Is there an award for getting all the merit badges?

All non-advancement related awards and recognitions. (Anything except Ranks, Merit Badges, and Palms.)

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Re: Is there an award for getting all the merit badges?

Postby AquilaNegra2 » Mon Nov 15, 2010 2:51 pm

It depends upon which MBs. Some take forever (10 months of lessons for Bugle; 12 weeks for Cit Nat); others take an afternoon (Fingerprinting).

It's all about the planning -- my son tried to do as many of the hands-on options and field trips as possible (vs. Internet or book options). A lot of those could be combined with something else in the area to satisfy two requirements. Or, hauling merit badge books to read on Backpacking trips. Many of the badges parallel their schoolwork, too. I think more Scouts should be taking advantage of that aspect.

That does sound like a lot, but if all the counselors are satisfied, it's okay. You're his parent, you know if he's actually learning the stuff or just meeting the bare minimum.

Make sure to use a variety of (mine used upwards of 70) different merit badge counselors. He'll get the most out of it that way. And his accomplishments won't be suspect. Our SM actually uses the example of the kid who earned them all from his grandmother as an object lesson in perception. Trust me, the Scouts don't look upon those as actually earned (even if they were completely and thoroughly done, and I don't know the boy or his family personally). When we were counselors in some topics, we tried to stick with "your son plus one" so there would be no question.

Congrats again to Hunter, and best wishes for his 'lil bro.

PS Did you think open-water certification was a bit much for Scuba? Expensive!
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Re: Is there an award for getting all the merit badges?

Postby smtroop168 » Mon Nov 15, 2010 3:05 pm

12 weeks for Cit in Nation???

How did a council allow anyone to be a MBC for all MBs?
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Re: Is there an award for getting all the merit badges?

Postby lifescoutforlife » Tue Nov 16, 2010 11:50 am

smtroop168 wrote:I'm glad he's working hard on MBs but is he a 1st class yet? One every 9 days would mean he would have 4 before he could become a Tenderfoot by meeting the 30 day PT requirement. I don't have too many 11 year olds with very good organizational skills either.

I had a scout come to one of our MB colleges. Scout was 17 + and he had 114 MBs already but we were offering 2 he didn't have yet. Mom pulled out the day planner and made sure we could fit in his? schedule.

My son went to 5 weeks of summer camp and yes he is first class. He earned 8 mb's in one week at camp, my son that earned them all only ever earned 6 one time at a week of camp. He is working on Carpentry,Woodworking, Cit in Comm and Family Life at this time. It's called goal setting and workig to get done what it takes to reach them goals and not making excuses for something not getting done. By the way the more that people told my older son he couldn't do sometime or he was you young made him work even harder to prove them all wrong.
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Re: Is there an award for getting all the merit badges?

Postby smtroop168 » Tue Nov 16, 2010 3:42 pm

lifescoutforlife wrote:My son went to 5 weeks of summer camp and yes he is first class. He earned 8 mb's in one week at camp, my son that earned them all only ever earned 6 one time at a week of camp. He is working on Carpentry,Woodworking, Cit in Comm and Family Life at this time. It's called goal setting and workig to get done what it takes to reach them goals and not making excuses for something not getting done. By the way the more that people told my older son he couldn't do sometime or he was you young made him work even harder to prove them all wrong.


You must have deep pockets for 5 weeks of camp. :)

Just curious because we hear stories of MB quality at summer camps and not completing all the requirements because they can't do some of them even though they advertise no prereqs, what do you think of the quality he received?

At most camps, you can't even fit in 8 MBs (or even 6) in a week's schedule. 5 is max where we've been going and that's only if you do Astronomy at night.
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Re: Is there an award for getting all the merit badges?

Postby agdparker » Tue Nov 16, 2010 7:33 pm

At our camp, you can do the three handicraft badges (Leatherworking, Basketry and Woodcarving) during afternoon free time. Regular merit badges are offered during the morning and early afternoon. Most badges take 1 day, but there are many 2-day badges. I suppose it's possible to do the 3 handicraft, plus 5 1-day badges at ours, but I don't see it that often. Usually, they are working on EScience or one of the boating badges and those all take 2 days. I would say that gets harder to do as you knock off the 1-day badges, obviously.
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Re: Is there an award for getting all the merit badges?

Postby smtroop168 » Tue Nov 16, 2010 7:43 pm

agdparker wrote:At our camp, you can do the three handicraft badges (Leatherworking, Basketry and Woodcarving) during afternoon free time. Regular merit badges are offered during the morning and early afternoon. Most badges take 1 day, but there are many 2-day badges. I suppose it's possible to do the 3 handicraft, plus 5 1-day badges at ours, but I don't see it that often. Usually, they are working on EScience or one of the boating badges and those all take 2 days. I would say that gets harder to do as you knock off the 1-day badges, obviously.


