Scouts-L Mail Archive for February of 1999: Re: Questions for New Boy Scout
Re: Questions for New Boy Scout
Anthony J. Mako
Thu, 11 Feb 1999 04:03:45 -0500
<Dee LaRock wrote>
He has to have his list of which five merit badges he wants to work on
by Feb 15th. (This is when the first payment is due.) They have a nice
first year camp program. So the list of badges is:
My guess is that they want to know which five merit badges he would like
to work on. I wouldn't expect him to be able to work on ALL FIVE. But,
to answer your question, it really depends on his interests. Many of the
badges listed are great badges to work on, can be a lot of fun, and
aren't too overwhelming for a first year camper. First Aid is the only
required MB in the list, and he probably won't be able to work on that
one (req #1 requires him to satisfy the councelor that he is competent
with Tenderfoot through 1st Class first aid). I would councel him to
stick with maybe woodcarving, leatherworking, and fishing. Except for
space exploration the other badges require a lot of work to accomplish.
Personally, I think he would be better off concentrating on Tenderfoot
through First Class and maybe one or two easy badges. The key for first
year campers at summer camp is to accomplish something while getting
used to being in camp and having fun. Spending 80% of your day on merit
badges doesn't leave much time for all the other fun stuff.
I don't want him to have all 'fun' badges, or all 'work' badges.
Most importantly, the badges selected should be badges your son is
interested in. If he's not interested in soil and water conservation, he
won't enjoy learning about it. My philosophy has always been to let the
Scouts decide for themselves. If they choose only one or two "fun"
badges and nothing else, it's their choice. I'd rather see them spend
the week having fun and completing a couple "fun" badges, than being
board and ending up with partials for six "work" badges. Give him time,
he'll work on the harder badges when he's ready for them.
BTW, a partial is an uncompleted badge. This is NOT a bad thing since
the work he does won't have to be re-done. I've found, however, that
some Scouts feel as though they haven't accomplished anything when they
get a partial.
The list of things to bring:
shoes (2 pr.)
At least 2. I suggest a good pair of comfortable hiking shoes (or
boots), a pair of inexpensive (but comfortable) tennis shoes, and a pair
of moccosins. If he'll be swimming in a lake (rather than a swimming
pool), he'll probably need a pair of water shoes.
The boots or hiking shoes will be needed if the weather turns bad and if
there's a lot of walking to be done (especially in the bush). Tennis
shoes are good to have for short walks, goofing around the campsite, and
for when it's dry. Moccosin's are best for wearing in his tent, and
occasionally walking around camp. Water shoes can be used in place of
moccosins in some cases.
toilet kit (toothbrush, towel, soap, etc.)
Please, please, please send him to camp with at least two full size
towels and a hand towel. All the camps I've been to have had shower
fascilities. After the first couple days of using the same towel at the
lake (or pool) and at the showers, the towel quickly becomes better for
moving the dirt around (or putting it back on) than for actually drying
So, I'd also like to know what else to bring for a boy who has never
spent any night away from home. I can see that maybe...envelopes and
stamps? They'll only be gone for a week. Should I send a card before he
even leaves? I could sneak one into his pack.
Okay, here's where it gets tricky. Mostly, the things he'll need depend
on the program and fascilities at the camp. If you _must_ send a card,
send it on Monday. He'll probably get it on Wednesday or Thursday. Be
careful how you word the message on the card though, if he gets homesick
a card may do more harm than good. Most of all, you should let him make
some decisions on what he takes or needs. In the end, unless he goes to
camp with nothing more than a pair of shoes, he'll come home with some
pretty exciting stories and more than a few ideas for next year.
Anthony J. Mako, firstname.lastname@example.org ,Scoutmaster, Troop 381
http://members.aol.com/Scouts381/ "Home of the Unofficial Boy Scout
Great Trail Council - Akron, Ohio
"I used to be an Eagle (C-7-97), but I'll always be an Eagle (1981)"