Merit Badge Welfare
Daniel W Brown (dabrown2@VT.EDU)
Thu, 31 Aug 1995 08:08:37 +0600
I agree that there are problems with merit badges at summer camp but I
disagree with the solutions that most scoutmasters come up with to remedy
them. The problems should be addressed at camp. After camp, you only
options are to award the unearned badge or punish the scout for the camps
failure to deliver. Both options are wrong.
These problems usually occur because the staff members are undertrained,
does not have the right equipment, or have too many scouts to handle. Since
the problem occurs at camp, the solution will need to be at camp.
If you see these problems, you should talk to the program director as soon
as possible. Make sure you have names, times and locations so he can find
the problem. He or she may be able to correct the situation during the
week. This will prevent the situation from recurring each week for the
whole season. If the problem cannot be corrected, go to the camp director.
If the problem still cannot be corrected, transfer your scouts to another
After camp, you should talk to your council camping committee and make sure
that they understand your feelings. You might also talk to the advancement
committee, but I have fpund greater success by applying pressure closer to
This does not always work, but you should try. One of the excuses that I
have run into in the past is that hiring more staff, better staff, or buying
more equipment will raise camp fees. The last time a CD used that excuse on
me was in 1983. My troop went out of council to Goshen in 1984, 85, and 86.
We paid higher fees to get a good program. When weI returned to the
council camps in 87, the council had a different attitude. The situation
has steadily improved since then. New programs, equipment and staff have
turned our camps around in the last few years.
I used to be a fox
Dan Brown ASM Troop 56 Blacksburg VA
New River District, Blue Ridge Mountains Council
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City