Alternate merit badges
MRS HOPE D PRITCHARD (QDRB26A@PRODIGY.COM)
Thu, 19 Jun 1997 12:07:42 -0500
I guess I didn't want to fully discuss the conditions of this boy has
due to the public posting. This boy was physically abused by his
parents at a young age. One of the abuses involved water. He was
repeatedly put into boiling water as a child, and had injuries to his
head. He will not put his head into the water.
>From what his "mother" told me, it took her YEARS to get him into the
bathtub to wash. He will not swim
underwater at all, and prefers not be to around water. He is
intellectually challenged due to the abuses
he suffered as a young child. He has been living with loving caring
relatives for years now - but will
probably never be able to earn the swiming merit badge.
UNKNOWINGLY, last year at camp, I helped him register for merit badge
classes and talked him into
signing up for swimming class. The first day he did get into the
water. After a few minutes, he
panicked - and it was apparent to all present that he would not be
taking the class for the remainder of
the week or the remainder of the class period. The BSA resident camp
director had to come help calm
him down, and help place him in another merit badge class. He would
be eligible to participate in a
SPECIAL troop, however, he is trying to live a NORMAL life.
He is an exemplary Scout in his attitude and behavior, but is only
able to write on a 1st or 2nd grade
level. During the OA elections - I had to write the names of the boys
that he wished to vote for on a slip
of paper because he couldn't write the names. He looks at the
pictures in his Boy Scout Handbook to
figure out many things that he wants to know. He gets along well
socially, and is able to learn. All the kids like him and he is well
known by many area scouters. He is very verbal, and could verbally
meet many requirements that involve writing. He works on a farm with
animals. Is strong as an ox. He is a very simplistic person. He is
very helpful but often DEMANDS attention of adults and enjoys
recognition. He is currently working on pioneering and woodcarving
merit badges. For pioneering he lacks the requirement where one of
the options is a monkey bridge. I don't remember the exact
requirement. For woodcarving, he needs to do one of the 3 types of
It took him 4 years to reach First Class Scout, he earned it a couple
of months ago, and is now 16 years
old. It took him 3 years to learn to pack his backpack so that he
had the correct clothing for the
weather. (He became hypothermic on 3 different outings even while
sharing a tent with an
experienced older Scout.)
The last time the troop had a demonstration of how to pack a backpack
- he pulled everything out of his
backpack and told the younger boys why he packed different things,
and how to pack them properly.
He really did a good job with this demonstration. This was in
preparation for a Polar Bear Campout. Needless to say, he was well
prepared for this winter campout. The Adult Scouters were so proud
of his accomplishment, and it increased his confidence tremendously.
He was voted into the OA by the troop this year, and just recently
came back from the ordeal weekend.
All the boys like him. He has worn his OA sash to every meeting
It is truly his heart's desire to achieve Eagle Rank. I know that
this boy has many limiting factors since
his writing skills are all but non-existant. But if it is possible,
I know of quite a few adults that would
help him to achieve this.
The following requirement was waived by troop committee for this
scout due to the physical abuse
problem and due to the extreme distress that water causes this scout.
Per 1st Class Rank Requirements:
"9. Demonstrate your ability to swim 100 yards using one resting
stroke and two other strokes, and to
float (rest) as motionless as possible for 1 minute. (This
requirement may be waived by the troop
committee for medical or safety reasons.) "
He understands many concepts that he couldn't put down on paper.
Sometimes it's amazing the things that he does know.
He can learn and remember things with MUCH REPETITION. Basically,
that is how he learned to pack
his backpack and how he learned the Scout Skills that he has achieved
thus far. All the requirements
for rank so far have been SHOW, DEMONSTRATE, PARTICIPATE, EXPLAIN...
and not WRITE.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City