Video Games Belt Loop Requirements

video-games-belt-loops

Video Games is one of the forthcoming new Cub Scout belt loops for the Cub Scout Academics and Sports Program.

I have received from an unofficial source this set of requirements for the new award:

Requirements

Tiger Cubs, Cub Scouts, and Webelos Scouts may complete requirements in a family, den, pack, school, or community environment. A Tiger Cub must work with his parent or adult partner. Parents and partners do not earn loops or pins.

Belt Loop
Complete these three requirements:
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.

Academics Pin
Earn the Video Games belt loop and complete five of the following requirements:
1. With your parents, create a plan to buy a video game that is right for your age group.
2. Compare two game systems (for example, Microsoft Xbox, Sony PlayStation, Nintendo Wii, and so on). Explain some of the differences between the two. List good reasons to purchase or use a game system.
3. Play a video game with family members in a family tournament.
4. Teach an adult or a friend how to play a video game.
5. List at least five tips that would help someone who was learning how to play your favorite video game.
6. Play an appropriate video game with a friend for one hour.
7. Play a video game that will help you practice your math, spelling, or another skill that helps you in your schoolwork.
8. Choose a game you might like to purchase. Compare the price for this game at three different stores. Decide which store has the best deal. In your decision, be sure to consider things like the store return policy and manufacturer’s warranty.
9. With an adult’s supervision, install a gaming system.

[Photo updated: 2009-10-29]

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8 Responses to Video Games Belt Loop Requirements

  1. mesabear says:

    Wow. When I heard about this I was definitely worried and wondered how this could possibly be a good thing, but it seems to teach practical skills and encourage socializing as well as finding a balance between indoor games, chores, and homework.

  2. JC says:

    This just makes me sad. What are the Brass in Dallas thinking? Get the boys outside with Hiking, then undo that good with this…

  3. o4tom says:

    To everyone who is complaining about this Belt Loop and is a cubmaster or committee chair.

    For years, Boys’ Life has been stuffed with video game advertising. Did you complain to the BSA about this, or did you just promote the magazine full throttle so you could get your Quality Unit award?

    So, you were fine with your kids getting flooded with appeals to play video games when you were getting your shiny ego-patch, but now that maybe some kid can earn a Belt Loop it’s the End Of Scouting As We Know It. Is that the case?

  4. vdub144 says:

    I guess I object to the “Video Games” title of this beltloop, but look at the requirements – no different than many other CS programs that teach responsible use.

    – Is it appropriate for your age?
    – Budget your time.
    – Get a parent involved.

    And as Tom says, Boys Life is chock full of videogame stuff. Maybe though this should be “time management” or “responsible video gaming” or something else. Will earning this loop keep us from hiking? No. And I’ve already had these discussions with my boys, so this is kind of a no-brainer.

    But I don’t think this is as harmful as it first appears. And no, I don’t want to have a “drinking” belt loop that teaches “responsible use.” Underage drinking is still ILLEGAL – it isn’t illegal for kids to play video games. (Even beyond their age rating.)

  5. coney309 says:

    As a current Boy Scout, I would also like to state that this is easily an belt loop / academic pin that you could easily get your local boy scouts willing to teach. Maybe an activity a den chief could lead, perhaps?

  6. ruthtx says:

    This is a disappointment.

    For the 100th Anniversary of Scouting we’re not promoting Scout skills but video gaming!

    Does earning this belt loop help form the virtues that are a part of scouting or help form a better boy? This is NOT part of what makes Scouts great.

  7. pofigster says:

    Wow…some of these comments reflect a complete denial of the world around them.

    Look, I’m an eagle scout and now I’ve got a group of Webelos that I’m teaching. Over the last several months we’ve been working on their Outdoorsman badges, Readyman, Arrow of Light, etc… and they’re making good progress. But guess what they still do in their spare time – yeah, they play video games. The vast majority of kids play video games in their spare time, it’s what their friends do, it’s what their older siblings do, it may even be what their parents do. Video games are a part of American culture that are not going away.

    Video games are also intrinsically different from TV or movies because they require active input from the player and can be played with many other people requiring some level of social skill similar (but not identical to) to most sports as they are played at their age level. It’s true that most gaming systems (Wii not included) do not promote physical activity while stimulating the mind.

    So, if games are a part of society and something that kids are already playing, why not have a belt loop for them that teaches responsible game playing, encourages doing it with family and friends and teaches them to think about the games that their playing? Isn’t responsibility one of the values of Scouting? Isn’t developing and maintaining friendships a part of Scouting?

    Besides, this is very much like a toned down Computer Science merit badge for Boy Scouts except that this has social elements and the CS badge is best done alone, in a secluded closet.

    So ruthtx, for the 100th Anniversary of Scouting you’ve got Scouting adapting to the world and taking what could be a total time sink and using it to teach boys how to be informed shoppers, use games to practice math/spelling/something from their school work, spend time with family and friends, etc… Maybe not the most classic of belt loops, but not the end of the world

  8. vdub144 says:

    To some extent, I agree with both sides of this issue. Our outgoing CM last night was trying to fire kids up about earning this – needless to say, that didn’t take much! Kids WANT to earn this. They hear the name Video Games and instantly react ~ much the way some folks here and around the net have.

    But Scouting isn’t necessarily about rewarding kids for what they already do ~ its to stretch them to try new things, or to help them learn how to do something they already do more responsibly. If you get the printed copy of the Sports & Academics Guide, it says this right in the forward of the book.

    The BELTLOOP or PIN isn’t the ultimate prize here – the lesson that takes place in earning it is. And don’t just think of this beltloop this way, think of them all this way. (I used to ask my son regularly what he had to do to earn each patch & pin he wore – and he would tell me.)

    Now, go back and look at the requirements to earn this award. Which specific requirements do you object to?

    The object here isn’t to get kids to try something new (Video Games), its to teach them more responsibility in something they already do. I’ve come to terms with that. I’m still not “wild” about this beltloop, but I’m certainly not against it either.

    If this is the hook that a parent needs to have that discussion with their child, then why would we object to a little screen printed piece of tin?

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