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Blue Cards during lockdown time

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Our troop do not during this lockdown period. There are many virtual merit badge events run by various BSA councils. My questions are 

1. Can the Scout attend and complete the merit badges without SM's approval and without blue cards? 

2. These councils issue digital (PDF) blue cards. Are these acceptable? 

3. Our SM do not want scouts to do lots of merit badges saying the meaning of the merit badge is misunderstood. It is meant for only life skills like eagle merit badges and only the hobbies the scout is interested. To me merit badges are wonderful opportunity to learn and get exposed to wide range of skills and hobbies. Please let me know if the scout wants to earn all the 136 merit badges is a bad idea. 


Thank you very much for your help. 

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The BSA's Guide to Advancement outlines the merit badge process in part 7 - The Merit Badge Program.

The discussion with the Scoutmaster is a part of the process, but it is not an approval - just an indication that the discussion took place.   Please see section The Scout, the Blue Card, and the Unit Leader

Section outlines the Recommended Merit Badge Process.

The BSA has put out guidance on how to work on rank advancements and merit badges in its COVID-19 FAQs.  The Scoutmaster can sign the blue card in Scoutbook where it says: Initial Unit Leader Signature.

Merit badges are for learning about life skills, sports, crafts, science, trades, business, and future careers.  I think setting a goal of earning all merit badges is fine - as long as it's the Scout's goal.

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