Scouts-L Mail Archive for February of 1999: Re: First Year Scouts & Merit Badges
Re: First Year Scouts & Merit Badges
Mon, 15 Feb 1999 00:06:15 EST
Auntie Beans made some excellent arguments why First Aid merit badge is not
appropriate for first (and even second) - year scouts at summer camp.
I think there are a few more that go hand-in-hand with those reasons.
1. Summer camp should be fun, especially for first year scouts. In my
experience, a good first summer camp is a very strong incentive for the new
scout to stay in scouting. If properly done, I don't think first aid merit
badge would qualify for most first year scouts as fun. There seem to be
plenty of other "fun" merit badges for the first year scout.
2. Since First Aid merit badge is no longer required for First Class, getting
it in the first year does nothing towards the scout's immediate rank
advancement. Even for a scout who joins in March and does First Class in a
year, doing First Aid the second year would be useable for Star rank.
3. We always here complaints that there is nothing for the older scouts to do
at summer camp. Maybe that's because we push them to do the required badges
the first year or two at camp.
The same arguments could be used for Swimming merit badge, except that some
scouts have a natural ability and this comes easily to them, even in the first
year. I would not push a boy to do swimming MB the first year just to get it
out of the way. Let them have fun in year 1. If they don't, they won't be
back, which means they probably won't need any required MB's anyway.