Do You "Mandate" Certain MBs at Camp?

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Do You "Mandate" Certain MBs at Camp?

Postby Reasonable Rascal » Fri May 06, 2011 2:35 am

I require first year summer-campers to take Swimming MB, no arguing unless they absolutely cannot swim. If not then they sign up for lessons at camp.

The reason I do this is that 1. it's Eagle required and that gets one out of the way, and 2. I've never run across an instructor who can/will teach to BSA requirements outside of camp. Swimming is one of those MB's that instills a deep feeling of real accomplishment when successfully completed.

Does anyone else do this with Swimming or any other MB?

Thoughts?

RR
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Re: Do You "Mandate" Certain MB's?

Postby wagionvigil » Fri May 06, 2011 5:51 am

swimming is part of our first year camper program at our camp
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Re: Do You "Mandate" Certain MB's?

Postby smtroop168 » Fri May 06, 2011 6:58 am

Reasonable Rascal wrote:I require first year summer-campers to take Swimming MB, no arguing unless they absolutely cannot swim. If not then they sign up for lessons at camp.

The reason I do this is that 1. it's Eagle required and that gets one out of the way, and 2. I've never run across an instructor who can/will teach to BSA requirements outside of camp. Swimming is one of those MB's that instills a deep feeling of real accomplishment when successfully completed.

Does anyone else do this with Swimming or any other MB?

Thoughts?

RR


I don't "require" scouts to take any MBs. Swimming is usually in most 1st year programs and my scouts have done the badge there. We have a cerified Swimming/Lifesaving MBC in our troop who is a High/Middle SchoolSwimming Instructor.

Swimming MB is not Eagle Required as you can do Hiking and/or Cycling to meet the Eagle requirements.

I do mandate Climbing MB. :wink:
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Re: Do You "Mandate" Certain MB's?

Postby ronin718 » Fri May 06, 2011 7:41 am

smtroop168 wrote:I do mandate Climbing MB. :wink:


Sucking up to WV will not increase your standing on the forum... :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Do You "Mandate" Certain MB's?

Postby smtroop168 » Fri May 06, 2011 9:05 am

ronin718 wrote:
smtroop168 wrote:I do mandate Climbing MB. :wink:


Sucking up to WV will not increase your standing on the forum... :lol: :lol: :lol:


I've got to get the Climbing partials he hands out finished somewhere. :P
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Re: Do You "Mandate" Certain MB's?

Postby Billiken » Fri May 06, 2011 10:35 am

wagionvigil wrote:swimming is part of our first year camper program at our camp


Describes our troop too.

In addition, a week or two before camp we have a Swimming MB "practice session" at our community pool where the Scouts work on the inflating pants and shirt requirement. Makes doing it in the class at camp much less difficult.

We also strongly recommend Env. Science be taken in the second year at camp.
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Re: Do You "Mandate" Certain MB's?

Postby Fibonacci » Fri May 06, 2011 11:23 am

We don't mandate any specific merit badges for anyone. We strongly encourage first year Scouts to take the Scout Skills program (whatever it's called) but none of these programs include Swimming MB at the camps our troop attends.

I can't see how requiring a Scout to take a particular class is a beneficial thing. Isn't that adding to the requirements?

One of our troop favorite Scouts (yes, you know there are favorites) is very uncomfortable around water. He completed the rank requirements but definitely not the Swimming MB. Hiking MB was a breeze for him. He went on one or two 50 Milers every summer, executed a challenging and worthy Eagle Project, and experienced fabulous personal growth in his term as SPL. If someone had required him to take Swimming MB, he might have dropped out of Scouts.
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Re: Do You "Mandate" Certain MB's?

Postby FrankJ » Fri May 06, 2011 1:21 pm

I know of one troop were Railroading use to be a required badge.

I lost the tongue in keep icon again. Besides it was more of a tradition than a requirement.
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Re: Do You "Mandate" Certain MB's?

Postby ThunderingWind » Fri May 06, 2011 1:40 pm

There is some anecdote about swimming being the only skill that save your own life
but I have never made it mine to memorize.

Help please.
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Re: Do You "Mandate" Certain MB's?

Postby Billiken » Fri May 06, 2011 2:47 pm

ThunderingWind wrote:There is some anecdote about swimming being the only skill that save your own life but I have never made it mine to memorize.

Help please.


I always heard that swimming is the only sport that can save your life.
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Re: Do You "Mandate" Certain MB's?

Postby smtroop168 » Fri May 06, 2011 4:01 pm

Billiken wrote:
ThunderingWind wrote:There is some anecdote about swimming being the only skill that save your own life but I have never made it mine to memorize.

Help please.


I always heard that swimming is the only sport that can save your life.


What about Fencing, Archery or Rifle Shooting? Especially if a bear is coming after you. Skiing too if it's a Polar Bear. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Do You "Mandate" Certain MB's?

Postby Reasonable Rascal » Fri May 06, 2011 4:15 pm

Perhaps I should reword this: I "require" in the sense that I tell them they are signed up for it unless there is an overriding reason not to. Swimming is not a part of the Trail Begins (first year camper) program here, and in fact has never been a part of the first year program for any camp I have attended as an adult, and that's 5 different states. There is a reason the 80 available slots for Swimming fill up before May 1: unless you are fortunate enough to have a certified counselor (we aren't) it's either summer camp or drive 100+ miles each way for at least 2-3 sessions to find one.

I realize there are alternatives for Swimming but we live in the Mojave desert. I don't discourage either Hiking or Cycling but activity on that level can be life-threatening here much of the year for those who are not in very good physical condition. May 6 and it is 102 degrees here already. I have seen 2 boys who are native to this area complete Cycling. Non-native means years before you are effectively acclimated to the temps around here and can function strenuously at the level required.

