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I don't sign that many as a counselor that if a scout came up to me even a year or so later that I wouldn't be able to remember that we completed the badge, in which case i would just sign a new card, and really even if I couldn't remember specifically I would have to believe strongly that we HADN'T completed the badge for me to not sign a new card..

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2 hours ago, mrkstvns said:

Ummm.  Yeahhhhhh....

I sincerely doubt there are many counselors who actually DO keep their parts of the blue card (and even fewer who could actually lay hands on it if ever asked).  Expecting counselors to do so is a quaint fantasy.

I had misinterpreted as "in-work" merit badges.  The question was different in that it was asking about completed merit badges.  Specifically, the troop stub portion of the blue card.  

I do know counselors that keep their inventory long term.  I don't.  If a scout needed it signed again, I would after a brief chat of where and when and a few of the details.  

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2 hours ago, mrkstvns said:

... particularly since the troop should be keeping records of such things (via Scoutbook these days) and the scout should have his copy of the blue card for backup.  Triple redundancy just seems silly and an unreasonable imposition on already overtaxed scouters.

I remain convinced that there is no serious value in a counselor keeping his part of a blue card. ...

I met a forum member. He did data recovery.

His was the team who would, after a natural disaster, bring a system back to life so that business would be operating normally even before power was restored. Normally it's very simple work. Go in, confirm that the server farm was indeed flooded because corporate relegated it to the basement, start the generators, boot replacement servers, and ask "We'll send a crew to retrieve off-site back-up. Now, where is that?"

"Oh, we backed up to servers in the basement of our sister HQ building across the street."

:mad:Face-palm.

A troop duplicating itself is not redundancy. At least no more than an HQ making copies in the adjacent basement on the same flood plain.

Now a scout, his SM, and his counselors could all reside on the same flood plain. But, even so, the odds of one of those records being preserved are greatly improved thanks to the likes of @malraux and @MikeS72.

Besides, one of those scouts becomes famous -- especially in the field you counseled -- and you're definitely gonna want to be the guy who says, "Got his blue card for that Hall of Fame induction!"

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On 8/14/2019 at 1:11 PM, NationalTrailEagle said:

How long should a Troop hold on to Blue Cards?

At least until the boy ages out of Scouting.  

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Scoutbook is nice, and works pretty well. That said, do I really trust the BSA IT infrastructure to not garble something eventually? I'm not even sure I trust major data companies entirely, and that's their main job.

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23 hours ago, fred8033 said:

Until they see the scout.  

Question is a little like "when did you stop beating your wife?".  It's hard to answer because you shouldn't be doing that.  The blue card should either be in the hands of the scout or the counselor.  When done, the scout hands in the troop's portion for the troop to keep.  The scout keeps his part.  The counselor keeps his part.  

 

3 hours ago, mrkstvns said:

Ummm.  Yeahhhhhh....

I sincerely doubt there are many counselors who actually DO keep their parts of the blue card (and even fewer who could actually lay hands on it if ever asked).  Expecting counselors to do so is a quaint fantasy.

I do keep the blue cards as a counselor. I kept them in a section of the binder I have for Scout business.  I have actually given them to the Troop Advancement person, when that person lost the troop copy of the card, and the scout misplaced his copy.

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As a counselor trainer, I advised new counselors to keep them eight years. That supports the worst case ... the Webelo who bridges at 10 1/2, allowing him to migrate all the way through the program. 

Ditto the Troop Advancement Coordinator, or whoever uploads to ScoutNet. 

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