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Can't remember all the badge


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#1 yarrow

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Posted 23 April 2003 - 12:09 PM

Boy did my boy take a ribbing the other night and not all of it kindly done. Our troop does a MB college with in the troop every April and the badges offered this time were ones he had completed. He decided to work with the group doing fishing since he had started Fly fishing and thought he could later on, on a field trip, complete his Fly fishing badge. He did the fishing badge two years ago at summer camp with another dad and truely does not remember all he was taught. Well the adults decided to put him on the spot and ask questions every other 5 minutes. One suggesting he have his badge revoked. I suggested to my boy that he might bone up on the badge this week, but he didn't and they had at him again. I know he has done a number of badges and has learned something new with every one, but I would not call him proficient at any one. I doubt if he could recall all the names of the insects he collected but I know he enjoyed doing it and learned a little.
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#2 Eamonn

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Posted 23 April 2003 - 12:26 PM

These Adults need a swift kick in the pants. Ok,that might be going way to far. But what they are doing is so wrong. Boy, Oh Boy, this is so wrong. My son has over 30 Merit Badges. Some were taken just because they were there: Things done at the first year of summer camp. Others were taken because he had or at that time had a real interest in that area, but just like the girls on the phone, posters on the bedroom wall these interests can change from week to week. To put a Scout on the spot like this is just so wrong. I may be wrong, but I know of no way that once a boy has earned a merit badge (Please note Earned.) that it can be revoked. This has to be taken to the Troop Committee. Treating a boy in this way does nothing for the boy and has no part in Scouting. Yes, yes it makes me so mad.
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#3 Twocubdad

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Posted 23 April 2003 - 02:38 PM

All the adults in question should be required to diagram sentences and recite the quadratic equation. Maybe solve a few differential equations in front of the class .... I had a conversation recently with an ASM from one of our local troops regarding their practice of making boards of review a cumulative exam on all the Scouting requirements upto the rank the boy is being reviewed for. I can see the value of that for some of the big-picture things which are recurring, like the meaning of the law and oath. But is it really a problem if a Life candidate can identify only nine of the ten native plants or confuses a taut-line hitch with two half hitches? Of course this is different than a boy being put on the spot and teased, but what is the official advancement policy regarding this?
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#4 mk9750

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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. Mark
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#5 dsteele

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Posted 23 April 2003 - 03:58 PM

A=C DS
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#6 KoreaScouter

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Posted 23 April 2003 - 04:33 PM

You guys are right, there isn't and shouldn't be a 100% recall requirement to retain MBs (put 'em on the sash with Velcro backings?). My boy has earned MBs he wasn't personally smitten with, but his buddy was doing it, and didn't want to do it alone, so he did them with his buds. Does he remember every arcane requirement in Surveying? Heck, no. He can recognize a transom 9 times out of ten, and knows with certainty he does NOT want to be a surveyor when he grows up...who can ask for anything more? That said, I do have an expectation that a Scout who's earned...Pioneering, for example, should be able to instruct our NSP on lashings, and with a review of the pamphlet, could get a tower built in reasonable time. Ditto for my Orienteering lads...I lean on them to lay out the one-mile courses for our FCFY critters. If they need to get the pamphlet out 'cuz it's been a while, that's fine, too. You can surely come up with other examples, too. Not a retest or exam, just using the expertise in your troop to get the program delivered. KS
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#7 Eamonn

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Posted 23 April 2003 - 05:11 PM

Just asking. Is there anyway to revoke/invalidate a Merit Badge? I really don't know. Have to admit to using the Algebra theme to :Scout earns MB.Adult is despondent regarding Scout S=MB+A-:(= (S- MB)?
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#8 acco40

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Posted 23 April 2003 - 06:09 PM

Once earned, earned. As the song goes ... No they can't take that away from me. I must admit, I have seen Scouts who have earned a MB who suddenly get a closed mind if the subject comes up again for discussion quoting the "I've already learned that" defense. On my last camping trip, I had the two new boys who just earned their Scout "rank" help me pitch my tent and they got a kick out of "teaching" their dumb SM how to tie a taut line hitch. Some kids excel at tests and some freeze up. Why do you think schools teach a topic, go on, re-teach the same topic at a later date and then re-teach it again? Practice, practice, practice.
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#9 Overtrained

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Posted 23 April 2003 - 09:25 PM

I'm sorry your son had to experiance that. I doubt those adults are trained, as they should know better. There are 4 phases to advancement: 1. A Scout Learns 2. A Scout is Tested. 3. A Scout is Reviewed and 4. A Scout is recognized. The board of review is NOT A RETEST either. And NO, a badge cannot be revoked. To question them about past merit badges should only be done to foster interest i.e. Are there any badges that you have done that still hold your interest today? Would you like to help some of your value Scouts to earn that badge? You get the jest. Ask those adults if they are trained leaders. If they are, they need a refresher. Sign me, disapponted.
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#10 eisely

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Posted 23 April 2003 - 09:30 PM

