Re: Camping MB
James A. Sheckels (sheckej@EARTHLINK.NET)
Fri, 26 Jul 1996 11:40:09 -0400
Robert - I personally have no problem with your method of ensuring Scouts
coplete MB requirements. That is simply your method, style, technique. If
you, your Scouts, and your parents are OK with it, why should anyone not be?
However, it DOES NOT preclude the use of camping elsewhere from the Troop.
Each counselor has to determine the needs of the Scout and balance them
against the requirements.
>1. How many are you willing to allow of the non-BSA type. If the scout
>camped out with his family for a week, or two will you accept this? Did the
>scouts really pitch the tent or is Mom or Dad saying he did so that the scout
>may earn the MB.
Sure I will. And I will earnestly question that the intent and sprit of that
requirement is met. I believe in trusting until proven by the individual
that I can't. The Scout has to be trusted too. If he accepts less than the
standard in the case of family camping, hasn't he himself violated the first
point of the law?
>2. How far back are you willing to go. Are you willing to count the
>Father/Son campouts as cub scouts and webelos. The requirement does not
>specifically state the that scout need be a scout to complete the
>requirements. Can you interpret this to mean that all camping trips in tents
>that this scout attend since he was 8 years old are acceptable. We need to
>draw the line somewhere.
No, the requirement does not specify the "start point", but the badge cannot
be worked on until the Scout is in the proper program. I.e, cannot work on
Boy Scout badges until registered as a Boy Scout. I would hope that few of
us are confused on this concept. Look in the Adavncement Guidelines on page
13. From the Boy Scout Advancement section, in the paragraph "Age
requirements" it is stated " Merit badges, badges of rank, and Eagle palms
are for registered Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts, and Explorers."
>3. Are you learning the same type of skills by camping in your back yard as
>you are, if you are in the woods, away from home.
Maybe, maybe not. But those skills are learned through the various learning
opportunities. Who are we to say the BSA way is the only way? As long as
the Scout learns and practices the BSA way, why shouldn't he learn other
methods as well?
>4. I hate to even mention it and I know I will receive a lot of hassle from
>it, but if you allow one parent to OK a few nights camping, then you MUST
>accept any parent that says their son did ANY number of nights camping,
>without question. You must treat all parents equally.
No, not without question. We cannot expect that all parents (or anyone)
knows and understands the requirements. That is what we are expected to
know, and share. It's part of our committment, not the parents. Unless, of
course, they are Scouters too! Equally? maybe, unless experince shows you
cannot, as I stated above.
>We have had problems in the past where a parent would see fit to "Alter" the
>requirements for their son, and "fib" a little, so that their son could earn
>the award as quickly as possible. This does not help the scout, and really
>irritates the other scouts as well.
So, this parent has demonstrated through action that he/she is not on an
equal "trustworthy" plane with others. If they question your not accepting
their word, explain to them candidly and honestly why, in private. Either
they accept or they don't. It isn't worth getting an ulcer over. If the
parent isn't insisting on an honest, trustworthy, lifestyle, do you really
think the Scout is abiding? The home lifestyle will override what we try to
convey in Scouting, most of the time.
>One last point, if I remember correctly, when begining a merit badge, the
>scout must get the name and phone number from the scoutmaster, when the SM
>signs the blue card. It is also the counselor's responsibility to determine
>whether the scout completed the requirements for the award. I am the MB
>counselor for Camping, and I don't sign off ANY requirement unless I was
>present. If I am not present I ask one of the other ASM to sign it stating
>that they were present when the scout completed the requirement. This
>removes any question as to whether the scout actually completed the
>requirement or not.
And that is just one technique. Nothing wrong with it. There are others
too. Nothing wrong with them, as long as the counselor informs the Scout up
front and both have a meeting of the minds as to what each requirement means
and how it is to be accomplished. That is part of being a counselor.
>An active troop should have no problem completing these requirements within
>18 months. I don't see a need to rush it any further. The first 12 months
>should be spent concentrating on rank advancement, with MB as a side item.
Without a doubt. That's why we changed the rank program so drastically a
few years ago, back to the way it was before the mid-70s. Basics first,
then advanced techniques. But is doesn;t preclude completing MB work before
1st Class is achieved. I would personally be reluctant to see a Camping MB
awarded any faster than this, too. I guess we agree that this is the point
at which most Scouts are at the "experienced" camper level that the MB is
looking for. It also supports the "learn it, do it, teach it" technique.
Can a Scout teach the skills of this MB with less experience? That is a
factor I also look at when counseling. teching it is a definite way of
showing that you have learned and understand the skill.
Just me stating my understanding of the job! ;-)
YIS, Jim Sheckels - I used to be a Bobwhite...SE 308-7 'firstname.lastname@example.org
CR & CC Troop 742, Hope Mills United Methodist Church, NC/Member of NAUMS
District Adv & Tng teams/910-426-2766/3501 Farm Circle Rd Fayetteville, NC
Scouting IS NOT an exact science, so use your brain - noone else is! <|:)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City