Gregory F. Smith (gregs@VALLEY-INTERNET.NET)
Sat, 2 Mar 1996 09:37:11 -0800
Paul Weimer write:
>By nonuniformly adjusting the
>requirements, you are watering down the meaning of the badge to the scouts
>that DID meet the stated requirements. If the requirements are wrong, or too
>strict, then there are BSA channels to influence change. The MB Counselor
>is technically obligated to the "NO MORE AND NO LESS" evaluation. On the
>disabilities issue, I am aware that for certain merit badges/scout rank
>requirements there are "alternate requirements" so established permitting
>disabled scouts to achieve rank and merit requirements.
Nonuniformly adjusting the requirements is not appropriate. But modifying
requirements to meet a childs disability or physical limitations is allowed
withing the BSA. Why penalize those children who for some physical reason
cannot shoot the duck or complete a MB requirement. The scouting program
was not designed nor intended to be a perfect organization where everythin
that is printed is supposed to be done exactly how it is stated. Modifying
a requirement due to physical requirements is most certainly appropriate.
The scouting movement has yet to catch up with the mental, physical and
emotional illnesses and challenges that children in todays society have.
>Is it fair for a child to work two years to shoot the duck when another
>did not, would not, or could not ? What about issuing the Rifle Shooting
>merit badge to scouts who could not shoot straight or Swimming merit badge
>to scouts who could not swim 150 yards. The point is, the requirements exist
>and the BSA has directives for maintining uniformity across all troops.
The did not, would not, or could not are three seperate and distinct issues.
A child who "did not" actually "did" upon the consideration of the MB
Counselor and based on his ability. "Would not" and "Could not" could be
attitute problems with the child.
The Rifle MB that you mention has not been adapted for challenged youth as
of 1992. As a Shooting Sports director I ran into a problem where a
challenged youth could not meet the shooting requirement. If I followed the
quoted guidelines and strict adherence to the rules and printed word then
this child would not have received the MB. Isn't this self defeating not to
mention demotivating to the child who wanted to received the MB at summer
camp. Well I modified the requirements to have the child shoot a group
instead of scoring points and the child received the MB.
Again the whole scouting program is not intended to be a situation where
rules are followed so closely that it hinders the motivation, self esteem,
character and growth of a child or adult.
Every effort must be made to follow the requirements as stated. But leaders
and counselors must have an open mind to determine if a child can physically
and mentally meet those requirements and they must adjust the requirements
( .. )
Gregory F. Smith firstname.lastname@example.org
Unit Commissioner good ol "Eagle" too...
W3-803-85 WWW Anatschiton
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