Re: Citizenship of the Nation
or blackeagle ("Settummanque)
Fri, 7 Feb 1992 18:29:00 EDT
David and all....
please ignore my last message on this subject...I had to stop in midthought to
respond to some "important" messages and I could not save the thought before
returning....my apologies all the way around!
Please allow me to respond to your comment about our merit badge program and
its relationship to our advancement program.
First off, I wanted to comment briefly that it does *not* matter the number of
merit badges earned over Eagle Scout rank...the Eagle Palms were designed for
Scouts (and at one time, Scouters) that wanted to advance above and beyond the
21 (24) "required for Eagle Scout rank". The merit badge program was designed
to assist the Scout in a career or personal interest. IT IS NOT A PART OF THE
OVERALL ADVANCEMENT PROGRAM......A Scout can start work on ANY merit badge at
ANY time after becoming a Scout. As a matter of fact, a Scout does NOT need to
earn any merit badges until AFTER FIRST CLASS!!
Perhaps, I should have siad that the merit badge program is not part of the MAIN
ADVANCEMENT program. It *does* play a major role in the advancement progress
between Star, Life and Eagle and the later Palms. However, Boards of Review
concentrate (or should concentrate) on the leadership, service and tenure
parts of the Scout's advancement and less on the one-inch circular badges.
Now that I've said that, let me explain why we have "required" badges
(identified by the silver border around the badge since the early 60s) and
"non-required" badges (those rest with green/tan borders). When the Scouting
program first took off in the USA, there existed a set of skills that Boyce and
Beard and Summers and the others developed for the "typical" Scout to complete
by the time he earns the Eagle Scout badge. Those skills are grouped in eight
Citizenship (there existed a Citizenship in the Home MB (until 73)...now,
those skills are covered in the Tenderfoot and Second Class requirements and
the OLD Family Living Skill Award) --Citizenship in the Community, Nation
and World (used to be called World Brotherhood ) MBs. These badges enable even
the US military "dependent children" to have an appreciation for democracy and
the American way of life. The American Heritage and Cultures MBs are
special concentrated badges that emphasize the contributions of many peoples
and cultures into our nation and the special Americanisms that make our counrty\
nation special--but they BOTH use the Citzenship/Nation MB as the basis for
Community Skills....along with First Aid and Safety (which the national safety
association sued the BSA successfully for copyright infrigment in the late 60s
and as a result, the "green cross for safety" was changed to a white cross with
a green background for that badge and a red background for the First Aid badg
there are requirements from the Citzenship merit badges that deal with the
Outdoor Skills.....Camping and Cooking keeps going in and out of the required
lists over the years (that was one of the badges which made the number jump by
three in the period 73-78). ****personal opinion**** Cooking should come back
in along with Pioneering!!!! Currently, Camping is the only "true outdoor"
badge...but friends, HOLD THAT THOUGHT!!!!!! The things we do in the camping
enviorment we do in the city enviroment as well....(I'll explain that in a
later posting, but suffice it to say that Camping is the "final exam" of a
good Eagle Candidate!!)
Natural Resource Skills.....the old Nature MB and the Conservation of Natural
Resources MB (which was reworked and became Environmental Science in 1973)
were both required badges....A Scout needs to have an proud reverence for his
land and water and the animals that belong there, including himself.
Personal Skills....the two choices that a Scout has (between saving lives on
the waters and on the land...Emergency Preparness and Lifesaving; and between
developing his body individually, with an organized group, or by aquatics...
Personal Fitness, Sports or Swimming) keeps a potential Eagle "physically fit
and mentally awake". Personal Management keeps him "morally straight" by
keeping him on a budget and by making him thonk about what he does with his
time and money!
Communications....the Communications MB is the only badge that allows a Scout
to develop a set of skills that will carry over into EVERY OTHER BADGE or
Vocational Skills...the "non-required" MBs fit here, although some may easily
transfer from one to the other category........
Service and Survival Skills....this is where I would have placed Emergency
Prepareness and Lifesaving (and where BSA placed Lifesaving and Swimming in
the 50 and 60s.....under "aquatics") A Scout needs to know how to handle
emergencies in the home and elsewhere.....(that is also why the first
requirement of the "required" Emergency Preparness MB says "Earn the First
Aid Merit Badge", another "required" badge.
There you have it, David and others....the badges are not important as the
skills that it teaches...ADVANCED skills above those learned to earn the First
Class Scout distinction.....that is why our advancement program works as well
as it does....okay....almost as well as it does......okay...it works!
Last comment....the Eagle Scout Palms that I and many others wear on our
square knots are there as recognition of the fact that we went just a little bit
further than our peers could (or wanted to) go.....it is NOT a visual counter
(like those "progress toward ranks" sets for
(like those "progress toward ranks" sets for Cubs to wear showing the number
of achievements toward Wolf or Bear....) it IS a advancement based on the
merit badges AND leadership AND tenure requirements.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City