One of the requirements for the Citizenship in the Community merit badge reads as follows,
“3. Do the following:
a. Attend a meeting of your city, town, or county council or school board; OR attend a municipal, county, or state court session.
b. Choose one of the issues discussed at the meeting where a difference of opinions was expressed, and explain to your counselor why you agree with one opinion more than you do another one.”
What if a scout attends a meeting, but there really is no difference of opinion about anything? For example, I once took one of my sons to a meeting of the school board of the district in which we live. The only item of business not on the consent agenda was the renewal of a contract to provide bus service. The contract had been put out for competitive bidding, but only the incumbent contractor had submitted a bid. The members of the Board listened to a half-hour presentation about the job the contractor was doing and was planning to continue doing, and they asked a few trivial clarifying questions and offered congratulations all around, but no one actually disagreed with anything anyone else had said. In the end, the motion passed by unanimous roll-call vote.
If a Scout unluckily ends up attending a meeting like that, is it like a Scout who goes fishing, trying to catch a fish for the Fishing merit badge, but only catches a turtle or a piece of trash? So he just has to find a different meeting and try again? Or would it be OK for the Scout, in his report, to say something like “someone sitting at home might have wanted to Council to not renew the contract, for such-and-such reasons…”?
(I actually did take my son to a City Council meeting a few weeks later, and the mayor had recently approved part of the budget but used his line-item veto to remove something, and the council-members heard public comment on whether they should override that veto, then discussed and voted on it. So he used the latter meeting to pass of the requirement. But I’d like to get some opinions in case it happens again, with some other Scout.)