How many adults can recall everything they have learned but not practiced or used? These guys were way out of line. Youth who have earned a badge should be expected to be able to provide instruction to younger scouts, but given time to refresh and prepare. Likewise, boards of review are NOT supposed to be retests of knowledge.
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#11 SR540Beaver

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Posted 24 April 2003 - 12:14 AM

You know, 23 years ago I was a bank teller. A darned good one. I could spot a fake 20 a mile away. My drawer was never out of balance. I caught a guy trying to cash stolen checks. I could balance at the end of the day and be clocked out before 3/4 of the other tellers began to count their cash. You know how much of that job I remember today? Squat! But I've been in the business for 23 years and it was the starting point. I've gained and semi-lost many more since then. They were all building blocks to where I am today. I remeber the basics, but not the particulars. I have the big picture. Kind of the way I see MB's. They are springboards. They give you a taste of different subjects to help find your likes and dislikes. They help hone your study skills and physical and mental skills. They teach you about setting goals and seeing something thru. Shame on these "leaders", even if the ribbing was in fun. One comment jokingly would be OK. Every five minutes over several days is not OK. I agree, he should have asked them questions about things they learned long ago in school and see how long it took them to clam up.
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#12 evmori

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Posted 24 April 2003 - 11:13 AM

BOR's are exactly what they say they are - review. And that review might include questions about merit badges. If the Scout can't remember all the details about a merit badge he earned, no big deal. The review should be to discern if the Scout learned anything! Ed Mori Scoutmaster Troop 1 1 Peter 4:10
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#13 ren-ren

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Posted 24 April 2003 - 10:00 PM

I remember when I went through scouting, a way long time ago, and at that time, all the way through my Eagle Board, I was expected to have a detailed knowledge of all my advancement requirements including what I did in merit badges, for service hour, and while holding positions of responsibility. I understand that this is not the current interpretation of a BOR, but a BOR is a test, of the program (I explain this to scouts when I sit there BOR). We use the BOR to verify that requirements are being properly presented and tested, that the scout is growing in the program, and that the scout is having FUN. Also, as training in dealing with adults, and to give the scout a chance to sound out any issues he has (both positive & negative). But in response to your original message, maybe, just maybe, the adults in you troop are trying to send the message that your scout needs to have a better understanding and memory of what he has done to advance. Maybe, they are using this situation to send him the message that his current performance is not up to par. Maybe, its time for daddy to stop fighting his battles for him and him to step up and tell them he doesnt like the ribbing (again a growth experience). Maybe, theyre just kidding around and he thinks its a joke also, and your oversensitive and need to step out of his way and let him grow up.(This message has been edited by ren-ren)
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#14 Twocubdad

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Posted 24 April 2003 - 10:23 PM

Horse hockey. Ridicule and belittlement have never been among the methods of Scouting. Even if these adults were trying to make a good point, they chose a lousy way to make it. If they feel there is a weakness in the program such that boys aren't adequately mastering skills and requirements, they need to bring that up with the people running that part of the program. If they thing the Scout isn't doing his part, it needs to be the subject of a Scoutmaster Conference. These guys were just having fun at the boy's expense.
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#15 Eamonn

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Posted 24 April 2003 - 10:52 PM

Way To Go Twocubdad. You covered everything that I would have said. Horse Hockey ?? Leader Sheep ?? This is a great language.
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#16 dsteele

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Posted 24 April 2003 - 11:51 PM

I don't agree with twocubdad's use of horse hockey. I always heard it as horse puckey! But that's beside the point . . . I agree whole-heartedly with his sentiment. Good job. DS PS -- leader sheep rings true as well. This guy has a grasp of the subtlety of American Engligh that I really appreciate. DS
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#17 yarrow

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Posted 25 April 2003 - 02:15 PM

Thanks for your input. Actually I do think the adults are a bit out-of-line, but all I have suggested to my son so far is that he bone up on the material. If he is up on the wiggit bits of the casting reel, how to set up a salmon rig, how to tie a reel spool knot, and the breeding cycle of a California yellow tail the ribbing should stop. At any rate he still is interested in fishing and has a pretty thick skin.
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#18 jbroganjr

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Posted 25 April 2003 - 02:44 PM

I think I might have read somewhere in the voluminous library of scouting literature something about "praise in public, reprimand in private" Is it not the case, that these adults where reprimanding your son in public? Oh, they where just kidding around....how would their sons feel about such kidding around? Or they themselves.
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#19 dsteele

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Posted 25 April 2003 - 06:39 PM

I can't tell you how many Eagle Scouts I've charged in my 15 years in the profession. I can't tell you, not because it's secret, but only because I don't remember. I tell them that I don't care if, years down the road, they know how to tie a square knot or cook a cobbler in a dutch oven. I do tell them that they should live their lives in such a way that no one ever says, "Him? An Eagle Scout? No way!" It should be, "He's an Eagle Scout? Why doesn't that surprise me?" We teach values. If we expected him to become an expert fisherman, we'd change our aims and methods. Tell your other adults to lighten up. However, tell your kid that he should listen to the old man's advice and "bone up" on his knowledge when needed. DS(This message has been edited by dsteele)
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