Advancement in Summer Camp

This is to be used when something does not fit in any of the Other Forums

Moderators: Site Admin, Moderators

Re: Advancement in Summer Camp

Postby WVBeaver05 » Sat Aug 20, 2011 9:33 am

Seascout wrote:I would not want to mislead anyone. The overall issue I was hoping to address is not one that exists only in our own council. We do frequently attend camps outside our own area just to give the boys a change of scenery and perspective. The majority of badge approvals are acceptable and those that are not are seldom as dramatic as the canoeing incident. But the basic ethical questions of awarding those badges without any effort to intervene on behalf of the boy remains for me.

I understand the need for guiding policy. I understand the importance of trusting our system and working to fix it when it fails. I applaud the honor of scouts who independently report issues and deal appropriately with the occasion.

But I also know there are times when our best efforts to create a perfect system, don't measure up. I'd like to think we could devise an acceptable safety net without harm to the system. Maybe we can't. But it's hard not to want to try.

Thanks again to everyone for your input. Much appreciated.

Glad you were able to get the information that you needed (and that you looked for it, too).

My opinion is that while your question was primarily about you Troop process which is being addressed, the bigger issue is of the camp processes. This is where I suggest bringing up the issue with the Camp Director and Council personnel - yes, even now after the camp. I have found that if people don't bring up issues like this they will continue. (They may continue anyway, but without being challenged they certainly won't change.)

As a current Scoutmaster and past summer camp staff member, I find no excuse in our program for deviation from the requirements (which is usually lessening them and justified as others have mentioned because of Scoutmaster pressure to ensure that Scouts get the MBs). I have challenged several at out Council camp and will continue to do so as long as they don't follow the requirements.

I urge everyone exposed to this to do the same regardless of the camp (or outside of camp for that matter).

I'll get off this soapbox (at least for now) :-)

YiS
Wayne

Scoutmaster Troop34
Roundtable Commissioner
Eagle Scout - 1973
Wood Badge Beaver - 2005
WVBeaver05
Bronze Palm
 
Posts: 583
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2006 11:17 am
Location: Buckskin Council - WV

Re: Advancement in Summer Camp

Postby Fibonacci » Sat Aug 20, 2011 10:33 am

Several years ago we attended an out-of-council camp. On Friday, the "lead counselors" were going over the requirements, paperwork, and blue cards with their under 18 staff. The Waterfront Director noted that one Canoeing MB instructor had neglected to cover one of the requirements. So all the participants in the 11 am class (my son included) was informed that they needed to attend an additional 20 minute session to complete the merit badge. They did, and all were signed off on their blue cards. Kudos to the Camp Easton (Inland NW) staff!

This year we attended an in-council Summer Camp. We are definitely in contact with council about the poor quality of some of the merit badge instruction. For example, Scouts completed the Art MB in only 30 minutes using just colored pencils. Now I have eleven signed blue cards for Scout who supposedly have earned the merit badge. As Advancement Chair, my plan is to let these Scouts know that the Summer Camp staff has made an error and has not in fact covered the requirements.

Each Scout now has a choice:
- do nothing and receive the merit badge patch
- work with an Art MB counselor to learn the requirements that were skipped and to receive the merit badge patch

Note that I am not suggesting withholding the patch from the Scout. He gets it no matter what. He can decide if he feels okay wearing the patch on his sash knowing that he didn't really complete the requirements, or if he would prefer to learn the requirements before sewing the patch to his sash.
Fibonacci
Life
 
Posts: 148
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 1:12 pm
Location: Chief Seattle

Re: Advancement in Summer Camp

Postby Guerillero » Sat Aug 20, 2011 4:41 pm

Each Scout now has a choice:
- do nothing and receive the merit badge patch
- work with an Art MB counselor to learn the requirements that were skipped and to receive the merit badge patch

Note that I am not suggesting withholding the patch from the Scout. He gets it no matter what. He can decide if he feels okay wearing the patch on his sash knowing that he didn't really complete the requirements, or if he would prefer to learn the requirements before sewing the patch to his sash.

I think that this is the best option. It allows the scout to decide on their own if they want to be honest or easy. It also doesn't make you look like the "bad guy" in Timmy Tenderfoot's parent's eyes.
2012 ESR Nature Director
Eagle Scout 2011
OA Vigil Honor 2011
Guerillero
Second Class
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 11:56 pm

Re: Advancement in Summer Camp

Postby ScoutMomGWRC » Wed Aug 24, 2011 7:47 am

My son went to summer camp this year and told us he didn't earn any merit badges.
He didn't complete his leather working kit because it was too hot and he used his free time to go swimming. He actually came home, took a shower and after sitting in the nice cool air for a bit, finished the kit and was pretty proud of it.
The storms closed the archery ranges and so he never had a chance to shoot
and he didn't make his observations for environmental science.

As his parents, we were ok with all of this. It was over a hundred degrees and didn't blame him one bit for using his time the way he did.

Imagine our surprise when he was awarded the leather working badge at the next meeting. My son talked to his scoutmaster and told him the circumstances. The SM siad that he was proud of my son for finishing the kit. My son asked if it was ok if he wore the MB because he didn't finish it when the counselor said that he did. SM said yes because they go by the blue card, but was proud of my son for thinking about the trustworthy part of the oath.

The requirement of observation was also signed off on environmental science. I thought that my son was going to lose his mind. He is doing that requirement again, plus the other that wasn't signed off on that they actually did complete at camp. Poor kid... he is really being put to the test, but I am proud of him for wanting to earn these the right way...

Makes me upset to think that there are scouts who would just take the badge anyway.
ScoutMomGWRC
First Class
 
Posts: 47
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 1:41 pm

Re: Advancement in Summer Camp

Postby WeeWillie » Wed Aug 24, 2011 11:51 am

Mom

You should be very proud of your son!

Here is a little more encouragement.

Most advancement cheating is adult initiated with the Scout being caught up in the situation. Most Scouts want to earn the MBs that they select.

Summer Camp should be a break from school, not an extension. Earn the badges you want to earn and use the rest of the time to enjoy yourself. There is a balance between hard work and relaxing. Why start your son on the road to a coronary at 40 at camp.

Scouts who earn their badges do well at work and college because they learn that hard work is rewarded. Scouts who are spoon fed their advancement frequently have problems because they expect their employers and professors to hand them their pay raises or grades.

Keep up the good work!
Mike Wilson
MBC, Cochise District, Catalina Council, Sierra Vista, AZ
WeeWillie
Eagle
 
Posts: 450
Joined: Wed May 31, 2006 11:40 pm
Location: Sierra Vista, AZ

Re: Advancement in Summer Camp

Postby lambeausam » Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:20 pm

Great points Mike!

My sons work on more MBs in the summer than during the school year for two reasons. First, due to multiple special education needs, homework leaves little evening/weekend work for MBs. Second, they tailor their summer activities based upon what merit badges they want to work on. We have access to quite a variety of day camps from local forest preserves and museums that provide the opportunity to complete MB requirements, especially those in the conservation field.
lambeausam
Life
 
Posts: 133
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2006 12:36 pm
Location: Chicago

Previous

Return to General Advancement Information

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests