Fencing merit badge.

Ideas for NEW merit badges (or other awards) and/or thoughts on improving existing ones.

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Fencing merit badge.

Postby twheatley » Wed Oct 01, 2008 12:56 pm

Ok, I know there is already a thread open for the fencing merit badge. However, it looks like it is rather old so I am opening this one in hopes of generating fresh interest.

I understand that fencing can be used as one of the requirements for the Sports merit badge. However, unlike most other sports, fencing includes a very complex tactical component that requires much more than a passing interest to understand, let alone become proficient at. Additionally, the thought of having merit badges for certain individual sports that require a bit more of a commitment than showing up to a team practice a few times is not without precedent. Examples of these include archery, cycling, golf, horsemanship, rifle shooting, and shotgun shooting.

As requirements I suggest:

1) Be able to explain the three weapons and the differences between them
2) Be able to explain the target area for the various weapons
3) Be able to explain right of way rules for the various weapons
4) Be able to explain and demonstrate each of the different types of parries
5) Be able to explain the different types of attacks/timing
6) Be able to explain the tactical wheel

And of course, one must actually fence...

Thoughts?
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Re: Fencing merit badge.

Postby smtroop168 » Wed Oct 01, 2008 1:19 pm

You've seen the process. You can also call and see if it's been requested. My guess is that it would be DOA since it is so specialized that few scouts would take it.
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Re: Fencing merit badge.

Postby FieldSports » Wed Oct 01, 2008 1:39 pm

Like the idea. Suggestions:
Add in safety equipment required and locations to practice
Remove the word "weapon" with something more PC. "Foil"?
Add in something about Olympic scoring

It will be hard to get approved. It requires striking someone. They won't even let you play laser tag. However, they do allow Judo.

Good Luck
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Re: Fencing merit badge.

Postby Quailman » Wed Oct 01, 2008 1:43 pm

twheatley wrote:I understand that fencing can be used as one of the requirements for the Sports merit badge.


Only if he started the MB prior to 1/1/07. As of that date the requirements are for participation in two team sports. I know, fencing is a team sport if you are a member of a team. I was on my HS fencing team. There are 14 sports, and in only three can you compete as an individual.

The requirements book wrote:Take part for one season (or four months) as a competitive individual or as a member of an organized team in TWO of the following sports: baseball, basketball, bowling, cross-country, field hockey, football, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, table tennis, tennis, volleyball, water polo. Your counselor may approve in advance other recognized sports, but not any sport that is restricted and not authorized by the Boy Scouts of America...


Your requirements seem reasonable, but you left out the first and last -
- Show that you know first aid for injuries or illnesses that could occur while fencing.
- Find out about three career opportunities in fencing. Pick one and find out the education, training, and experience required for this profession. Discuss this with your counselor, and explain why this profession might interest you.

Oh, and Fieldsports, they are called "weapons". A foil is just one of the three.
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Re: Fencing merit badge.

Postby FieldSports » Wed Oct 01, 2008 1:57 pm

I would list all three names and ask for the differences, etc. I personally have no problem with the word "Weapon". Just know that if you read the Archery, Shotgun, and Rifle merit badges, the use of the supposed nasty "W" word is not present. Are these weapons also? You bet.

Remember your goal is to get the MB approved. "Weapon" has too many bad images according to the PC crowd.

With all this talk, you have reminded me to go clean some of my weapons. :wink: :wink:
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Re: Fencing merit badge.

Postby alex gregory » Wed Oct 01, 2008 4:33 pm

twheatley wrote:Additionally, the thought of having merit badges for certain individual sports that require a bit more of a commitment than showing up to a team practice a few times is not without precedent. Examples of these include archery, cycling, golf, horsemanship, rifle shooting, and shotgun shooting.


I can make all the same arguments for a Judo merit badge.

Do we really need more sports MBs?
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Re: Fencing merit badge.

Postby twheatley » Wed Oct 01, 2008 4:57 pm

True, you can make the same arguments for the Judo merit badge. However, fencing is rapidly becoming a main-stream sport whereas Judo is still on the fringes, plus it still carries that whole martial arts stigma (which I find unfortunate as I quite enjoyed doing Judo as a kid....)
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Re: Fencing merit badge.

Postby alex gregory » Wed Oct 01, 2008 6:22 pm

twheatley wrote:True, you can make the same arguments for the Judo merit badge. However, fencing is rapidly becoming a main-stream sport whereas Judo is still on the fringes, plus it still carries that whole martial arts stigma (which I find unfortunate as I quite enjoyed doing Judo as a kid....)


So now all main-stream sports with a "real" commitment shouild be merit badges? There are appx. 30 recognized Olympic sports, plus demonstration sports. Do we really need a merit badge for each?

