Jump to content
christineka

Blue Card Problems

Recommended Posts

My son has a few problems with merit badge cards.  The former scoutmaster had a policy of keeping all the blue cards himself, presumably so that the cards did not get lost.  It also meant that my son has a bunch of unfinished merit badges, as he doesn't know who the counselor is.  Summer has come, freeing up my son's time.  There's also a court of honor scheduled in a couple weeks.  There's a new scoutmaster and guess what?  He has none of the incomplete merit badge cards.  The former scoutmaster had put the completed requirements into some computer program (not sure which) and printed them out, so I have the list of what son needs to do.  There are no cards, though.  There are three badges from a mb powow.  Son has completed one and we did have the counselor because there was a field trip and I needed to get the info about this.  The other two, we don't know the counselors.  Son's 11 year old leader (LDS scouting has a different leader for 11 year olds) knew of a nuclear science counselor- not sure if this is the same person who did the powow or not.  I have not been able to find an electricity merit badge counselor, however.  There's also a problem with swimming.  Son started it at camp, but finished with his 11 year old leader.  Again, no card, because scoutmaster wouldn't let him have it.  The swimming badge also changed in that time.  11 year old leader just matched up what requirements son did with the new requirements and had him do the rest.  (This was based on the computer input from scoutmaster's computer program.)  There is no card, showing son has completed swimming, yet he has.  

 

Now there's a new scoutmaster, who is apparently overwhelmed.  I've had son ask for these and other blue cards in person and via email.  Scoutmaster is not responding.  I do not know what to do about this problem.  Does son need to start all of these badges over again?  Even if he wanted to, scoutmaster isn't giving out blue cards for anything.  Son asked for lifesaving and has been continually told to wait.  (He wants to get his 400 yard swim over with in a pool before going to camp, since he has known issues with hypothermia in mountain lakes.)

 

Would the computer printout work for fixing up new blue cards, if son could get them?  How do we find an electricity counselor in the area?  What do we do, so my son can get his swimming badge?  Should he just start over?  (Assuming sm would even let him have another card.)  Why can't boys just keep their own blue cards???  It would be easier for son, if it was all his fault that the card was lost.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seriously, if you do not work with the same counselor then it is up to each counselor if they will accept a partial from another counselor or not, even if you had the blue card.. Good news is that most counselors do..  As for not having a blue card but at least a computerized sheet, that also is up to the counselor (you may have a few more that don't accept, but most will be fine, as most of us do not wish to punish a child for the mistakes of an adult.).. Your son would need to get the list of counselors doing the MB, and be prepared to give them the long story, then just see what their verdict will be..  If you find an MBC who works with your troop a lot, they will probably be fine with it as the majority of the scouts they work with will now be in the same boat. It will be if you need to use an MBC that doesn't work a lot with your troop who may be uncomfortable with it.

 

PS..  Many councils are now moving away from blue cards and going to computerized.. This may be your council and why your blue cards were computerized by your old SM..  If this is the case, then the new computerized sheet will be as good as the blue card for any counselor.. Sentence #1 will still apply but other then that your son might not need to tell his tale of woe to each MBC he calls.. Might be worth a call to the council office to check that.

Edited by moosetracker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well the train wreck finally happened :( Like Moose said, use the printed copy that you have. (Make a copy of it or at least scan it to your computer as a back--up.)

Get a new blue card for every badge the boy wants to finish. Prepare him to give his long sad story to each counselor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Would the computer printout work for fixing up new blue cards, if son could get them?  How do we find an electricity counselor in the area?  What do we do, so my son can get his swimming badge?  Should he just start over?  (Assuming sm would even let him have another card.)  Why can't boys just keep their own blue cards???  It would be easier for son, if it was all his fault that the card was lost.

To answer your questions:

 

1) Any Scoutmaster or MBC worth their salt would take the print out of his partials as proof for a new blue card. If not, find someone who will.

 

2) Your district or council should have a list of counsellors.

 

3) See #2 to get a counselor

 

4) Do NOT start over. He may have to review completed requirements with he new MBC but do not start over.

