Scouts-L Mail Archive for February of 1999: Alternative Requirements (was Swimming)
Alternative Requirements (was Swimming)
Thu, 4 Feb 1999 17:26:14 -0500
I wish to thank Bruce for the clarifications.
> (BTW: Has Jay or anybody else seen a
> revised form listing alternative merit badges for Eagle for those with
> disabilities? I'm curious as to what they now have as alternatives for
> PF, Cycling, and Hiking.)
I, for one, have not seen any revisions that apply to Form No. 58-730.
Irving, TX, undoubtedly unintentially, failed to deliver a comprehensive
package and as the new SM Handbook shows (page 130) they mistakenly
changed the alternate requirements as they applied to physically
Several people have informed me that they have opened their channels
with Joe Glasscock regarding these and other matters.
I presume that at least some of the twelve identified alternative MBs
that existed for Personal Fitness/Swimming/Sports MBs will continue to
be "pre-authorized" alternatives for Personal Fitness MB standing
alone. (Which doesn't address the concerns about the PF standards.)
Beyond those 12, any Council can determine another MB is equally
challenging and can be used as an alternative.
I would submit that Cycling MB (and others) can be amended without
changing the requirements while making it both more hospitable to the
disAbled and alerting "the rest of use" that the disAbled can compete
virtually equally. There are "handcycles" for wheelchair users and
blind people can compete as "stokers" on tandem bikes while a sighted
"pilot" steear up front. We have started our efforts along that line to
open up/enlighted the MBs.
> analysis of the Heroism Award applications over the last 10 years or so
> indicated that, while their efforts were still heroic and worthy of
> praise, most of these Scouts appeared to go immediately to in-water
> rescue techniques without first attempting any reach-throw-row methods.
> Thus, national felt that there was a need to emphasize the
> alternatives earlier in the program.
I suspected so.
> Given a choice between watching someone drown and attempting to save
> him, by any means available, even without formal training, might not be
> the preferred solution, but isn't foolhardy a little strong for someone
> willing to risk his life to save another?
Given the choice I'd opt for one victim, not two. Posthumous awards for
valor only make the givers feel better.
> However, when evaluating the success of our program, shouldn't we
> really be looking at whether the program has helped this young man grow
> in Character, Citizenship and Fitness? Those are the criteria that
> relate to the aims of our program, not whether he can tie a sheet bend,
> or even whether he can swim or do an in-water rescue.
> There is (or should be) a certain minimum "character set," using
> character to encompass ALL THREE of the intangibles that are the aims
> of our program.
That would require a crystal ball. The measurement can be made only
after the fact when the action(s) is spontaneous and the Scout doesn't
consider that he's being observed. It's like the "basic" Quantum
Physics concept that the very act of observation effects the results
(when they are "under" our scrutiny). Our sincere hope is that is that
we will effect results when we're no longer observing.