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John-in-KC

Implementation of changed MB requirements???

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GIVEN:

 

For the most part, we understand that when BSA issues the annual "Requirements" book on Jan 1, that we need to scrub it for changes to any merit badges we counsel.

 

However, if you look over at the US Scouts website, you find this wonderful page:

http://usscouts.org/usscouts/advance/boyscout/advchanges06a.html

 

 

"When there is a conflict between two published lists of requirements, such as the Requirements Book and a Merit Badge Pamphlet, the Requirements Book should be considered to be the controlling document, until a newer edition of the Requirements Book is issued, EXCEPT when the pamphlet has a later issue date.

 

"BSA has been updating ALL of the merit badge books over the past few years. As of January 1, 2006, only 10 of the pamphlets had editions issued before January 1, 1999 and the requirements for only 12 merit badges had remained completely unchanged during that period. As new pamphlets are issued, when they contain new requirements, Scouts will have the option of starting with the new requirements as soon as the pamphlets are issued, or they may start work using the old requirements until the next edition of Boy Scout Requirements (BSA Publication No. 33215) is issued.

 

"BSA will NOT hold the publications up until January each year. Instead, they will issue them as they are completed (and old stocks are exhausted, probably). Then in January, the Requirements Book will include all revisions to date."

 

(boldface is only to denote the quotation)

 

WHAT A BUNCH OF GOBBLEDYGOOK. Sometimes, simple minds need simple words ;)

 

BTW, when was the last time National released a MB pamphlet ahead of the requirements cycle recently???

 

OK, here's the question: If you're a District Advancement Committee Member or Chairman, an area head at Scout Camp, or an advancement coordinator in a unit, how the heck do you interpret the above and manage change???

 

I am truly confuddled on this one.(This message has been edited by John-in-KC)

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I would say that the current editon of the Requirements Book takes precedence over the revised Merit Badge Pamplet. In our Council I doubt very seriously if a District Advancement Chair would have any idea which is the more current nor would they care. On the Troop level, since most Troops don't replace Merit Badge Pamplets on a regular basis, the Requirements Book will probably be the thing most have.

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John-in-KC,

First remember that ussscouts.org is NOT run by National. The info may be correct but it is not coming from National direct. The Requirements Book #33215 is the official National standard. What the site says, and actually it is correct in that Nationals position is just as the site says on this issue, is that the Requirements book is the standard. New Merit Badge Pamphlets are printed as stock at National supply demands. When a badge has been revised and new pamphlets need to be printed National prints the new revision not the old edition. Because of this practice it is possible, though rare, that a scout will obtain a Merit Badge Pamphlet which has a newer set of requirements than those published in the then current Requirements Book. Normally it is very difficult to obtain New Editions before Jan 1 as the old editions are sold until National Supply runs out even after Jan 1 in some cases. When a revision is made so late in a year that revising the Requirements book is no longer possible National has issued mid year change advisories because the old pamphlets are discontinued and the new revision will be available before Jan 1 of the next year. Ive had to order new editions straight from National Supply in order to get a Pamphlet which matched the Requirements book. In the rare case where a scout presents a MBC with a newer edition the scout has the option of using either the new or the old requirements but NEVER a combination. Revision daters are written on the inside back cover of the Merit Badge Pamphlet and the Requirements Book. The important point in all this is that the choice of which requirements to use rests with the scout not the MBC.

LongHaul

 

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When we purchase new Pamphlets we check which Requirement book they match and write the year on the front of the Pamphlet. This way we know that the requirements match.

Also when updated pamphlets come out I go through them and check for the changes. I will then print the changes and staple them into the front of the pamphlet. So many times the only change is how something is worded.

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My understanding of the Merit Badge program is that once a Scout begins a merit badge, he may continue to use the requirements of the badge as they were when he started if the requirements change or he may choose to use the new requirements. He may not pick and choose between two sets of requirements - he must complete one or the other. It's not very clear if the Scout must complete a requirement a second time if he switches to new requirements if the requrement is the same in the new set of requirements as under the old requirements, though I doubt any merit badge counselor would make a Scout do the same requirement over.

 

Here is where even US Scouts.org even contradicts itself. The Scout may complete a merit badge using the requirements in effect when he started the badge - my understanding is that is true even if it takes the Scout 4 years to finish and the merit badge has been revised twice since he started. US Scouts. org states that the Scout may use the old or new requirements if he started the badge. In the above quoted paragraph, they say a Scout may work with the old requirements until the next edition of the Requirements Book is issued - and although not stated, it leads one to believe that the Scout must then switch to the new requirments once the book is issued.

 

Put simply, a Scout uses the requirements that are in effect when he starts the badge - if the requirements change, he, and only he, has the option of switching to the new requirements, or sticking with the old requirements. Only a Scout who starts a badge before new requirements are issued may use the old requirements - once new requirements are issued, a Scout starting the badge must use the new requirements. At no time is a Scout who has begun a merit badge in good faith using the requirements in effect when he starts the badge forced to change to the new requirements - and certainly not when a new requirement book is issued.

 

CalicoPenn

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CalicoPenn writes "Only a Scout who starts a badge before new requirements are issued may use the old requirements - once new requirements are issued, a Scout starting the badge must use the new requirements." The concern in the original post was when a New MBP is issued before the Requirements Book is revised and no National advisory has been issued. The Requirements Book is the standard even if new requirements are issued in the form of a new MBP. Again the important thing is that the decision to change rests with the scout. Requiring a scout to redo requirements already completed under an older set of requirements is the MBCs decision. Technically if a boy decides to use the new requirements instead of the requirements he started under his partial is void. Most MBCs I work with will accept work completed that fulfils the intent of the requirement.

LongHaul

 

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