FAmily Life

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FAmily Life

Postby Scoutmom » Wed Sep 29, 2004 6:44 am

Good morning,
I am starting a Family Life badge for our troop this week- 40+ boys. i have the requirements and will begin with communication skills, the inportance of family meetings etc, Any advice on coordinating such a large group?
Have any of you taught this merit badge- what can i engage the boys in other than tracking their chores?
Thanks scoutmom.
Scoutmom
 

Postby Guneukitschik » Wed Sep 29, 2004 7:15 am

I've found that breaking a large group up into smaller groups of around 5 or so. Then give each group a task and have them report back to the main group. Each group can all be working on the same requirement....it will allow the boys to see that there may be different "correct" answers for the same thing. I would try and keep the meetings short as well....in a large group it's harder to concentrate.
GOOD LUCK.
Guneukitschik
 

Postby commish3 » Wed Sep 29, 2004 2:40 pm

I don't mean to ask an inappropriate question or post in the wrong area. but Scoutmom's question makes me wonder a few things.

While I am all for group instruction on some merit badges that lend themselves to it such as rifle, as the counselor you are required to test each scout individually on each requirement. How will you do that with a group of 40 for this merit badge?

What value will group activitities have if each is required to do his own independent work?

Did all forty scouts really ask to earn this badge, or did someone decide for them that this is the badge everyone was going to earn?

Are all Eagle required badges being fed to the scouts in such a way?

What about the scouts who are not interested in this merit badge yet or have already earned it, is there an alternate scout activity for them?

I hope you don't mind me asking, its just that I am having difficulty seeing how this fits the program methods and mission.

Thanks,
commish3
 

Postby Guneukitschik » Wed Sep 29, 2004 2:48 pm

Our Troop every now and then decides to have someone (usually a MB counselor) come in and give a short presentation about a merit badge subject. They usually give only a brief intro to the subject. Sometimes the group breaks up into smaller groups and works on some stuff...but no requirements are actually completed.

The scouts must then take the initiative to contact a counselor and complete all of the requirements.

The presentation is usually a spark that gets a few scouts motivated to complete the MB on their own.

I Agree that all 40 should not earn the badge unless they fully meet all of the requirements.
Guneukitschik
 

Re: Family Life

Postby evmori » Wed Sep 29, 2004 9:36 pm

Scoutmom wrote:Good morning,
I am starting a Family Life badge for our troop this week- 40+ boys. i have the requirements and will begin with communication skills, the importance of family meetings etc, Any advice on coordinating such a large group?
Have any of you taught this merit badge- what can i engage the boys in other than tracking their chores?
Thanks scoutmom.


Actually, this isn't a good badge to do with a large group. One of the purposes of this badge is to help the Scout understand his importance in his family. I don't see how this can be done in a large group setting. Each family has it's own personality. I would suggest another merit badge.
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Postby Guneukitschik » Wed Sep 29, 2004 10:16 pm

one advantage might be that it allows kids to see how families are different and how each might handle the same situation differently?
Guneukitschik
 

Postby evmori » Thu Sep 30, 2004 3:40 pm

Guneukitschik wrote:one advantage might be that it allows kids to see how families are different and how each might handle the same situation differently?


This would be good as a presentation but I still feel this is better completed on an individual basis.
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Family Life

Postby El_Coqui » Thu Sep 30, 2004 5:17 pm

There are some badges that have so much theory that it seems easy for counselors to teach skills to larger groups, but in the case of family life I believe that the best experience is for the scout individually.

All 6 requirements of Family Life require the Scout to discuss a group of details with his counselor and his family. There are details of these requirments that are individual and unique for each Scout, which make "teaching" it to 40+ scouts almost impossible.

My recommendation, just do a "Family Life" discussion which will encourage your Scouts to get interested in doing the MB, and those that want to work it out get a Counselor and start working it (individually).
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Postby Guneukitschik » Fri Oct 01, 2004 7:04 am

I agree with the individual completion of the MB.

