New Merit Badges?

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Re: New Merit Badges?

Postby kwildman » Fri Apr 10, 2009 7:16 am

Quailman wrote:A link to the wikipedia article on Geographic Information Systems, in case there's anyone else who thought GIS=GPS.


Thanks. Usually during our spring campout i take a couple of our backpack GPS units out and let the kids play with them. I divide them into to two groups and they are to explore the camp and map as many features as possible. I also give them each a roll of survey flagging and tell them to mark and locate about 6-8 locations. We then take all the GPS into GIS and overlay it on the USGS topo. The next campout at that same camp I give each group a map with the other teams locations and they have to locate them all with map and compass.

We have also used GIS to map canoe trips and hiking routes. It is really cool to take the USGS topo and overlay it on a digital elevation model and turn it into a 3D representation. It really helps the kids visualize the information on the Topo when they see it 3D. I think that this will be a fun merit badge for the boys once they figure out what GIS is about and realize that it is NOT geocaching. :)
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Re: New Merit Badges?

Postby FrankJ » Thu Jun 04, 2009 10:19 pm

Scuba merit badge came up in our venturing round table. What I heard was that the Scuba BSA would stay that same & separate from the merit badge. The merit badge would include full certification. If so, this is one you will not get in a drive thru merit badge clinic. The minimum age would drop (currently 14). What was not implicitly said, but implied in the context of the discussion, the badge would done under supervision of a properly certified instructor. (PADDI or equal).

The merit badge book is at national for review so naturally it could change.
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Re: New Merit Badges?

Postby AquilaNegra2 » Fri Jun 05, 2009 2:05 am

Thanks, Frank. Looks like maybe we need to think about Camp Emerald Bay sometime down the road -- http://youwillexplore.com/ruggeds.html (BSA camp on Catalina Island offering Scuba certification) for only $824 per Scout. [ouch!]
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Re: New Merit Badges?

Postby wagionvigil » Fri Jun 05, 2009 7:45 am

FrankJ wrote:Scuba merit badge came up in our venturing round table. What I heard was that the Scuba BSA would stay that same & separate from the merit badge. The merit badge would include full certification. If so, this is one you will not get in a drive thru merit badge clinic. The minimum age would drop (currently 14). What was not implicitly said, but implied in the context of the discussion, the badge would done under supervision of a properly certified instructor. (PADDI or equal).

The merit badge book is at national for review so naturally it could change.

I wish BSA would just get some guts and put some age restrictions on some Merit Badges.Why Lower the age on this new MB? keep it at 14 an make the kids wait. Whitewater,Climbing and Now SCUBA should all be 14.Dangle the carrot
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Re: New Merit Badges?

Postby FrankJ » Fri Jun 05, 2009 8:36 am

The age for Scuba in the real world is more like ten? I was told the age was going to be 11.5 for the merit badge, but it is not official until it is approved.

If you are running a good program, I am not sure that age matters. I started swimming & camping in diapers & I still love both. On the other hand, if you are gearing the program for the average 11 year old, your older scouts are going to be bored. The program does need to be run to the skill level of the participants, but that should be made at the local level as much as possible.
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Re: New Merit Badges?

Postby Quailman » Fri Jun 05, 2009 9:14 am

FrankJ wrote:I started swimming & camping in diapers & I still love both...


:shock: You still go swimming and camping in diapers??? :lol:
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Re: New Merit Badges?

Postby kwildman » Fri Jun 05, 2009 9:25 am

wagionvigil wrote:
FrankJ wrote:Scuba merit badge came up in our venturing round table. What I heard was that the Scuba BSA would stay that same & separate from the merit badge. The merit badge would include full certification. If so, this is one you will not get in a drive thru merit badge clinic. The minimum age would drop (currently 14). What was not implicitly said, but implied in the context of the discussion, the badge would done under supervision of a properly certified instructor. (PADDI or equal).

The merit badge book is at national for review so naturally it could change.

I wish BSA would just get some guts and put some age restrictions on some Merit Badges.Why Lower the age on this new MB? keep it at 14 an make the kids wait. Whitewater,Climbing and Now SCUBA should all be 14.Dangle the carrot


That's funny coming from a guy who wants them all in Green shirts at 14. :lol:

Merit badge should be based on ability...put the responsibility on the SM and the MBC.
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Re: New Merit Badges?

Postby wagionvigil » Fri Jun 05, 2009 10:54 am

kwildman wrote:
wagionvigil wrote:
FrankJ wrote:Scuba merit badge came up in our venturing round table. What I heard was that the Scuba BSA would stay that same & separate from the merit badge. The merit badge would include full certification. If so, this is one you will not get in a drive thru merit badge clinic. The minimum age would drop (currently 14). What was not implicitly said, but implied in the context of the discussion, the badge would done under supervision of a properly certified instructor. (PADDI or equal).

