Merit Badges from summer camp

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Postby Chief J » Fri Sep 07, 2007 7:47 am

In our council the advancement forms work like this:

For rank advancements: A completed advancement report bearing the signature of three committee members who sat on the Board of Review and the Board of Review date.

For Merit Badges: A completed advancement report bearing the signature of the Advancement Chair, and the section of the blue card entitled "Application for Merit Badge" This is the section that contains the Scouts information on the front and SM signature giving approval to start the Merit Badge, and the MBC information and signature on the back of it. Both the Advancement report and the Application for Merit Badge are maintained at the Council level.

If you do not have both the advancement report and the blue card, you cannot purchase the merit badge.

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Postby Mrw » Fri Sep 07, 2007 7:48 am

The blue card is proof to me, the troop advancement chair, that the badge was completed. Council takes my word for it.

Merit badge couselors are kept on a district list that is updated annually. Coucil approves merit badge couselors.

If the boy brings home a partial from summer camp, he can complete it with a counselor off the district list or he can complete it the next year at summer camp. No one else's signature will be accepted.
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Postby DadScout » Fri Sep 07, 2007 9:15 am

For our dist & council
Application to be a MBC goes to the dist dean of MBs. They request (suggest) that you don't sign up for more than 5, 3 of which could be ERB. Note this is a suggestion. Once the dean approves the app it gets forwarded to council for approval. The MBC must list their proficiency to be a MBC for a specific MB on the application. Every year you get a letter from the dean stating that you're a MBC for x,y,z. If you still wish to be a MBC forward this back saying OK. Delete one if you wish. Add one and it requires an app for the add

For getting the MB's
Scout goes to SM or AC for the troop and says I want to do blank. SM or AC picks an MBC from the dist list based on location, knowledge of the MBC, or whatever. Gives the Scout the blue card with all the appropriate stuff filled in. Scout gets a refresher on G2SS, no 1-1 contact, you call not mom/dad, etc.
When the Scout comes back with the blue card done he should have 2/3 parts to it. The AC takes it, files out an adv report... goes to council scout shop....hands in the report (not blue card), gets badge, gives badge and Scouts part of blue card to Scout at CoH, Troop keeps it's part of the card and copy of the adv report. If the Scout needs a dup of the badge, like for an Eagle display, he has his portion of the blue card and can buy the badge.
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Postby PaulSWolf » Fri Sep 07, 2007 11:27 am

DadScout wrote:When the Scout comes back with the blue card done he should have 2/3 parts to it. The AC takes it, files out an adv report... goes to council scout shop....hands in the report (not blue card), gets badge, gives badge and Scouts part of blue card to Scout at CoH, Troop keeps it's part of the card and copy of the adv report. If the Scout needs a dup of the badge, like for an Eagle display, he has his portion of the blue card and can buy the badge.

Some changes I would suggest:

1. Give the Scout his portion of the blue card (the middle piece) IMMEDIATELY after he turns it in. That's his RECEIPT, and guarantees he has a copy if the adults mess up and lose the card or neglect to turn in the advancement report.

2. Give the badge to the Scout at the NEXT Meeting, rather than waiting for the next COH. - IMMEDIATE recognition.

3. At the COH, give the Scout the wallet card as his recognition.
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Postby Quailman » Fri Sep 07, 2007 2:41 pm

DadScout wrote:For our dist & council
Application to be a MBC goes to the dist dean of MBs. They request (suggest) that you don't sign up for more than 5, 3 of which could be ERB. Note this is a suggestion. Once the dean approves the app it gets forwarded to council for approval. The MBC must list their proficiency to be a MBC for a specific MB on the application. Every year you get a letter from the dean stating that you're a MBC for x,y,z. If you still wish to be a MBC forward this back saying OK. Delete one if you wish. Add one and it requires an app for the add.


I especially like the reminder letter. That keeps the list current.

In our area, the application has room for quite a few, and it says "list additional MB's on the back" (or attach separate application - I forget which). I'm listed for many of the conservation ones (nature, bird study, etc.), coin collecting, home repairs, dentistry and one or two others. I have broad interests and know quite a bit about a lot of topics. The one thing I won't touch, however, are the Eagle-Required MBs. We have plenty of coverage for them within our troop and locally, and I much prefer counselling for MB's that the boys elected to earn, rather than the ones they are taking because they need to.
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Postby smtroop168 » Wed Sep 12, 2007 5:49 pm

I went to the Great Salt Lake Council web site and it makes no mention of the policy that scoutaholic refers to. Most of their info is boilerplate from National. I can't imagine that the GSL Advancement committee would sign up to "any one can sign any merit badge."

As much as it is tempting to sign off that "one last requirement" as a SM, it makes the point to my guys to work hard not to get partials, especially at Summer Camp.
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Postby Fibonacci » Thu Sep 13, 2007 9:36 am

Question for Paul
Some changes I would suggest:

1. Give the Scout his portion of the blue card (the middle piece) IMMEDIATELY after he turns it in. That's his RECEIPT, and guarantees he has a copy if the adults mess up and lose the card or neglect to turn in the advancement report.

