Communications Merit Badge question

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Communications Merit Badge question

Postby optimist » Fri Aug 13, 2004 7:20 pm

Messages moved from MeritBadge.com

wshaw
Scout

Joined: 21 Jul 2004
Posts: 3

Posted: 21 Jul 2004 08:47 pm Post subject: Communications
Merit Badge question

We have a question about how everyone is handling the 2004
changes to the communications MB - specifically the
requirement that the scout plan and conduct either a campfire
program or a Court of Honor program.

We've had some discord in our troop leadership about this.
Some of the leaders feel that the spirit AND the letter of the
law should be followed for this req't, while others feel that
it would take the boys too many months, even with two boys
working together on a campfire program for each night of
camping. Our Communications MB counselor is leaning toward
allowing the boys to use troop meeting time to give all
Communications MB boys opportunities for campfire programs,
but that uses up meeting nights for a few boys. The MB
counselor hasn't made a decision yet. Any thoughts?

Also, what do you all think about having a flag retirement
ceremony (with campfire being used to burn the flags) as a
valid campfire program. It doesn't follow the BSA campfire
program, but would have similar elements: opening, closing,
song, skit could be patriotic readings, etc. Thoughts?
Thanks,
Wally and Pat Shaw

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optimist
Advancement Chairman

Joined: 27 Jun 2004
Posts: 122

Posted: 21 Jul 2004 09:09 pm Post subject:

I don't understand the too many months comment. A campfire
program can be performed at any campfire for any campout. It
doesn't have to be at some special event or even a large event
and it doesn't have to involve all the people who are camping
that weekend.

If each eight Scout patrol in your troop had it's own campfire
and held it's own campfire program both Friday and Saturday
night, every Scout could run a program individually for an
evening and the entire troop would finish the requirements in
four campouts.

Personally, I would want to have more full troop involvement.
I just stated the above to show that it could be done and the
letter of the requirements would be complied with

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wshaw
Scout

Joined: 21 Jul 2004
Posts: 3

Posted: 21 Jul 2004 09:46 pm Post subject:

We agree totally. We have between 8 and 10 boys working on
this MB, and the way we figured it, they could finish within 2
to 3 months - doing campfire ceremonies for the full troop,
and depending on whether they include the COH or have 2 boys
working together on each campfire. The MB counselor didn't
want them to have to wait that long, as it would mean they
wouldn't have their MBs at the August COH. They've been
working on these for several months now and probably this new
change was somehow overlooked until recently, so the counselor
is trying to speed things along.

How do you feel about having "campfire ceremonies" at
meetings? My husband and I are having a hard time dealing with
that approach, as it leaves the rest of the scouts attending
meetings for the sole purpose of getting these boys (including
our son) their MBs. Seems wrong to us, and the troop committee
is divided.
Pat Shaw

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optimist
Advancement Chairman

Joined: 27 Jun 2004
Posts: 122

Posted: 22 Jul 2004 08:05 am Post subject:

If you have a campfire at your meetings, you can have a
campfire ceremony, but I wouldn't do it that way. Building a
campfire is a lot of work and takes a lot of time before,
during, and after the fire, especially if you meet in a place
where it would be inappropriate to leave a fire scar on the
ground.

Frankly, I'm not sure what the rush is. When you said it was
going to take too much time, I was thinking in terms of years,
that you might be saving these activities for major events,
opportunities that only occur two or three times each year.
This is why I suggested the quicker schedule.

I would like to address one specific thing you said:

Quote:
The MB counselor didn't want them to have to wait that
long, as it would mean they wouldn't have their MBs at
the August COH.

The merit badge requirements specifically promote the idea of
having a Scout earn advancement by running a COH. And putting
forth time and effort into planning and conducting a COH helps
create a better Scouting program for the troop. The above
statement seems counterproductive to these goals.

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wshaw
Scout

Joined: 21 Jul 2004
Posts: 3

Posted: 22 Jul 2004 11:09 am Post subject:

Dear Optimist,
I like your style. If we could just have you here to vote WITH
us, we'd be happy. We aren't going quietly into that dark
night, as we agree that no MB should be hurried up just to
earn it before a COH date, if it takes time, and more effort
than desired, then so be it, and the troop benefits. I just
wanted to know what others thought, because we're being seen
as too legalistic in our interpretation of the req'ts.

