Re: Personal Management Questions
Bob Costello (bobc775@HOTMAIL.COM)
Wed, 12 Aug 1998 12:48:16 PDT
Carol Kelley writes in regards to the requirements for the Personal
Management Merit badge:
>My husband and myself have decided that what we make or how we spend it
>none of the children's business. So my question is, once (or if) they
>finally start working on Personal Management with a counselor, can the
>requirement be hypothetical?
As a Counselor of the Personal Management Merit Badge, let me give you
my opionion. The Requirement states "Talk over with parents or guardians
how family funds are spent to meet day-to-day and long-term needs. Tell
how you can help with the family budget."
Nowhere in the requirement does it state that the boy (or for that
matter the MB counselor), need to know anything about the parents'
income or expenses in dollar amounts. The answer to "How is the
money spent?" can be in terms of listing types of expenses, perhaps
with percentages of income, listing investment plans (without
particulars of strategy or dollar levels), and long-term goals. The
idea is not for the boy to become dollar conscience, but rather to
get a feel for the fact that money, like clean water, is a valuable
resource to be managed wisely.
The boy can learn to help the family budget by learning not to be
wasteful, utilizing the resources of the family wisely, etc.
Carol further asks:
>Another question I have is about the personal budget, how is a Scout
>doesn't work or have an allowance going to have a budget? Can the
>hypothetical as well?
The ninth point of the scout law is "A Scout is Thrifty." In
Scoutmastership Fundamentals we talk of having boys earn money for
such things as dues and camping trips. This earning can be done
around the house, or in the neighborhood. It is not necessary to
have a job to budget funds.
The Merit badge is designed to help a boy learn to budget his funds.
It is also designed to teach the boy to keep records of things (just
as the Family Life Merit Badge does) for a period of time. Creating
a theoretical budget, in my opinion, does not instill the same
fiscal discipline as writing down what you do for 90 days.
Keep in mind that the Boy Scout program is one meant for boys
over a great age range (10.5 - 18). Necessarily, some requirements
are more challenging than others. Also keep in mind that Personal
Management is an Eagle required merit badge, and should be more
challenging than the average.
Some aspects of a requirement may be open to interpretation,
such as what constitutes a record of a budget. However, we should not
water down requirements from "keep a record" to "pretend to keep a
record." In my opinion that reduces the effectiveness of the teaching
Of course...that is just my opinion....
Cubmaster - Pack 765 Charter Organization Rep. - Troop 775
Westland Michigan - Detroit Area Council
Certified Trainer - Huron Valley Girl Scout Council
Former District Training Chair for Cub Scouts
Staff member for Scoutmastership Fundamentals
I used to be a bobwhite....-- C-4-96
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