Scouts-L Mail Archive for October of 1998: Personal Fitness Merit Badge
Personal Fitness Merit Badge
Mac Purvis, Jr.
Tue, 6 Oct 1998 22:47:31 -0400
I am concerned about the idea that Eagle is now limited to only boys who are
in the top 50% of physical ability. Should we also make it the top 50% of
mental ability through some testing?
Obviously your fitness performance is controlled both by your willingness to
do it but also controlled by your natural ability or lack of ability. Are
we so sure that "any" boy can achieve these requirements? That the only
thing lacking in non-achievers is motivation or will power? Or, are we
excluding boys who simply can not obtain these set standards? Are there not
very great kids who simply do not have the genes to be in the top-50%? Can
they help that? Can we expect motivation and desire to overcome genetics?
I have read recent articles on fitness that seem to say that even overweight
people can achieve fitness in the sense that exercise provides the
cardiovascular health they need - though they may not meet the conventional
standards of fitness. Should not the goal of Personal Fitness Merit badge
be to obtain an appropriately achievable improvement in fitness. Would it
somehow be wrong or in someway diminish Eagle if we said something more
like: Measure your fitness and then devise and implement a plan to improve
your scores by 20 percentiles? Would not a boy who moves from the 20th to
the 40th percentile really be doing something compared to a kid who
naturally gets the 51st percentile with no program or training?
I think that Boy Scouts should be trying to teach boys to make the most of
the talents and abilities that God has given them. To make Eagle simply
unobtainable for some boys seems to go against this idea.
Mac Purvis, Jr.
Moraine Trails Council, PA
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