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NobodyReally

Revoking Merit Badges?

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He's got the book signatures and his third of each blue card, but I was under the impression that it was the troop's portion of the blue card that let's you purchase the badge at the scout shop now. Do I have the wrong information for that? If I do have my wires crossed, what, if anything, is required to purchase the merit badges now?

 

The organizer at one merit badge day was very apologetic for not having badges to hand out this year because the rules had changed and she said you had to show proof of completed requirements before the scout shop would sell them now. So if the scout keeps the part that has the requirements listed, then how do they verify what was completed at the store if it's not the troop's blue card section?

 

The  Scout's third is proof of completion. Any of the three parts of the Blue card are proof of completion.  The Applicant's record has the signature of the Counselor and unit leader (Scoutmaster) that says the requirements have been completed.  The back side of it has the actual record of the completion. That is why it's in three parts. The   Scout, the Troop and the Counselor all have proof of completion.  Any one of the three that has been filled out is proof of completion. 

 

Does your Troop not buy the merit badges and present at a Court of  Honor?  The only MB patches I bought for my sons were for lost ones. 

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I was thinking I would take the signed blue cards in to the scout shop and pick up the badges he's completed so that way we could be less burdensome to the new troop.

 

After reading these responses, I looked in the troop master app, and it shows 2 of the 3 badges as accepted and one they haven't approved so far (oddly, the badge surrounding this recent drama has been accepted in this system for months), so I assume that ScoutNet would only show those two accepted badges. But the blue card for all 3 are already signed by the MBC and SM. I don't know if the troop is refusing to approve the 3rd badge until they grill my son about that one some more too, but what do I do in this situation if the troop doesn't forward the badge to the ScoutNet account?

 

Would the signed blue card trump all? Can a new troop input the badge in their system and become the final word on what was earned? Or is the badge at the mercy of the original troop approving it first?

 

Also, my son has a blue card for this weekend signed by the SM already. Since we won't be returning to that troop, will a new SM have any reason to not accept a completed blue card that another SM/troop approved? I am assuming my son would turn it in like normal and previous authorization will be good enough, but if I should be aware of any rules or issues, I'm all ears.

If they are signed by the SM and the Counselor, they are complete, and the Counselor and SM have said so. A blue card signed by the previous SM is a record.  Just talk to the new Troop's Advancement person and make sure it's all straightened out.  The duel signed Applicant's record third of the blue card is sufficient proof that a MB has been completed. 

Edited by perdidochas
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We had a similar situation where a Scout transferred into the troop from a folded one. His SCOUTNET records were completely messed up as they showed him with NO rank or MBs. Using his BSHB and blue cards, we reconstructed his records.

 

ALWAYS KEEP COPIES OF RECORDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ( caps for emphasis, ok maybe a little yelling at the top of my lungs in warning ;) )

There have been several instances that I have been personally involved with where records were messed up by the council, and I had to either reconstruct or help reconstruct them. Worse were the training records for adults. Not fun telling a Philmont Trainer Center Staffer who has been involved with BSA for over 50 years he's "untrained" according to training records.

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I was thinking I would take the signed blue cards in to the scout shop and pick up the badges he's completed so that way we could be less burdensome to the new troop.

 

 

Yah, they won't let you.  New troop should have no problem though, eh?

 

 

I was thinking I would take the signed blue cards in to the scout shop and pick up the badges he's completed so that way we could be less burdensome to the new troop.

 

After reading these responses, I looked in the troop master app, and it shows 2 of the 3 badges as accepted and one they haven't approved so far (oddly, the badge surrounding this recent drama has been accepted in this system for months), so I assume that ScoutNet would only show those two accepted badges. But the blue card for all 3 are already signed by the MBC and SM. I don't know if the troop is refusing to approve the 3rd badge until they grill my son about that one some more too, but what do I do in this situation if the troop doesn't forward the badge to the ScoutNet account?

 

Would the signed blue card trump all? Can a new troop input the badge in their system and become the final word on what was earned? Or is the badge at the mercy of the original troop approving it first?