Had it not been Scouting I'd likely have never learned to swim well enough to do more than puddle around. But neither do I tell the boys that it's either Swimming or nothing. I had a boy last year who could not swim, and another who got hypothermic during his swim test and was basically discouraged from trying again (per Staff). The difference is between a mountain stream/dammed lake (Camp Hi-Sierra) and a pool such as Geronimo offers. Likewise I have had boys struggle to make it, requiring a 2nd year attempt because of altitude changes. We sit at 550', and camp is at 5,600' this year (6,200 last). Another boy couldn't get enough wind in his lungs to get blue swimmer so he could finish his Lifesaving.

Last but not least we have a trailer full of canoes we don't use because I want the requisite safety measures in place first. The last SM esqued life jackets actually being worn, safe swim defense and other measures regularly and I cringed mightily when the boys went "cliff diving" off a rocky island into what looked to be deep enough water (they said). When I took over I said no canoeing until we had a safety plan and boys who knew how to swim, proper life jackets, and adults who were properly trained. We now have 2 adults certified in paddlecraft safety as well as 4 for safe swim defense.

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Re: Do You "Mandate" Certain MB's?

Postby smtroop168 » Fri May 06, 2011 4:36 pm

Reasonable Rascal wrote:Perhaps I should reword this: I "require" in the sense that I tell them they are signed up for it unless there is an overriding reason not to. Swimming is not a part of the Trail Begins (first year camper) program here, and in fact has never been a part of the first year program for any camp I have attended as an adult, and that's 5 different states. There is a reason the 80 available slots for Swimming fill up before May 1: unless you are fortunate enough to have a certified counselor (we aren't) it's either summer camp or drive 100+ miles each way for at least 2-3 sessions to find one.


Interesting...its a part of EVERY camp we've been to here in PA and MD. Are there no local pools that you could get one of the lifeguards signed up as a MBC? Is your council advancement committee helping...its part of their job?

I guess you don't have to worry about Polar Bears though. :)
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Re: Do You "Mandate" Certain MB's?

Postby Reasonable Rascal » Fri May 06, 2011 6:12 pm

Believe it or not the nearest Scout camp - Levi Levi, near Kingman, AZ - has NO aquatics program. None, zero, nada, zilch. They don't even have a mud puddle unless you count what forms around the water hydrant.

The camp fees are cheap - $65 and you supply 100% of your own food - but we bypass the camp if for no other reason than there are no aquatics.

We have made inquiries about local counselors but have not been successful. I believe the BSA requires certain hoops to be jumped through for aquatics certification so that is doubtless a part of the reluctance.

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Re: Do You "Mandate" Certain MB's?

Postby bnelso » Fri May 06, 2011 7:02 pm

Reasonable Rascal wrote:We have made inquiries about local counselors but have not been successful. I believe the BSA requires certain hoops to be jumped through for aquatics certification so that is doubtless a part of the reluctance.

RR


According to the merit badge counselor application form from Grand Canyon Council, you only need current Safe Swim Defense and CPR certification is required to be a MB counselor for swimming and lifesaving. See:
http://grandcanyonbsa.org/openrosters/d ... x?ID=13520

Similar for LVAC:
http://www.doubleknot.com/openrosters/D ... 0&id=77983

Camp Raymond in Flagstaff, AZ has an aquatics program, and now a new chow hall! No more eating in the rain!

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Re: Do You "Mandate" Certain MBs at Camp?

Postby biglou » Tue May 10, 2011 7:00 pm

Nope. I don't do that. The Scouts ask which ones they should take and either myself or one of the ASMs give them advice on which ones to take. They usually listen. :lol:
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Re: Do You "Mandate" Certain MBs at Camp?

Postby lambeausam » Wed May 11, 2011 6:33 am

The camp we attend has pre-registration for merit badges. I had fun looking at the schedule requests that the boys in our troop have turned in. It's neat seeing such a wide range of interest. Our troop strongly encourages swimming the first year, but only if that scout swims proficiently. My oldest son is excited to take the Horsemanship MB this year, while my middle guy jumped up and down when he found out he had slots for both Astronomy and Space Exploration. The youngest is a first year guy that is taking some of the nature-based badges.
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Re: Do You "Mandate" Certain MBs at Camp?

Postby ronin718 » Wed May 11, 2011 8:08 am

OFF TOPIC... There is something seriously wrong with having an individual hailing from Chicago with a handle containing the word Lambeau in it. It's just not right!!! :P :P :P
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Re: Do You "Mandate" Certain MBs at Camp?

Postby lambeausam » Thu May 12, 2011 6:31 am

ronin718 wrote:OFF TOPIC... There is something seriously wrong with having an individual hailing from Chicago with a handle containing the word Lambeau in it. It's just not right!!! :P :P :P


I wear my green and gold proudly! Yes, we take some heat, but having the Lombardi Trophy back in Green Bay really cool things down!

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Re: Do You "Mandate" Certain MBs at Camp?

Postby WVBeaver05 » Sat May 14, 2011 7:44 am

biglou wrote:Nope. I don't do that. The Scouts ask which ones they should take and either myself or one of the ASMs give them advice on which ones to take. They usually listen. :lol:

Same here. I start of pointing out to them that because of the facilities some MBs are more often offered at summer camp and suggest that they look at 1-2 Eagle required ones and a couple of fun ones. Then I give my advise on their selections. As BigLou mentioned, they usually listen.

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