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Scouter.

Air Conditioned Eagle Encampment

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The problem as I see it is,as most scouters would attest, most MB's done at camp are done quickly, simplistically, and NOT very throughly . They are usually done by a camp staffer who is not qualified to be a MBC,under 18yo, and it is just a matter of checking off on a list with minimal effort on the part of the scout, as the scouts in my old troop used to tell me. Academic MB's can be better done, and should be done at home with some real effort on the part of the scout under the guidance of a qualified MBC. It is bad enough that the BSA almost gives away the Eagle Badge these days, allowing subpar Eagle Projects, fudging on the requirements, allowing MB mills at summer camp, etc., etc.

 

It is really unfair and unethical to the boys who really put a strong dedicated effort into obtaining the Eagle to have them see other scouts slide by with minimum effort, who get all their MB's at camp ten at a time, who paint a bench or pick up weeds at a park for their Eagle Project be given the same award. Now we are going to turn boy scout camps into residential schools with seperate facilities so they can sit on their as#es all day. This style of camp is almost laughable if it wasn't so sad. BP and Bill Hillcourt must be turning over in their graves.

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Just because something is allowed doesn't necessarily make it a great idea. Nor is it really fair to post on a forum where it is typical for people to provide lots of different views, and then tell them to take their negative ideas elsewhere when you don't agree. Really.

 

If I were running this program in Florida in June or July, I would want to run it in an air conditioned facility, too. Thing is, I wouldn't be running it, and I wouldn't be encouraging my scouts to participate in it. That's me. Others (clearly) may see it in a different light.

 

As for the badges themselves - I'm not totally thrilled with some of the requirements for these seat-work badges, but I do think some of them are reasonable and sadly, maybe necessary, considering that schools around here pay little attention to these subjects, and even when they do - it tends to be homogenized and cursory. And as someone who teaches political science at the college level, let me assure you that very few college students learned much about world events in high school, and practically none of them learn about local government in high school. I am not exaggerating. These subjects are not covered by standardized tests and so are not taught.

 

Suppose that we accept for a moment the basic necessity of ALL of these badges - I still don't like the "group work" environment of a merit badge weekend to do them. Lots of boys do communications, cit in community, and family life at summer camps and special MB weekends around here. They're a joke. You cannot engage in a meaningful way with the material, in a crowd of boys over a 3 hour period (I am not saying that this particular program that Scouter. references has 3-hour periods - just an example, folks.) Watching a video of a town council meeting that happened 10 years ago (a common practice at one camp for the cit in community and communications badges) is no substitute for attending a real meeting about issues that are actually current and possibly relevant. Talking about the nature of fatherhood (family life) in a group of 30 pre-teen adn teen boys is really just begging for sniggers and off-color comments. So I really despise the group settings for these, because they are prone to misuse and rob the badges of whatever meaning they could have.

 

At a minimum, if a boy has to do these badges on an individual basis, there's a chance that real thought and real conversation of meaning and depth will occur. No guarantees, but still more likely than in a herd of other teen age boys.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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"The new 'Cupcake Scouting' (Kudu's term)"

 

My original reference was to Camping Merit Badge requirement 9b, which made OPTIONAL, the required Webelos III backpacking trip, and replaced it with NON-CAMPING ALTERNATIVES for Eagles who hate camping.

 

One of the "modern" alternatives to traditional backwoods camping was a "float trip," which everyone should agree is best accomplished floating downstream on an inner tube while eating cupcakes. :)

 

Now any indoor boy can add "Eagle Scout" to his business resume without ever walking into the woods with a pack on his back!

 

"The MBs they work on for this one are:

Citizenship in the Community

Citizenship in the Nation

Citizenship in the World

Communications

Family Life

Personal Management"

 

So what do any of these "required" badges have to with the game of Scouting, as it was understood by the outdoor game's inventor Baden-Powell?

 

Academic subjects are what B-P defines as the exact opposite of Scouting, in his essays on "Education versus Instruction."

 

Citizenship is B-P's aim, but it is the sweaty outdoor citizenship of his Patrol System, where the art of accomplishing common goals is learned through the struggle of regular Patrol Hikes without "adult association."

 

Perhaps an alternative to Air Conditioned Indoor Eagles is to compromise in the spirit of Camping Merit Badge requirement 9b: Allow boys who hate classroom stuff as much as B-P, the option to learn citizenship, communication, and personal management as Baden-Powell intended, through the "Real" Patrol Method of unsupervised eight mile Patrol Hikes.

 

Simply add a "9b" to every Indoor Merit Badge so that Outdoor Boy Scouts can go camping instead!

