Adancement Chairman issues

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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby mt_goodrich » Mon Aug 11, 2008 9:01 pm

I know it isn't required, but the blue cards sure help keep things straight at times.
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby wagionvigil » Mon Aug 11, 2008 9:42 pm

mt_goodrich wrote:I know it isn't required, but the blue cards sure help keep things straight at times.


I agree, this is one reason they should be required!
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby mt_goodrich » Mon Aug 11, 2008 10:14 pm

I have boys who attended summer camp three years ago telling me they have partials of a variety of merit badges. I ask "where's your blue card?" and they say, "we don't need no stinking blue cards".

Unfortunately, who ever was keeping the paperwork back for the troop is no longer around and there is no supporting paperwork.

It was a council summer camp and they handed the then Scoutmaster the print out and it hasn't been seen since.

Thus, the reason I think blue cards are needed. Place responsibility back on the Scouts to keep track of things.

We use TroopMaster software and with the blue card stock paper I can pick up at the local office supply store, we can print out the necessary blue cards. I tell the boys they are not required, but HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for their protection.
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby wagionvigil » Tue Aug 12, 2008 7:34 am

Our Scout camp keeps a paper trail for each scout each week at camp. WE are always looking up a kid from like 4 years ago to check on a partial that they lost their card. I think we keep back 7 years.
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby Mrw » Tue Aug 12, 2008 9:35 am

We have had to have the scout camp we go to look up data on old partials and completed badges as well, when something has been lost or mis-recorded. They don't like having to look, but they do and then generate and send us blue cards with the appropriate information.
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby MisterChris » Tue Aug 12, 2008 11:11 am

There are lots of reasons to not just depend upon the blue cards to keep track of advancement. Scouts tend to misplace things. They need to learn to do better, but then many times I can't find things myself.

Each MB counselor should keep a record of each student and the reqs earned, so that if the scout loses his bluecard, (or it goes through the wash) The partial can be recorded correctly and a new bluecard issued.

If a scout's family is moving, it would behoove the Adv Chair to enter his partial bluecards into Troopmaster, so that an 'official printout' from your troop can go to the new troop, so there can be TWO records of the partial. If you don't have Troopmaster, you can print records for a scout off Scoutnet, I believe, and you can enter the partials into Word and sign it, stating it to be true.

The blue cards are a great resource when used properly, because when completed, there are 3 copies. 1 for the Counselor, one for the troop, and one for the scout.

I've seen it done as a practice, esp when a MB is done in one or two sittings, to have the counselor simply write ALL REQS COMPLETED across the reqs table, and initial it.

If a scout comes to me for a MB, and has no blue card, I'll send him back to his counselor for a new card.

While we're on this subject, I'll open up another firestorm - What's your take on a scout selecting a badge to earn, getting a counselor and all the proper signatures, and then using work done the previous months or last year to earn that badge?

For instance, (this hasn't happened yet but I can see it coming) scouts in our troop assisted in an Eagle project to control erosion in a state park. They planted hundreds of trees in a multi-acre area, and seeded grasses for the same purpose. They planted shrubs for decoration during this project as well.

Suppose a scout goes and grabs the MB pamphlet for Soil and Water Conservation some time in future, and sees that the work done fulfils req 7, and that the rest of the badge is principally paperwork. The work was done previously, there is record of who participated, the MB was started later.

Would any of you have an issue with that? (Or are you going to jump me for not starting a S&WC MB class immediately following the project?)
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby wagionvigil » Tue Aug 12, 2008 11:21 am

Accepting those would be totally up to the MBC
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby cballman » Tue Aug 12, 2008 11:24 am

another way to look at this is that FINALLY they :shock: :shock: :shock: have read the req. for other merit badges
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby evmori » Tue Aug 12, 2008 12:08 pm

wagionvigil wrote:
mt_goodrich wrote:I know it isn't required, but the blue cards sure help keep things straight at times.


I agree, this is one reason they should be required!



