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National Outdoor Challenge Application

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I was looking over the National Outdoor Challenge application to see if our troop could earn this award.

 

Requirement #5. The troop earned at least one outdoors-related merit badge per Scout.

 

Is this an average, or does each individual have to earn at least one of the designated merit badges? "The troop" suggests to me that it is an average, so if some of our guys earn several MBs from "the list" it will compensate for those who earn none. This would also help in the instance when you have guys in your troop who've already earned all the MBs on "the list".

 

"The list" of qualifying Merit Badges: Backpacking, Camping, Canoeing, Climbing, Cooking, Cycling, Emergency Preparedness, Environmental Science, First Aid, Fish and Wildlife Management, Fishing, Fly-fishing, Forestry, Hiking, Lifesaving, Orienteering, Pioneering, Rowing, Scuba, Snow Sports, Soil and Water Conservation, Swimming, Water Sports, and Whitewater.

 

Why not - Archery, Astronomy, Athletics, Bird Study, Gardening, Golf, Horsemanship, Insect Study, Mammal Study, Motorboating, Nature, Oceanography, Personal Fitness, Reptile and Amphibian Study, Rifle Shooting, Shotgun Shooting, Small Boat Sailing, Sports, Surveying, Wilderness Survival?

 

The application I have is from 2010, so maybe national would, or wouldn't, have listed Geocaching and Kayaking.

 

Anyone out there ever just decided they'd use these other obvious choices and say "done" with it?

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Our troop's never bothered with it, but I would ...

 

Give the application to the SPL and have them ask the PLC what they think the right interpretation is.

 

What do they think is better for the troop?

Do they think it would be right to bend the rules because so-and-so has 10 badges from list "B" and none from none from the official list?

Do they care, or would they rather just go fly-fishing?

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>

 

 

Interesting question.

 

"The list" starts out with Merit Badges that actually require you to get off your behind to earn them. Unfortunately, it then includes a bunch that can be earned sitting down.

 

Personally, I don't see much distinction between the list and your list.

 

My interpretation would be that each Scout would have to earn one or more Merit Badges from the list, however.

 

However, unit leaders run their programs. If I had a good reason for substituting a Merit Badge from your list to one on the list, I'd very likely do it.

 

I might also consider using 'the list' and limiting the Merit Badges there to ones that require you to get off your behind.

 

I've sorta gotten over the idea that BSA knows best for all units and Scouts. I think that role is best filled by a good Scoutmaster, not BSA in most cases.

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We earned that award last year. I knew it was going to be a challenge this year, for the same reason; having each scout earn one of those badges. WIth some scouts almost done, and a whole scad of new scouts, this is the wrong year to try to push 52 merit badges.

 

At the first of the year, I put it to the PLC and told them if they wanted it, they had to go get it.

 

meh

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I like qwazes advice, though of course the adults may chat with the PLC about their interpretation and make sure it's appropriate and all that.

 

Personally, I'd read the requirement as the troop averaging one MB per scout. If it was supposed to be each scout earning one MB, then I'd expect the requirement to be worded as "Requirement #5. Each scout in the troop earned at least one outdoors-related merit badge." rather than "at least one outdoors-related merit badge per Scout."

 

It would be awfully difficult to expect every single Scout to meet a bar like that. I mean, how do you account for the guy who just joined last month? He hasn't earned any MBs yet, he's still working on Tenderfoot.

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>

 

 

I continue to suggest that Scoutmasters run their programs, not BSA. I'd consider it perfectly reasonable to decide that you have X, Y and Z Scouts at a particular moment and that you have earned the award when X, Y and Z Scouts have obtained the required Merit Badges, even if A, B and C Scouts have joined the troop in the mean time.

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Well, in looking over the application, for Requirement 5, it asks for "Number of registered Scouts" and "Total outdoor MB earned" so I'm pretty certain they meant it as an average. But, it raises another question. Do you only count MBs earned during the year? I'd assume so, but if you have a bunch of older scouts who've already earned a bunch of outdoor MBs (and maybe aren't interested in Fly-fishing, Forestry and Cycling)...

 

Whatever the interpretation, getting the Scouts thinking about those MB sounds like a good idea.

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I think the interpretation should be that each scout earns at least 1. If my son's troop were to go by the suggested criteria of an average of 1 per scout then the troop has earned the award based on my son's efforts alone. He has earned 15 MBs on the approved list and 11 on the substitute list, there are 9 active scouts in his troop. I think offering this award to the troop based on that number would be a disservice to the spirit of the award.(This message has been edited by Eaglemom2b)

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