Welcome to the forum.

You have hit the nail on the head and have succeeded in firing up a number of us I'm sure.

What BSA camp is this? Most Badges take 1 day????? :evil: ...if that is how your camp is doing MBs then that is a huge disservice to the scouts. Esci in 2 days is also a real stretch.
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Re: Is there an award for getting all the merit badges?

Postby AquilaNegra2 » Wed Nov 17, 2010 3:14 am

Yeah, 12 weeks. Because we homeschool, we made a lot of the badges into classes, and invited other Scouts. Those boys know the Constitution very well. The "no more, no less" doesn't apply to school ;-). Same with Public Speaking, Computers, and several others. It helped to have them structured, added legitimacy by including other Scouts (and siblings), let the kids have fun while learning, and gave us group discounts on field trips.

#1's article is up, if you're interested: http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2010/nov/ ... ritorious/
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Re: Is there an award for getting all the merit badges?

Postby kwildman » Wed Nov 17, 2010 9:57 am

there are some observation requirements that take more than 2 days for Env. Sci. How can we expect our leaders not to botch up the programs when we have some councils camps doing it.
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Re: Is there an award for getting all the merit badges?

Postby lifescoutforlife » Wed Nov 17, 2010 12:49 pm

AquilaNegra2 wrote:Yeah, 12 weeks. Because we homeschool, we made a lot of the badges into classes, and invited other Scouts. Those boys know the Constitution very well. The "no more, no less" doesn't apply to school ;-). Same with Public Speaking, Computers, and several others. It helped to have them structured, added legitimacy by including other Scouts (and siblings), let the kids have fun while learning, and gave us group discounts on field trips.

#1's article is up, if you're interested: http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2010/nov/ ... ritorious/

Very nice article. The one thing that I have found out is people that watched my son's progress as he traveled his path understand how hard we worked to reach his goal while others that don't know him are always trying to point out ways that make it sound like it wasn't that hard of a thing to do. And yes it takes money. Scuba was 250 was super cheap compared to what I have seen on the internet, and he got to keep the mask fins and snorkel after the class. The summer camps do cost, but a lot less than a trip to Disney to ride a roller coaster and get a picture with Mickey which costs 1,000's. And both my sons have got to meet many kids from Troops all over Pa, NY and Maryland so it has been worth every penny for the friendships they have made.
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Re: Is there an award for getting all the merit badges?

Postby smtroop168 » Wed Nov 17, 2010 1:51 pm

Accomplishing earning all the MBs is certainly noteworthy and obviously does not come cheap as you mention so if a boy's family has the financial ability to do it, more power to them.

We have scouts that are happy to afford a shirt and go to a weekend campout and our troop is happy to help them out so they can enjoy the program. One week of summer camp is a huge cost to some especially today.

The one day MBs at summer camp struck a nerve especially if that is the way this camp really operates. Is there any QA of their MB offerings?
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Re: Is there an award for getting all the merit badges?

Postby agdparker » Wed Nov 17, 2010 2:49 pm

smtroop168 wrote:Welcome to the forum.

You have hit the nail on the head and have succeeded in firing up a number of us I'm sure.

What BSA camp is this? Most Badges take 1 day????? :evil: ...if that is how your camp is doing MBs then that is a huge disservice to the scouts. Esci in 2 days is also a real stretch.

Thanks for the welcome. Our council camp is John Mensinger. I've attached a screen shot of the MB grid for this year, but the guide is available on the council website if you want to see it in its original form. After looking at the list again, it appears that there are less 2-day badges than I thought. The grid is not intuitive and this is the first year they've done it in this format, but I think if it has 2 sessions, then it spans multiple days. I know for a fact that the grid changed once camp started because some of the class length estimates were wrong.

On the Escience, they have class for 2 days, but they turn in their observations at the end of the week, IIRC.

Mods, feel free to split this off into its own thread. Sorry for the little tangent!
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Re: Is there an award for getting all the merit badges?

Postby AquilaNegra2 » Wed Nov 17, 2010 6:42 pm

agdparker wrote:Thanks for the welcome. Our council camp is John Mensinger. I've attached a screen shot of the MB grid for this year, but the guide is available on the council website if you want to see it in its original form. After looking at the list again, it appears that there are less 2-day badges than I thought. The grid is not intuitive and this is the first year they've done it in this format, but I think if it has 2 sessions, then it spans multiple days. I know for a fact that the grid changed once camp started because some of the class length estimates were wrong.


