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When I was a scout (60's), scouts were expected to keep their own advancement records, that's why one third of the blue card is the scout's copy. Most of us bundled our blue cards together with a rubber band and stored with our baseball cards (Cookie Rojas, Johnny Callison,...) - our prized possessions all stored in a shoe box.


At Star, Life, and Eagle, we had to show proof of our merit badge work with our completed blue cards and not the white award cards, camp worksheet, or sash. Lose your blue card and you made a trip back to the counselor who hopefully kept his third or at least remembered you. Forget going to Council, they had no room to store their third of the blue card. At Star, I lost a couple blue cards and I learned my lesson for later ranks.


So, it was the scout's responsibility, not the Troop Advancement Chairman, not the Scoutmaster, not his parents - the scout's. Good training for adulthood - keep your own records; don't count on anyone else - the government, banks, and especially council.


At the BOR, each blue card was examined. A scout definitely had to have all his ducks in a row. I do not remember any issues with parents as counselors. If one of the BOR had been your counselor, he would have stepped aside.


Glad to hear your Eagle Board of Review expects the same as mine did. If others expect less, sorry to hear that.

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Didn't say it was. In fact, I don't think the current policy even requires blue cards.



"Most local councils (including summer camps) use the Application for Merit Badge, or blue card, although it is not required."


Too bad, I think the perceived "convenience" short-changes scouts on some valuable lessons that my generation learned.


My opinion.

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While it may not be a National policy/regulation/rule, I have to agree with RS that each scout should maintain his own copy of his advance record by maintaining their own blue cards and white cards. It teaches a good lesson in record keeping and that will pay dividends for the scout as he reaches adulthood.


That said, I have to agree with John in KC that if it is not a National policy/rule/regulation, then I don't think the scout should be denied his EBOR for not having them.




OBTW, my sons have started their own advancement record in Cub Scouting by maintaing all their advancement and arrow point cards as well as other program related cards in a binder with baseball card holders. While not required, it will be something that they may be able to show and share with their sons in the future.


(This message has been edited by Eagletrek)

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So if the Scout moves and his box of blue cards vanish - but that never happens, right? - he can't earn Eagle? Or if there's a fire at his home? Or if they're accidentally chucked by an unknowing parent in the throes of a decluttering frenzy? Or if (as happened countless times during my childhood) the paper was reduced to a ball of flaky, feathery pulp after going through the washer and dryer?


All sorts of things can happen to a blue card. That's a stupid rule (leaving the point of validity aside).


General question: What other things does a Scout need to maintain for his "permanent record," other than his Handbook? And when is he required to produce them?


Why? Is it unrealistic to expect them to know that they have homework to do? Is it unrealistic to expect them to carry their drivers license? Is it unrealistic to expect them to go to baseball practice without you having to remind them?


GW - I don't disagree with you on general principles. But when we're talking about badges that can be earned over a 7-year span, yes, it might be unrealistic to expect a 17-year-old to still have the piece of paper he got for completing Swimming at age 11.(This message has been edited by shortridge)

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Shortridge states, "it might be unrealistic to expect a 17-year-old to still have the piece of paper he got for completing Swimming at age 11."


Why do we always underestimate the ability of our kids to be orderly and maintain things??? Maybe because they haven't been taught these skills/traits by their parents!?!


I don't think it's unrealistic for a scout to properly maintain information related to his advancement in the program. Aren't we trying to develop good citizens? Don't we expect good citizens to maintain good records? Why shouldn't a parent of a scout teach this to his son?


I believe scouting attempts to get a boy to understand the need for good recordkeeping and information management all the way along the trail to Eagle. Numerous achievements in scouting from the Cub Scouting through Boy Scouting require the scout to track information and data. The Personal Management merit badge, an Eagle required badge, requires the scout to learn recordkeeping and manage information. So why don't we expect our scouts to maintain their "own copy" of their adavancement records?


As I've stated before, I don't believe a scout should be denied his EBOR if he doesn't have his "blue cards" since it's not a National policy/regulation/rule but what's wrong with encouraging our young folks to learn the art of record keeping and information management????

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All the MB info the board needs is on the Eagle app and has been verified by the council registrar.


So what are we looking for? If the mom and dad did, in fact, sign 18 of the MBs, what is the Eagle board to do? Are you going to hold up the boy's Eagle while you determine if they are registered counselors? 'Cause if they are it's a done deal.


This is baloney (and "baloney" is not the phrase I really want to use). It's another example of advancement committee's throwing up artificial road blocks simply because they can. What's the benefit of this requirement? It proves what? One time, in the past seven years, the kid's mom grabs and washes his uniform with a blue card still in the pocket and can't be an Eagle? Oh, no, no, you say, he would eventually get his Eagle after jumping through additional hoops. Then what's the point?


And what kid is going to offer up himself as a test case? No one is going to intentionally foul up his Eagle app just to prove a point on appeal.


That said, a Scout keeping up with his own advancement record is a good practice and should be encouraged. In our troop we do just that. The Scouts will need that info to complete their Eagle app. If they know they will eventually need the info, they should they should have some system for tracking the data themselves. Keeping the cards in baseball card sleeves is an easy and obvious way to do that. That's a good, positive habit to learn. But failure to do so shouldn't cost him his Eagle.(This message has been edited by Twocubdad)

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Thanks for all your comments and suggestions. Please keep them coming.

I would not mind having a SM (I do have one in mind) making an issue about the blue cards with the Scouter from the District but do not want the Scout to go through getting ready for a BOR and then not having it. Can anyone come up with away to do this without a Scout being put in the middle?

