Merit Badge Worksheets

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Postby wagionvigil » Sun Apr 06, 2008 10:19 am

Remember Blue Cards Are not Required. they are just a book keeping item.
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Postby milominderbinder2 » Mon Apr 07, 2008 1:04 am

WeeWillie wrote:I am becoming more and more disenchanted with MB Worksheets. To easy to cheat. Too much copying from the MB Book. At Summer Camp I've found too many instructors accepting any level of effort. When the requirement says discuss, too many MBCs are accepting the workbook instead of actually diiscussing the specifc requirment. The result, many Scouts don't know how to talk with an Adult i.e. eye to eye contact, yeah, mumbling... The come E-BOR and the perspective Eagle can't explain what he did in Scouting because he can't hold a conversation. So much for Communications MB (ER)

The Advancement Policies #33088 tells us is that each Scout is to be tested on each requriement individually.

To me the best use of a worksheets is to allow a Scout to organize his notes for when he meets with you so you can test him. They also listen far more attentively if they know you will be going over their worksheets.

The far end of the spectrum are the merit badge derbies (and summer camp classes) that present a topic with no individual testing. If you showed up you win a badge. Or worse they will have some little quiz that any good test taker could pass without even going into the room.

I know of one camp last summer who offered Fingerprinting and one week the state troopers did not show for the one-night class. So they gave every boy who showed up the merit badge.

Whether worksheets are used or not, there are adults who will teach cheating and others who will teach honor.

A worksheet is a tool.

- Craig
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Postby mhjacobson » Sun May 11, 2008 7:25 pm

As a merit badge counselor, I see many a scout bring in the merit badge worksheet that is neatly typed, etc. I review the sheet for those items that are clearly pre-requisites for the merit badge, and then set the sheet aside and then ASK the scout the questions that ask for the scout to 'Discuss, Explain, etc.' If the scout is unable to discuss, explain, etc., I sign off for those requirements that have been completed, and invite the scout to return once he is able to fulfill the requirements as stated.

If the scout needs some accomodations, I will always be willing to afford them.

The result -- I have more and more scouts who come to me as a MB counselor. You figure out what that means.
50 year+ scouter -- have held almost all adult leader positions in Cubs, Scouts, & Venturing, currently serving as Council Scouting for Youth with Disabilities Chair.
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Postby milominderbinder2 » Mon May 12, 2008 9:50 am

That is exactly how I like to do it. Let the Scout have their notes with them as you do the review.

I am happy to have them work from their worksheets when we meet. I have only had a couple of times where it was clear that the Scout had no idea what the notes meant.

I have Scouts (mom's more often) if they need to do the worksheet. The answer is there is no time when a requirement state that you are to use a worksheet. However for most boys being tested orally without notes is many times harder.

The ones I object to the most are when the counselor drones on and then signs off anyone who was in the room. There are merit badge factory days where they do exactly that. All you have to do to win a prize is show up. Sad.

- Craig
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Postby wagionvigil » Mon May 12, 2008 10:02 am

We had a Merit Badge Camporee this past weekend. I was called Wednesday t do Music and Bugling MB's . ALl the boys were told to download and print the Worksheets for the MB's they were taking. Of course I saw a lot of Blank WS and the Best is the did not bring instruments. I the boys in groups of 2 or 3 and we sat and went thriough their worksheets. In some cases I helped them a bit on some of the blanks but nothing waqs given away. Out of 15 boys 3 completed the Music MB everyone else got partials. One only had one requirement complted But he got the credit. Neiher Bugling Boy new any of the calls and actually thought I was going to teach them the calls. I played them but that was all I did. They did not have a clue and I blame the Troop leadership for all these boys not being Prepared. If the Music boys would have had instruments all would have completed except 1.
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Postby smtroop168 » Tue May 13, 2008 10:56 am

The great worksheets put together by Craig are a TOOL to help the scout. I don't think they were ever intentioned to be a fill-in/turn-in/get the badge thing. Unfortunately they have become more of a crutch for the counselors than the scouts.
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Postby milominderbinder2 » Tue May 13, 2008 11:16 am

You are exactly right. So many times the real problems in Scouts is not with the Boys, it is with the adults. Our council has more problems with counselors than Scouts. It is adults who will not abide by the BSA program. The boys are here for fun.

To try to stem this each worksheet has this warning at the top:

"This workbook can help you but you still need to read the merit badge pamphlet (book). No one can add or subtract from the Boy Scout Requirements #33215. Merit Badge Workbooks and much more are below: Online Resources."

MeritBadge.org and USScouts both have wording like this on the worksheets pages:

"Optional worksheets can help Scouts organize notes, listen actively, and document their work. Worksheets allow Merit Badge Counselors to offer group instruction but still "...test the Scout individually." Click a merit badge below for the current requirements. "You should read the merit badge pamphlet on the subject." Merit badge pamphlets (books) are available at your local Scout Shop or online at ScoutStuff.org."

I don't know how we can make it more clear than that.
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Postby smtroop168 » Tue May 13, 2008 11:33 am

Craig...I agree but unfortunately Reading is not an Eagle Required MB. :roll:
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