scouts-l Mail Archive for August of 2000: Cycling Merit Badge
Fri Aug 18 2000 - 09:24:27 CDT
I've been more than slightly concerned about Cycling Merit Badge since
BSA elevated it to Required (along with its alternatives Hiking or
BSA has reportedly announced a proposed five year plan to revise all the
Merit Badge pamphlets.
> For several years now I
> have been doing one of the annual, local Multiple Sclerosis benefit rides
> which includes 150 miles over a weekend.
> I can appreciate your situation in Nederland though -- 50 there is
> COMPLETELY different than 50 here. I have wondered if and when the BSA will
> re-write cycling as they did in changing Skiing into Snow Sports.
That is what concerns me. BSA rarely thinks out-of-the-box on these
revisions and the fiasco of Personal Fitness Merit Badge two years ago
is but one example. The Snow Sports revision, from my perspective, is
> my answer is to use what's under your hat to make
> a decision. It's Scouting, not brain surgery.
And, he's right (though I usually say urban affairs which I consider
harder that brain surgery ;-) ). The problems, however are two-fold: 1)
those "strict constructionist" counselors who apply standards only the
way they read the writing; and, 2) those who are unaware of the
alternatives or, as I would put it, "reasonable accomodations".
Most of you know of my concerns: Working With Scouts With disAbilities
First let me speak to the Snow Sports revision to frame the issue.
BSA's rewrite included the previously ignored areas of Snowboarding and
Cross-Country -- that was good. But, simultaneous to the evolution
(particularly) of Snowboarding was the development of the technology,
training, and thinking which has opened up the snowy terrain to persons
who are blind, or have physical limitations. Though the sources BSA
relied upon for assistance in writing "Snow Sports" were virtually next
door to those sources offices, or sometimes on the same slopes, it
resulted in no commentary, references, or photos of the Snow Sports
opportunities available to the disAbled.
If any of you agree that these matters should be incorporated as
non-substantive, but important, additions during reprinting please write
if BSA. (after all, there are 2-3,000 reading this list-serv)
Now onto Cycling Merit Badge. Not to minimize Snow Sports but, because
Cycling is a Required Merit Badge, BSA shouldn't miss the opportunity to
make the next revision disAbility compliant. In October, following the
Olympics, Australia will also host the Paralympics. There will blind
and physically disAbled atheletes competing at speeds which will dazzle
our faint capabilities. Some will be aboard Tandem cycles, others
driving handcycles - it should not be too much to ask that BSA's Cycling
MB pamphlet include commentary, references, and photos which include
youth with disAbilities participating as well as their peers. (As well
as adjustments for cycling in Nederland.)
Here, too, your letters and suggestions to BSA will help.
Now, as an ANNOUNCEMENT, if you haven't visited the WWSWd website in a
while you will be (hopefully) pleasantly surprised when you visit it
next. WWSWd has undergone major revisions and expansions. Write us if
you like it. Write us if you don't like it. Write us if you thing we
need to add something.
BTW, Thursday's New York Times had a frontpage article on wheelchair
users hiking the White Mountain National Forest (NH) and the controversy
surrounding making a cabin accessible.