Posted 23 April 2003 - 02:41 PM
I believe that most requirements for Merit Badges are intended for the Scout to learn something. The act of learning would lead one to believe that it would be learned and retained for longer than the short period of time between ingestion and testing. A Scout who can't remember anything about what he learned in a merit badge probably wasn't held to a high standard.
I don't think that this is the case here though. Let's face it: If we don't practice what we learn, we often forget it (quick - If A=B and B=C, then...?). Many MBs are, and should be, taken to expose a Scout to new activities. Once exposed, the boy might not be interested in pursuing further. If he doesn't go further, he is likely to forget much of what he learned. If this is the case, it's awfully hard on a guy to ask hime to remember everything he learned. Should he remember something? Yes, probably, especially if he has enough interest in the topic to want to pursue a sister badge (Fly fishing). But to retest him and then declare that he should have his badge revoked is too harsh.
If a trend exists, where all the students of a specific MB Counselor exibit the same level of incompetence across the board, I'd want to speak to the MB Counselor. If one particular boy seems to show signs of never learning anything, without some other explaination (learning disabilty, etc.), maybe the boy is only trying to fill his sash.
But in this case, it sounds to me like a kid had fun doing a badge that, in the scheme of things (Scouts and Life), isn't life altering. He probably got a little nervous when put on the spot, and didn't respond well. Not quite serious enough to want to revoke a Merit Badge, is it?
I do agree with one thing though. I think you were wise to suggest he study up before the next session. It's a shame he didn't see your wisdom. Hopefully he'll understand next time.