Thanks again.

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what's wrong with encouraging our young folks to learn the art of record keeping and information management????




I didn't say this - in fact, I agreed with GW. I just said that with all the things that can happen to a small piece of paper - and especially recalling my own airheadedness as a young man - it seems silly to put this type of requirement in place.


The critical piece is that they have to "learn the art." The best way to teach them is to do it along the way, as the youth matures - not wait until the last minute to deny them a rank based on some made-up rule.


If this mindset were in place in all areas of Scouting operations, cloth badges wouldn't count for anything!

- Eagles would have to carry their award card with them at all times.

- OA Vigil Honor members would have to lug around their certificates to prove the triangles on their sashes were legit.

- Adult leaders would have to whip out their unit charters to justify their position patches.

- Anyone with a temporary camporee patch should be prepared to have a signed, notarized statement from three witnesses and a photograph proving they were actually there.

- And forget about wearing that Arrow of Light knot you earned as a young Cub... you'll now have to strap the actual ceremonial arrow to your backpack!

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Here we go again with the above and beyond crap.

That is not the point, the point is by having the Scout bringing some of these records provide another avenue to discuss with the Eagle candidate his journey. If that is construed as a barrier - will it change anything? no, it most probably wont. Then why the artificial barrier? If were so fearful of having a stinking discussion with the kid because we dont want to make him sweat a little and be able to discuss a little about his journey to Eagle then why bother? His package will be reviewed by the BOR long before he arrives and can see at that time whether or not everything is in order. Whats the point in having him even show up?

Wow, we get so hung on up the rule we forget about the experience for the Scout. Dont miss the bigger picture here when a candidate for a job or contract has to submit himself to being grilled by an old bunch of stodgy guys that are going to make a decision that may be life altering Ask any Eagle if he remembers his BOR. I can still tell you who sat on mine and what questions I was asked, and that was 29 years ago. Why is that? Because I was terrified, but I survived and grew a little from that experience. Are we harassing the kid by telling him to come to his BOR prepared with his scouting resume to discuss? Man, what an awful experience which is just cruel and unusual to put little Johnny through


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I'm glad we agree! As I've previously stated, I don't agree with having to show the "blue card" all over again either. I'm also glad to see that you agree that the "art" of recording keeping should be learned and fostered throughout the program. I believe I recommended this in my previous post.

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I dont know how things work in your District, but in the one I serve something like this could be an agenda item at the District Committee meeting. The issue of having the Blue Cards would be discussed with the suggestion that if any supporting documentation may be found it may be required, but until then it is not

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Snoring Bear -- I agree with you. Asking a candidate to bring a prized Scouting memento to his EBoR to serve as a springboard for conversation is a great idea. I like it so much I'm going to suggest it to my unit advancement chairman as an idea for any BoR.


A Scout could bring almost anything: a patch collection, Philmont arrowhead, Jambo necker, his Tiger Cub totem or even his collection of blue cards. Of course, if you want to chat about his merit badges, the list is on the application.


But that's not what Apache Bob's district is doing. They are requiring a full set of blue card before they will even schedule the Board. Different deal entirely.

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A couple of thoughts:


1) Twocubdad - You're right. Suggesting bringing a Scouting memento is a great idea for a BOR discussion item. However, REQUIRING it, particularly before scheduling a BOR is something else entirely.


2) As has been written many times. I would suggest that an essential principle is "no surprises." If the Scout was told, at the time that he got his first blue card, "be sure to keep this as you will be required to have every blue card at the time you go for Eagle Scout", then that is one thing. If it is something that is sprung on the Scout as he is getting ready for Eagle, that is something else entirely. That would only reward either the Scout from the big active Troop who has lots of Eagles and knows the ropes, or else the Scout who is and/or whose parents are anal about record keeping.


Having, lo those many, many years ago, been the first Eagle Scout from my Troop and being a person whose office looks like a tornado hit a Staples, I would have been in deep trouble. The Eagle Board I had was tough, thorough and long. It was not anal.


I'm now working without proof, but I suspect that the type of outdoorsy, camping Scout that we rapsodize about as what we want for an Eagle Scout is probably not the guy who is going to have all of his blue cards neatly filed and crossindexed by date, name of counselor, etc. What kind of behavior are we really trying to encourage and reward?

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This is a time for your (in order) COR, CC, or SM to pay a business office call on the Scout Executive... with his Advancement Chairman present. Ask, forthrightly and bluntly, where the "must have blue cards" is is in the National Program materials ... and be armed with the no additions, subtractions or modifications clause from ACP&P.


Be blunt. COR tells Advancement guy that this will be pursued, in the name of the Chartered Partner to National, should a Scout from his unit be denied Eagle. Inform the SE and Advancement Chair that he (the COR) will sit the EBOR, for the express purpose of evaluating Council's support of the process.


If you've got a weak or non-existent Chartered Partner, then this devolves to CC. Note, though, the best player for this is the COR. He can ask the tough question "Why do we license the BSA program from you if you guys aren't going to follow it?"


Finally, you may need more than just the right SM/CC. You may need the right Scout... one who understands this is a baloney issue under current policy, and is willing to be the test case. You certainly don't want an aging-out youth. You also want someone who clearly should be Eagle.


Now, all that said, you've given two different players, and I'm confused about who is laying down this policy. Your initial post says "the Council Advancement Committee has made it a policy", but your missive today says "making an issue about the blue cards with the Scouter from the District" ... is this a Council policy but you have unit EBORs with District Guests?


I really do want to hear how this one comes out in the wash.

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