scouts-l Mail Archive for July of 2000: Re: How About a Policy/Practice of "no advancement" at camp
Anthony Mako (ajmako@NLS.NET
Wed Jul 05 2000 - 18:11:42 CDT
<Daniel T. Fitzhenry, Esq. wrote>
My troop leader greatly discouraged the scouts from attending "classes" and
obtaining merit badges at summer camp......we, as the scouts, really had NO
IDEA (or information) that we could get "lots" of merit badges at summer
.....but, as an alternative, the troop focused on attending all "open"
programs in all areas and even some "specially scheduled" our-troop-only
events in some program areas .....as a result, we had "FUN" in all areas.
So, overall, the result was......
1.) Lots of fun ...no "stress" to complete "stuff"; and,
2.) this forced/permitted scouts to focus getting merit badges on an
individual basis with merit badge counselors throughout the year...not
attending places which might be perceievd by some as "merit badge mills.";
and T-SC-FC advancement was via troop and patrol activities.
3.) We loved camp nonetheless......
Still don't know if my old leaders practice was wise or
foolish......!!???......don't know if this really hurt some scouts to
IMO, your Scoutmaster got it half right. I usually do two things in
preparation for summer camp:
1) I provide each Scout with a schedule of badges they can work on, talk to
each of them about the badges they want to do, and help them determine a
schedule for the week that they can be happy with.
2) Talk a lot about the different programs the camp offers, and point out
that there's plenty to do and it's probably impossible to do everything.
When I talk to Scouts about badges and requirements, I try to discourage
them from filling the day with merit badges. If they insist on taking five
merit badges, I give them plenty of chances to change their minds. In the
end though, their schedules are pretty much up to them. I know, though, that
by Tuesday afternoon, any Scout who has bitten off more than he can chew
will have dropped a badge or two. This is what you call individual choice -
even if the Scout chooses to drop everything and just goof off all week.
A. J. Mako, Scoutmaster, email@example.com
Old Portage District, Great Trail Council