Re: merit badge factories
(no name) ((no email))
Sat, 31 Oct 1992 19:26:08 CST
We had a discussion on the Merit Badge Counselor's role in all of this in the
spring of (I think) last year. In that discussion, I expressed my displeasure
at the BSA's Youth Protection Policy, adding that I agree with the principles
and the reasoning, but that I felt it went *too far* in the application of
those principles (like in this case).
Presently, we have the Scout to meet with the Counselor (using your example,
Beekeeping) during working hours and in a area that can be observed by another.
(Man, that's a lot!) Mom and Dad aren't going to be making too many trips to
see this person, so the Scout is "pressured" in completing "this thing as fast
as you can...I've got (insert reason for leaving here) to do!"
In turn, short cuts are taken (I don't want to hear it....tell me, camp staff
people, how many Scouts cannot complete ALL of the requirements or complete all
except one observation or one animal or two plants or one half lap and they're
STILL "passed off" for the MB????) which cheats the Scout from the total
experience and the counselor gives less than the best instruction and coaching.
The kid goes home, with yet another badge under his belt and we're all happy.
The other alternative to this is the "Merit Badge Meeting" during Troop time.
In this manner, which is advocated by several Council-level Commissioners, is
that the Counselor meets with the Scout during the Troop meeting. He or she
works with the Scout on those requirements which could be done at the meeting;
and arranges for a time and date that the Scout and an adult can come to do
the rest. This manner addresses each Scout individually, enhances the reason
why the badge is important to the Counselor, and further publicizes the merit
badge program and that particular badge. It also, in my opioion, frees up
signifantly large blocks of meeting time which could be used on basic Scouting
skills and Patrol/team building skills, things that today's Scouts need BADLY!
The "Merit Badge Meeting" can also be used on a total Troop basis, like it is
presently.....but I would use this very spairingly. Scouts spend a great deal
of time in classrooms, and teachers us great techniques to capture and keep
their attention. When they come to Scout meetings, they expect to learn
something....but more importantly, they expect to have fun. Meetings which
turn out to be study sessions or group learning sessions end up being just like
school, and in my opinion, kills the individual self-paced learning that
Scouting is supposed to be about.
Again, Donald, I *do* support the YPP of the BSA. I think, though that they
have went a lot further and in that quest to protect and secure each Scout
and Scouter, we've lost a lot more that made Scouting what it is. I wish there
was another route they could have went.
Settummanque!@ Yea!! Our System's back up!
Lots of mail to read and reply to!
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City