 

5) Most troops I know of give the scouts the blue card. It is called Boy Scouts for a reason, the onus should be on the boy...always.

 

.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you fill out all but the SM signature and MB Counselor's signature, it will be quick work for the new SM to sign his name on the cards - a couple of minutes.

 

Negotiating partial credit on the basis of the old SM's printout is between the Scout and the new MB Counselor.  The new SM need not trouble himself if its too much for him to deal with now.  

 

The panel of the Blue Card that records specific requirements met is the "Applicant's Record."  This story is one about learning the "hard way," but the lesson for the new SM is that the "Applicant's Record" is for the applicant, not the troop.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 This story is one about learning the "hard way," 

 

Lesson for whom?  When my son was 11, he was in charge of his cards.  When he turned 12, he was over sm's jurisdiction.  He and I both asked and begged for those cards.  SM wouldn't let him have them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Haven't we been through this before? 

 

So, Christine, how would you propose to solve this?

As far as I know, son will just have to continue asking sm for new blue cards.  (None have yet been produced or signed by sm)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If this was not an LDS troop, I'd be telling you to switch troops.  As it's LDS, I don't know what your options are.

 

This is an adult induced problem and it should be the adult leaders who step up to fix it.  The only learning lesson I see in this is to be jadded and not trust people.  And, that's not a lesson we want to teach our scouts.  Instead we need to teach the lesson that when people screw up, they step up and fix it.  That's your troop leaders job and the lesson they should be teaching through their example fixing the situation.

 

If I a scout asks for a blue card, the standard reply should be a smile, good wishes and maybe a few friendly questions or suggestions about it.  Period.  

 

-----------------------------

 

SLIGHT EDIT - I just don't understand at all why troops feel like they need to record individual requirement tracking for merit badges at all.  Maybe .. maybe rank individual requirement tracking.  But even then, I'd argue you are better off not tracking the detailed requirements.  It perverts the program.  Advancement is to be controlled and driven by the individual scout with some friendly encouragement and support from the troop (... and family ... mainly encouragement from family). 

Edited by fred johnson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many councils are now moving away from blue cards and going to computerized.. 

 

Maybe I'm too isolated, but I don't see that anywhere.  At the 2010 Jamboree, scouts only had to badge into merit badge sessions to receive the MB.  Other than that, all scouts and MBC use blue cards to record progress and record completion.  Between the troop and councils, most are electronic reporting these days, but you've never had to hand in the blue card segment to the council ... at least for the last 15 years. 

 

Moosetracker ... can you tell us more?  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our District still does blue cards, but when my son went out of state provisional to different summer camps some were computerized.. He had to return with the computerized print outs and explain them.. I am sure I have seen one or two post about their blue cards now being computerized, as having hit it my radar was up for that to make note of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our District still does blue cards, but when my son went out of state provisional to different summer camps some were computerized.. He had to return with the computerized print outs and explain them.. I am sure I have seen one or two post about their blue cards now being computerized, as having hit it my radar was up for that to make note of it.

 

Our summer camp started doing computerized blue cards last year.  Prior to camp, we input what MBs the boys are doing at Summer Camp.  That way Summer Camp knows how many will be in each class.  During the week the counselors input what requirements are completed as they are completed.  At the end of the week, all the blue cards are printed out and given to the SM for advancement purposes.  Kind of takes the boys off the hook for keeping track of their blue cards, but it is great as SM, I don't have to fill out all the blue cards prior to Summer Camp and give them to the boys when they go.  Still up to our Advancement Chair to enter the MB as earned in the advancement records, so it is not completely computerized from camp to council.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If this was not an LDS troop, I'd be telling you to switch troops.  As it's LDS, I don't know what your options are.

He is signed up for a new community troop.  (Been signed up since February)  I have no idea what's going on other than it hasn't taken off yet.  With church scouts, he only gets scouts twice a month and the scoutiness is greatly reduced from when son was 11.  The boys no longer wear scout shirts and my son is gradually moving in that direction. 

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

×