One more question, wouldn't you agree that a campfire program
needs to be outside with a real CAMPFIRE?
Pat

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optimist
Advancement Chairman

Joined: 27 Jun 2004
Posts: 122

Posted: 22 Jul 2004 10:46 pm Post subject:

That's what I said, you have to have a campfire

And the next time someone says you are too legalistic in your
interpretation of the requirements, tell them that the
requirements aren't supposed to be interpreted, they're
supposed to be completed

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Billvann
Second Class

Joined: 14 Jul 2004
Posts: 19
Location: McHenry, IL
Posted: 23 Jul 2004 08:01 am Post subject:

I wouldn't rush the requirements with a "made up" campfire
cerimony at a troop meetings. One advantage of the requirement
is that it supports participations in outings. Both the scout
earning the badge and the other boys in attendance benifit
from this and your scouting program will be better becasue of
it. Forcing it with a faux campfire does the program a
diservice. As far as making a specific date or COH, they
should have started the badge sooner.
_________________
Willie Vannerson
ASM Troop 149
McHenry, IL

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Firefish
Life

Joined: 05 Jul 2004
Posts: 145
Location: Beaver, Pa
Posted: 24 Jul 2004 02:15 pm Post subject:

merit badges should never be cheated on. so I dont think it
should be rushed unless scouts are running out of time for
eagle. other wise I disagree with rushing
_________________
Peter Cahill
Troop 469
A Fighting Irish

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Rick Tyler
Scout

Joined: 07 Aug 2004
Posts: 7
Location: Redmond, Washington
Posted: 07 Aug 2004 07:43 am Post subject:

optimist wrote:
That's what I said, you have to have a campfire

And the next time someone says you are too legalistic in
your interpretation of the requirements, tell them that
the requirements aren't supposed to be interpreted,
they're supposed to be completed

Wow, my first post and I'm picking nits already.

Most of Washington has a burn ban on this summer. We are
holding "no-fire" campfires on our outings. Staring into a
barbeque pit, lantern, or LED headlamp doesn't have the same
romantic quality, though.

Almost all the BSA MBs require interpretation on the part of
the counselor. I agree and follow the "add nothing, delete
nothing" rules, but there are a lot of specifics not covered
in the requirements. For what it's worth, I think that's a
good thing. I'll give you one good example. For Camping, the
Scout needs to have 20 nights of camping under the stars or in
a tent they pitched themselves. Our boys usually sleep in
two-man tents. If they sleeping buddy helped them set up the
tent, which boy should get "credit" for pitching the tent? Can
both of them get the credit if they did it together? The MB
requirements are silent on this issue, but I'm willing the bet
that 98% of Camping MB counselors have answered this to their
own satisfaction. That's an interpretation of the
requirements.

Of course, your "LOL" probably means that you agree with me
and I should try to avoid writing serious posts this early in
the morning.

YiS.
_________________
Yis,

Rick Tyler
ASM, Troop 571
Chief Seattle Council
Troop MB Chancellor and Admiral of the Troop Fleet

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RWSmith
Counselor

Joined: 13 Jul 2004
Posts: 55
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posted: 09 Aug 2004 10:11 am Post subject:

Rick Tyler wrote:
a tent they pitched themselves. Our boys usually sleep
in two-man tents. .... which boy should get "credit" for
pitching the tent? Can both of them get the credit if
they did it together? The MB requirements are silent on
this issue .... probably means that you agree with me
and I should try to avoid writing serious posts this
early in the morning.

Nice try, Rick. However, the requirement you used actually
states, "Sleep each night under the sky or in a tent you have
pitched (long-term camp excluded)." Nowhere --not Tenderfoot,
not Second Class, not here-- is it ever specified that a Scout
is should be expected to pitch a tent, which is designed to
sleep 2 or more youth, by himself... without the assistance of
a buddy.

I grant you, there are grammatical and typographical errors to
be found. But, I don't think the requirement is necessarily
silent either, IMHO.
_________________
Bob Smith, OA, NESA, DAV
ADC, Apache District

If you can read this, thank a teacher... If you can read it in
English, thank a Veteran.

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ScoutmasterBob
Counselor

Joined: 07 Jul 2004
Posts: 78
Location: Woods Cross, Utah
Posted: 09 Aug 2004 11:58 am Post subject:

The planning and carrying out of the campfire program is the
important thing.
We built a "fake" campfire out of fire logs, an electric light
and some yellow and red se through plastic.
While it is not a burning fire, a campfire meeting cam be held
anywhere anytime it is needed, we can even do it inside our
meeting building as a weekly meeting or as part of a court of
honor.
_________________
Bob Torkelson
Scoutmaster Troop 538
www.wx5troop538.homestead.com
Live The Oath!

