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Merit Badge Weekend
Merit Badge Weekend 2008

Merit Badge Weekend will be held from Friday, February 29th to Sunday March 2nd at Camp T. Brady Saunders. Troops will be camping in Camp Douglas Fleet.

Registration

The registration fee is $12.00 per Scout and $5.00 per adult for all units registering by February 16th. After February 16th, a $6 late fee will be added to each registration. The registration fee includes a lunch on Saturday that will be provided in the dining hall.

Registration may be completed online through the council or district calendars or by [clicking here]. Payment may also be done online by credit card or electronic check. Online registrations also have the option to mail their payments or turn them in at the Council office.

Registration may also be done by turning in paper forms at the Council Service Center. However, for purposes of filling merit badge classes, online registrations will be timestamped from the moment they are completed (see "5-Day Grace Period" below) whereas forms turned in to the Council office will be timestamped as they are manually entered into the system.

5-Day Grace Period for Online Registrations

If you make your payment online, your registration is timestamped to the exact time your registration was completed and you're done. If you bring your paperwork and your payment to the council office, it is also timestamped to the actually turn-in time. If you register online and choose the option to mail or deliver payment to the Council office, we will keep your timestamp valid for five days. If payment is not received at the service center in that five day period, your timestamp will become whatever date the payment is received. For example, a troop registered this morning at 7:00am and chose to pay later. If we receive payment at the council office before it closes on Wednesday, Feb 6th we will still use Feb 1st as their registration date. If payment arrives on Thursday, after the five day limit, the registration date will be marked down as Feb 7th when we received payment.

This is important because, with the popularity of the system, classes are already starting to fill up and it's not fair if a large number of unpaid registrations are keeping out other Scouts with paid registrations. For instance, we have one class now that's technically full even though only 4 of the 24 registrants have actually paid. However, we need to make accommodations for the new technology so we feel the five day grace period is a good compromise.

Merit Badge Class Sign-Up

In order to provide quality instruction and to meet the needs of our volunteer counselors, merit badge class sizes will be limited. Every effort will be made to accommodate merit badge requests which are turned in by the deadline. Merit badge classes will be filled in the order in which the registrations are received. Late registrants may have to select from merit badge classes with space available.

Because of this, both online and paper registration forms ask that each Scout select both a first and second choice for the merit badge class they wish to attend.

Check-in Procedures

No troop may bring equipment to a campsite prior to 10:00am on Friday, February 29th without the permission of the Camp Director. If troops wish to set up their site early, they will be allowed to bring in equipment and any vehicles they wish prior to 5:00pm on Friday, February 29th. However, troops may not arrive early and simply “mark off” an area. The intent in allowing early access is to get as much equipment on site prior to Scouts arriving so we can reduce vehicular traffic on Friday night. Camp staff will present all day on Friday and troops are asked to confirm their site location at the administration building before departing. Any troop found to be “squatting” on a site with only minimal equipment will have it removed and the troop will lose the site.

At 5:00pm all vehicles in camp will be asked to leave and each unit will receive their single vehicle pass. No vehicles, except for camp staff, may enter between 5:00pm and 6:00pm.

After this time, all troop vehicles entering the reservation from Maidens Road will proceed to the right towards the Cub Camp parking lot. Only one vehicle pass per troop will be permitted to continue to Douglas Fleet to offload equipment. The vehicle pass also allows each unit to keep one vehicle at their campsite during the weekend but we ask you to please refrain from driving this vehicle in and out camp unless it is absolutely necessary. This policy will allow us to keep the road clear for emergency vehicle access (and to prevent confrontations between vehicles and youth!). For the safety of participants, your cooperation is greatly appreciated.

Health Forms

Each unit must provide a copy of the health forms of all its campers during check-in. There are no exceptions to this requirement. If there are special health requirements for any Scout or adult leader, please notify the Camp Director.

Leader Briefing

Scoutmasters and Senior Patrol Leaders are required to attend a leader briefing at 10:00 p.m. on Friday night in the dining hall! Procedures and any changes will be covered and any unresolved issues can be addressed at this time. Cracker Barrel and fellowship to follow.

A word about “Prerequisites”

In the past we have included prerequisites for attending each merit badge class that suggested that these requirements had to be completed before the Scout could take the class. We are changing that philosophy this year.

A few classes do have real prerequisites. For instance, Emergency Preparedness requires a Scout to have completed the First Aid merit badge and to bring a disaster kit. Wilderness Survival requires each participant to bring a survival kit. These are real perquisites that must be completed for the Scout to be able to participate in the course.

However, there are also requirements that will not be completed at camp but are not a prerequisite for attending the course. For instance, the Camping merit badge requires a Scout to spend 20 days and nights camping. We obviously cannot do that in a day-long course but we also don’t want the Scout to have go out and do 20 nights of camping without learning the camping skills that are provided in the course. Much better to take the Camping MB course and complete the other requirements, learn the skills, take a partial, and then have the Scout complete 20 nights of camping during their normal troop activities.

However, too many Scouts (actually too many adults) look at a “partial” as a bad thing. The purpose of Merit Badge Weekend is not try and earn a patch in a day. The purpose of the merit badge program is to introduce Scouts to new ideas, new skills, and new interests which may one day lead them to pursue a career in that field.

Each merit badge usually has several requirements that require the Scout to become familiar with the topic and to present them with skills they will need. The last couple of requirements are usually practical requirements in which the Scout takes these new skills and applies them in the topic. Merit Badge Weekend is focused on those “learning” requirements. Where it is appropriate, we will conduct the practical requirements as well but if those are not offered, it shouldn’t deter a Scout from attending the course.

Scouts MUST read the pamphlet and bring it to class

Our merit badge counselors will be assuming that each Scout who has signed up for their course has both obtained and read the merit badge pamphlet to prepare themselves for the course. They must also bring their pamphlet with them to class. There is a lot of information to cover in a short period of time and Scouts familiar with the material in the pamphlet will be better prepared to complete assignments.

This is also a sign of respect for the class and the instructor. It demonstrates that the Scout is serious about the class and has made an effort to “be prepared” to learn these new skills.

Finally, the pamphlet provides clarification and standards for the course. For instance, many times Scouts will ask what should be in their disaster kit for Emergency Preparedness. The answer is right in the merit badge pamphlet and this is the standard that the instructor will be using to determine whether the Scout has successfully completed the requirement or not.

Blue Cards

All Scouts must bring an Application for Merit Badge (blue card) that has been signed by their Scoutmaster when they go to their class(es) on Saturday.

Order of the Arrow program for New Scouts

New Scouts who have recently crossed over from Webelos patrols are strongly encouraged to attend the wonderful “Basics to First Class” program that is conducted by the Order of the Arrow. This course runs all day and covers many of the Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class requirements. It’s a great introduction to the Boy Scout program and provides your new Scouts with valuable skills that will benefit them when participating in future troop activities.


Updated on 02/01/2008 12:37 PM by webmaster  Printable Version