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Samuel

Merit Badge Requirements Changed

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Hello, 

My son started a merit badge 2 years ago and finished few requirements and last year the requirements changed. The new councilor is asking him to get another blue card and redo everything. What is the right thing to do? 

 

Thank you very much. 

Regards 

Sam

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The Guide to Advancement says no in most cases — “Once work has begun, the Scout may continue using the requirements he or she started with until completion of the badge. Alternatively, the Scout may choose to switch to the revised requirements. Sometimes, however— especially for more significant changes—the Scouts BSA Handbook, the Scouts BSA Requirements book, www. scouting.org/meritbadges, or official communications from the National Council may set forth a different procedure that must be used and may establish a date by when use of the old requirements must cease.” 

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My question would be what is the badge, and why the change.  Is it important in order to better understand and learn?  If so, then how hard is it to just begin anew.  On the other hand, if the badge is generic and the change is insignificant, you might push the rule of starting before the change.  Is it worth the discussion or possible friction?  Weigh it and decide the best approach, but I would hope it will not become a point of contention.  Good luck.

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Which merit badge?  And how long ago did he last work on the merit badge?  Because the Guide to Advancement also says:

"There is no time limit between starting and completing a badge, although a counselor may determine so much time has passed since any effort took place that the new requirements must be used."

And he wouldn't necessarily have to redo everything.  Nights of camping since joining a troop, for example, would still count towards the Camping merit badge.

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It is personal management merit badge. The one he is concerned is the 13 weeks budgeting. 

Thank you very much. 

Regards 

Sam 

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Red is the old language, green is the new language.  I don't see any substantive difference between the two.  It looks like they just moved it around a bit.  If he wants a new blue card just get a new card.  if he wants him to do a new 13 week budget have him talk through with the counselor why.  If they can't come to a meeting of the minds have him seek out a new counselor.

It's worth noting that most scouters don't even know that rules like the Guide to Advancement exists, let alone what it says.  It might be helpful for your son to include the relevant wording from that when communicating with the counselor.

Do the following:

  1. Prepare a budget reflecting your expected income (allowance, gifts, wages), expenses, and savings. Track and record your actual income, expenses, and savings for 13 consecutive weeks. (You may use the forms provided in the merit badge pamphlet, devise your own, or use a computer generated version.) When complete, present the records showing the results to your merit badge counselor. for a period of 13 consecutive weeks.
  2. Compare expected income with expected expenses.
    1. If expenses exceed budget income, determine steps to balance your budget.
    2. If income exceeds budget expenses, state how you would use the excess money (new goal, savings).
    3. Track and record your actual income, expenses, and savings for 13 consecutive weeks (the same 13-week period for which you budgeted). (You may use the forms provided in this pamphlet, devise your own, or use a computer-generated version.) When complete, present the records showing the results to your merit badge counselor.
    4. Compare your budget with your actual income and expenses to under- stand when your budget worked and when it did not work. With your merit badge counselor, discuss what you might do differently the next time.
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Since this has been in the works for quite a while.  Without splitting hairs, you would think the MB counselor would compare the old and new requirements and simply give credit towards the new requirements already met from the old ones.  Any new/revised requirements would be simply added on to any already met ones. 

I have to say most MB counselors are pretty savvy about this and keep track.  At the time of the completed MB, all parties are stating the scout met the requirements at the time of the completion.  Hard to understand how a MB was kept working for 2 years, seems all parties needed an azimuth check.

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8 minutes ago, Double Eagle said:

 Hard to understand how a MB was kept working for 2 years, seems all parties needed an azimuth check.

Not hard at all.  Personal Management is not exactly an exciting, get out there in the wild and do it, kind of MB.  At the same time, I have 2 scouts who started Archery MB at summer camp 2 years ago, and did everything except make a bowstring.  As a troop, they selected archery as one of their themes this spring, and we will make bowstrings at a troop meeting, thus completing the MB for those two.

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Although no time limit on the MB, I can't imagine these long periods over a year, heck a scout could advance a few ranks in a 2 year period.  I've seen eagle projects pushed this long and raise a lot of eyebrows on the scout's commitment to the project.  Wood Badge tickets have a shorter time limit.  A SM conference can be held anytime in addition to the mandated one for rank, I hope this would be a topic of discussion.  I bet the original blue card is worn and tattered after.  I'm allergic to lengthy partial MB completion, makes me itch.  I like scouts to start, focus, and finish their selected tasks, especially those required for Eagle.  

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11 hours ago, Samuel said:

My son started a merit badge 2 years ago and finished few requirements and last year the requirements changed. The new councilor is asking him to get another blue card and redo everything. What is the right thing to do? 

The Guide to Advancement is clear.  A scout who begins working on a merit badge is allowed to complete it using the requirements in effect at the time he begins.  

Requiring a scout to get a new blue card is *NOT* an acceptable procedure. It sets up an obstacle to the scout.

Talk to your scoutmaster and see if he can recommend a better MBC for you.  With today's Scoutbook, you can also look it up online and select a nearby counselor. 

Most MBCs are very good and would never ask a scout to do that.  Remember that you do NOT have to use any specific counselor (this is also spelled out in black and white in the Guide to Advancement).

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Posted (edited)

While a merit badge counselor can determine that so much time has passed since any effort took place that the Scout must use the new requirements, this does not necessarily mean that the Scout has to start over from scratch.  Any work already done by the Scout that meets the new requirements would count.

As @T2Eagle pointed out, the 13 week tracking requirement for Personal Management is virtually identical to the old version - they have mostly just re-ordered the requirements.  The tracking part of 2.a. was moved to 2.b.3., and a new 2.b.4. was added.  New requirement 2.b.4 looks like a worthwhile discussion to me, but it could be a problem if the Scout no longer has the information that was used for the Scout's budget and income / expenses tracking.  If I were the MBC, I would not force a Scout to switch to the new requirements in this particular situation, but that's JMO.  And as other have pointed out, the Scout could also choose to find a new MBC who will allow him to continue using the old requirements.


 

When requirements change.JPG

Edited by Thunderbird

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