Our Troop has had success with Group Introduction to merit badges. The scouts get a little exposure as to what MB is about and they might talk about some of the requirements but that's it. The scouts then have to contact a counselor and complete the requirements on their own.

I do think that a group could go over some of the requirements and talk about some of the issues that this or other MB's may bring up! I think in some cases it helps some scouts understand some of the more difficult concepts. Remember you're dealing with a broad age range 10 1/2 to 18.
Guneukitschik
 

Postby commish3 » Fri Oct 01, 2004 9:44 am

I agree with Guneukitschik's approach as well, and by happy coincidence it is the method recommended and supported by the BSA advancement procedures.
commish3
 

Postby scoutmasterbob » Fri Oct 01, 2004 10:48 am

I believe that scoutmom should be commended for her willingness to take on such a task. Scoutmom came here looking for advice not critisism.

While I do agree that most of the req for family life are things that need to be done in the home, a little instruction on how each scout can accomplish the required task would be helpful. Group discussions are a good way to accomplish that.

Some families do not have a good family structure that this MB promotes, and a little preperation as a group could be a great help.

I think one of the toughest things on this MB is recording family chores for 3 months, doing the chores is easy most times, remembering to write them down every time you do it is hard.

The MB worksheets from meritbadge.com have a very good form for tracking this.

http://www.meritbadge.com/worksheets/

Good Luck scoutmom!!
Bob Torkelson
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Postby commish3 » Fri Oct 01, 2004 11:48 am

Hi Bob,

I don't think anyone has criticized her, and I certainly hope she doesn't feel they have.

She asked those of us who have counseled this mb how she can engeage the scouts besides tracking the chores.

When you look at the requirements for this badge, every scouts resonses to every requirement is going to be unique and personal unlike many other badges that have a set of specific actions and answers to questions.

It seems many of us feel the reason she is having dificulty seeing how to engage a group of 40 scouts is because she is trying to do this with a group of 40 scouts.

This badge appears to be designed for personal counseling and individual discussion more so than some other merit badges.

I am not sure that the presentation structure she has chosen can achieve what she is asking for. Others seem to feel that same way. This is not criticism, it's more just thinking aloud through the problem she is looking to solve. And sometimes the answer is that you need to alter your plan.

Did I explain that any better?
commish3
 

Postby Guneukitschik » Fri Oct 01, 2004 12:30 pm

scoutmasterbob wrote:Scoutmom came here looking for advice not critisism.


I don't feel that anyone here has criticized Scoutmom about instructing a group....I think some of us have been down that road and found that it is extremely difficult! I believe that the ideas and suggestions I've offered so far have been more than fair!
Guneukitschik
 

on task

Postby cballman » Fri Oct 01, 2004 2:14 pm

ok people lets stay on task and not get personal. no finger pointing or nasty messeges. lets just give advice from our own learning and quit putting other peoples ideas down. Thank You
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Postby EagleBoy62204 » Sun Oct 03, 2004 12:00 pm

Like others have said above in Other posts.
This badge along with a few other eagle requireds such as the three cits, and personal management are better to be taught in smaller groups or individually.

Seeing the large amount of kids in the group, I, personally as a new Family Life Councilor myself and have earned the Merit Badge as a scout, would see teaching it to so many a difficult but not impossible thing to accomplish.

My advise would be to go a little tougher on the kids. A Scout is "trustworthy", and should be trusted to do the 90 day chore list with honesty.
But I would carefuly look it over and have the boys describe how they were able to perform the chores. If some of they have a hard time, i would follow the list up with a private phone call to the parents..

Also, make sure the kids have variety in the answers and that they also take this badge seriously. With 40+ kids its hard to not have them copy off each other.
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Postby Guneukitschik » Mon Oct 04, 2004 9:14 am

I think that all merit badge requirements are developed so that they can be completed by a single individual. The entire merit badge process is designed the same way. A single scout (now finds and buddy) and they either both complete the badge or if the buddy is a parent then the scout completes the badge by himself.

The only reason they have merit badge classes at summer camp is because they can't get enough counselors to handle all of the scouts on an individual basis.
Guneukitschik
 


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