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Blue cards-why is there not a better way?

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  • Blue cards-why is there not a better way?

    Searing the forums for "electronic blue cards" doesn't pull up anything interesting.

    Filling out these cards in triplicate...seems so 1970. I finally got smart and printed an address label I can put over the "counselor" part for ones I sign. It would just seem in the age of the mobile interweb that there would be a better way...

  • #2
    I think there is value in the paper triplicate blue card. Slows things down. Gets kids off the computer. Give then a pen and a blue card. It's up to them to fill it out, keep it, get it completed and hand it to his scoutmaster. Scouting is about face-to-face relationships and learning to deal with people. I think the BC does that.

    Comment


    • King Ding Dong
      King Ding Dong commented
      Editing a comment
      I tend to agree with you Fred. Also it may seem like everyone has a smartphone, but we aren't there yet. My oldest has my old iPhone but no data service and a pay as you go t mobile sim only when I feel he needs it and that is not very often.

      The boys in Texas are not up to another IT project either. Lets fix the ones they have been working on for years.

  • #3
    Beavah and I had a long debate on this topic about a year ago. I'm good with the blue cards. There are a lot of old-school lesson about responsibility and organization built into it. Beav was much more laisse faire up to and including, "Hey, Mr. Brewmeister, I finished Camping."

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    • #4
      Originally posted by Brewmeister View Post
      It would just seem in the age of the mobile interweb that there would be a better way...
      Don't confuse motion with progress.

      Comment


      • #5
        Originally posted by Brewmeister View Post
        Searing the forums for "electronic blue cards" doesn't pull up anything interesting.

        Filling out these cards in triplicate...seems so 1970. I finally got smart and printed an address label I can put over the "counselor" part for ones I sign. It would just seem in the age of the mobile interweb that there would be a better way...
        I know troopmaster prints them out.

        Honestly, I can't imagine much simpler than them. I have the boys fill out almost everything on them besides the requirements the signatures and the dates.

        Comment


        • #6
          It is actually one form with three parts and all three parts are not identical. Anyway, the need for multiple redundancy ought to be obvious. I don't have a problem with the cards either.

          Comment


          • #7
            The joy of the paper blue card; and every other card we give a boy, is that when council looses all record that it exist the boy can always bring in HIS copy!

            This happens every year--Someone is turning in paperwork for their Eagle and council says something ridiculous like, "Oh you never earned the tenderfoot rank, therefore you are not eligible for Eagle." OR "Oh, since joining Scouts 4 years ago you only earned 19 Merit Badges, so you're not eligible for Eagle."

            The Boy has his copy; the troop has it's copy (our troop actually makes a copy BEFORE turning it in to council); the MB Councilor has their copy; but council somehow doesn't have a copy . . . That's where all those cards come in OH SO HANDY.

            Comment


            • #8
              As I stated elsewhere, my troop didn't use the blue cards. Instead we had the MBCs sign the actual BSHB when it was finished. And a copy of the signed requirements from the BSHB was what we used to fix those nasty council records problems.

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              • #9
                The redundancy of the blue card system guarantees it to be idiot/council proof. I'm in favor of keeping it.

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                • #10
                  My council does not use the blue cards, they have a white one withe the signatures on the front and requirements on the back, so no redundancy built in. Not sure why they went with their own form. Are their many othe councils that don't use them ? Why ?

                  Comment


                  • Basementdweller
                    Basementdweller commented
                    Editing a comment
                    copy or scan it.....your boy might need it

                  • King Ding Dong
                    King Ding Dong commented
                    Editing a comment
                    My understanding is it does not leave the troop, just reported then given back to the scout. But yes, photos of everything including handbook.

                • #11
                  My understanding is that this council now accepts ONLY blue cards as proof. They do not even trust their own records.
                  Of course, historically, that is a GOOD thing.

                  Comment


                  • #12
                    The REASON that Council can even lose things is the primitive paper process. We turn all paper to council in electronically via PDF and keep a copy on our system. I see zero reason to be storing carbonless paper for BSA. An online system would be even better. They can have an offsite backup. We could archive a PDF of everyone in the Unit annually.

                    Paper to sit on someone's desk at Council for months on end it stupid.

                    Comment


                    • Khaliela
                      Khaliela commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Council even manages to loose electronic copies. I had to re-send an email with the Honey Sale attachments 4 times because someone at council kept "loosing" it.

                  • #13
                    Three or four years ago I found a printable card online when I was a MB Counselor for Family Life. My husband tried to throw a fit because they weren't blue and 'official'. I looked it up and there was no requirement to be blue, to use the BSA cards, or I even believe to use a merit badge application card. Not sure if it's changed since then. And of course my computer has crashed since then so I don't believe I have it any more but will post it if I find it.

                    Comment


                    • FrankScout
                      FrankScout commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Reminds me of a story. Years ago one of the dads who worked in a print shop had 500 blue cards made up for us. This, after he heard me complaining about our council charging .05 each for them! (Yes, really, for an APPLICATION!). We got quite a few years out of the supply. Then, one year at summer camp, a staff member noticed that our cards weren't perforated. He was yelling "Counterfeit" all over the place, and found it his duty to spread it all over camp, and to the Camp Director, who just laughed. That staff member quickly became a "persona non grata" with our unit, as well as others. It should have been no surprise to anyone that we stopped sending scouts to his area.

                      Seriously, don't people have bigger things to worry about?
                      Last edited by FrankScout; 08-05-2013, 05:46 PM.

                  • #14
                    Who'dve thought that so many scouters were enamored of scouting traditions in paperwork!

                    Comment

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