The merit badge book is at national for review so naturally it could change.

I wish BSA would just get some guts and put some age restrictions on some Merit Badges.Why Lower the age on this new MB? keep it at 14 an make the kids wait. Whitewater,Climbing and Now SCUBA should all be 14.Dangle the carrot


That's funny coming from a guy who wants them all in Green shirts at 14. :lol:


[color=#FF0000]Yep I would love to see a mandatory older scout program but BSA will not at this time do something so off the wall that would change a 100 year tradition. I am for dangling a carrot. Can a 11 year old do CLimbing? Some can some can. Is it a good idea to have an 11 year year old take it? Not in my mind. They should be working on the basics. Swimming, First Aid, camping,Mammal Study T 2 1 Requirements.[/color]Merit badge should be based on ability...put the responsibility on the SM and the MBC.
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Re: New Merit Badges?

Postby kwildman » Sat Jun 06, 2009 11:17 am

wv - speaking as a parent here...i get tired of seeing my 12 year star scout who is active in football, soccer, wrestling get put off of the stuff that HE wants to do because of age. He is physically bigger than most of the older scouts and in many ways more mature. Its not right that a some kid that cant do 2 pull ups is allowed to rappel because he is 14. He doesn't need the carrot he wants to finish Boy Scouts so he can be a venturer at 14. The basis for merit badges should be ability and not age.
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Re: New Merit Badges?

Postby cballman » Sat Jun 06, 2009 11:49 am

I will reply now. We keep talking about age and ability for the kids. I understand both sides. But there is also a SAFETY risk involved with some activities. Some kids not all kids can focus on the task at hand safely. But I will ask have you ever been rappelling? Now the big question would you rappell down a cliff or tower with a 10-12 year old that is on the bottom belaying? Most kids but not all kids at that age dont understand all the safety risk involved. Now for a different area. You are swimming and weigh about 200 lbs, you get a cramp and a 12 year old lifeguard who weigh maybe 100 lbs. comes out to pull you in what is going to happen? Once you start to understand that sometimes safety has to play a part in scouting and other areas then that is why we are this way. We are not trying to hold a child back but do things safer so that no one gets hurt or injured.
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Re: New Merit Badges?

Postby kwildman » Sat Jun 06, 2009 2:15 pm

Cballman - i will ask you the same question. would you rather depend on 12 year old kid that is a natural athlete, strong as an ox, and a star scout to be the one to help you or do you pick that skinny kid that is pasty white because he's never outside, that weighs 90 pounds wet, cant do a single chinup, and is 15 and sitting on second class? "Old doesnt mean able" and I have yet to see a summer camp tell a kid that he just inst physically equipped to do a merit badge. I think the MBC needs to focus on each kid individually and counsel them according to abilities...as a MBC i have no problem turning away a scout that is not ready for a MB where i deem safety is an issue.
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Re: New Merit Badges?

Postby cballman » Sat Jun 06, 2009 2:49 pm

I understand what you and every other parent ask. I have issues with kids that wont try also. I also have a son that turned 19 this year. I have a daughter that will turn 18 in Sept. Both kids have grown up in the scouting program. Physical maturity and mental maturity are two different things. physical size means alot but also mental stability means alot also. Yes there are alot aof different sizes and maturity levels. Sometimes when you have more than one child sometimes you have to go by guidelines. Its the same as height and weight guidlines for for any sport. I have a child in my troop that was not able to play youth football because of his size not age. Most generally it is easier for a group to set age guidelines based on past experiances over the years. execeptions mostly are not the standred practices but there are some. The last bad part is the legal problems. The lawsuits that have been filed over the years have made the age, weight, and rank requirements common practice. Most of these filed that I have heard about are because something happened that might have been avoided if both the parents and leaders used a little bit of commensense. There is no such thing as a cokkie cutter operation but that is what these lawsuits have caused.
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Re: New Merit Badges?

Postby kwildman » Sat Jun 06, 2009 8:57 pm

so i think we are saying the same thing just different ways. I think that the SM and the MBC should evaluate both the mental and physical maturity of each scout. Simply stating that a scout has to be 14 to rappel doesnt protect anyone. Especially, when the G2SS says that it an approved activity for boy scouts. We get all upset if a Scout Master changes the advancement rules or a MBC doesnt follow the book and creates new requirments. Why is it ok to allow MBCs to put artificial age limits on some merit badges. I am all for safety but you know that there are lots of kids over 14 that probably never should be allowed near a rope.
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Re: New Merit Badges?

