay grade in the military up a notch. So if that is all you wanted, that is what you will get.

 

I guess the boy could use summer camp, this place, or a merit badge weekend for SOME of their merit badges.. Each thing carries a different experience in an of itself.. But if they got them ALL this way and none by using individual MBC's the old fashioned way, they missed out on a great learning process.. If they used all these classroom setting Merit Badge styles to pull off an Eagle rank in 2 or 3 years. They were robbed of a great Scouting experience.. You can get an Eagle certificate in this manner, but that piece of paper will not make the boy any more of an Eagle.. It is about as possible as the Wizard of Oz where handing the Scarecrow a college degree instantly made him smart.. (hint: That piece of paper really didnt make him smart, it was the fantastic journey with his friends down the yellow brick road that did it.)

 

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These "trail-to-eagle" retreats appear harmless and if they are run well, the scouts will learn alot. However, these types of programs crowd out other activities designed to emphasize the outdoor method. Scouting that resembles a classroom will suffer over the long-term. I think Baden-Powell referred to it as "Parlor Scouting."

 

I did a google search for these retreats and there are many going on around the country besides Florida.

 

From my assessment, being in a air-conditioned classroom environment for an entire week during the summer is not desirable. It does not sound like it's "fun with a purpose."

 

 

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Yep FL is hot in the summer. I did a month long training there that included 1 week in a dorm setting, and 3 weeks in the outdoors, including a 50+ mile canoe trip. Also spent some time in SE Louisiana and SW MS. Hot am humid there too. And let's not forget the mosquitos big enough to carry off infants and small animals ;) . BUT you learn to adapt, improvise, and overcome.

 

 

I am not going to say anything more onthe topic, i'm just going to quote a very wise man,

 

"OUTING is three-fourths of ScOUTING." William "Green Bar Bill" Hillcourt, 3rd. ed. SMHB(And yes the author of the current BSHB royally screwed up the quote. Just do the 4th grade math to figure that one out.)

 

and

 

"ScOUTING is outing!" GBB, 9th ed. BSHB and numerous speakign events.

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