Peronal Fitness

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Peronal Fitness

Postby jac0033 » Mon Jul 30, 2007 9:25 pm

Two of our scouts took Personal Fitness Merit Badge at our most recent summer camp. They each completed the badge in 5 hours, not 5 days, not 5 weeks, not 5 months, but in 5 hours!!! I was bit taken back when I saw the blue cards returned with the counselor's signature and passed written on the card. I fully expected the scouts to get a partial because of the time requirements.

I did not have a chance to talk to the counselor before we left camp, but I know neither scout had started this badge before camp. We had other scouts taking Cycling and they were well aware that they would not be completing the badge at camp. I thought the same would happen with Personal Fitness.

Any thoughts on what I should do? I know that you can not add or subtract from the requirements, but in this case I see that some were subtracted. It is not fair to other scouts that really have to work hard for 12 weeks at least to complete this badge.

Again any thoughts or comments would be appreciated.
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Postby Mrw » Mon Jul 30, 2007 10:02 pm

At a bare minimum, complain to the camp about it. the counselor should not have signed off if the boys did not bring proof of their 12 weeks work-out/exercise program.
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Postby jac0033 » Mon Jul 30, 2007 10:09 pm

Mrw, this was at Manatoc, I will talk to the Director. Is there anything else I should do. I'm pretty sure that I can not challenge the counselor, if he feels that the scouts met the requirement then I should accept his decision. Am I right in thinking this way?
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Postby WeeWillie » Tue Jul 31, 2007 12:52 am

Clearly a 12 week PT program can not be completd in 5 hours. The 12 week PT Program Chart should have been returned with the blue card upon checkout.

It may be a simple clerical error. Regardless, a Scout should not accept a badge or award that he did not earn whether or not the merit badge counselor made a mistake or not.

The other possible situation is cheating.

A Scout is Trustworthy is fundemental to both situations. In older versions of the Scout Handbook, violation of the 1st Point of the Scout Law could result in a scout being directed to hand over his Scout Badge.
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Postby Mrw » Tue Jul 31, 2007 8:16 am

jac0033 wrote:Mrw, this was at Manatoc, I will talk to the Director. Is there anything else I should do. I'm pretty sure that I can not challenge the counselor, if he feels that the scouts met the requirement then I should accept his decision. Am I right in thinking this way?


I always see a couple Personal Fitness partials from Manatoc (we go there too). The only completed blue card I got from there is a boy who I know did the appropriate work beforehand.

What do the boys have to say about it?
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Postby smtroop168 » Tue Jul 31, 2007 11:17 am

I agree that this needs to be brought to the Camp Director's attention. There are probably other scouts that this situation applies to.

Technically, if the approved counselor signed it as completed, it's completed.

Realistically, talk to the scout and get their side of the situation. I have had scouts "withdraw" their blue cards until they felt they had completed the requirements.

I had scouts do this one at summer camp and made sure they had their prereqs done before they went to camp.
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Postby Fibonacci » Tue Jul 31, 2007 12:20 pm

I have had scouts "withdraw" their blue cards until they felt they had completed the requirements.

As Adv Chair, I've had discussions with Scouts who received a completed blue card at Summer Camp when I know that they did not complete the work. I hold the blue cards as partials until the requirements are really complete.

No Scout has ever wanted to receive a merit badge when he realizes that he actually did NOT complete all the requirements. One Scout learned that he had not completed the requirements for Hiking MB (before my time ~ no one, including the counselor, had read the MB pamphlet!) and was absolutely horrified. He took the patch off of his sash immediately.
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Postby lifescoutforlife » Tue Jul 31, 2007 12:46 pm

I have seen were they hold a signed blue card until the scout caught the 2 fish that was one of the requirements. No one had any problems with that.
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Postby RMM » Tue Jul 31, 2007 1:20 pm

In addition to having a discussion with the camp director, you may wish to notify the Council Advancement Committee of this situation. The Counicl Advancement Committee should have approved all MBCs before the start of camp. The Council may wish to remove this MBC from the approved list of MBCs.

What a mess. Good luck.

I am very impressed with the discussions of scouts holding of on receiving the MB until they have earned it. Speaks highly of character and trustworthy.
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Postby maricopasem » Tue Jul 31, 2007 2:01 pm

If everyone accepts A Scout is Trustworthy as a basic tenet of Scouting, why doesn't anyone give the counselor the benefit of the doubt? This feels like the modern-day equivalent of "shoot first and ask questions later."

You ought to talk to the Scouts and counselor first before you throw this individual under the proverbial bus with nothing but jumped-to conclusions as evidence of wrongdoing. Remember, a Scout is also courteous.

And as a possible explanation as to why the counselor signed off: if these Scouts had participated in a P.E. class or played a season of a sport, perhaps he counted those towards the requirements.
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Postby RMM » Tue Jul 31, 2007 2:42 pm

maricopasem wrote:If everyone accepts A Scout is Trustworthy as a basic tenet of Scouting, why doesn't anyone give the counselor the benefit of the doubt? This feels like the modern-day equivalent of "shoot first and ask questions later."

You ought to talk to the Scouts and counselor first before you throw this individual under the proverbial bus with nothing but jumped-to conclusions as evidence of wrongdoing. Remember, a Scout is also courteous.

And as a possible explanation as to why the counselor signed off: if these Scouts had participated in a P.E. class or played a season of a sport, perhaps he counted those towards the requirements.


noted.. Maybe I am too cynical...however stated in orig post, the boys had not started working on the badge before camp.

Requirement 8

Complete the physical fitness program you outlined in requirement 7. Keep a log of your fitness program activity (how long you exercised; how far you ran, swam, or biked; how many exercise repetitions you completed; your exercise heart rate; etc.). Repeat the aerobic fitness, muscular strength, and flexibility tests every two weeks and record your results. After the 12th week, repeat all four tests, record your results, and show improvement in each one. Compare and analyze your preprogram and postprogram body composition measurements. Discuss the meaning and benefit of your experience, and describe your long-term plans regarding your personal fitness.

If the scouts had been keeping a log, the results of the tests done at every two weeks, then PE would count. I have seen too many MBCs sign off cards with a wink and nod of the head saying "you did this, right"
Last edited by RMM on Tue Jul 31, 2007 5:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby mt_goodrich » Tue Jul 31, 2007 3:42 pm

Had similiar situation.

Three boys took Camping Merit badge and got signed blue cards. All three boys have only been on two camp outs before this summer camp.

Follow up with camp director indicated that it was a clerical error (they had implemented a new computer system at camp).

We got it fixed up and corrected. Partials were issued.
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Postby WVBeaver05 » Tue Jul 31, 2007 9:28 pm

I sometimes get the impression that Camps feel pressure to have Scouts complete MBs at camp. I have heard adults complaining because so and so didn't complete the badge. I have had discussions with a couple of our parents about the same thing. When I got out the requirements and showed where they could not have possibly completed the requirements, they let it drop (although I am not sure they weren't still a bit annoyed).

I think this approach is clearly wrong. The Scouts have to complete the requirements before they have "earned" the badge.

As others have mentioned, I applaud those Scouts who defer receiving a MB until they have actually earned it. However, I would point out that they should have read the requirements before starting and should know what they have and haven't completed.

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Postby jac0033 » Wed Aug 01, 2007 12:15 am

Thanks for all the useful information. I will talk to the scouts and to the camp. Hopefully this will not happen in the future.

As many have mentioned, the scout should read the book before actually working on the requirements. I always ask the scout if they have read the book, if they have not, then I ask them if they have any questions about the subject. I will answer questions if they have them and then tell them- go back and read the book.

Thanks again!
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