Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Basementdweller

You and Your Scouts Requirements

Recommended Posts

We have a requirement that a parent can do no more than 2 merit badges unless your son and another boy do the merit badge at the same time.

 

This is in direct conflict with BSA policy.

 

Also, someone mentioned the EBOR should have a problem with all merit badges being signed off by the parent(s) and should ask technical questions. Remember, this is not the place to re-test the scout or check what they learned.

 

Retesting is not permitted. And the EBOR will have no idea who signed off on the merit badges unless they request this information from the council.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The merit badge process still includes how the Scout discuses the merit badge he wishes to attempt with his Scoutmaster and is then given the name of a qualified counselor by his Scoutmaster. In the circumstances stated in the original post the smell, not aroma, of home cooking is overwhelming. So much for adult association.

 

In the Greater Cleveland Council blue cards are not presented at the EBOR. Were the circumstances known the issue would merit a few questions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And the EBOR will have no idea who signed off on the merit badges unless they request this information from the council.

 

Except in my district, and I assume we are not unique, where the Eagle candidate MUST bring to the EBOR all of his signed blue cards. It doesn't matter that the Merit Badges appear on the computerized report from national, the blue cards must be there for the EBOR to review. And one of the things on their checklist (I have a copy) is "Good mix of merit badge counselors." I know this does not appear in the requirements, but I have to assume that if they decide that criterion is not met, they are not going to sign the application, and leave it to the appeal process. That may be an incorrect assumption, but then why would it be on the checklist in the first place? I'm not sure exactly what a "good mix" is, but I'm pretty sure that a Scoutmaster signing off on EVERY merit badge (see Basementdweller's post) would not be it. A Scout's father signing off on every merit badge would not be it either, and combine the two and obviously there would be a big problem. And then what happens if the Scout is already 18 at the time of the EBOR?

(This message has been edited by njcubscouter)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Except in my district, and I assume we are not unique, where the Eagle candidate MUST bring to the EBOR all of his signed blue cards. It doesn't matter that the Merit Badges appear on the computerized report from national, the blue cards must be there for the EBOR to review. And one of the things on their checklist (I have a copy) is "Good mix of merit badge counselors." I know this does not appear in the requirements, but I have to assume that if they decide that criterion is not met, they are not going to sign the application, and leave it to the appeal process. That may be an incorrect assumption, but then why would it be on the checklist in the first place? I'm not sure exactly what a "good mix" is, but I'm pretty sure that a Scoutmaster signing off on EVERY merit badge (see Basementdweller's post) would not be it. A Scout's father signing off on every merit badge would not be it either, and combine the two and obviously there would be a big problem. And then what happens if the Scout is already 18 at the time of the EBOR?

 

And what happens if the Scout fails to bring the blue cards? Or they were all signed by the same or a couple counselors?

 

This is one poor policy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The "must bring all blue cards to an EBOR" to me does seem like a unique policy. (And not very good.) What if scout has lost a few blue cards along the way.. (Gets card & patch at COH, puts in pocket, goes through wash..) If your district's policy is that if the scout looses his blue card (regardless of it being logged and cataloged at the council office) He must retake the MB over again, you are creating a policy that requires scouts to do more then what is required to obtain Eagle..

 

Our son was very careful with his blue cards, having started in a troop that had this type of blue card policy.. His friend was lucky enough to keep track of his blue cards long enough to complete the MB (Luckily we were in a troop that didn't require them, nor did the council/districe EBOR..) Bothe earned Eagle, because there isn't a policy that they scout needs to retain thier Blue cards..

 

Now our troop does stress that it is an excellent idea for each scout to keep them. We do a check of the council records every year or two.. there is always one or two MB not recorded.. Most times they were retrieved through a copy of the paperwork sent into council.. But once or twice, we had to ask the scout for his blue card.. (Hopefully now this is electronically filed by each troop, we will not see this problem in the future.)

 

If no council record, no paperwork sent to council, no bluecard from scout, and the MB counsilor does not remember the scout or keep his Bluecard copy.. Well then, this should be the only time the scout would need to repeat a MB (even if some people "know" he got it.).. And maybe some of you might be able to argue about why even then the scout should not redo the MB.. Something like a scout is honest and should be taken at their word.. But, sometimes I have a hard time with how far I can take that arguement.

 

Anyway I digress.. Due to this, the EBOR is not the place to flunk a scout for not having kept track of all of his blue cards.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And let's not forget that some troops don't use blue cards. Never had one while a scout. used photocopy of the requirements to initial and sign off.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The requirement to bring blue cards to your Eagle Board of Review has been around for a while. I brought them to my board in 1970 and my home council, Columbia-Montour still requires it with the rest of the documentation. Obviously the task is not unduly burdensome. Failing to present the blue cards for a given board date just means the Scout is rescheduled.

