Merit Badge Opportunities at the Scout Store

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Merit Badge Opportunities at the Scout Store

Postby RMM » Thu May 29, 2014 2:46 pm

Are the Scout Stores in your area offering merit badge opportunites for the Scouts. On a monthly basis, our National Scout Store in the area offers a merit badge class. Each month, a different MB Class, where the scout comes to the Scout Store attends a class and earns the MB.

Thus the Scout attends summer camp and earns three MBs, attends the Distirct Merit Badge symposium and earn three Eagle MBs, attends the monthly classes at the Scout Store, and then next summer attends the Summer Camp Eagle Scout Week and earns the rest of the Eagle Requried MBs, so in a year has earned the MBs necessary for Eagle and never once worked with the SM to obtain a counselor and had to make an appointment to meet with a counselor.

Is this what the MB program is turning into?
Robert M.
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Re: Merit Badge Opportunities at the Scout Store

Postby Quailman » Fri May 30, 2014 7:39 am

I'm afraid so. The adult interaction is gone. The boys listen to lectures and fill out worksheets. They don't cold call a merit badge counselor any more. They don't work with a buddy on completing requirements.

The Scout Shops in my area don't have space to offer classes, but our local museum of natural science has many offerings. They cost quite a bit in some cases, but I don't think they make much due to their arrangement with the council (licensing fees). On the other hand, they do a much better job than any summer camp I've seen. Several other museums and even NASA offer MBs.
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Re: Merit Badge Opportunities at the Scout Store

Postby Bill Pitcher » Fri May 30, 2014 7:57 am

Not in our area. The council has tried MB Midways at camporees, but a lot of incompletes are handed out. I will agree
that museums, etc. mentioned above might do a better job then some camp staff scout, but I don't see how MB's like Camping, Cooking, and Cit. Comm. can be completed in a day, sitting in a lecture! No Way!!
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Re: Merit Badge Opportunities at the Scout Store

Postby Mrw » Fri May 30, 2014 9:12 am

No classes at the Scout Shop and no Eagle week at camp. We do have a local MB Midway, but it is more a good way to start or finish a badge, no one will go there and "earn" an Eagle MB without having done a fair bit of prep work.

It would be very hard to earn the bulk of the Eagle badges in our troop without some one-on-one time with a counselor.
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Re: Merit Badge Opportunities at the Scout Store

Postby Chez » Sun Jun 01, 2014 1:04 pm

Why would it be at the Scout Shop, out of curiosity? Their job is to sell the physical meritbadges, not give them to scouts.
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Re: Merit Badge Opportunities at the Scout Store

Postby RMM » Mon Jun 02, 2014 7:41 pm

Chez wrote:Why would it be at the Scout Shop, out of curiosity? Their job is to sell the physical meritbadges, not give them to scouts.


I interpret your question as rheotical. These are my thoughts also and was wondering if this process was happening elsewhere.
Robert M.
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I was reminded that there are 4 things you can not recover:
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Re: Merit Badge Opportunities at the Scout Store

Postby FrankJ » Tue Jun 03, 2014 9:59 am

Far as I know our scout shop does not do this. I believe we went back from national to local fairly recently. While scouts can earn a merit badge wherever, their unit still has to process & report the advancement.

As long as they follow the rules & use qualified merit badge councilors I not sure if I see a problem with this.
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Re: Merit Badge Opportunities at the Scout Store

Postby Mrw » Wed Jun 04, 2014 8:35 am

As long as they follow the rules is right. My thoughts on the great number of "classes" offered, is that for the most part, our boys seem to learn more about a subject when they work on it on their own initiative and one-to-one with a counselor (a buddy of some sort being present of course.)
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Re: Merit Badge Opportunities at the Scout Store

Postby Quailman » Wed Jun 04, 2014 9:08 pm

That applies to every class, not just Scout Shop classes. The Essentials of Merit Badge Counseling (MBC basic training class) at one point says "go for the deeper dive". That means try to expose the Scout to enough information that he's able to pursue it further if he wants. The goal of any class is just to see that the boys walk away with signed blue cards.
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Re: Merit Badge Opportunities at the Scout Store

Postby Billiken » Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:26 am

Greater Cleveland does not do this.

Once a year our district does have a Merit Badge Midway
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Re: Merit Badge Opportunities at the Scout Store

Postby scoutaholic » Thu Aug 21, 2014 2:31 pm

AFAIK, our local Scout Stores have never offered such an event. I don't think they have room or qualified staff for such an offering.
There are other places that offer some good MB classes. The planetarium does Astronomy, the zoo does Bird Study, Insect Study, Reptile and Amphibian Study, Mammal Study, Nature, Environmental Science, etc.. The fitness center offers Swimming, Lifesaving, Personal Fitness, etc.. Many other opportunities exist.

The existence of MB classes is not inherently bad, although I have seen both bad and good. A good class gives boys access to expertise and equipment that they may not otherwise have. A good instructor can lead discussion, and present needed information while making sure to include all participants in the discussion and learning. A good class will be sure that each participant fulfills each requirement as it is written. Each participant will 'pass' the class based on his own completion of the requirements, individually, not as part of the group. Most MBs can't be completed in a single class session. Most will require some work outside of 'class' (prerequisites, homework) to complete the MB.

Over the years, I have instructed 'classes' in varied settings for hundreds of scouts. Those who do the required work, get a signed blue card. Those who do less than the required work get a 'partial'. Some of the boys who get a 'partial' will contact me later to complete, others won't. A class where every boy completes everything is a rare occurrence.
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