Re: Merit Badge Prerequisites WAS: Re: [ScoutRadio] JOTA around the corner
- I think we have all had different experiences while teaching Radio Merit Badge. I've been teaching it since before 1998, always in a group setting (4 to 10) rather than just a couple Scouts. There's certainly more flexibility with only a couple since if more in-depth instruction/explanation is needed, the time can be taken to teach it while with a larger group, an instructor would lose a number of the older more advanced Scouts in a class if s/he had to take one or two sessions to explain the basic nature of electricity (i.e., where the electrons come from, where they go, how they get there, all this before 110vac, 60 HZ leads into frequency) to a Scout who either through lack of conceptual ability or educational background needs to start from scratch (e.g., has no idea how household electricity works). Especially in a Scout camp setting where the instructor is given five 1.5-hr sessions and no more, this detailed approach will not work since there isn't enough time.
The original question on this thread centered around learning problems of younger Scouts who could not grasp the abstract concept of electricity. Those who could not had to be spoon-fed the information without truly understanding how electricity works and, by inference and in succession, how frequency and radiowave propagation works. At some point, a Radio MB counsellor must decide (1) if the Scout actually understands the requirements and can actually do them or (2) if the Scout must merely feed back to the instructor what the instructor has said to secure the merit badge without understanding and thus be awarded the merit badge without really learning anything or (3) if the Scout should wait a year or two before undertaking the merit badge and securing some understanding from it. Personally, I prefer not to sign off on Radio MB (or any other MB I instruct) until I am assured that a Scout understands what the merit badge is about and has actually completed the requirements rather than just regurgitated verbatim back to me what I said.
Again, the merit badge program was designed for Scouts who have already completed First Class rank, vis a vis 12-yr olds and older. It is not designed for new Scouts who have not yet completed Second nor First Class. There are always exceptions and exceptional entry-level Scouts who would be able to successfully and meaningfully complete Radio MB at any time; some probably could have done it as Tiger Cubs. These are future Eagle Scouts.
73 and YIS de Fred K2FRD, VO2FS
At 16:54 -0400 03/10/2005, kimbare wrote:
>I have been sitting and reading all of these...I have 5 kids...all are hams except the 2 younger ones...They others were hams well before 10...they are all special ed.....--
>I do the radio merit badge all the time..I cover all the requirements and have never had anyone, by the time I was done not under stand or "pass"...I also do the girl scouts....which I AM allowed to add to the requirements since that 1 is just a patch program....
>I have after all is said and done some scouts look for me and sit in on occasions even after they have passed...and some have gotten their liscense...
>Merit badges are @ wetting their appitite in areas they would maybe never have tried
>The requirements are not hard but then again I am a teacher and a mom and deal with special ed ...I do a lot of fill in info and start out with its use, mon bouce and sky bounce with loads of super balls to help demo ,etc...well any way the point is I believe it is in thepresentation...and yes some is supposed to be done ahead of time, but It is just as easy to present it and question them to make sure that they under stand it as it is to just make sure the requirements are done
>For every merit badge counsellor out there, there will always be an opinion but this is just the way I do it....
73 de Fred K2FRD, VO2FS
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