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thrifty

blue card refusal in '17 guide to advancement?

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46 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

The white card provides 3 copies, one for the scout, one for the counselor and one to turn into the council. All the scout needs is a copy by the counselor.

I like our system better because the scout is done with unit checks after the SM signs it. But that is also what I'm used to.

Barry

I'm confused.  When done ... The MB counselor keeps his part and the scout receives two parts back, his part and the troop's part.  When the scout gives it to the troop to record, the scout should only give the troop's part.  The scout should always maintain control of his part.  He should never give up that part as it's his proof he completed it.  It protects him from troop screw ups.  The troop still has their part to use to record advancement.

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2 minutes ago, fred johnson said:

I'm confused.  When done ... The MB counselor keeps his part and the scout receives two parts back, his part and the troop's part.  When the scout gives it to the troop to record, the scout should only give the troop's part.  The scout should always maintain control of his part.  He should never give up that part as it's his proof he completed it.  It protects him from troop screw ups.  The troop still has their part to use to record advancement.

After the merit badge counselor and the unit leader sign it, the unit leader can give the "Applicant's Record" part immediately back to the Scout.  The unit's advancement coordinator only needs the unit's part of the blue card.

The "white card" in Eagledad's council sounds like a somewhat different process.

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2 minutes ago, Thunderbird said:

After the merit badge counselor and the unit leader sign it, the unit leader can give the "Applicant's Record" part immediately back to the Scout.  The unit's advancement coordinator only needs the unit's part of the blue card.

The "white card" in Eagledad's council sounds like a somewhat different process.

Maybe the white card is different, but I doubt it.  The BSA Guide To Advancement only documents the BSA blue card version and says it's the only official version.  

Beyond that, I think we are saying the same thing.  The only difference is where you say the "SM can" hand back, I'm saying the process and blue card are designed so that the scout keeps his section after the scoutmaster signs it.  There is no "SM can" as the scout should be controlling his advancement and keeping track of things.

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3 minutes ago, fred johnson said:

Maybe the white card is different, but I doubt it.  The BSA Guide To Advancement only documents the BSA blue card version and says it's the only official version.  

Beyond that, I think we are saying the same thing.  The only difference is where you say the "SM can" hand back, I'm saying the process and blue card are designed so that the scout keeps his section after the scoutmaster signs it.  There is no "SM can" as the scout should be controlling his advancement and keeping track of things.

Not the greatest word choice on my part, because you and I are saying the same thing.  I think a lot of units do keep the "Applicant's Part" until the court of honor.  But after that part of the blue card is filled out correctly (the "Applicant's Record"), there is no need for the unit to hold on to it.

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1 hour ago, Eagledad said:

The white card provides 3 copies, one for the scout, one for the counselor and one to turn into the council. ...

I like our system better...

Barry

How does the scout get it to the council? Mail? Hand deliver? Seems like a lot of work for both the scout and the council to have one centralized destination for all MB records.


Does the council then notify the troop that one of their scouts earned a MB and someone should drive over and buy a new patch?

Our council is a 45 minute drive - one way. I assume many others have it worse. I don't think I would want to have to either mail in a card or personally deliver it each time my son earned a MB.

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1 hour ago, T2Eagle said:

The language NJ quoted pretty clearly states the SM can't deny a blue card, or more particularly his signature on a blue card, or in any way prevent a scout from working on a merit badge with a counselor of his choice when he wants to work on it.  The SM can/should have a discussion with the scout, but after that discussion proceeding with the mb and the counselor is left up to the scout.

Want to enlighten us as to what may be going on in your unit?

A scout completed all of the requirements for a MB prior to getting a BC.  Scout contacted SM for a BC so that he could meet with a counselor, discuss and earn the MB.  SM was unhappy the scout completed the MB requirements prior to a discussion with SM.  SM did not fulfill the request for a BC.  (I am now repeating what I was told because I was not in the meeting)  SM advised scout to decide on a counselor (maybe even contact one?) and then come back for a BC. (this is an SM of several years and I think he knows this is not correct)  This is not a MB that has any unusual pre-reqs, it's not an age thing either.

