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LauraT7

New badges? What would you like to see?

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Can't disagree with the notion that Sewing would likely fall short in the "want-to-have-this-badge" catergory. That being the case, perhaps if it were a required MB? Or, if the badge being required fell short with public opinion in Scouting, the at the very least, some sort of competency with sewing might be made a required part of the program...like a requirement for rank advancement?

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PB&J? Bite your tongue! OK, I know it's a different topic. I made my own sleeping bag from scratch as a teen. {Scratch is a specialty fabric, in my case nylon taffeta} Full length zipper, baffles, the works. Used purchased goose down, though. After that I hacked together a set of bicycle bags. Something like these would be more than adequate to qualify a boy for sewing, I think. Better than 100 hours of meticulous labor. However, I agree that Cooking should be eagle required. And done right...PB&J verboten!

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If my Home Economics MB (which would include the sewing, laundering and kitchen skills) won't fly, then I'd be in favor of making Cooking required, also, IF it included more kitchen cooking. Right now it is hevily tilted toward outdoor cooking, and that is great. But I've seen more than a couple Scouts who can cook fantastic camp meals but are lost in a kitchen.

 

Bob, sorry, but I disagree with your statement about the MB program. Or maybe I should say I'd like to add to it. Yes, the program is designed to expose boys to interesting topics that could become a hobby (or a career), but that shouldn't exclude the oppurtunity (maybe even the requirement) to explore life skills. I'd agree with you that much of what I suggest, and what others are saying, might better be covered as Cub Scout requirements. But they are not, in my experience (limited, I know, but I'll bet most everyone here would agree that their son did not do the sewing requirment for Wolf Scout). If they don't get it in CS, shouldn't we do what we can to help them in BS (that's Boy Scouts)?

 

And I'd go along with Saltheart's idea to make them rank requirments. Might even accomplish what I think is important better than if it were a MB.

 

Mark

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Mark,

You are welcome to disagree but it is not my statement, it is the BSAs. You can add to it for the purpose of this string but it will not change the programs purpose for merit badges. Yes, it is also to challenge the scout in order to give him increased self-confidence, but the guideline for selection of merit badges and the reason to have them is to introduce scouts to activities that could become a lifelong interest or career.

 

While I do not disagree on Cooking as an Eagle required MB , its important to realize the criteria for Eagle required badges. They are all related to the 3 aims of scouting. So although a MB area may be a personal favorite only those relating to the three aims are eligible for Eagle required. I see cooking as fitting that criteria.

 

Bob White

 

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Bob,

 

I thought about deleting the part of my sentence that said "disagree", and leaving only the phrase about "adding to your statement". I left it because I hope that it helps clarify my thought process. And I know that either way, I am not taking issue with you, but with the official reasoning behind the program. But I sincerely believe that there is more to the purpose of the MB program than career and hobby development, whether it is stated or not. I am intimately knowledgable about the requirements for Personal Management, and the text of the MB pamphlet. There is a minor emphasis in the MB on careers in finance. The vast majority of the material relate to life skills, not hobby or career development. Family Life is the same. Heck, 1st Aid is far more about a life skill than it is about a hobby or career.

 

As to the implied arguement that Home Economics (or whatever it would be called if it existed) would not support the Aims and / or Methods of Scouting, I disagree. I challenge anyone to show how knowing how to sew, wash clothes, or cook in a kitchen does not relate to at least Citizenship and Physical, Mental and Emotional Fitness, and I think it can also be shown to relate to Moral Strength and Charecter.

 

It may not be worthy of consideration because there may not be enough interest in it. That is speculation I can't argue against. Trying to would lead to speculation on my part. But one canot argue that there isn't value to the topic, nor can one argue that the topic doesn't support the Aims of Scouting.

 

Mark

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I sense that Cooking is not being threatened here so I will jump in.

 

If we were to subject ALL the current MBs to the standards of which Bob reminds us, how many would rise to the occasion? Most of them would. But...for example, Bugling? Dog Care? Fly Fishing? OK, who wouldn't like to spend the rest of their life fly fishing (I'll take a pass on the dog care). I think dsteele and Mark make good points. It may not be the career goal of Bob's dreams but for some of us, sewing (or tailoring) is a pretty fair hobby (and life skill as well). The moms who ask who I engaged to do the neat job of sewing patches on my uniform are impressed with the answer (the dads, some of them, are a little nervous). Whether a particular badge meets the criteria as Bob interprets them, well, that's up to Bob. But the rest of us are able to make equally valid judgements.

