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Do you need a Blue Card to work on a MB ?

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  • Do you need a Blue Card to work on a MB ?

    A Scout wants to work on Sports MB and one requirement is to do TWO sports and also discuss with counselor. Boy just finished Football Season and Basketball League is about to start. Does he have to wait for his Blue Card to work on this MB? He was a registered Scout during football season. Or does he have to wait until next year and have his blue card during his actual season?

  • #2
    I'd say it's up to the counselor. If I was his counselor, I'd be happy to let him use his recently completed football season, so long as he was able to do a good job explaining the rules, etiquette, equipment and field, and already had a good grasp of the first three MB requirements. Others may only want to count things done after he get's his blue card. Either way can be justified, and both have their plusses and minuses.

    Of course, he has to have the blue card to "work on" the MB with his counselor, but there's nothing to say the counselor cannot (nor that he must) accept previous work.

    But, I'm not registered as a Sport MB counselor. OTOH, if he wants to do Camping MB with me, I'll count the nights he already has camped.


    • #3
      For most MBs a boy probably can come in having done prior work.
      Reading the requirements, at the very minimum!

      It's up to the MBC to determine if that prior work address the heart of any of the requirements.


      • #4
        Yes you need a blue card to work on a MB.
        It's up to the counselor if he accepts work done prior to signing the card. Usually work starts after the first contact with the counselor but exceptions are up to the MBC.
        At least that's how my unit does it.


        • #5
          Depends on nit culture and the MBC. Most of the units I've been with never used blue cards. You used your BSHB and/or the Requirements Book for sign offs.

          Now there is a push to use the blue cards to the point that it is required by the G2A.

          Also an MBC can count prior work if he wants to. Most of the time with very few exceptions they do.


          • #6
            It also depends on the Scoutmaster. Ultimately he is the decision maker on badge earning, and if he says you need a blue card to start, then you need a blue card to start.


            • #7
              From the Guide to Advancement

     Unit Leader Signs Application for Merit Badge (Blue Card)

              Though a few merit badges may have certain restrictions; short of them, any registered Scout may work on any of them at any time, as long as he has the approval of his unit leader. This is indicated by his or her signature on the Application for Merit Badge, No. 34124, commonly called the blue card.


              • #8
                I have seen both methods. I think the Blue Card, often avoided because they are a PIA and the boys lose them, are good things in that they help prevent the boy losing out because of a MBC who is forgetful, moves, or is disorganized.


                • #9
                  Why would you not want to use them? They serve a function; they allow the AC to assign a MBC to the scout and
                  they notify the SM that Johnny Scout has opened the badge.

                  Far from being a pain, my unit finds them quite useful. Our AC can get me a list of all scouts with this or that badge open.

                  Scouts need to know who their MBC is, and meet with them, in order to properly work on the requirements. Some requirements require a meeting before work is started (Personal fitness, for one).

                  Starting a badge without speaking with the MBC is not a great idea, IMO.

                  Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should do it.


                  • #10
                    The dreaded double click. Good thing this wasn't Amazon dot Com. lol(This message has been edited by second class)


                    • #11

                      The SM assigns the MBC, not committee members. And they are a PITA. Again I've seen units use the requirement books, the workbooks. etc.


                      • #12
                        It appears previous posts have this topic very well covered to include some pros and cons of Blue Cards.

                        One theory suggests that Scouts have a youth version of the G2A that is unavailable to Adult Leaders. If this version of the G2A does exist, some observations suggests that its section on Blue Cards may read as follows:

                        1. Start working on the MB with no Blue Card.

                        2. Start intending to get a Blue Card.

                        3. Get a Blue Card but unsigned... intend to get it signed next time you see the SM.

                        4. Forget... and intend to get it signed next time.

                        5. Get the Blue Card signed.

                        6. Lose the signed Blue Card and return to step 2 in this process.

                        7. If you are unable to complete step 6, produce your signed Blue Card but first ensure that it appears to have been floating around with other items in your backpack for a couple weeks and that it is stained with a mysterious substance (something from lunch, engine work, or the like will do) and that some of the writing is smudged into illegibility.


                        • #13

                          For step 6, could a Scout substitute "leave Blue card in scout pants while on camping trip with torrential downpour. Discover mass of blue pulp and return to step 2"?


                          • #14
                            First of all, the card doesn't have to be blue! It doesn't even have to be a card.
                            Secondly, although we are trying to help boys lead more ordered lives, we all know that C. Callay's list is an abbreviated one!
                            Thirdly, we want to give the MBC the latitude to sort things out with the boy. There's a difference between still being active in two sports (one season ending and on beginning) and having played your last game four years ago. But, that's not my call. I'd give the boy the MBC's contact info and my permission to start his journey.

                            P.S. - It drove us nuts when Son #1 earned 5 varsity letters in four sports and never picked up this MB!


                            • #15
                              qwazse, you need to take a look at the Guide to Advancement, "Though it has not been clearly stated in the past, units, districts, and local councils do not have the authority to implement a different system for merit badge approval and documentation."

                              The procedures and this statement make it clear that the only acceptable merit badge application is the Blue Card, #34124.