Scouts-L Mail Archive for April of 1999: Personal Fitness Merit Badge - LONG
Personal Fitness Merit Badge - LONG
Thu, 1 Apr 1999 22:51:33 -0600
I started this awhile back, so thought I would jump back in with results
of my research.
(If you missed the original post, I started a hail storm of discussion
about PF MB & new vs old Eagle requirements. That wasn't my intention.)
Here are the details:
BSA based the PF MB fitness measurements on a 1980 AAHPERD
publication (the acronym stands for the American Alliance of
Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance).
AAHPERD has significantly modified their suggestions since 1980.
They now support a program called "Physical Best" that has been
in use since at least 1989. Some info is available on their website.
You can also contact Robin Brookfield
email: firstname.lastname@example.org or
phone: 1-800-213-7193 ext426
Texas Tech University provides a web site with the 1989 AAHPERD
guide to fitness (part of an "online" PE class).
Go to: http://www.dce.ttu.edu/dl/courses/phys_ed/
The Physical Best program measures fitness using the "FITNESSGRAM",
a tool from the Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research. According to
" FITNESSGRAM uses assessments that are current and safe (yes, a crunch
is used instead of a full sit-up), and it is criterion-referenced,
meaning that kids are not ranked into percentiles. Rather, they work
individually to achieve a "healthy fitness zone", which is based more
on preventing health risk rather than achieving outstanding performance
values. After all, that is what we want for everyone! "
Info on the FITNESSGRAM is available at the Cooper Institute site:
The FITNESSGRAM is available through an entity called the American Fitness
Alliance. You can call them at 1-800-747-4457 x2407 or 2408 to order
materials. Their standards include Boy Scout age youth.
Finally, I spoke with John Dalrymple today. He is the Director of
Advancement at the National Office (972)580-2436. He confirmed previous
posts that National is indeed modifying PF MB requirements even as I
type. According to John, the new requirements will be dropping any required
percentile score, but instead will require a 12 week fitness program,
and the Scout must show improvement. These updates should be going out in
the mail to Councils the middle of next week. Once the Councils have them,
they will be available to the rest of us.
As usual, Scouts who have already started the MB may work under either set
of requirements (new or old). Those that start later will only be able to
go by the new requirements.
My comments: I think this shows a positive direction for BSA's efforts.
If a boy *REALLY* does the 12 week fitness training, that may help him
develop a lifelong training habit. Frankly, 4 weeks doesn't break a
previously sedentary lifestyle. It is much better to encourage our less-fit
youth to IMPROVE their fitness, than penalize them for being out of shape.
In addition, since they must show improvement, they really can't skip
the workouts! I know my son already looks forward to his 2 mile afternoon
run-this just a week after his first fitness test. Amazing what those
endomorphins can do to you!
(BTW-How many of us SET THE RIGHT EXAMPLE in this area??)
ASM T-259, ACM P-200