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Right from the Fact Sheets on Nationals web site:

 

A vital part of the BSA's advancement plan, the merit badge program is one of Scouting's basic character-building tools. Through participation in the program (which may begin immediately upon registration in a troop or team), a Scout acquires the kind of self-confidence that comes only from overcoming obstacles to achieve a goal. Instruction is offered in everything from animal science and public speaking to swimming and communications, providing a young man with invaluable career, physical, and interpersonal skills.

 

I only see the word career once. I don't see the word hobby. And the main purpose seems to be acquiring self-confidence. If a Scout chooses a career based on what he learned from a merit badge, then that's a perk!

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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evmori,

"Keep in mind that the main purpose of the merit badge program is to introduce scouts to areas of interest that could become a career or life long hobby." Quote from BW, were you replying to him or to me? Anyway, I thought it sounded good. I think we get the spirit of this, I was trying to be inclusive. Am I wrong?

 

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pack,

I'm agreeing with you but the response was to Bob.

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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I will need to ask for your patience. I can give you the reference for my quote but I do not have it at the office with me and you know I like to be accurate. I leave from here to a weekend canoe trip with the troop so I will not be able to rebut until late Sunday or Monday evening, but I will gladly do so then.

 

Thanks for your patience,

Bob White(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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While Bob's away, I'll respond to the hot button of mine that he pushed while I was 300 miles away helping get my council's camp through inspection.

 

Bob,(I luv ya too, man) if you don't believe sewing (and I mean more than placing badges on a shirt) is not important, please take off all your clothes and go stand in a corner. Would you want to use a parachute made by someone with no training? Sail a boat anywhere that was made by someone who met the requirement for their wolf badge? Are your tent, rain fly, sleeping bag and stuff sack sewn?

 

I remember when I was a kid, everyone had a bike. We rode them a lot. But most of us never earned bicycling merit badge. Why? Because it was hard! There was a whole lot more to it than most of us needed or wanted to know. But for some it ignited new realms of possibility. Sounds good to me!

 

Tailoring would be equally tough. Do you know how to make a double-welt pocket and have them be even on both sides of the back of your trousers? Do you know how to make a pair of trousers that don't cut you in half because no one (male or female) is shaped like a perfect V? That's a big part of tailoring.

 

As for textiles -- few take it, but it's a huge industry. Textiles has to do with the manufacturing and composition of fabric. It's also not an easy merit badge.

 

I'll admit I'm a little biased (also a sewing term for those in the know :) I've made several dresses for my wife, some trousers for myself, and several (meaning more than 20) full to king sized quilts. One quilt involved over 14,000 one inch square pieces all sewin together by hand. If someone asks me for a pair of scissors I ask them what they're planing to cut. If it's paper, they get the left or right handed cheap scissors from the drawer in the kitchen. If it's fabric, I need to know what they're doing -- do they need applique scissors, bent-handled dressmakers, pinking shears, thread snips, or something else. If you don't know what any of those terms I used are, then sewing merit badge would have helped.

 

Some may ask why a Scout would need to know what pinking shears are. Well, if you're ever a leader at a district event and have to cut off the troop flag ribbons at a certain level and don't want them to fray . . . you need the zig-zaggy scissor things -- called pinking shears.

 

Now that I'm done venting, I'm going upstairs to look at the swatches I ordered and figure out what my summer sewing project is going to be . . .

 

DS (laughingly.)

 

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I knew what pinking shears were!!

 

So nobody likes the idea of the boys making their own uniform? Just close your eyes and see it. It's a thing of beauty.

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My mom is a remarkable seamstress, so I've picked up more sewing by osmosis than most people ever learn. I, too, know what pinking shears are for. I'm also the one who cut all the pieces for our den flag on the bias so they will lay flat.

 

Sewing and other domestic skills would be a good addition to the Scouting arsenal. Whether it relates to a hobby or an exercise in character building doesn't matter.

 

This year I had my Webelos den make their own red felt patch vests. I made a pattern and market it on the felt with tailor's chalk (yes, I know what that is, too). The boys cut the pattern, pinned the shoulder seams so that it fit them and then sewed the seams. Sure, it was only two, three-inch straight seams, but it was a great sewing project. I was a bit worried that the boys would think it a sissy project, but they really got into it and were proud that they had made something the can wear. I'm surprised how many of the guys still wear their vests to pack meetings. I was also surprised how many of the parents at the meeting were clueless as to how to sew, moms and dads alike. Most could hardly thread the needle.

 

I got textiles MB way back when, but don't remember much about it other than it was manufacturing oriented. Textiles is (or was)a big industry in our area so it wasn't an uncommon MB. At one time cooking was an Eagle-required MB. We always earned the two together at summer camp. I believe it was dropped from the required list in the 1973 cultural revolution . Camping was also dropped then, but was put back on the required list a few years later.

 

 

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