 

The blue card is primary evidence of merit badge completion. If the Scout, unit or counselor can produce a signed blue card the issue is settled, assuming the counselor was registered on the signature date. Electronic data is convenient but subject to compounded errors absent consistent oversight.

 

To get back to the subject, if in fact a Scoutmaster/father did sign off on the significant majority of the Scout's requirements to Eagle it represents a failure in troop leadership.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

EV

 

What about summer camps that do not use blue cards, but computer printouts?

 

What about troops that do not use blue cards at all?

 

I was always told that the scout's handbook was the "primary evidence" that requirements for rank were met, and have seen handbooks used to correct council records when they had the wrong dates listed, i.e. registrar put the date she entered the MB or rank into the system instead of the actual date it was earned.

 

Not trying to be a pain, but I've seen these things happen. And it wasn't the blue card that was used as evidence of completion, but the BSHB and the initials in it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eagle 92,

 

The advancement committee guide still calls out the Handbook and blue cards as primary proofs. With regard to merit badges the stated order is blue card, unit advancement report, merit badge card. The blue card is evidence of personal contact between the Scout and counselor, the only two relevant parties.

 

I am not familiar with units or council camps using computer print-outs in lieu of blue cards, so I can't really speak to what the primary documents are or what would be proof in the event questions arose. I would imagine some document has to be generated for data input unless the Scout's member number were tattooed on as a bar code then scanned as each requirement were completed :)

 

I'm fairly computer savvy and found the more different people lay hands on a database the higher the error frequency. In my personal experience I had my third bead before council records showed me as trained for my unit position. I would not want to leave an Eagle candidate in those same hands.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

E V,

Where in the ACP&P does it mention the Handbook and Blue cards as primary proof? The stated order of blue card, unit advancement report, merit badge card? I must have missed that.

 

Atlanta Area Council doesn't issue blue cards at summer camp. We get a "Scout MB Completion Report" which is a page showing which MBs were taken, which were completed, and which requirements were not completed for partials. The report is printed with the signature of the Program Director.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brent,

 

You're right the document hierarchy I cited is no longer in the advancement guide. Perhaps I've been around too long. However, given the Greater Cleveland Council still uses blue cards the practice continues as a means of verifying claimed badges in the event the question arises.

 

Out of curiosity does the council directly input the merit badge data or does the unit still prepare and submit an advancement report? How are input errors on the camp report resolved?

 

Thanks,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The units still have to submit Advancement Reports to council for summer camp mbs. Any errors are corrected thru the Program Director - he will send out a corrected pdf if needed. The MB Completion Reports are handed out to unit leaders on Friday night, after the big end-of-week campfire. They try to have representatives from each program area on-hand to deal with any errors that are readily apparent. The reality is we don't have much time to go over them that night, or even the next morning. I think they are mainly looking for missing reports. Once home, the Program Director can be reached by email, and he has been very responsive, the few times I have needed information.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To get back to the subject, if in fact a Scoutmaster/father did sign off on the significant majority of the Scout's requirements to Eagle it represents a failure in troop leadership.

 

To me, this statement is just as faulty as the blue card policy.

 

There is no limit to the number of MB's a counselor can counsel. A Scout can use one or 50 MB counselors. A father/mother/uncle/SM ia allowed sign all of a Scouts MB cards.

 

There is no requirement to own a Scout Handbook so requiring one at a BOR is ANOTHER direct violation on policy.

 

Starting to wonder if this council does anything by the book??????

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

evmori,

 

The original post stated, "His Dad, the SM, Signed off absolutely everything the Scout did in scouting. Merit badges, rank requirements absolutely everything." So much for adult association, which in Scouting guidance assumes more than your father. Another perspective is that a merit badge counselor's qualifications are to have more than a working knowledge of the subject. Thinking about the range of skills necessary to competently teach 21 topics this dad would be a truly remarkable individual or he managed to get by the district advancement committee. Because the circumstances described are not expressly prohibited does not make it good practice. The post does not indicate the Scout was denied rank.

 

A council requiring the submittal of blue cards with a candidate's rank application is a second means of verifying the counselors were registered when the merit badges were completed. An element not addressed by electronic databases. Obviously the council advancement committee and council executive approved the practice. Further, it is not unique among councils.

 

Our opinions on the matter are irrelevant as neither of us serve in the Columbia-Montour Council.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

E V,

 

When the application is turned in, the council checks the MB dates and other stuff against their database. If all is equal, the application then goes to the advancement chair. What if all but one of the MB's were done outside this Scout's council? What are they going to verify?

 

Just because this council approve of this practice doesn't make it correct.

 

I agree that Scouts should be using multiple counselors for MB's but until National makes this a requirement, a single qualified counselor may sign all of one Scout's MB cards. That's not an opinion, that is a fact.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×