Scouts-L Mail Archive for September of 1998: Merit Badge Midway
Merit Badge Midway
Thu, 24 Sep 1998 12:27:05 EDT
I served as registrar (and camp nurse) for a MB Camporee last spring, and we
got a fair amout of feedback. Although ours was a three-day affair, two days
being set aside for MB classes, I think some of the comments we received (and
generated ourselves) would be useful to you.
1) HAVE A MEETING with every counselor all together. We were unable to do
that, and the result was that some felt they had to do a LOT of req-signing-
off, which resulted in some badges being inapropriately given, or too much of
them signed off as partials. (Example: You can't possibly teach all of First
Aid except the CPR part and the home kit in four hours. ) Let them know this
is an experience to expose kids to a lot of MBs and counselors they might not
otherwise see or meet, not necessarily a MB "factory." Let the counselors know
your vision. Also do a brief overview of the YP guidelines and emphasize that
if kids call them later to finish partials YP MUST be followed. Give your
phone number to all of them if they have questions. Make sure they have the
info they need to fill out blue cards properly.
2) Offer SOME MB's that CAN be done fast, as a reinforcement to esp younger
Scouts. Fingerprinting, Basketry and Sculpture come to mind.
3) Let SM"S know *well* in advance which MB's will be represented. Tell them
that if their boys have, say, written that pesky letter ahead of time, they
may be able to finish that Cit/World, or if they bring their collection along,
they might very well get Collections signed off.
Other items for SM info sheet: Your philosophy (not a MB factory, for exposure
to MB's, not to get signed off on a bunch), contact phone numbers, etc., list
of MB's with prereqs that counselors will evaluate (ask the counselors),
whicih MB's cannot be completed, parking, other logistics particular to the
4) Don't waste time with badges everyone gets at camp anyway. You want to
encourage kids to go to camp, in part by pointing out that this is where they
get the camp-type MB's. Do offbeat ones, or ones that are less common.... Sit
down with the current MB requirements book and go thru them one by one. You'll
5) Use this opportunity to generate some new MB counselor resources for your
area. Take the Atomic Energy MB book to the high school science teacher. S/he
will like it... and bring the MB counselor signup form along. Take the Pottery
MB bok to the local craft shop. Take the Surveying one to the local surveyors'
shop, Architecture to the architects'. Thre aren't too many MB books that you
can't find somebody to do (well, maybe not in all areas, but you get my
Our Scout Exec collected all the MB counselor forms that day and made them all
counselors on the spot for MB card-signing purposes.
Make a list of all the counselors, addresses (at least towns) and phones to
give to the SM's at closing.
6) Decide if you want to preregister kids for MB's... this is a MAJOR
undertaking.. or announce first come, first served for sign ups, and decide
how you will deal with the complaints that Johnny didn't get into the badges
7) Have some "fun" activities maybe or maybe not related to MB's... skill
games, patrol competitions, cooking demos, a historical reenactment group, a
8) At Roundtable before and after the event, announce that he who complains
the most does it next year.
SA T44 Pocasset MA
Cape Cod & Islands Council
Abake MiSaNaKi Lodge #393
NSJ 1997 Nat'l Health & Safety
I useta be an Eagle...
'The staff is old and feeble, and we can sing no more,
So we're getting out of Gilwell while we can!'