After summer camp our Scouts arrived home happily tired from having a great time and I have these merit badge thoughts to share.
Merit Badge work is a big part of summer camp so there are usually some conversations about the quality of instruction and the effort extended by Scouts in completing requirements. There is talk of ‘merit badge factories’ of ‘giving away’ badges and so forth as if a merit badge was something the counselor could give away in the first place. Some counselors are better than others and some Scouts are more adept at certain skills so evaluating the work done for a given badge is evaluated on a very subjective scale. What is important is that a Scout has been given instruction in and opportunity to experience subjects that interest him.
I counsel several merit badges on occasion and strive to do my best as an instructor. I expect that scouts respond by doing their best to fulfill the requirements. It’s a simple process. I did not write the requirements, I don’t own the badges, I can’t give them away. I can only certify that a Scout has fulfilled a requirement as it is written.
Perhaps someone somewhere is distributing merit badges like party favors but I rather doubt it.