Scouts-L Mail Archive for February of 1999: Re: First Year Scouts & Merit Badges
Re: First Year Scouts & Merit Badges
Mon, 15 Feb 1999 19:39:59 -0800
> 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.
> It all depends on how the Troop sets up it's summer camp program.. Our camp has
> an excellent First year program to get the First Class in a year under way.
> Swimming merit badge is easy for most 11 year olds. The ones that cannot do it
> need swimming lessons. If they just will not do swimming put them in a craft
> badge class.
Our camp, Griswold Hidden Valley Scout Res. Has the Merit badge and 1st year
program in the A.M. and there are 4 periods. We set up for 3 and lunch can be
done either at the end of period 3 or before period 4. In the afternoon there are
multiple activities that we can set up for the troop. We have 3 troops go to camp
together and share a campsite.. This is convenient as each troop sets up a
different activity for each afternoon period and if there is one or two boys that
would rather not do a water activity they might hitch with a troop doing a nature
activity. You get the gist of what I am saying. We make camp fun but 1st year
campers get awards and other things done, have fun, and like it says in the JLT
video, learn and do not realize it because they are having fun
Cliff Cray, A good Ole "Bear" NE-I-150
Former SM Troop 136, SM 97 Jambo Troop 527
Historic District Commissioner
Daniel Webster Council, Manchester, NH