I agree 200%!
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby smtroop168 » Tue Aug 12, 2008 12:30 pm

No firestorm here. There is no requirement for all MB work to be done after getting a Blue Card (or whatever). As long as the work was done while a Boy Scout, it can be used for a MB requirement subject to the MBC's acceptance. We use the term "credible evidence" which it sounds like you have since this was an Eagle Project. there are numerous examples where this applies from Trips to National Monuments for Cit in Nation to speeches in school for Public Speaking.
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby cballman » Tue Aug 12, 2008 12:36 pm

another thing about the blue cards. If someone keeps ALL the records and does not have any help what happens in the event something bad happens like a car wreck or even death. we use troopmaster in our troop. we have the dot.com version so that my wife and or anyone with permission can access the info anywhere in the world. Our advancement chairwoman has put all the partials into the program. we also keep the partial bluecards in the childs personal file. so any questions should be taken to her.
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby Mrw » Tue Aug 12, 2008 12:38 pm

My son did a Grpahic Arts class in high school and discovered afterwards that he had done all the requirements for the merit badge in class. You would have him redo things to get the badge rather than take all his projects off to the counselor?
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby jr56 » Tue Aug 12, 2008 2:48 pm

I would either have him take his work to a counselor, or have the teacher register as a MBC and sign the bluecard.
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby cballman » Tue Aug 12, 2008 2:49 pm

first thing I would have the scout do if I was the MBC would be to gather all the things that he did and bring them to me. then I would talk to him about them. then if I was satisfied that he had done these since he was 11 then I would sign off on the merit badge then and there. Now if a child brings me a bluecard from someone else for the swimming or lifesaving merit badge then we would make sure that he knows the skills before I will sign for him. to me that is a safety issue and I dont wont to pull the third person out of the water and have to make the call to his parents that we have lost your child. that is just the way I am.
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby AquilaNegra2 » Thu Aug 14, 2008 5:11 am

smtroop168 wrote:No firestorm here. There is no requirement for all MB work to be done after getting a Blue Card (or whatever). As long as the work was done while a Boy Scout, it can be used for a MB requirement subject to the MBC's acceptance. We use the term "credible evidence" which it sounds like you have since this was an Eagle Project. there are numerous examples where this applies from Trips to National Monuments for Cit in Nation to speeches in school for Public Speaking.
Our SM's policy is that work must be completed after he has signed the blue card (excepting camping). I like your "credible evidence" term. "Oh yeah, I played on a soccer team and a baseball team when I was 11" doesn't quite carry the same weight as photographs and memorabilia.
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby WVBeaver05 » Thu Aug 14, 2008 7:09 am

AquilaNegra2 wrote:Our SM's policy is that work must be completed after he has signed the blue card (excepting camping).


Interesting. Isn't this the MBC decision, not the SM?

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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby wagionvigil » Thu Aug 14, 2008 7:34 am

That is a polocy against BSA Policy and cannot be enforced. It is up to the MBC.
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby smtroop168 » Thu Aug 14, 2008 8:39 am

Here we go again. Another SM who doesn't follow the procedures and keeps scouts from advancing. He's either ignorant or evil. Maybe Aquila can educate him with info from these postings.

Hopefully he's not related to the AC situation that started this post who's jamming stuff into Troopmaster.
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby wagionvigil » Thu Aug 14, 2008 9:04 am

Troops are throwing roadblocks in the way of scouts to keep them from advancing. That uis the only explanation. SM's want to hold off that advancement as long as possible so to keep them in the troop until 18. The only thing that will stop this is a mandatory move to Venturing at a certain age, say 15 or the start of their Sophomore year which ever comes first. Leaders would be more willing to help these scouts along so they can say they finished their Eagle with the Troop not the Crew.
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby Ursus Snorous Roarus » Thu Aug 14, 2008 11:55 am

Our take is that to be fair for all, you've got to keep your advancement process defined (as much as possible), simple and consistent for not only the boys but also the parents. This Adv Chair apparently doesn't have a good understanding of the old statement 'you watch my son, I'll watch yours' and needs to be reigned in with some guidelines on how to fill this role within the BSA guidelines and your Troop’s expectations. Without it volunteers will do exactly what we ask them to do and that is solve things in the manner they feel is best. So if there are concerns about that from other parents/leaders, then you need to make clear to them what and how you want it done. We all know what happens when people start making assumptions.
The blue card is incredibly important to our routine of earning MBs, I can't imagine not using them. We copied and distributed the jambo sheets the same way as the cards so there were multiple copies for all.
I love it when our Adv Chair tells BOTH the new parents and Scouts that they need to go pick up a 1” three ring binder and some baseball card collector sheets to keep all of the blue, rank adv., and other award cards they get in their Scouting career (also great for placing handouts, rosters, advancement reports from Troopmaster, whatever other paperwork handouts come from meetings – all with three hole punches in them). When you have a kid coming in for his Star, Life, and Eagle BORs with his book in hand, it gives a great impression to the younger guys about the importance of keeping good records, but also are creating a great memorabilia book. The books rarely sit idle at meetings, with other scouts and parents leafing through each others' and talking about it all.
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