Postby wagionvigil » Sat Jun 06, 2009 9:06 pm

I have never said a scout could not rappel it is aproved But I do not think a young scout should take climbing MB. Most Sm would never say no to a kid because of parent involvement. When A parent calls me and say there is no age restriction for any mb. I have to agree there is not. SO My happ medium is no Partials. KW Devils Advocate here now.Son is mature big for his age. He wants to drive a car Now. WHat is the difference?


The problem Is Belaying not climbing or rappelling for me wanting an age for climbing mb
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Re: New Merit Badges?

Postby kwildman » Sun Jun 07, 2009 8:25 am

wagionvigil wrote:I have never said a scout could not rappel it is aproved But I do not think a young scout should take climbing MB. Most Sm would never say no to a kid because of parent involvement. When A parent calls me and say there is no age restriction for any mb. I have to agree there is not. SO My happ medium is no Partials. KW Devils Advocate here now.Son is mature big for his age. He wants to drive a car Now. WHat is the difference?


The problem Is Belaying not climbing or rappelling for me wanting an age for climbing mb



I have P.O.'d my share of parents so that is not an issue. Trust me i would be very concerned if the climbing MBC was not evaluating the potential of each participant.

i understand about the belaying but there still inst a requirement of 14 and there anything special about the 14 age in terms of maturity? G2SS says scout and does not specify "older scout". Would I have a 12 year working as a belayer for an all day activity - no. would i let him meet the requirmente of the MB - possibly after observing how he does on the rest of the merit badge. diid he follow directions on climbing and rapelling? how was he behaved when i was working with other kids? How well did he do demonstrating the necessary skills and understanding for the other components of the MB? Plus i would have an experienced person right next to him making sure that he is focused on the climber and ready.

WV - Yes i would teach my son to drive a car. I would let him drive on the friends farm or private property. That is how i learned. I worked on a friends farm at 13 and would drive a beater f150 learned how to pull a trailers and grain wagons. I used to have to do the "shuffle" to be able to get clutch all the way to floor to shift and could barely see over the dash. Would i let my son drive on the road in town? No - against the rules there is a legal age limit.

If there are enough climbing MBCs that are concerned about the age limits shouldn't they go through the BSA system and get the requirements changed? I would have no problem w/ a MBC telling me that my son was not ready for an activity based on safety concerns. I just feel that they should be given a chance to be evaluated based on their abilities first.
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Re: New Merit Badges?

Postby wagionvigil » Sun Jun 07, 2009 8:45 am

If there are enough climbing MBCs that are concerned about the age limits shouldn't they go through the BSA system and get the requirements changed? I would have no problem w/ a MBC telling me that my son was not ready for an activity based on safety concerns. I just feel that they should be given a chance to be evaluated based on their abilities first.



Working on it But not likely to happen. BSA wants any scout to be able to"Take" any merit badge Not necessarily Completing them until later.
I am allowing all scouts take at the cave but the climbing wall instructor is to keep track of the belaying and pull the cards of anyone that is unsafe. All pulled have been under 13. AND two dads :lol: Adults are the worst because they know it all.
We will agree to disagree on this and let it go.
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Re: New Merit Badges?

Postby kwildman » Sun Jun 07, 2009 5:57 pm

WV - you cant have the last word unless you lock the thread! :lol:

I do respect your opinion - not trying to be difficult just trying to understand.
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Re: New Merit Badges?

Postby wagionvigil » Sun Jun 07, 2009 6:11 pm

AFter doing this think called Climbing MB since its inception in 98? The worst at the climbing wall ARE KIDS UNDER 13 and Adults that think they kow everything. Had a dad drop his son ,broke his ankle. He had been warned about what he was doing by the wall supervisor and he chose to ignor them. Kids love to rappel once they get those feet off the edge.. I have rappelled kids with one arm one partial hand and a non existant other hand ,kids from wheelchairs Blind kids deaf kids foreign scouts that spoke No english( the Polish Girls were the best at the 01 NJ)
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Re: New Merit Badges?

Postby AquilaNegra2 » Wed Dec 23, 2009 2:37 am

Inventing is coming in the First Quarter 2010. Anyone have any info on it?
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Re: New Merit Badges?

Postby smtroop168 » Wed Dec 23, 2009 10:22 am

AquilaNegra2 wrote:Inventing is coming in the First Quarter 2010. Anyone have any info on it?


You have to invent the next generation internet. Only approved counselor is Al Gore. :lol: :lol: :lol:
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