The great thing about the Sports merit badge is that it captures so much.

Don't get me wrong, I love sports, but boy scouting already has sports pretty well covered.
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Re: Fencing merit badge.

Postby twheatley » Wed Oct 01, 2008 9:29 pm

alex gregory wrote:
twheatley wrote:True, you can make the same arguments for the Judo merit badge. However, fencing is rapidly becoming a main-stream sport whereas Judo is still on the fringes, plus it still carries that whole martial arts stigma (which I find unfortunate as I quite enjoyed doing Judo as a kid....)


So now all main-stream sports with a "real" commitment shouild be merit badges? There are appx. 30 recognized Olympic sports, plus demonstration sports. Do we really need a merit badge for each?

The great thing about the Sports merit badge is that it captures so much.

Don't get me wrong, I love sports, but boy scouting already has sports pretty well covered.


True, but by that logic archery, cycling, golf, horsemanship, rifle shooting, and shotgun shooting should also be rolled into the sports merit badge, thus opening up 6 slots for new badges.

I think the differentiating factor is between team sports that one can participate in through school or local leagues and individual competitive sports. Perhaps rather than a "fencing" merit badge we should consider making the Sports badge a "team sports" badge and creating a second badge to cover a host of individual competitive sports that includes all of those Olympic sports you mention?
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Re: Fencing merit badge.

Postby PaulSWolf » Wed Oct 01, 2008 9:47 pm

Quailman wrote:
twheatley wrote:I understand that fencing can be used as one of the requirements for the Sports merit badge.
Only if he started the MB prior to 1/1/07. As of that date the requirements are for participation in two team sports. I know, fencing is a team sport if you are a member of a team. I was on my HS fencing team. There are 14 sports, and in only three can you compete as an individual.
The requirements book wrote:Take part for one season (or four months) as a competitive individual or as a member of an organized team in TWO of the following sports: baseball, basketball, bowling, cross-country, field hockey, football, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, table tennis, tennis, volleyball, water polo. Your counselor may approve in advance other recognized sports, but not any sport that is restricted and not authorized by the Boy Scouts of America...
You misread the requirement. It does NOT require participation in two team sports.
Take part for one season (or four months) as a competitive individual or as a member of an organized team in TWO of the following sports
It specifically says "as a competitive individual". Furthermore, the list includes Bowling, Cross Country, Tennis, and Table Tennis which can be individual OR team sports.

So Fencing can indeed be used when working on Sports Merit Badge.
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Re: Fencing merit badge.

Postby Quailman » Wed Oct 01, 2008 10:09 pm

I know it doesn't say "team" sports, but the former requirements listed a lot more individual sports under requirement 4:
"Take part in ONE of the following sports on a competitive basis in two organized meets or tournaments:
archery,
badminton,
bait or fly casting,
bowling,
canoeing,
cycling,
diving,
fencing,
fishing,
golf,
gymnastics,
handball,
horsemanship,
horseshoes,
judo,
orienteering,
paddleball,
rifle or shotgun shooting,
sailing,
skating (ice or roller),
skiing,
swimming,
table tennis,
tennis,
track and field,
water-skiing, or
wrestling. "

I know the MBC can alllow for other sports, but the examples given in the newer requirements are primarily team sports. I can't believe they dropped fencing and wrestling (I have only done the former) and kept bowling. At least you need an opponent to participate in fencing or wrestling.

And I forgot Cross Country, so it's 4 of 14 sports on the list in which individuals can compete.
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Re: Fencing merit badge.

Postby AquilaNegra2 » Thu Oct 02, 2008 1:00 am

My son did Competitive Rifle and Running. Both solitary Sports. He tried to get his MBC to accept chess because the IOC classifies it as a sport, but was unsuccessful ;-).
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Re: Fencing merit badge.

Postby PaulSWolf » Thu Oct 02, 2008 8:43 am

Quailman wrote:I know it doesn't say "team" sports, but the former requirements listed a lot more individual sports under requirement 4:
...
I know the MBC can allow for other sports, but the examples given in the newer requirements are primarily team sports. I can't believe they dropped fencing and wrestling (I have only done the former) and kept bowling. At least you need an opponent to participate in fencing or wrestling.

And I forgot Cross Country, so it's 4 of 14 sports on the list in which individuals can compete.

True, the basic list is much shorter, but the key is, as I quoted earlier, that the Scout can compete either as an individual or as a member of a team, in any of the listed sports or, with approval, other recognized sports except the restricted ones.

The old requirements, while they had more extensive lists, also added the clause "
(Or any other recognized team sport approved in advance by your counselor, except boxing and karate.)