 

Until that day, if we must force Scouts to endure, in the name of Fake Scouting, what all red-blooded American boys hate, what all red-blooded American boys have always hated, and what all red-blooded American boys will continue to hate until the end of time, what is wrong with air-conditioning in Central Florida?

 

Camping season in the sub-tropics is winter, not summer:

 

http://www.youtube.com/user/At300Feet

 

Yours at 300 feet,

 

Kudu

http://kudu.net

 

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IMHO, Lisabob is dead on with regard to the experience the scout gets in a group setting vs. a more individual experience. As an example, I was working on Personal Fitness with a scout today that I hadn't had much interaction with previously. As expected, it took a bit to get him to open up, but after 40 minutes of having an engaging two-way discussion, we had only gotten through the first 2 requirements. That kind of interaction isn't likely to happen in a group setting in the general case, which can cheat a boy out of a possible connection with an adult and out of a discussion that could have an impact down the road.

 

 

 

 

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Well now the air conditioning thing makes sense.

 

 

I don't like merit badge boot camps, which is exactly what this is.....

 

 

momof2cubs......this is a rich boys short cut to eagle. It is also a lazy parents way out.....Take drop them off Sunday afternoon and then pick them up Saturday afternoon....bang 6 eagle required merit badges.....

 

It is Thrifty time wise.....very efficient.....But in the same way you don't make a great meal in a microwave, I believe we don't make great Eagles this way either. It is the journey that imparts what is most treasured in an Eagle.

 

A 13 or 14 year old Eagle views his Eagle much differently than a 17 year old Eagle...

 

This is my experience.

 

The 14 year old will talk about his Eagle....

 

The 17 year old will talk about his camping trips, Philmont, canoeing or funny stuff that has happened.

 

So mom......take your foot off the accelerator of son's scouting career and let them grow into a man during their scouting career.

 

14 and done eagles have not been scouts long enough to really make a lasting impact in their lives.

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I admit, most of the 13 and 14 YO Eagles do quit, and miss out on a lot of fun. My cousin was like that, got Eagle at 13 and quit. I may have spent 5 years as a Life Scout, BUT OH WHAT A TRIP IT WAS!!!!!!!!!! ( and that's me shouting with joy at all the memories ;)

 

At the moment, I can only think of four young Eagles didn't quit Scouting. 3 were involved in the OA, one of the three was also a Venturer, and one did leave the troop when his family moved, and promptly joined a Sea Scout Ship after relocating.

 

I take that back, there was a 5th I saw, but I think he was forced to stay b/c granddad was SM and dad was ASM.

 

 

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Well, thank for the stereotype Basement. Just because I see value in spending a week in the summer concentrating on academic type MBs doesn't make a lazy parent nor my son a lazy scout.

 

I have NO idea how long it will take him to make Eagle; or even IF he will. I suspect he doesn't know either.

 

I worked my butt off with both my sons during their cub scout years and SO DID THEY. Whether that will continue once they cross over is up to them, but even after carefully reading the opinion of several people here, I see nothing wrong with this approach. If it is an option around here, I will suggest it to him. Doesn't mean he won't also do outside activities.

 

Just because you spend a week in A/C classroom doesn't mean you won't spend another (or 2 or 3 or 4) outside hiking, climbing, swimming, biking, camping, cooking, or shooting. The academic stuff, for better or for worse, is REQUIRED to make the rank. All this is doing is giving some scouts the resources to get it done. It doesn't mean they won't do anything else outside. And honestly, it is somewhat insulting to imply that this is the "lazy, rich" way.

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I took a look at the flyer they have. This is the first pagraph, on page 2

 

Following a very successful inaugural event in 2008, this is the Councils ultimate camp for advancement and Scouting knowledge. Six merit badges required for Eagle Scout are offered this week, plus in-depth information about service projects, NESA, paperwork and many other important details needed for obtaining the highest award in Scouting. This in an intensive week, thus, Scouts should be aware that all of the merit badges offered at camp require work done outside of camp to complete. In order to have the merit badges completed at camp, work done prior to camp must be brought to camp along with properly filled out partial merit badge blue cards. If prior work has not been completed, partial work will be credited at conclusion of camp. Blue cards will not be issued at the conclusion of Eagle Encampment. Instead, official accomplishment documents will be provided to each participant which should be provided to each units advancement chairman to ensure the participant receives proper credit at the Troop level.