 

I reckon most new troops will accept da blue card and take care of things for yeh.  Same goes for gettin' your son badges and awarding at their next Court of Honor.  

 

The thing yeh need to do up front as you're lookin' for a new troop is to ask about this sort of thing, eh?  Troops have different styles and different approaches to the Advancement game.   You're clearly lookin' for a rapid-advancement / advancement-focused sort of style that is willin' to deal with badges comin' fast and furious on the quest for 136.   That's not every troop, eh?  So if yeh want to find a good fit, yeh need to be up-front in your inquiries.

 

 

Also, my son has a blue card for this weekend signed by the SM already. Since we won't be returning to that troop, will a new SM have any reason to not accept a completed blue card that another SM/troop approved? I am assuming my son would turn it in like normal and previous authorization will be good enough, but if I should be aware of any rules or issues, I'm all ears.

 

Yah, probably OK, but if there's an opportunity to do so I'd encourage your boy to talk to the new Scoutmaster first and pick up a card from the new troop.   Just easier and clearer all around, plus a good opportunity for da SM and your son to start things off on the right foot.

 

Beavah

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As of last year, if a unit leader determines that a MB cannot in fact have been earned, the unit leader may decline to award the MB.

Guide to Advancement 7.4.0.7.

 

A MB can only be earned through individual "actually and personally" completing each requirement as witnessed and certified by a registered Merit Badge Counselor.

 

"It all begins with a Scout’s initial interest and effort in a merit badge subject, followed by a discussion with the unit leader or designated assistant, continues through meetings with a counselor, and culminates in advancement and recognition. It is an uncomplicated process that gives a Scout the confidence achieved through overcoming obstacles. Social skills improve. Self-reliance develops. Examples are set and followed. And fields of study and interest are explored beyond the limits of the school classroom."

 

"[A] boy may begin working on a merit badge at any time after he is registered. It is the counselor’s decision whether to accept work or activities completed prior to the issuing of the signed blue card.."

 

"Lacking agreement, the Scout must be allowed to work with the counselor of his choice, so long as the counselor is registered and has been approved by the council advancement committee."

 

"There must be attention to each individual’s projects and his fulfillment of all requirements. We must know that every Scout—actually and personally—completed them. If, for example, a requirement uses words like “show,†“demonstrate,†or “discuss,†then every Scout must do that. It is unacceptable to award badges on the basis of sitting in classrooms watching demonstrations . . . ."

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For anyone interested, we have gone around to different troops this past week. Low and behold, they have all said, almost identically, "yeah, troop _____ has a reputation for being controlling and awful to their kids." These other places also work on rank and badge requirements during meetings, and actually encourage kids to work ahead if they feel motivated, so it seems like any one of them will be a much better fit for my scout. Now he just has to pick one.

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For anyone interested, we have gone around to different troops this past week. Low and behold, they have all said, almost identically, "yeah, troop _____ has a reputation for being controlling and awful to their kids." These other places also work on rank and badge requirements during meetings, and actually encourage kids to work ahead if they feel motivated, so it seems like any one of them will be a much better fit for my scout. Now he just has to pick one.

 

Just be careful.  One of the ugly sides of troops competing for scouts is that the us-versus-them attitude causes many troops to knock other troops.  They may not be as different as they think or want to represent.

Edited by fred johnson
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For anyone interested, we have gone around to different troops this past week. Low and behold, they have all said, almost identically, "yeah, troop _____ has a reputation for being controlling and awful to their kids." These other places also work on rank and badge requirements during meetings, and actually encourage kids to work ahead if they feel motivated, so it seems like any one of them will be a much better fit for my scout. Now he just has to pick one.

Fred said everything I would say about "back room dish" on other troops.

 

How to pick? Well, he first needs to get some more data. Specifically, who decides which topics a troop will work on?