So that didn't change much at all. Actually what DID change was that previously the Scout had to compete on one team and one individual basis sport. Now he can use either two team sports, two individual sports, or one of each.
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Re: Fencing merit badge.

Postby twheatley » Thu Oct 02, 2008 10:04 am

Apologies if this shows up twice, I seem to have had a bit of a glitch with logging in this morning.

I understand that almost any recognized sport (with the exception of the restricted ones) can be used as a requirement for the Sports merit badge. However, I am curious about the rational behind allowing some sports like Archery, Rifle Shooting, Shotgun Shooting, Golf, Horsemanship, and Cycling to have their own merit badges while other sports such as fencing are dismissed out of had as being covered under the Sports badge.

What exactly is it that differentiates Archery, Rifle Shooting, Shotgun Shooting, etc... from a sport like fencing, or for that matter any other individual Olympic sport?
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Re: Fencing merit badge.

Postby wagionvigil » Thu Oct 02, 2008 10:09 am

# of people that actually take part in the sport. I am from PA and we have over 1000000 hunters in the field each year.
I have a basement full of sabres and foils etc so I am with you but I also understand where BSA is coming from.
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Re: Fencing merit badge.

Postby alex gregory » Thu Oct 02, 2008 1:07 pm

twheatley wrote:What exactly is it that differentiates Archery, Rifle Shooting, Shotgun Shooting, etc... from a sport like fencing, or for that matter any other individual Olympic sport?


I've never bought into the notion that hunting or fishing are a "sport". I think it makes sense to have stand-alone merit badges for archery, rifle shooting and shotgun shooting that are so closely tied to hunting. Same logic for a stand-alone fishing badge.

I suspect the swimming/cycling/hiking merit badges is less about a sporting activity then it is about teaching a lifetime fitness activity that you can enjoy long after competitive sports are just a little bit harder then they used to be. In the case of swimming it is also a critical personal survival skill.

Why Golf is a stand-alone merit badge is beyond me, but I'm not a golfer.
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Re: Fencing merit badge.

Postby cballman » Thu Oct 02, 2008 1:19 pm

Well here is my take on this matter. Look at the ages of the merit badges and see how long they have been merit badges. Now go look at the Olympic sports and see how long they have been around. Now stop and remember that Scouting was based on Survivial skills from the Armies of the United Kingdom. Fencing I think is not a survival skill in the early 1900s but Shooting, Hunting, and Fishing. We must look back into the past to understand why we have certian merit badges and why we dont have others like Fencing. I am with most of you on the Golf Merit badge BUT when my son took it I stayd and listen to the golf pro that taught it. I did learn a lot so I dont think it was a wasted badge. So I think the BSA are staying closer to its roots than most of us think.

P.S. I was thinking Fencing was a part of the Farm Mechnics Merit Badge :twisted:
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Re: Fencing merit badge.

Postby smtroop168 » Thu Oct 02, 2008 1:23 pm

alex gregory wrote:Why Golf is a stand-alone merit badge is beyond me, but I'm not a golfer.


Because they sponsored (read funded) the badge. Same reason Fly Fishing is separate from Fishing.

Marksman, Angling, Archery and Personal Health (albeit with name changes) have been MBs since the beginning of time.

If you want to try to get Fencing as a stand alone MB, follow the procedures and keep us posted.
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Re: Fencing merit badge.

Postby smtroop168 » Thu Oct 02, 2008 1:24 pm

cballman wrote:P.S. I was thinking Fencing was a part of the Farm Mechnics Merit Badge


And Hopefully not part of Personal Management MB. :lol: :lol:
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Re: Fencing merit badge.

Postby Quailman » Thu Oct 02, 2008 2:13 pm

Merit Badges Past and Present wrote:1910 BSA Handbook (called the Book of Organization) by Chief Scout, Ernest Thompson Seton, had 14 "Badges of Merit". They were: Ambulance, Clerk, Cycling, Electrician, Fireman, Gardener, Horseman, Marksmanship, Master-of-Arms, Musician, Pioneer, Seamanship, Signaler, and Stalkers.

The 1911 Handbook carried over all the 1910 Badges of Merit except the Master-at-Arms Badge of Merit. The Master-at-Arms Badge involved mastering 3 of the following combat skills: single stick, boxing, ju jitsu, wrestling, quarterstaff and fencing.


So fencing was one component of one of the original 14 Merit Badges. It's also one of the sports in the Modern Pentathlon, which has been an olympic sport since 1912. Three of the other four sports, swimming, riding, and shooting, have related MBs and running is part of Athletics.

But I'd venture to say that fencing is just a bit ahead of rabbit raising and beekeeping in popularity, so I wouldn't expect to see a new MB any time soon.
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