scouts-l Mail Archive for November of 1999: Re: Climbing Merit Badge
Mario Suarez (Steam0235@AOL.COM
Wed Nov 17 1999 - 16:09:41 CST
During troop meetings there is a lot you can do. I don't have the merit
badge in front of me, but I've taught it for several years at Peaceful Valley
Scout Ranch. Durring your troop meetings you should cover all of the first
aid requirments. The knot requirment should be your primary focus durring the
meetings. The one your scouts must know before they go to the gym is the
figure 8 retrace. If your scouts don't know this knot I'm sure that the
instructors will teach them, but if they know it ahead of time that's one
more hour that you can spend climbing. They also need to know the clove
hitch, water knot, the double fisherman ,the bowline, the bowline ona bite,
and a few more.
There is also a requirment about commands. When a person gets on a rope
he asks "On Belay?" (meaning are you belaying me?) to which the belayer
respondes "on belay" a full list of these commands is in your BSA field
manual. These commands are used in out door climbing but I find that in gyms
they are often rushed, or altogether ignored. This should proabbly be
something you should cover on your own. If I was teaching this at a troop
meeting I would use a relay race game. the scouts for a few teams and the
team splits in two and face each other. the first scout races down where a
leader or scout gives them a phrase in plain english "Give me more rope" and
the scout has to say "slack" before he can tag the next scout. Just an idea
sometimes that works sometimes scouts don't like it.
Scouts also need to know the rating system of climbs for a requirment.
Such as a class one climb is a hike on flat ground. A class two climb
requires hands to balance the scout. class three you must stoop, use hands
all the time, class four a person can be roped for safety but it isn't
neccissary. class five is when a rope must be used (class five is further
devided into 14 levels of dificulty) Class six (aid climbing) is literaly
unclimbable with out carving footholds or climbing up on ropes you've set.
Here's another idea, (I'm big on games) teach them first aid, knots,
rating, commands andall the other requirments you can then hold a "Climbing
Knoledge Jeopardy" game set up the catagories commands, knots first aid,
rating system. ect and give a reward to the winning team. (this just makes
them more apt to listen when your teaching it. (when ever I doa jeopardy
game there's a fun catagory such as "your patrol members" where a question
would be "Last january this scout forgot his sleeping bag when he went on
Make sure durring these meetings to cover what clothing should be worn,
(ie no rings, or watches). and after you spend a day in the gym you can
practice belaying technique at a troop meeting.
I know that there are a few more things you can do durring a troop
meeting but without a merit badge book in front of me I can't remember what
they are. Hope fully I'll email you with some more ideas.
Yours in Service