Merit Badges - read the book?
Jack Howe (JLHIII@VNET.IBM.COM)
Tue, 10 Feb 1998 12:32:10 PST
As a Scout, I would never have considered NOT obtaining and
reading the Merit Badge books (and Scout Handbook and Scout
Fieldbook). So, I did a little browsing through my collection
of Scout related materials...
In the Scout Handbook, page 598, are the documented steps
for earning a Merit Badge:
"* Get a signed merit badge form from your Scoutmaster and find a
buddy who is interested in working on the same merit badge.
* Get the merit badge pamphlet on your subject. Your patrol or
troop may have one you can borrow. So may your library. You
may also purchase one from your local council service center.
* Contact the merit badge counselor...
* Learn and do the things that the pamphlet explains. Go as far
as you can to fulfill the requirements on your own.
* When you are ready, ...
* Give the signed form to your Scoutmaster..."
In the 1998 Requirements Book, page 12:
"... You should read the merit badge pamphlet on the subject. Many
troops and school or public libraries have them. (See the list on
the inside back cover.)"
I realize that any given merit badge does not list "get and read the book"
as a "requirement" for the badge.
I do, however, believe that "getting and reading the merit badge book"
is a requirement of the process... just like getting a signed "blue
card" BEFORE you start working on a badge.
As an aside, I have tried to help out with Girl Scout badges from time
to time. The Girl Scout materials I was given to work from were the
equivalent of the Boy Scout Requirements book (just the requirements and
no backup information). I usually rely on my library of Boy Scout
materials to fill in the missing information.
If the Scouts are not "getting and reading" BEFORE they try to "fulfill
the requirements" then I believe that they are missing out on a
significant part of what earning merit badges is all about. Especially,
"Go as far as you can to fulfill the requirements on your own."
ASM and Advancement Chairman
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City