your opinion on merit badges

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your opinion on merit badges

Postby diamondbackAPL » Sun May 15, 2005 3:48 pm

I was wondering if you support the idea of scouts doing all the fun merit badges when they are younger, and as they get older do the eagle badges, or if you support doing all the eagle badges right away, get them over with, and then have fun, since you don't have to worry about the eagle badges anymore.
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Postby wagionvigil » Sun May 15, 2005 3:56 pm

You must have a mix to advance. Read the requirements for Star life and Eagle. I have seen boys with 12 or 15 MB and still a First Class as they have no Required badges. Then they run out of time at the End. Those 90 day MB get them every time.
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Postby Mrw » Sun May 15, 2005 8:25 pm

There is no necessarily right or wrong way. As the Advancement chair, I encourage a mix so that the boys are ready to earn Star in the forseeable future after they earn First Class.

The other thing is that they are very encouraged to earn the required ones which are offered at summer camp in their second and third years as they then get old enough for jobs, driving, etc and find it is hard to fit everything in. make the best of the opportunities that are presented to you!
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Postby commish3 » Mon May 16, 2005 1:31 am

As a long time scout leader (I was a scoutmaster many years before my son was born) I have been very careful not to 'Push" my son in advancement. He had 16 meritbadges before he earned his Star rank at 16.
He has been to summer camp a few times, philmont Three times, Northern Tier Canoe Base, JLT, Served as a Patrol Leader, QM, SPL twice, ASPL twice and Troop Guide twice. So he was a busy active scout.

He now is a 25 mertit badges and is a Life Scout and 4 required MBs from Eagle.

Perhaps the path he took was not the best or the easiest, but is was all his. He chose it, he planned it, he did it, and as a scout leader I wouldn't have wanted him or any scout to do it any other way.

There is no right or wrong path as long as it is YOUR path.
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Postby Mrw » Mon May 16, 2005 6:20 am

Like I said, encouraged, but they make their own choices.

I currently have a 17 yr old Star scout with 8 months before 18. He is now realizing he can still make Eagle if he gets busy fast.

Not the best plan, but we will help him time it out so it all gets done.
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Postby Scouting179 » Mon May 16, 2005 7:34 am

I encourage a mix. If they take all non-required MBs, then they get stuck trying to get the required MBs they need for Star and above.
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Postby diamondbackAPL » Mon May 16, 2005 9:36 am

our scoutmaster stresses ranks above merit badges, and we have so many in-troop merit badge counselors, and merit badges classes in the area that we earn merit badges easily. Personally I like the mix to advance, but I took it too far, and now have 14 merit badges, 5 of which are eagle, and I am not even first class yet. :shock:
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Postby ASM-142 » Mon May 16, 2005 10:01 am

diamondbackAPL wrote:our scoutmaster stresses ranks above merit badges, and we have so many in-troop merit badge counselors, and merit badges classes in the area that we earn merit badges easily. Personally I like the mix to advance, but I took it too far, and now have 14 merit badges, 5 of which are eagle, and I am not even first class yet. :shock:


If you are actually learning the material from the MBs then it is not taking things too far. If you only know the material for it to be signed off and then forget about it then that is another story.
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Postby hisdad » Sun Jul 31, 2005 5:01 pm

Hi, its not really about fun vs. Eagle. I like to suggest the following:

Try Swimming and First Aid early, these are not difficult AND they really help with getting to 1st-Class. (and swimming is "fun")
then Camping, Family-life, Personal-Fitness....etc. Figure out your personal progression of difficulty.
Personal-Management depends on your personallity, I'm an adult and this would still be difficult for me. But, this is easy for some 11 year olds.

Finally, all the Citizenships, these really are better to do towards the end.

The structure of Star, Life and Eagle encourages a mix of Eagle+others. I would encourage you to do this. Choose the order which makes most sense to you, this is what should really make the difference.
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Postby BM_Crawford » Sun Jul 31, 2005 6:03 pm

I would encourage a mix but get the hardest for you specifically out of the way. (Like Evi-Sci with me)

I did all of the badges I enjoyed (both Eagle and non) early and had Star at age 12 but I didn't get Life till age 17. Something to think about ;)
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Postby ICanCanoeCanU » Sun Jul 31, 2005 7:05 pm

As the advancement coordinator and parent of 2 Eagles, I suggest several things. First I always promote taking the badges that most interest each person, as this makes most sense. As for summercamp, I suggest taking things of interest or taking things all new to someone. You never know what new hobby will spark your interest. Also, camp is the perfect time to take advantage of the items folks don't have exposure to at home, such as small boat sailing or other badges that require boats. Ideally I like to see a scout take at least 1 ERB each year at camp but I personnally think most ER badges should be done after a few years in the program. Keep it fun - enjoy whatever your doing!
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Postby BM_Crawford » Sun Jul 31, 2005 9:17 pm

ICanCanoeCanU wrote:but I personnally think most ER badges should be done after a few years in the program. Keep it fun - enjoy whatever your doing!


I agree except when you enjoy the EMB subject ;) My first two were First Aid and Swimming and they were my favorite lol.
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Postby ICanCanoeCanU » Sun Jul 31, 2005 10:20 pm

Yes, your right and I'm all for scouts earning Swimming and First Aid first but mostly because they are the perfect starting point in the program and tie into almost any other badge, at camp anyway. Earning the swimming should be best to do before taking any other water badges and the first aid is endless as to where it can be used. I'm a firm believer that you can never know enough first aid and everyone can use a refresher anytime.
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Postby Scouting179 » Mon Aug 01, 2005 7:20 am

ABSOLUTELY NOT. If do only non-requireds, you can't advance. If you do only requireds, Scouts lose out on fun and exploring their interests, which is one of the key goals of the MB program. A mix is the best way to go.
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Postby Lynda J » Mon Aug 01, 2005 3:56 pm

I encourage our boys to do the hard ones first. That gets them out of the way. Have one boy that graduated this year. He lacked two Eagle reguired. But couldn't get it together enough to get them done.
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He had about 35 badges but lacked those two for Eagle.

Kevin will have 19 at our COH the end of this month. 8 of those are Eagle.
He is working on Life and is 12. I push a little but for the most part I don't.
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Postby ICanCanoeCanU » Mon Aug 01, 2005 4:47 pm

Scouting 179 - who are you speaking to or what are you referring to when you say
ABSOLUTELY NOT. If do only non-requireds, you can't advance. If you do only requireds, Scouts lose out on fun and exploring their interests, which is one of the key goals of the MB program. A mix is the best way to go.
?

Isn't that what everyone is saying?
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Postby Scouting179 » Tue Aug 02, 2005 7:19 am

I was referring to the original post about only doing fun ones first, etc.
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Postby Mrw » Tue Aug 02, 2005 9:19 am

Our new scouts go to the first year emphasis program at summer camp and then usually earn 1-2 "fun" badges as well. Art, Leatherworking, and Basketry are popular. They will do First Aid with the troop in the fall.

I encourage the older boys to get at least a couple Eagle required at camp each summer, with Env. Sci. being on the top of the list. Then they should pick something that interests them and sounds fun. Some pick water sports, some outdoors skills stuff, some shooting sports and some like the handicraft stuff.
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Postby ICanCanoeCanU » Tue Aug 02, 2005 2:55 pm

Oh, gotcha Scouting 179. I was a bit confused. thanks
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Postby BM_Crawford » Tue Aug 02, 2005 6:17 pm

ICanCanoeCanU wrote:Oh, gotcha Scouting 179. I was a bit confused. thanks


Yea I was confused aswell ICanCanoe :)
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