your opinion on merit badges

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

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Postby ICanCanoeCanU » Tue Aug 02, 2005 7:00 pm

Oh I am sooooooooooooo glad you said that Crawford. Sometimes it's hard to decipher things in here and then I feel like a real goof thinking it's just me. But then again, sometimes I can go back and see where it was coming from. oh boy, now I'm confusing this again, lol.
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Postby BM_Crawford » Tue Aug 02, 2005 7:14 pm

lol I know EXACTLY how you feel. I don't know why but alot of times I read text in a wrong way.
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Postby Scouting179 » Wed Aug 03, 2005 7:36 am

People often read written text wrong because the tone, intonation, etc is lost because you one see text and don't hear the voice inflections.

This is why we all, including me, have to be careful when we write things. Email and forums are worse than regular prose because people tend to put less thought into what they write in those cases as compared to long narratives.
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Postby BM_Crawford » Wed Aug 03, 2005 7:56 am

yea thats definately true. Thats usually why I have a hard time understanding people here hehe.
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Postby San Mar Rochaid » Mon Nov 21, 2005 7:57 pm

I find that I don't have to push at all to get my scouts to earn the fun electives. I focus on the requireds, and let the electives come on their own. As it is, the electives still come in far greater numbers than the requireds.
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Re: your opinion on merit badges

Postby Scholarch » Wed Mar 08, 2006 3:04 pm

diamondbackAPL wrote: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.

Get the eagle badges over with unless the Scouts simply won't show the maturity and initiative. If they aren't mature enough to handle digging up a thing or two in the merit badge book for First Aid merit badge, then the Tenderfoot through First Class requirements will have to suffice for them. (I even have a younger Scout whose behavior is so erratic that I'm seriously afraid to teach him chest compressions on a mannequin...though his maturity to not show up when I taught the merit badge settled the issue. )

If they think Personal Management is not yet on their merit badge agenda then maybe they're right. (Of course not having a job or allowance, as was my case at one time, should not be confused with maturity.)

Myself and another counselor taught the "3-month Thrillers" (Fitness, Management, and Family Life) within six months and never heard any complaints. I also taught First Aid and Emergency Preparedness at roughly the same time within my troop. You can realistically teach half of the Eagle-required badges in half a year if the Scouts are willing to do the work.

Being an Eagle myself, I generally see no reason that access to these Eagle-required merit badges should be offered sparsely for elitism or apodictically restrained to older Scouts. Counselors often pulled that with me when I was a Scout and I've been begrudged about it ever since. A few guys in my troop may get Eagle long before their 18th birthday to appease my vendetta. Hehehe.
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Postby vpalango » Wed Mar 08, 2006 4:57 pm

Personnally, I don't "push" Merit Badges at all. We do counsel the boys to get the work done, but we do try to keep to the saying...

"It's the troops job to get the boys to First Class, it's the Boys job to get Eagle"

We do offer First Aid, and some others within the troop program, but it's an important part of gaining the Eagle Rank that the boys go through the process of finding counselors (either individually, or at forums such as Summer Camp or Merit Badge University), and do that work outside the confines of the troop.

Just my $.02
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Postby Scholarch » Wed Mar 08, 2006 5:44 pm

My troop is actually ok with teaching all Eagle-required badges within the troop. For electives they are more often than not left to the venues you mention.

While I don't "push" merit badges on them they understand that it is often not coincidence that every last Eagle in our records (with rare exception) has barely made it under the 18th birthday. (The current Scouts originally had sign-up sheets and when the sign-up sheets kept having the same names I went ahead and kept the Eagle-requireds rolling for them without sign-up paperwork.)

The Scouts I counsel now want to be the exception and not the rule. One of them has made it a goal to get at least three palms. Obviously, the palms option is out of the question for a lot of Scouts who barely get Eagle in time. Another Scout wants to get Eagle fast and move into Venturing and maybe earn Silver and Ranger. So the push is not entirely mine.

I can't look at Scouts in the eyes and tell them some allegorical imperative to "go find the badges on your own" when they are actively seeking to raise the bar higher than any Scouts prior. Scouting is boy-led, true, but blue cards aren't filled out by Scouts and I know the frustration because I've seen it from both ends of the spectrum. If they want to do the work, accomplish the work, and go above and beyond then Scout leaders should feel obliged to be flexible as the Wood Badge teaches.

I kind of got into MBC'ing when a guy was some four months away from his 18th and had virtually everything but Personal Fitness. Telling him to find it on his own wasn't my idea of flexible. He's an Eagle now.
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Postby WVBeaver05 » Wed Mar 08, 2006 8:57 pm

I think everything that I am going to say has been said by someone earlier in this thread, but here are my thoughts. These are thoughts from two perspectives -- first, I am an Eagle scout (admittedly from quite a few years ago) and second from a Scoutmaster.

