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Air Conditioned Eagle Encampment

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We all come from many walks in Scouting, I am sure. What is most amazing to me is that based on purely opinion, which was expressed, that the program is an easy-way to Eagle.

Points-of-fact, first while endorsed by the council and run as a council program, it is entirely volunteer led. 45 Adult volunteers on average year. Average attendance 75 boys. Program originated approximately 18 years ago in a slightly different form at Camp La No Che, called Eagle Week by an Eagle Scout/Silver Beaver as a special program run during regular Summer Camp at Camp La No Che, focused toward boys who were usually older and needed to work on their Eagle Required MBs.

 

It was revised in 2008 and a new, scandalous name of Air Conditioned Eagle Encampment was erected, by 3 volunteers from the prior iteration of the program to include the A/C element and slightly re-organized, as it was concluded by consensus that working on any academic, school book, or (whatever you'd like to call merit badges that do not have outdoor components to them), in the outdoors at the end of July in Central Florida was just stupid.

 

So the 3 volunteers revised and reorganized the program to include air conditioning, as a practical use that's been around for quite a few years in the United States they'd heard. The 3 primary volunteers heading this revamp up were all Wood Badge Trained, All 3 Silver Beavers, two are Eagle Scouts, all have been to Philmont at least once and the Program Director has been led Philmont Council Contingents or Troop Treks 5 times in the last 15 years. None are interested at all in an easy ride to Eagle, for any boy. And all constantly promote the outdoor program in the Central Florida Council, their district, and the local Troop-level, in the form of Camping, Hiking and Backpacking regularly.

 

What the aim in Eagle Encampment and it's predecessor was just to have a solid and professional opportunity for any boy in Scouting to experience a very focused week, that requires a lot of pre-requisites to arrive at camp with, and required participation in the teaching environment to work on Eagle Required merit badges. Add to that, the goal to make sure the boys didn't have a 15 year old teaching them Citizenship in the World. So they went out and recruited qualified counselors for each merit badge. Volunteers that were actually merit badge counselors vetted to teach the specific merit badges at Eagle Encampment. Professionals in the community engaged in things like financial planning and accounting to be involved in teaching/counseling Personal Management effectively. State and Federal Judges involved in the Citizenship merit badges. You understand the difference and purpose here, I'm sure.

 

The impact the opportunity has on advancement is undoubtedly huge. But no Scout shows up and just gets a merit badge, like many merit badge factories as can often be found at quite a few summer camps. They have to earn it on their own. They are provided opportunities to experience the presentations and interact with qualified professionals, and the Scouts prepared pre-requisites. The boys while at camp choose to engage in, or not at their discretion. They never have it handed to them, EVER!

 

I'm sure we all can have a differing opinion on a lot of things, A/C Eagle Encampment is a solid program for the boys. If it were possible to have you talk to boys that have gone through the program in today's "privacy concerned" society, I could give you countless examples of the honest-to-goodness excellence the program is. But suffice to say, it's a hard driven week that most of the boys look back at with great accomplishment, at all the relationships gleaned, knowledge gained, works completed and fun and camaraderie experienced.

 

I read all the comments and replies and I know where you're coming from and don't disagree in many points, but to pick on this program without your carcass having actually witnessed the excellence of the program is honestly just funny. That's the truth, not an opinion. Feel free to schedule some time at the program this next year, Air Conditioned Eagle Encampment will be running it's 8th Annual in 2015, June14th - June 19th. See you there so you can quit whining. You might learn your opinion has no connection to reality in this case.

 

YIS - SS

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I lived in FL for 10 years. We did not camp much from Mothers day through labor day. It really isn't comfortable when the other 9 months are. A lot of units went out of council to the mid atlantic mountains or mid west for summer camp since it doesn't get as hot or as humid.

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I agree with blake.......100%

 

 

This purely a short cut too eagle and a money making venture for your council.

 

Sean have you actually read the merit badge program literature????? I invite you to do so.

 

http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/BoyScouts/GuideforMeritBadgeCounselors/MBCounselorGuide.aspx

 

http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/GuideToAdvancement/TheMeritBadgeProgram.aspx

 

http://meritbadge.org/wiki/index.php/Merit_Badge_Counselor_Orientation

 

If you read the material, there is much more than simply working a check list. Time management, association with adults, on and on.

 

 

If the merit badge has become nothing more than a check list or hurdle to be jumped. I feel pity for your scouts. It is an adventure and chalk full of new and interesting experiences.

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A rose by any other name is still a rose.....

 

If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck....

 

:)

 

I'm with BD, it's the journey, not the destination that makes Scouting valuable.

