Boy Scouts of America: Badges for Video Games?

Photo from Boy Scouts of America
My husband is an Eagle Scout. I once made the mistake of saying he was an Eagle Scout, which is incorrect because once you achieve the honor of an Eagle Scout, you are always an Eagle Scout.

He corrected me because of how strongly he feels about the role Scouting played in his life growing up and his respect for the organization. Which I admire. 

But still, I'm left scratching my head over this: Cub Scouts (along with Tiger Cubs and Webelos) can earn a merit badge for playing video games. Yes. Video games.


According to the website for Boy Scouts of America, Cub Scouts can earn a loop for completing three requirements. (Only Boy Scouts earn actual merit badges. Cubs can earn loops or pins.) Those three requirements are:

1. Explain why it is important to have a rating system for video games. Check your video games to be sure they are right for your age.

2. With an adult, create a schedule for you to do things that includes your chores, homework, and video gaming. Do your best to follow this schedule.

3. Learn to play a new video game that is approved by your parent, guardian, or teacher.

Renee Fairrer, a spokeswoman for the Boy Scouts, told the Wall Street Journal that what really prompted this decision for the Scouts was the release of Nintendo’s Wii. “With young people, there’s an issue with healthiness,” she said. “The Wii Fit is something a child can do in their house.”

I think I understand that the Boy Scouts are trying to be more current in what they offer, and I think the requirements do promote a sense of responsibility, which is good. I also like that they include working with your parents or an adult.

On the other hand, I thought most people enrolled their sons in Scouts to get them out of the house and away from a television set? To be outside and getting fresh air and exercise?

Do you think learning to play a video game is a skill?

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