Re: Merit Badges
Mike Walton (blkeagle@DYNASTY.NET)
Thu, 10 Apr 1997 15:13:34 -0500
Kim, the "newbie Boy Scout parent" asked:
>"When should he start working on merit badges?"
Anytime after becoming a Boy Scout, Kim. Anytime. The only
"howevers" are those that deal with the First Aid skills and
the First Aid merit badge and the swimming skills and the Swimming
>One of my friends from another council told me CJ could start
>anytime, but would not be awarded any til he made First Class
Nope. He can earn, like those other boys in his Troop, the
Citizenship in the Community merit badge RIGHT NOW if he cares to.
My advice is to have him to decide on a merit badge that he's
REALLY interested in, and have him to work toward earning that
badge. That first badge (and the last one before Eagle) is the
HARDEST to earn only because you "want to do everything perfect"
for the counsellor. By picking a subject that he REALLY LIKES and
enjoys can keep him from later "quiting out" when things get tough
and he's working on a much harder merit badge (like Safety or
Personal Management or Citizenship in the Nation).
As he earns them, he should be presented with them.
>And last, how long can they work on a merit badge.
There's no upward time limit on earning any one badge. Nor is
there a time limit on how *fast* one can earn a badge. A lot of it
has to do with the Scout's interest, as I've stated earlier. Much
of it has to do with the willingness of the merit badge counsellor
to "do it right" and not add nor subtract requirements from the
list just because "I don't think he can do it" or "that's too easy
for him to do". Scouts, like boys and girls all over the world,
grow and learn in different ways, different times and over a
different period of time. Therefore, for one Scout putting
together a model of the Space Shuttle could be "child's play";
would be a nightmare for another Scout with not-so-nimble fingers
and coordination problems. The same can be said for any other
merit badge. What sets the REQUIRED ones apart from all of the
othes, Kim, is that ALL Scouts can earn them at their own pace with
some basic understanding that they have received from other
sources. Seven of the required MBs are based upon basic Scouting
skills taught or coached during the "first year" process and
basically builds upon those earlier skills.
That was *also* the reasoning behind the older Skill Award program
So, have CJ to take a look at his _Scout_Handbook_, pick something
that *he* would want to know more about, has a "burning interest"
in or that he's really *into*, and have HIM to arrange to meet with
the counsellor for that badge. The "group teaching" way is okay,
but I always recommend that the first badge he sets out on his own
to earn. It really sets the stage for other parts of the
advancement program to *him*.
(MAJ) Mike Walton ("no such thing as strong coffee,...") (502) 827-9201
(settummanque, the blackeagle) http://www.vhm.com/~uscardnl/
174 Chapelwood Dr., Henderson, KY 42420-5036 email@example.com
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