My understanding of how things should work is simple.  Scout can work on MBs at any time (with a few exceptions).  It does not matter that scout completed requirements prior to getting a BC.  SM's job is to recommend a counselor and give the scout a BC.  Per the info I posted earlier, SM cannot deny request for a BC.  Unfortunately, if it is not stated clearly and precisely somewhere that SM cannot refuse a request for a BC, there is no point in discussing anything further.

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From the Guide to Advancement (GTA) section 7.0.0.3:

"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." (emphasis added)

The unit leader's signature on the front of the blue card (Application for Merit Badge) only means that they had a discussion ("I have discussed this merit badge with this Scout and recommended at least one merit badge counselor.")  The only reasons that the GTA give for not allowing a Scout to work with a particular Merit Badge Counselor (MBC) of his choice is if the MBC is not registered and approved by the council or if the unit leader has placed a limit on the number of merit badges earned from one MBC.

There is also this from section 7.0.0.2:

"Typically after the unit leader signs the blue card, the Scout contacts the merit badge counselor and sets an appointment. Even though Scouts may benefit from reviewing requirements with a counselor before pursuing them, 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. Common sense should prevail, however. For example, nights already camped as a Boy Scout, or coins or stamps already collected, would count toward their respective badges."

A boy may begin working on a merit badge at any time after he is registered.  The blue card is really only necessary before working with a Merit Badge Counselor (MBC).  However, there are some merit badge requirements that require the MBCs approval (examples: Citizenship in the Community #7c. or Game Design #6).  But it is the MBC who decides whether to accept the work or not - not the Scoutmaster.

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58 minutes ago, thrifty said:

A scout completed all of the requirements for a MB prior to getting a BC.

That's an issue between the scout and the MB counselor.  The SM should have no influence on how it affects the badge.  BC should have been immediately issued.  

The early SM signature is not about filtering or choosing the right counselor or doing some type of quality checks.  The signature exists so that the scout regularly talks with his scoutmaster and so the scoutmaster knows about the scout's current activities.  It is not meant to be a blocking step.

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While it is technically ok for a scout to "complete all the requirements" before even meeting with the mB counselor, this denies the scout an opportunity to learn from, and grow from an expert in the field and minimizes the benefit gained from the adult association method. I do not condone the SM actions, it appears the SM and TC could use some help in transitioning the scouts to a less advancement is the goal troop. IMO.

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When discussions like this about starting a MB before you have a signed blue card come up, my favorite illustration for why the idea tat you can't start or complete requirements before that is Camping MB.    Virtually every scout begins working on this mb on their first tent camping trip.  There are 30 requirements/sub requirements for the mb; if you accept that requirements that say explain can be satisfied by a written explanation, then there are only six of the 30 requirements, those that specify "show" or "discuss", which you would not be able to complete before ever meeting a counselor.

The discussion about merit badges between a scout and his SM should be easy, informal, and useful to both  of them.  If it's not all three of those things but instead is used as some kind of control or road block then something is wrong.

In Thrifty's case, it sounds like the SM has a bee in his bnnet about something, but the scout should just go ahead and find a counselor and move on.  He just learned, probably not for the first or last time, that adults are not perfect.

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21 hours ago, thrifty said:

Unfortunately, if it is not stated clearly and precisely somewhere that SM cannot refuse a request for a BC, there is no point in discussing anything further.

I think it's clear enough.  It is also the case that the decision about whether to accept work previously done is up to the counselor, not the Scoutmaster.  An SM has no say at all in whether a Scout has successfully completed a merit badge, with that one fairly new exception for cases where it is clear that the counselor signed the card but the Scout did not actually complete the requirements.  But that is not what is going on here.

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