Some of these must be partials or require a lot of upfront work. The ability to reach the necessary score for Shotgun is not something most Scouts will be able to do in 3 hours; same with Rifle Shooting (though it's easier). Forestry requires a trip -- unless the camp is on the grounds of a logging operation or managed forest. And needs a visit with a professional forester (not just an MBC). When they're watered down, it's unfair to the Scouts who do them properly.
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Re: Is there an award for getting all the merit badges?

Postby agdparker » Wed Nov 17, 2010 7:19 pm

AquilaNegra2 wrote:Some of these must be partials or require a lot of upfront work. The ability to reach the necessary score for Shotgun is not something most Scouts will be able to do in 3 hours; same with Rifle Shooting (though it's easier). Forestry requires a trip -- unless the camp is on the grounds of a logging operation or managed forest. And needs a visit with a professional forester (not just an MBC). When they're watered down, it's unfair to the Scouts who do them properly.
You're absolutely correct that there were prerequisites. I can't speak to the specific requirements you mention, however.
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Re: Is there an award for getting all the merit badges?

Postby smtroop168 » Wed Nov 17, 2010 9:39 pm

Interesting way of scheduling. Still looks weak to me especially for the Eagle required ones. Kids sitting in one MB all day can't be exciting.
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Re: Is there an award for getting all the merit badges?

Postby lifescoutforlife » Thu Nov 18, 2010 8:30 am

smtroop168 wrote:Accomplishing earning all the MBs is certainly noteworthy and obviously does not come cheap as you mention so if a boy's family has the financial ability to do it, more power to them.

We have scouts that are happy to afford a shirt and go to a weekend campout and our troop is happy to help them out so they can enjoy the program. One week of summer camp is a huge cost to some especially today.

The one day MBs at summer camp struck a nerve especially if that is the way this camp really operates. Is there any QA of their MB offerings?

If you sell 1000.00 worth of popcorn in our council you go to camp for free plus you put about 300.00 in you personal account. Makes life easier on everyone.
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Re: Is there an award for getting all the merit badges?

Postby smtroop168 » Thu Nov 18, 2010 8:59 am

If you sell $5000 can you go for 5 weeks? Using other people's money is always good! :) The $300 can be spent on Scuba MB. :wink:
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Re: Is there an award for getting all the merit badges?

Postby lifescoutforlife » Thu Nov 18, 2010 11:23 am

smtroop168 wrote:If you sell $5000 can you go for 5 weeks? Using other people's money is always good! :) The $300 can be spent on Scuba MB. :wink:

Sold 3055.00 this year :P
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Re: Is there an award for getting all the merit badges?

Postby jr56 » Thu Nov 18, 2010 2:11 pm

Wow, he is quite the salesman. Plus, it fulfills some requirements for Salesmanship MB.
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Re: Is there an award for getting all the merit badges?

Postby smtroop168 » Thu Nov 18, 2010 2:20 pm

Not really..have you noticed the price of the popcorn. He just sold 3 tins! :lol:

Need to stay on topic sorry.
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Re: Is there an award for getting all the merit badges?

Postby UtahScoutmaster » Thu Mar 10, 2011 1:39 am

Hey All,

First post…and it will probably be longer than it should for an inaugural post but I will also let it serve as an introduction. That all said…this forum & this specific thread has been quite thought provoking for me over the past couple of weeks.

To start with, we recently moved from Washington State from a fairly active Troop. My son joined a new Troop here in Utah. To be blunt, its been a pretty dysfunctional Troop. (11-13.9999 yoa Scouts). Additionally, most of our 14-17 year old Varsity Scouts & Ventures are First Class or below due to the lackadaisical attitudes. Not what I wanted for my son & not what he wanted for himself. (He has always really enjoyed Cub Scouts & Scouts even though he was always one of the shyest & smallest kids...he has been really active & really enjoyed the learning & achievements.)

With things being less than they should be, my son was loosing interest fast and experiencing much frustration as he wanted to learn & progress. (We were also frusterated as parents watching.) Admittedly, due to work, I was then a moderately pro-active parent with a heavy travel schedule. After 5 months of almost no progression & lots of frustration I kindly expressed my & my sons feelings to one on the Committee. I was then asked to take over as SM...OUCH! :shock: Put up or shut up I guess. :oops: So…I made a commitment!

