Re: Merit badge welfare
Paul H. Brown (phbrown@CAPACCESS.ORG)
Tue, 29 Aug 1995 10:55:20 -0400
On Tue, 29 Aug 1995, Linda Gremillion wrote:
> Does anybody besides me feel that their Scouts had it too easy earning
> merit badges at summer camp? In our case, the last three summer camps.
> We had cases of Scouts earning as many as eight. Supposedly a
> neighboring troop's SM refused to allow his boys to have one (Nature, I
> think) because it was being almost literally given away by the
Summer camp, in the opinion of scouts in my trop (and their parents) is a
time to "earn" merit badges. Those who came home with the most made the
most effective use of their time.
Nobody wanted to go on a hike.
Few wanted to star gaze.
The popular mudfights in the bed of the former Lake Meriwether were
stopped by the camp staff. Too unproductive, I suppose.
The camp staff had some skills in the merit badge areas they were
teaching, but classes were too large, IMO, for meaningful interaction and
testing of each scout. Firebuilding for Wilderness Survival, for
instance, consisted of watching someone else start a fire with flint and
OTOH, our camp avoided obvious fraud by not offering Family Life and
Citizenship in the Community (unlike other camps reported here that
allowed _all_ of the requirements for these two to be completed at camp).
There are very few opportunities for troop, and even fewer for patrol,
activities at camp (other than meal preparation/cleanup). It is an
individual effort to gain as many merit badges as possible.
My nephew's troop conducted its own camp last month. Found a place they
could stay for a week, with hiking trails, woods, etc. Had a couple of
parents who were merit badge counsellors come to camp for a day or two to
work with the boys on some badge requirements. I think everybody earned
the Cooking badge, for example. I heard they had a great time as a troop
all week. They might have had the best of all worlds: badges, troop
activities, lots of fun, low price (just the food and gas costs).
All opinions not "borrowed" from unattributed sources are my own.
Paul H. Brown, ASM T807, Great George Washington District, NCAC
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City