John F. wrote:Where are they going to find counselors for these merit badges? My council takes 3 to 5 months to approve someone.
Here is part of the implementation plan being sent to councils:
Each unit, district, and council will be encouraged to identify qualified counselors for the badges.
Badges may be earned by individual Scouts, but districts and councils are encouraged to offer opportunities to work on at least some of these merit badges at summer camp or special Anniversary celebrationMERIT BADGE COUNSELORS
Counselors should be lined up by the councils, districts, and units as soon as possible. While it might be possible to put out an appeal and come up with some qualified people, it might be wiser for the Advancement Committees to recruit specific people who are currently engaged as counselors to similar merit badges. Some suggestions include:
Historical Badge - Related Offering
Carpentry - Woodwork and Home Repairs
Pathfinder - Emergency Preparedness
Signaller - Communications & Radio
Tracking - Orienteering & Citizenship in the Community
Another idea might be to visit with some local groups to see if they will offer ongoing support or sponsorship of one of the merit badges. Some ideas include:
Carpentry—contact your local Carpenter’s Union or a cabinet making business to see if they could commit time and resources during 2010.
Pathfinder—work with your local Homeland Security office. Several of the requirements fit their safety tips and programs.
Signaler—work with a local amateur Ham radio groups. Some of these groups may already participate in our annual Jamboree on the Air.
Tracking—your state’s department of natural resources or wildlife is an obvious choice.
Don’t be afraid to do some brainstorming here. The groups you approach may turn out to be great resources you can utilize for years to come with potential impact on all three traditional programs as well as Friends of Scouting.HISTORICAL MERIT BADGE VENUES
While any of the four offerings could be earned by a lone boy working with a single counselor, to insure every boy having the opportunity to earn one or more of the badges during 2010, the following should be considered:
Work with your council’s Camping Committee and encourage the inclusion of the Historical Merit Badges in 2010 summer camp offerings. None of the badges require much in the way of resources and will provide new opportunities for older boys who have been attending summer camp for years.
Encourage each district to incorporate one or more of the badges into their camporee offerings in 2010. Their inclusion might provide some fresh opportunities for your experienced Scouts.
If your council, like many, is conducting a large, all council celebration event during 2010, see that the Historical Merit Badges are part of the program. Once again, none of the badges require significant resources and will give you an opportunity to enhance the programs for little extra expense.
See if one or more of the merit badge sponsors described above will hold Historical Merit Badge clinics for the badge they sponsor. Might the local union open their training facility and provide the tools and guidance needed for a large group of boys to earn the badge? Could not the same be done by any of the other sponsors?
If you have a local Scouting museum, ask it to sponsor one or more Historical Merit Badge Days. Use volunteers recruited by the Advancement Committee to staff the stations.
If your council or district holds regular Merit Badge Workshops, either incorporate the Historical Badges into your 2010 offerings or add another workshop dedicated to this program.
Encourage your local units to support this program as well. Some of your units already work on merit badges during their meetings. In additional to traditional badges being offered in this fashion, ask them to add the Historical badges.
Consider offering the merit badges at council training events scheduled during 2010 like University of Scouting, Show and Do, College of Commissioner Science, etc. Take advantage of significant gatherings of Scouts by providing opportunities for boys earn one or more badges.
Pick a city park as an offering site and choose one or more badges that can be completed in the space allotted. It will be a great way to promote Scouting in your community and provide an easy to attend spot.
Paul S. Wolf, P.E.(Ret.) mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Secretary, US Scouting Service Project, Inc.