Re: Whitewater merit badge
Kerry Sipe (sipe@INFI.NET)
Sun, 18 Sep 1994 19:18:50 -0400
In a post to this list several months ago, I noted that the "English gate"
requirement for Whitewater merit badge, which required a Scout to perform a
complicated series of maneuvers in a two-man boat within a two-minute time
period, was, in my opinion far too difficult to do. Though I have heard
claims that Scouts have performed the maneuver within the allotted time
within the guidelines described in the Whitewater merit badge pamphlet, I
have never actually seen it done. And I have worked with some above-average
canoeists. When I see a Scout with Whitewater merit badge on his sash, I
make a point of questioning him about the "English gate" test requirement
and, inevitably, I learn that his counselor accepted something less than the
maneuver described in the pamphlet as fulfilling the requirement. Because I
am unwilling to fudge the requirement, I have never personally awarded the
After a group of us brought this matter to the attention of the national
office, I received a copy of a letter from T.J. Van Houten, director of
advancement/conservation for the Boy Scout Division, advising that the
Aquatics Task Force has recommended to the Boy Scout Advancement Committee
that the English gate test requriement be revised. The Advancement Committee
reportedly concurred with this recommendation.
The revised requirement will be released in September 1995 as part of the
"Boy Scout Requirements Book." In essence, the English gate test will be
removed and the requirement will refer to the "Scout gate test." The time
factor will remain the same; however, the configuration of the canoe run
through the gate will be altered.
I was pleased to learn that the requirement has been rewritten to make it
Does anyone on the list know a Scout who has earned the Whitewater merit
badge who fully complied with the "English gate" requirement as currently
desribed in the Whitewater merit badge pamphlet?
Does anyone know a Scout who has been awarded the badge for doing something
less than the requirement described in the Whitewater merit badge pamphlet?
If so, does a merit badge counselor have that prerogative?
I'd like to know what you think.
KERRY W. SIPE firstname.lastname@example.org
608 Malen Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23454 USA
(804) 340-5899 or (804) 547-9765
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City