Re: Camp partials
Chuck Batteau (charles.r.batteau@BELLATLANTIC.COM)
Thu, 23 Jul 1998 18:28:27 -0400
Carol Kelley asked several questions about camp merit badges. Here
is my understanding ...
1. (Paraphrase: Is there a way to "demonstrate proper technique for
performing CPR using a training device approved by your
counselor" other then doing it on an "Annie Doll"?
Rule one for BSA leaders is "absolute, rigid flexibility." If you're
going to offer a MB at camp, you should have a way to complete it.
If an Annie Doll is not available, the counselor should be able to
come up with another way to complete the requirement. One possibility
would be a rigid doll (if they could find one in adult size!);
another would be to "fake" it using a real person -- not actually
performing CPR, but just showing the proper body, arm and hand
positions and explaining the technique. Remember that this is *NOT*
CPR certification; just demonstration of the techniques. (A parallel
example: we do not ask a Scout to actually REMOVE an object from the
eye to pass the first aid requirement -- just to show the proper
Having said all that, the boys who earned First Aid and/or Swimming
partials should be able to do one of two things:
a. Call a local First Aid/Swimming MBC and see if s/he has an
alternative way (or her/his own Annie Doll!) of completing the
b. Call the local Red Cross, talk to one of their instructors,
and see if they will come to a troop meeting or allow the boys
come to her/him to allow the boys to complete this requirement,
then bring THAT to a local MBC for sign-off.
2. > "If this badge is a partial, it expires 6 months from the date
> above" Is this correct?
It's correct ONLY if the Scout was 17 1/2 at the end of summer camp.
The BSA policy is that a Scout has until his 18th birthday to complete
any merit badge, regardless of when he begins work on it. Local
councils sometimes alter this policy -- but they aren't supposed to do so.
Having said that, it is, IMO, fair to say that if a Scout waits, say,
three years before calling a MBC and trying to finish up the MB, the
MBC may want to be certain that the Scout actually knows or did what
was signed off three years ago. Thus, reviewing earlier requirements
may be appropriate at the MBC's discretion.
3. He caught two brim? Sounds like to me he passed the requirement.
MY opinion is that the requirement of "two different fish" only
prevents you from catching one fish, throwing it back in and catching
it again (the fish may be a bit slow witted, especially after having
been hooked once already <g>). The requirement does not use the wording
"two different species of fish." (If I'm incorrect in my interpretation,
I apologize. I'm not a MBC for fishing.)
In either case, the SM should not sign off a requirement unless HE IS
a MBC for that MB.
In our summer camp, we have one last session on Saturday morning. If a
boy received a partial and felt that he had completed the requirement,
he can go to the counselor that morning and worked to complete the MB.
In this case, a note from the SM that he had seen the Scout catch ten
brim would probably been sufficient. I don't know if your camp offers
this option. (I talked with each of my boys who earned partials to see
if they wanted to try to complete the MB during this last period.)
4. Other MBs to sign up for immediately? (BTW, not all MBCs insist on
work being done only after signing up for the MB; otherwise,
Collections and other MBs would be much harder.) I'd suggest any of the
outdoor badges that he's interested in: Hiking, Sports, Athletics,
Backpacking, Cycling, Dog Care, Photography, Pets, Salesmanship,
Skating, Skiing, Whitewater, Cooking, Skating. Problem is, if the SM
does it correctly, the Scout is supposed to be assigned (or pick) a
MBC when he signs up for the MB.
I'd suggest signing up for those he already has as a hobby (e.g. if he
has a dog, Dog Care and/or Pets; Photography if he enjoys that; etc.)
For others, like Whitewater or Hiking, sign up just before going on
the first activity. (BTW, Hiking involves some serious hiking -- the
2d class 5 mile hike won't do anything for it!) Finally, for those
the troop does every month, like Camping, sign up immediately!
> I have tried to let him go this on his own, but I can't stand it any
> more. He learns better in a classroom (or camp) setting where he is told
> what he needs to learn.
Carol, this is one of the hardest things for a young boy to learn, and
sometimes it takes him seven years to figure it out. This is the way
Scouts is supposed to work, but some boys just aren't ready for it,
especially at 11 or 12.
Ideally, the SM (or maybe an ASM in a large troop) would sit down with
each Scout every so often and ask, "How are you enjoying Scouting?
How are you coming on rank advancement? (Why are you still 2d Class
after two years?) What do you need to do to complete _______? Can you
come up with a plan to complete ______? What would you like to do
next?" and so on.
In reality, we often neglect the SM conference EXCEPT when a Scout
tells us he's ready for a Board of Review. So, you can take on that
role. Don't TELL him what he needs to do -- ASK him and let him
figure it out for himself.
> How can I get gently push without appearing to be pushing???
If you use the questioning method, above, you shouldn't appear to be
pushing. You're actually allowing HIM to manage his Scouting
"career" -- you're just helping him to focus on what needs to be done.
It may turn out that he's exactly where he wants to be -- in which
case we look for ways to keep the program fun for him at his current
level, so he'll still be interested next year when he might have
some more fire in his belly!
Especially, don't focus on advancement. Focus on him having fun in
Scouting. Sure, advancement IS one of the methods of Scouting, but
if he isn't having fun, he won't stay with the program. If he's
having fun, look for ways to turn that fun INTO advancement.
Chuck Batteau, SM, Troop 751, Glen Allen, VA
Maybe they meant an hour a DAY! :-)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City