  • If the committee has a routine schedule that covers only Eagle-required badges, then that's a no-go for your son. It sounds like he's well on his way to knocking those out with or without the troop's encouragement; therefore, what would benefit him is a troop willing to go after obscure MBs just for the fun of it.
  • If the boys in leadership positions plan what merit-badges the entire troop does for certain meetings, that's better. Your son can give feedback, and maybe an obscure one gets on the docket.
  • If the responsibility for MBs courses falls on the patrol, that's even better. It's far easier to get 8 guys to agree to try an obscure badge ... plus, if four patrols are going after four different badges, they might be flexible enough to swap members who might want to try a MB being considered by a different patrol. What that means is increased odds that at any given time he'll have a buddy (or eight) to work on MB's with.

Now, in the end, he may see earning MBs as an individual sport. In that case, the only thing that matters is a troop full of welcoming boys who have fun during the meetings and an SM who likes signing blue cards frequently.

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How about  troop that lets a Scout's interests drive what MBs he pursues?

I think that boils down to the "individual sport" strategy. I.e., no MB classes during meetings, no working on MBs during meetings (although, I think most troops with that strategy still grant boys a few minutes to meet with their counselors by appointment during opening games or patrol break-out sessions -- for the sake of youth protection), brief conversation with the SM regarding blue cards, touch base with the librarian about pamphlets, and that's it. Activities planned for their own sake without regard to any MB that could be earned in the process. It's on the boy to connect the dots and maybe influence program toward a badge of his interest.

 

That's basically how I had my boys operate. Mainly because every attempt at MB class during a meeting led to eyes rolling into the backs of their little heads when we got to handing out worksheets and school-type requirements.

 

Now, having one or two boys bring in a demonstration as part of a requirement for a badge (e.g., cooking supper in the church kitchen, lighting and extinguishing grease fires in the parking lot, etc ...) ... THAT resonated very well with the rest of the boys.  Completing their badge, however, was left up to each scout on his own time, and only a percentage of the boys did that.

 

It works for us, but none of our scouts earn Eagle quickly, and their sashes aren't overly burdened with round medallions. I don't think NobodyReallySon would like our troop at first blush.

 

@@TAHAWK, if you've experienced another way of a troop "letting a scout's interests drive what merit badge he persues" do tell. Because, the OP has a kid who's nuts about earning MBs (usually an indicator of broad interests) and they would surely like to fall in with a troop who will make that a possibility.

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Pretty much the same here.

 

The PLC has had MBCs give 15 minute talks on the subject of a MB.  It's up to the Scouts to contact him or her to arrange to work on the MB.  

 

We have had themes that relate to MBs, such as wilderness survival, archery, pioneering.  Again, the Scout must contact a MBC to work on the badge.

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The boys decided this year to do a couple of merit badges as monthly themes.  This month is Pioneering.  Our (the adults) requiirement is that the boys teach all the skills and do all the instruction.  The Merit Badge Counselor is there just to sign off on the requirements for those that want to pursue the badge.  I'll let you know how it goes.

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The boys decided this year to do a couple of merit badges as monthly themes.  This month is Pioneering.  Our (the adults) requiirement is that the boys teach all the skills and do all the instruction.  The Merit Badge Counselor is there just to sign off on the requirements for those that want to pursue the badge.  I'll let you know how it goes.

Interesting change in MB requirements.  

 

I would hate it since I am a Pioneering MBC and get little enough work as it is due to Summer Camp mills and troop lists.

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What always seems to be missing in the discussions about merit badges is the expertise of the counselor. Before I get jumped all over, what I am referring to is the processes which ignore this expertise and use mbc as testers only. Merit badges are an amazing combination of methods, adult association and advancement. When processes ignore the adult association method the boys lose out on an amazing opportunity. The method of adult association and the opportunity for boy to learn ditectly from an expert is the reason why merit badges are separated from skills listed in rank advancement. Many current practices are viewing merit badeges as the same/similar. They are fundamentally different.

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Interesting change in MB requirements.  

 

I would hate it since I am a Pioneering MBC and get little enough work as it is due to Summer Camp mills and troop lists.

i guess they'd have to lash you to a mast to keep you from counseling them!

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