Skip forward about 4.5 months, after MUCH time effort and commitment…a crash course Scouter training for me…we are starting to come together. We have been able to rally our little Troop/Patrol of 6-7 Scouts by first making sure their parents knew my young ASM & I were committed to the program & their boys. It took a bit of time, MUCH hard work & proving ourselves to both the parents & the kids, but both now seem to trust us and are pretty committed themselves to the program we are running. BUT I’m still scrambling to learn as much as possible as fast as possible & every week we are fine tuning things. (I’m still not a great knot guy though. :oops:) Incidentally all of our 11-13 yoa Scouts now have their Star (or better) or are waiting on it! FYI; its hard work & time consuming to say the least but I’m having a ball…even if my day job is suffering a bit! (Might be time to look for a new job. :wink: )

Back to the topic that I feel this thread relates to...recently I had the opportunity to hold an Eagle SM’s Conference of a Scout that is just turning 14. (He has a very seriously pro-active mom & they have been doing nearly everything on their own until recently.) In the conference it came out that he felt that all he was doing in life is working on MB’s. He said that felt he was done once he had his Eagle…he “Doesn’t really want to do the Scout thing anymore. I felt sick inside to hear that. I explained that now that he was Eagle that he needed to step up into more of a leadership roll, give back to the younger Scouts & troop but more importantly…not stop progressing.

I made him aware of the Palms, Conservation Award, the National Outdoor Achievement awards among other awards that were available to him. I mentioned although Eagle was a HUGE accomplishment & one to be proud of and commended for, that Scouts offered so much more for him & now is when he could really enjoy it. I told him rather than MB’s that he “had” to take there were so many that he “could" take…by choice that may interest him more. These would help make him more rounded as well as maybe gain knowledge & skills in preparation for life. I told him to just look through the list of MB’s and pick things he was interested in. Interestingly, as hard as his parents have pushed him the last two years…they too don’t seem very interested in pursuing anything more now that he is receiving his Eagle . They say that he is getting busier in life etc. Again…it kinda made me feel sick inside. I did express the same thoughts to them as I did their son. As he will be moving in to the Varsity program…we will see where he goes.

With this on my mind, I thought about my first son. He is a 13.5 yo Scout waiting on time for his Life, he is also 3 Eagle MB's + Eagle project away from his Eagle…with several additional MB’s. (One of his brothers, turns 11 next month & with his AofL completed is dying to get started & work on MB’s with his brother.) I’m thinking that by the time my first son is awarded his Life in May, that he will only need his Eagle project & time. That all said, he did not have any intention of completing all the MB’s when he started but he is starting to get in the rhythm of it & is getting hooked on accomplishing them and learning. I think it’s a fine line between motivation & pushing though ….also between them getting burned out & staying motivated. Some will, some will not. So with this in mind, I’m being very careful & trying to only make sure he stays motivated by Scouts, the activities & learning itself while still progressing.

On this last note, I had similar discussions with my son as I had in the mentioned recent Eagle SMC & parent conversation. I also shared this thread as well as the posted articles…he thought that it was pretty cool that someone had done it. While I still don’t think he’s committed to getting them all (I will support him or his brothers if they do), he is definitely motivated to do more after Eagle. He is doing pretty good so far & will likely have 34-35 by the end of April. If he holds to his plans he will have an additional 18-20+ by the end of the summer putting him in the 50-55 MB range. Most importantly he will have learned much & been exposed to much.

I will admit to you all though, while I’m trying to be sure this is his deal, I am pushing him to take some specific MB’s, ones I think all Scouts should learn before they leave. Anyway, if we have figured it right & based on what he is anticipating accomplishing by summers end he should be awaiting time of his Eagle & 5+ palms. (Turns 14 in August) One thing that will help, is that he is going to summer camp with both his new troop (Camp Loll) & old troop (Camp Meriwether). One other goal he has set is for the Outdoor Awards before he turns 18 as well as the Conservation award. Ok…now you know a little bit about our background…probably too much. LOL

BTW, this thread inspired me to invest in a few of the MB posters…I posted one in both my 13 yo & 11 yo son’s rooms. I also bought a 2011 Award Requirement book. My boys loved it…and you know what? That visual is huge and they are both chatting about what other MB’s they want to get together. I decided that we're going to also do one of these Progression charts of Scoutaholic’s. (NICE job!) I’m also going to do something with a spare poster for my Troop.

scoutaholic wrote:Probably another important part for reaching this goal is a good way to track what is done, what is in progress, and what still needs to be done.


I really do think this is a great way to track things in a visual & motivating sense regardless of whether a Scout wants to go for them all or not. It seems the more MB's they get the harder it is to keep them straight…scheduled. Also I think that as you have several scheduled, in process, not awarded & already awarded, it can get confusing. This can help so much…the visual is invaluable for the Scout.

I got a magnetic white board for my son to use. We printed graphics of each of the MBs and attached those to magnetic tape.


I’m thinking I might just cut up one of the MB posters & then doing the same.

Then we divided the board into sections. The right side is all the badges not yet started. The left side is all the badges he has already received (after the court of honor). As the magnets move across the board they go through sections where we have found a counselor, scheduled classes/meetings, partials, ready to pass-off, and completed (but not yet presented). ...


Very nice!!! Thx for posting the pics…it was inspiring.

Okay…time to close for now. Thx for the great posts & thread & for listening to me ramble.
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