Re: Merit badge welfare
Don Tolin (dont@TRIB.COM)
Thu, 31 Aug 1995 17:25:38 -0600
In reply to Paul Brown's inquiry, Central Wyoming Council's Camp Buffalo
Bill, had MB class in environmental science during the week long camp.
BTW, the MB requirements include the observation portion applicable to
summer camps. "3. Visit the area 4 times - 2 hours each time...or if at
camp, on 4 different days of the week at different times of the day..."
Our kids had to work hard on this one, as one of our adult leaders "helped"
the young staff member teach the class. She made sure that all of the
requirements were fulfilled by the end of the week, including their
observations and the written report. I also attended each of the classes,
and do not know what the outcome would have been without the two of us
adults in attendance. The scouts probably "would" have still been passed
off, but probably would not have learned as much. I'm sure the problem is
the same everywhere; not enough adult help and supervision with the younger
staff members at summer camp.
But, isn't this also a learning process for those young staff members? Is it
there fault when there is a lack of supervision or adequate training as MB
Counselors? If the adult leaders at camp with the scouts, don't get involved
as we did, and allow summer camp to be just a "merit badge factory" without
the scouts learning anything or needing to put out any effort, is it really
fair to just blame the staff/camp/council?
Our kids averaged three MB's at summer camp, while my son earned five
(Camping, Environmental Science, Emergency Preparedness, Orienteering, and
Woodcarving.) He is a high achiever but had to work very hard to complete
the MB's. I know he would not agree that he was just "passed off without any
substantial effort." Having attended all of the classes and working with him
and the other boys in our Troop, I know that all of the requirements were
met for the MB's earned. IMO, it is also our responsibility to make sure the
MB process works, even at summer camp.
***Don Tolin, Casper, Wyoming, USA***
***ASM, Troop 60, Riverbend District***
***Central Wyoming Council, BSA************
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