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Guneukitschik
Life

Joined: 02 Aug 2004
Posts: 162
Location: Waynesboro, PA
Posted: 09 Aug 2004 01:00 pm Post subject:

Our troop has a metal stove constructed from a 55 gal. barrel
and a flat piece of steel and some stove pipe. The barrel is
welded to a metal stand that keeps it approx. 3 ft above the
ground.. Although awkward to move...it came in handy during
the opening burning ban....and it's great at winter camporees!

We even have metal fire boxes made about 3' square with 2'
legs that hold the box about 12 inches off the ground.
_________________
http://www.bsatroop88.org

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optimist
Advancement Chairman

Joined: 27 Jun 2004
Posts: 122

Posted: 10 Aug 2004 07:00 pm Post subject:

Rick Tyler wrote:
Wow, my first post and I'm picking nits already.

Most of Washington has a burn ban on this summer. We are
holding "no-fire" campfires on our outings. Staring into
a barbeque pit, lantern, or LED headlamp doesn't have
the same romantic quality, though.

Actually, Rick, we didn't disagree at all. A campfire in this
case is a gathering on an outing where a program is run. As I
pointed out in my post above, if the troop puts the time and
effort into having a campfire outside of their meeting place
then that works too. If they're restricted from having a fire,
that can be okay as well.

Where I have a problem is when the activity becomes trivial.
The Master of Ceremonies should have to plan in advance. The
Scouts who will be participating should be expected to put
forth some effort creating and/or practicing their skits and
songs. The location for the entertainment should be prepared
for the event.

wshaw said their are about ten Scouts working on this merit
badge. I believe that all ten programs should be significantly
different. Yes, there will probably be some repeated material
(isn't their always?) but if all ten of these programs
involved the same Scouts doing the same songs and skits,
chances are the entire process would have very little worth or
meaning to many of the Scouts involved.

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RWSmith
Counselor

Joined: 13 Jul 2004
Posts: 55
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posted: 11 Aug 2004 09:35 am Post subject:

optimist wrote:
Where I have a problem is when the activity becomes
trivial. The Master of Ceremonies should have to plan in
advance. The Scouts who will be participating should be
expected to put forth some effort creating and/or
practicing their skits and songs. The location for the
entertainment should be prepared for the event.

wshaw said their are about ten Scouts working on this
merit badge. I believe that all ten programs should be
significantly different. Yes, there will probably be
some repeated material (isn't their always?) but if all
ten of these programs involved the same Scouts doing the
same songs and skits, chances are the entire process
would have very little worth or meaning to many of the
Scouts involved.

Ah, the brevity; the clarity. I don't think I can take it
anymore. Well, anyhow... So, ten Scouts can work on he same
MB at the same time. But, still, each Scout must individually
satisfy each requirement. Haven't I seen that somewhere else?
_________________
Bob Smith, OA, NESA, DAV
ADC, Apache District

If you can read this, thank a teacher... If you can read it in
English, thank a Veteran.

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optimist
Adv Chair
 
Posts: 947
Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2004 8:25 pm
Location: Atlanta Area Council

Postby Bob White » Sun Sep 05, 2004 6:29 am

Most troops do between 10 and 25 nights of camping a year, plus you are supposed to do 4 courts of honor a year. That means a scout should have between 14 and 29 opportunitites each year to complete this requirement. I don't understand where the problem is?

Please help me to understand.

Bob White
Bob White
 

Re: Communications Merit Badge question

Postby ASM-142 » Tue Oct 19, 2004 10:32 am

Firefish wrote:merit badges should never be cheated on. so I dont think it
should be rushed unless scouts are running out of time for
eagle. other wise I disagree with rushing


I agree that the requirements for merit badges should never be cheated on. This is especially important when going for an eagle. Eagle should not be the time to take short cuts.

Edited by optimist: Changed the quote to reflect the name of the true author of the statement.
ASM-142
Bronze Palm
 
Posts: 827
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2004 10:24 am
Location: Monmouth Council, New Jersey

Postby Lynda J » Tue Oct 19, 2004 12:06 pm

My opinion.

AN EAGLE THAT CHEATS, ISN'T AN EAGLE Whether he has been presented with the rank or not.
your community is a tree. You are either a leaf that feeds it or mistletoe that suckes it dry. Be sure you are always a leaf.
Lynda J
Gold Palm
 
Posts: 1151
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 10:58 am
Location: Longhorn Council, TX


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