I can hardly believe that the week is ending. In some ways, I feel like I’ve only covered the tip of the ice burg when it comes to Scouting.
I shared over a year ago about how easily you can work the earning of merit badges into a homeschool day. There are so many options of things to learn and each merit badge has its own list of requirements to be met.
As a Boy Scout, there are some that are marked Eagle Scout required, although you do have choices between a few (e.g. Swimming OR Hiking OR Cycling.) Something like First Aid is flat our required, which makes a lot of sense as each Scout should have good command of basic first aid skills when going on outings that might be a bit more removed from help. That seems especially true up here in Alaska as some of the sites the Troops enjoy visiting could be a good 45 minutes or more before they would have help arrive and another 30 or more minutes to get to a clinic or hospital. Knowing that helps some boys focus more upon how important the ability to transport someone out can be.
One of the nice things about working towards these different merit badges is that the boy can investigate areas that interest him (e.g. robotics) and use that experience to help discern the path he will take after high school. Other times, it is a way to find a new pastime (e.g. chess or horsemanship.)
The US Scout Service Project has a nice breakdown of the merit bages by ‘fields of activity’ that can provide some inspiration for a boy looking at what to tackle next.
P and R have experienced a mixture of emotions over the merit badges they have earned so far. Being an older Scout, P has several more than R although he still is shy of finishing all of the Eagle required ones. We are blessed to have a Troop that schedules a merit badge ‘lock-in’ to help boys make progress on several of the badges in November each year. And, another Scout group sponsors what they call Merit Badge University with a Saturday in December and one in January for ‘class time’ with other work being done before, between or after the classes.
After digging through our photos, I compiled a few spreads showing the boys during the process of earning a three different merit badges.
Below (on the left side) are photos of P in action earning the canoeing merit badge at summer camp. That water was cold enough that several boys (including R) and even some adults could not pass the swim test. On the right is R in action working on the swimming merit badge at a pool on base. He figured out quickly that his swimming skills has regressed since our time of frequent swimming back east. He finished the water work, but now has the paperwork to finish.
This next one was a fun day long adventure that involved a trip on the Alaska railroad and a short hike. It was one of the rare times that I accompanied the boys on a Scout trip as it is usually Mr. O’s jurisdiction. But, he thought it only fair for me to have a unique Alaskan experience.
One that P hasn’t wrapped up for paperwork is Emergency Preparedness. Since he has Lifesaving, he doesn’t need it to get Eagle. But, I’m still occasionally encouraging him to finish it anyways. Below is one of the photos from his previous Troop’s group effort to earn that badge. To see more of them, visit the Emergency Preparedness Merit Badge post.
I am eager to see what merit badges R will work towards at summer camp this year. And, I am seriously considering having the boys attend a special workshop for horsemanship Boy Scouts at the same place D attended in March.
Thanks for joining me as I blogged about Scouting with Boys for 5 days. Don’t forget to click the button to the left and see what my other TOS Crewmates blogged about this week. Don’t worry about reading all 325 posts this week….bookmark and keep visiting when time permits!