Re: Merit Badges
Peter Farnham (pfarnham@CAPACCESS.ORG)
Sat, 12 Apr 1997 22:23:34 -0400
In answer to Kim's questions about MBs--a kid can start work on merit
badges the day he joins. There is no time limit on finishing a badge
except the kid's 18th birthday. Some badges can be earned very quickly,
like basketry; others take several months or more, like family life,
etc. Camping, of course, requires 20 nights of camping. Even including
a week of summer camp (allowed under the terms of the requirements) we're
still probably looking at a year or more.
Now, imho, is it advisable for a brand new scout to go charging off
earning merit badges? Nope. I strongly recommend to all my new scouts
that they should concentrate on the tenderfoot, 2c and 1c requirements to
start with. Of course, if they want to take a merit badge or two, that's
okay. But quite frankly, if none of them earned a single merit badge
until they went to summer camp, it wouldn't bother me a bit.
Also, the person who told Kim that the badgtes couldn't be awarded until
the scout reached first class is incorrect. Check out the BSA booklet on
advancement policies; the scoutmaster's handbook, merit badge counseling
pamphlets and other information.
I think part of the problem is that parents--and some scouters,
unfortunately--get into a mindset where they consider advancement to be
an aim, rather than only 1 of 8 methods, of scouting.
YiS (I used to be a Beaver...)
SM, Troop 113
GW District, NCAC
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City