 

Stosh

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Agree 100% a total waste of money. All the meat has to done as a prerequisite so all you are doing is talking with a MBC at camp. That can be done at Starbucks and the coffee is better. Two from our troop went this year at our council and I asked the parents why? The response was "it puts a deadline on them". So there you have the real answer. They are scouts who have had their entire existence scheduled out for them so now they don't know how to do it the themselves. Great Eagles these will make. This totally subverts the purposes of the MB program. There was a trail to eagle seminar at the camp that the district provides free 4 times a year and a mock EBOR that if I recall correctly the GTA highly discourages. Pick up the freaking phone! You have unlimited minutes!

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Oh it is not a waste of money For those working the check list instead of the journey, it is the height of efficiency.

 

A while ago on Bryan on scouting there was a link posted to a private website about getting your scout to eagle. It was absolutely tore to shreds by those who understand the program and praised by mom's looking for the short cuts. These sorts of camps, merit badge days and mock eagle board of reviews were all hailed as solid solutions. The traditionalist, saw and explained the flaws. The best part I believe it was a woodbadge ticket item

 

 

So how do you want your eagle candidate? With very practiced schooled answers? or answering honestly and spontaneously from the heart?

 

if you said practiced schooled answers, what are you afraid of? If you have any doubt then your BOY doesn't need to wear the patch.

 

 

The link was taken down and the names of the authors removed within about 8 hours of being posted.

 

I said it before and will say it again.

 

 

Eagle is worthless as a measure of a boy or the quality of his scouting experience. Too many adults, either well meaning or otherwise involved in the program to make it anything but objective.

  • Upvote 1

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I wonder what the National Advancement Committee would think of:

 

$275 fee

Requiring scouts to be first class

Requiring scouts to be 13

Requiring uniforms

Requiring an interview

"Blue cards will not be utilized"

 

Add to requirements much?

 

SeanScott1: Its not the A/C. Its the wrong place for these merit badges. period.

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BD, It's a shame your influence bar is full and I can't like your post more then once because I totally would.

 

I'll do my best to expand on what you said. Eagle exists because it's a journey Scouts will strive for. The JOURNEY TO EAGLE is what matters, not the actual Eagle award. The experiences and quality of program the Scout gets makes the young man, not a badge or a medal. Earning Eagle is the means to an end, and far too many parents and Scouters don't realize this and ROB THEIR SCOUTS of the real point of Scouting in the process.

 

Sentinel947

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So you cannot have a class for eagle merit badges? and the issue is that kids need to be outdoors to get these merit badges? We have an MBU at our counsel (merit badge university). where kids can take 3 merits badges over a course of 3 weekends spanning a month. These may be eagle required. one weekend is to alllow the scout time to perform the non-classroom items on the MB requirement. This is held at a school where facilities like a full kitchen are available, feilds for aviation, rockets, track for athletics.

 

I dont think providing a scout time and facilities to learn is a bad thing. This is not required but it is made available.

 

edit -- my son took all 3 citiznships last year. at the MBU. completed 2 still working on his third. it not like if the requirements are not met they get the badge.

 

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The nice thing about being a Scouter is one never ages out. Too bad there are boys out there that don't have that same outlook.

 

I had one boy in my troop that aged out during his senior year of high school. He did earn his Eagle. He then took SM leader training and WB that year and when he graduated he was 19 years old and had all the training for whatever came next.

 

Recently he started dating a nice gal and I gave him the hassle of her not being an Eagle scout. He said he didn't worry about that, her father and 3 older brothers were all Eagles and she was president of her Venturing Crew working on whatever awards they had to offer. I wonder if they ever had kids they'd be born with a fleur-de-lis birthmark.

 

By the way,.... he thought NYLT was a total waste of time and energy, but he did love the GBB material.

 

Stosh

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From an email I received back from the advancement team regarding the minimum age, rank requirements, etc: (I bolded for emphasis)

 

"The Central Florida Council provides this camping experience and has stated the criteria for a Scout to attend. This is not adding to the requirements for a rank or merit badge. Scouts are not required to attend this camp; the council is merely providing an opportunity to earn the merit badges being offered in their program. This doesn’t prevent a Scout for obtaining a contact from his unit leader for a merit badge he wishes to work on. In other words, the merit badges being offered at this camp can also be acquired with an approved merit badge counselor."

 

Guess which merit badge counselor is considering criteria to use before a scout can attend his "class"?

 

Scout lawyering indeed....

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...

edit -- my son took all 3 citiznships last year. at the MBU. completed 2 still working on his third. it not like if the requirements are not met they get the badge.

 

Seems odd to me to throw dimes down on these particular MBs.

Did he think the counselors in his neighborhood were inferior?

 

I'm not against classes indoors. As a scout I went to MB pow-wows on a local college science department -- the counselors were professors; and the opportunities, great. I could understand "citizenship camp" at a national monument during a reenactment week or where the instructor was a judge or ambassador or retired general or something ... and the boys might actually hike over to a hall and observe a hearing, I could also see camp staff who are scouts from another country teaching 'World under the CD's supervision.

 

But, IMHO, there has to be a point to it. Something more than mere convenience for the scout and his parents.

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