2. Give the badge to the Scout at the NEXT Meeting, rather than waiting for the next COH. - IMMEDIATE recognition.

3. At the COH, give the Scout the wallet card as his recognition.


Although I have heard these suggestions before, I have not implemented them in our troop. Here are my concerns:
1. The Scouts leave things behind in the meeting room often. Giving them their 1/3 card one at a time seems to offer more opportunities for trouble. Our Scouts give me the 2/3, I get the SM signatures for several at a time, and the Scout receives his 1/3 at the CoH. Also, if a Scout doesn't receive his 1/3 at the CoH, then he knows that the adult messed up and neglected to turn in the advancement report. In the past four years I haven't lost any blue cards, but I have made copies of the 1/3 I keep for three different Eagle Scout candidates.

2. The Scout Shop is an hour away. We have 35 Scouts. I must turn in paperwork (not the blue card) to purchase merit badges and cannot keep a supply of them in my home. Honestly, I don't have time to get a mb patch each week for individual Scouts.

3. We don't use wallet cards for merit badges, but we use them for rank advancement. The Scout gets his 1/3 card & the patch at the CoH.

In my "defense", I instituted regularly scheduled CoH for the troop 3 times per year. In the past, the timing of CoHs was random. Now all the Scouts know to expect a CoH on the 2nd Monday of February, June, & October. It helps many of them to have a deadline (tho' they can receive the rank advancement patch at any time.) We have a nice ceremony with every Scout going to the front with his patrol, a PowerPoint of photos of troop activities, and a sweet treat.

Thoughts? Suggestions?
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Postby mv74 » Wed Oct 24, 2007 12:31 pm

We also schedule 3 COHs a year with the deadlines for completion of requirements posted well in advance. This works great for our boys (50 on the roster), with no lost cards..etc. The scout gets his part of the blue card at COH, attached to an award card and patch. I also have to drive a distance to get awards and it's easier to do everything on a schedule. The Advancement Report with 3 signatures are needed to purchase awards.

I keep the Application copy for reference (this helps any Eagle applicants having lost their copy-none yet!). We can generate a new copy using the information on the original or make a copy for their records. I use Troopmaster for record keeping but keep a paper file for each scout with the MB Applications in plastic card files (and any paperwork they may need in the future).

They receive Rank patches on their completion date. At the COH they rec. the parent pin and award card.

We also have slide shows, personalized "humorous" awards, food etc at each COH. It gives everyone a special event to look forward to.
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Postby pipestone1991 » Wed Oct 24, 2007 7:39 pm

ASM-142 wrote:Blue Cards are not required for advancement and therefore there is not need to complete them or turn them in with the advancement form.


What?! Since when? Good luck trying to get your scout's Eagle without blue cards.
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Postby Billiken » Thu Oct 25, 2007 6:38 am

Cleveland Council:

Merit Badge cards not turned in or shown with Advancement Report.
(The MBs are noted along with date earned.)

The troops keep the first section of the blue card and the scout gets the second section at a COH.

If an Advancement Report has only MBs (and perhaps Scout) then only 1 signature is needed since no BORs were held.
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Postby ASM-142 » Thu Oct 25, 2007 6:59 am

pipestone1991 wrote:
ASM-142 wrote:Blue Cards are not required for advancement and therefore there is not need to complete them or turn them in with the advancement form.


What?! Since when? Good luck trying to get your scout's Eagle without blue cards.


Blue Cards are not required by national. I do not have the specific reference with me at this time but I will see if I can find it. My troop does use blue cards since it keeps the paperwork easier but council (or the troop committee) never sees them - not even when getting Eagle.
If it is not written down then it is not an official rule
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Postby ASM-142 » Thu Oct 25, 2007 7:27 am

http://www.scouting.org/nav/enter.jsp?s=xx&c=ds&terms=blue+cards
The above link includes the quote
Most local councils (including summer camps) use the Application for Merit Badge, or blue card, although it is not required. This tool just makes the recordkeeping easier for the Scout, the merit badge counselor, and the unit leader.
If it is not written down then it is not an official rule
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Postby pipestone1991 » Thu Oct 25, 2007 3:57 pm

ASM-142 wrote:http://www.scouting.org/nav/enter.jsp?s=xx&c=ds&terms=blue+cards
The above link includes the quote
Most local councils (including summer camps) use the Application for Merit Badge, or blue card, although it is not required. This tool just makes the recordkeeping easier for the Scout, the merit badge counselor, and the unit leader.


Very true, however, what happens when a council (who handles 12,000 boys) loses or forgets a record or two?
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Postby ASM-142 » Thu Oct 25, 2007 4:00 pm

that is the reason why troops get a copy of the advancement form back. Also, when a badge is awarded a card can also be provided to the scout for his records.

Either way when I was doing advancement for my troop I constantly verified there information versus mine versus the scouts.
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Postby Mrw » Thu Oct 25, 2007 6:33 pm

As troop advancement chair, I do verify regularly that the Council has the appropriate information recorded for each boy.

When there is a mistake, I can correct it based on the advancement report. Council never sees the blue cards. Although I always tell the boy to keep his portion, I have never seen them asked for at an EBOR. I have never had them tell a boy to bring them.

The badges and dates on the Eagle app are verified against Council records before the EBOR is even scheduled.
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