 

Then latter on the following is found:

 

Prerequisites explained sorry for the wordiness this is important:

Prerequisites are the requirements which wont be covered at camp and these items must be completed prior to arrival at camp. In the cases where the Scout comes to camp with a partial merit badge, if the camps merit badge counselor needs to review or endorse previously completed work, the Scout must present a legible, partially completed merit badge blue card to instructor(s) on day one of each applicable merit badge. All previous work on merit badges must be completed with a Council-approved merit badge counselor - - no exceptions. A council wide approved counselor list will be used by each of the Eagle Encampments merit badge instructors to review partial merit badges; please be sure previously utilized merit badge counselors are on the Councils list. In the event of questions, please include a legible and current phone number for previous merit badge counselors used to enable corroboration if required. All participants will be provided with a Council approved progress report from Troopmaster. Following Eagle Encampment, the Troopmaster report should be given to the participants advancement chairman by the participant. The Eagle Encampment staff will not send or issue participants results to anyone except the participant on June 22, 2012. The Eagle Encampment Troopmaster report will take the place of blue cards. Blue cards will not be issued by Eagle Encampment. As a reminder, Scouts have until the day before their 18th birthday to complete partial merit badges.

 

 

So, they are very clear you have to do work before you get there. You don't show up with nothing done and get the merit badges in a week. There is prework that must get done and they are pretty insistent about it.

 

Continuing on you find the following:

 

The Eagle Encampment is not simply a merit badge camp; if participants are interested in earning their merit badges, then this is the place to go. Participants will not earn merit badges just for showing up and to be clear, the adults volunteering this week are not running a baby-sitting service. Each candidate is expected to take the necessary time to complete all required pre-requisites before coming to camp. The opportunity for significant progress on the Trail to Eagle is possible for those who remain focused on the objectives. Distractions from those not focused on objectives will not be tolerated; therefore, un-Scout-like behavior is not acceptable. There is a zero tolerance for any activity which violates the Scout Oath, Law, Slogan or Motto.

 

 

This is not a show up on Sunday and get the merit badges on Saturday. There is the Air Conditioned part of the equation that I am unsure about, but the literaure specifically says :

 

This program is not designed to replace the normal troop summer camp activity and Scouts are encouraged to attend camp with their troop on a different week.

 

So, its a way to get the academic merit badges in an academic setting. I am not so sure this is as terrible as its being made out to be

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mom you see the value....but is it scout sons free choice??????

 

 

As a parent......Is it easier to drop scout son off sunday and pick him up saturday with all badges earned or haul him back and forth to meet with merit badge councilors?????

 

My parents cannot afford two resident camps per year, so given the choice is a 15 year old going to chose this or an outdoor camp???

 

I think my comparison between a microwaved meal and this are very fair.

 

You don't go to a 5 star restaurant and get microwaved food nor do we turn out quality eagles by jamming merit badges together in a boot camp, just to get them out of the way.

(This message has been edited by Basementdweller)

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OGE;

 

I am with you, as may be noted earlier. Sometimes I just do not understand where some of the comments on the Forum are coming from, especially if the individuals are actually active Scouters. Many are too lazy to actually look at the material before making rash comments and judgments. As you quoted, they are NOT putting on a 4 hour quick get. This appears to be a well planned, and high expectation event.

 

My experience locally on those events is colored by my first experience with one where I had some scouts thinking they they would finish a badge, just because they went. When I explained that was likely not possible for most, I was made aware of the "giveaway" that was then being done on a few critical badges. When I challenged it, I initially met with resistance, but soon found other leaders also were concerned. Now, other than fingerprinting, no badges are gimme's at these activities, and most scouts complete only one or two requirements if no prior work was done. It is then contingent on them to follow up with the counselor. Of course many do not, as evidenced by how few have come to me after for ones I introduced a year ago.

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Thanks Scouter for the link--it really helps a lot.

 

I think Kudu is right--even with the prerequisite warnings on partials--this sure smells like cupcakes baking. The only thing they left off was "and we'll your name on the side of the trailer".

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Sure it is easier!! And so what? That doesn't mean I am shrinking my responsibilities! And I have NO idea if it would be my son's choice. I said I would ENCOURAGE him to attend, not MAKE him attend.

 

OGE posted some additional information regarding this particular camp, and it sounds even better to me. It seems that they prepare, give information, counsel, and advice scouts on what it takes to make that final journey in addition to helping them FINISH their academic MBs. As OGE said, it is very clear that there is some pre-work to get done, which no doubt would require me to drive son around before hand anyway.

 

As far as the cost goes, I have NO idea what this costs or whether I could afford both. So your argument is that if it costs more, scouts have to choose. That's the case for EVERYTHING in scouting. Philmont or Jambo? White water rafting trip or shooting trip? Skying trip or climbing trip? Summer camp or food on the table? You ALWAYS have to choose.

 

And honestly guys, I sure do wish you would stop using the term cupcake. It is really insulting.

 

 

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