First and foremost, Scouts should work on badges that they enjoy or are interested in!

With that said, we have to make sure that they understand that advancement will require some Eagle required badges, and they may not like all of them. Additionally, I always like to point out that there will be some merit badges that they don't know whether they will like or not until they try, and that could lead to a lifelong hobby or even a future occupation.

At Merit Badge College, I suggest that they look over the list and consider one of the Eagle required badges that might otherwise be hard to get with the resources that we have available. Similar suggestion for Summer Camp, although the badges are different.

And last, I encourage everyone to help their Scouts take some Merit Badges from people who are outside the Troop environment. This really does help them learn to interact with "unknown" people (it did me), which is something that is needed in most jobs.

Just my thoughts on the subject. As always I welcome comments and other points of view.


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Postby Mrw » Wed Mar 08, 2006 9:19 pm

We teach the first aid badge once a year for the boys that don't have it.

A couple of our patrols this year are working together on another badge. Generally our boys take badges at summer camp and work on them individually. It has been this way since my sons joined and weaverage about 10% of boys who join who earn Eagle.

As Advancement Chair, I keep track of who is advancing and who is not. I try to touch base with those who are not and see if there is anything they are stuck on. Some won't ask for help when they very clearly need it. Some I never ask about progress, just tell them they are doing a good job as they keep coming back with signed blue cards.

We have the whole range of boys in our troop right now from a scout who has not even made Tenderfoot after three years and really couldn't care less to those who are very motivated.

I also have two very quiet boys who we are going to "buddy up" with an lder scout to mentor them since they are too shy to ask someone to sign their books, etc. That way they have moral support to come with them to ask an adult for sign offs, conferences, etc. I have found that after a couple months like this they are much more able to do for themselves.

OUr Eagles have ranged from 13-the day before they turned 18. We encourage them to finish before they start driving and get jobs. They also can earn Palms this way.
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Postby John F. » Thu Mar 09, 2006 5:13 pm

I informed my son to take the Eagle merit badge when they were being offered during the scout meetings. If they weren't then take fun merit badges. He went to summer camp every year, taking some of the required Eagle merit badges, but most of the time he took fun merit badges that wasn't offered at his scout meetings. He earned his rank of eagle at 15 yo. He turned 18 this past Jan, earning 7 palms and a total of 56 merit badges.

Another scout the same age as my son only took the fun merit badges even if a required one was being offered. When he turned 18, he was still missing two required Eagle merit badges. and he did not make Eagle because of this.

To sum it up, take Eagle required merit badges when they are offered even if you have to give up taking the fun merit badges.
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Re: your opinion on merit badges

Postby Cowboy » Wed Nov 05, 2008 7:02 pm

As stated earlier there is no "right way" for everyone, but..... There is some common sense that needs to be used, and it is our job (adults) to direct the boys in the sensible way to go. I would not recommend that an 11 year old try to do the Personal Management MB. They can work on it and gain some knowledge from it, but for the most part an 11 yr old boy will not have the mathematical and logical developement that is required with this MB. As is evident by the current economic conditions in this country most adults are unable to understand the concepts that this badge teaches. I currently have a couple of boys who are 11 and trying to work this one, but we are going very slowly and it will take them at least 6 months to complete what the older boys are doing. They would (IMHO) be better served by waiting and doing it later when they can learn more easily and retain more.
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Re: your opinion on merit badges

Postby wagionvigil » Wed Nov 05, 2008 7:07 pm

This is a reason why BSA Needs to have ages for different MB. But BSA will say they can work on it they just may take until they are 17.9 to complete it. Taking and Completing are totally different as we all know. :?
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Re: your opinion on merit badges

Postby smtroop168 » Wed Nov 05, 2008 8:42 pm

My experience is that the younger scouts shy away from the 3 required MBs that have time requirements (Pers Fit/Pers Mgt/Family Life) until they are at least a Star. These three seem to be the last ones I see completed when I sit on EBORs as well.
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Re: your opinion on merit badges

Postby alex gregory » Wed Nov 05, 2008 9:05 pm

Family Life: Just like tracking those first 20 nights of camping, start tracking chores as early as possbile and the rest of the badge is pretty easy. No reason why any 11 or 12 year old cannot keep track of his chores for 90 days.

Per.Mgt. is a little hard for most kids before 7th or 8th grade. Thanks again to whomever it was that recc.

Per.Fit.: Why not start tracking fitness early?
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Re: your opinion on merit badges

Postby smtroop168 » Wed Nov 05, 2008 10:02 pm

alex..don't disagree, it's just been my experience with my guys. some start them earlier....some after they turn 17 :(
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