On the Guide for Merit Badge Counselors
, the third paragraph after the heading "A Merit Badge Counselor Is ..." starts (emphasis added):
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.
So the Blue Card does not mark the beginning of the merit badge, it's just an optional record-keeping tool. In some cases, the merit badge may start well before the boy even meets with the counselor. This has been discussed here at length. For example, if you're a Coin Collecting MBC, would you ask a boy who's been building a collection since the second grade and hass all the coins neatly arranged in flips to start from scratch? And if a boy finds out midway through little league season that there's a Sports MB, would you as a MBC ask him to wait until next year to start counting towards the badge (well, maybe if he play for the Cubs).
In most cases, it's up to the judgment of the MBC, and we need to remember that we're here to help the boys. If a boy displays initiative and does something reasonable that didn't require prior approval, why not foster that attitude?
Sorry Quailman, I believe you are wrong. This is what is printed in the Boy Scout Requirements, 2009 Edition (BSA Supply No. 33216).
" You can learn about sports, crafts, science, trades, business, and future careers as you earn merit badges. There are more than 100 merit badges. Any Boy Scout may earn any merit badge at any time. You don't need to have had rank advancement to be eligible. Pick a Subject
. Talk to your Scoutmaster about your interests. Read the requirements of the merit badges you think might interest you. Pick one to earn. Your Scoutmaster will give you the name of a person from a list of counselors. These counselors have special knowledge in their merit badge subjects and are interested in helping you. Scout Buddy System
. You must have another person with you at each meeting with the merit badge counselor. This person can be another Scout, your parents or guardian, a brother or sister or other relative, or a friend. Call the Counselor. Get a signed merit badge application from your Scoutmaster
. Get in touch with the merit badge counselor and tell him or her that you want to earn the merit badge. The counselor may ask to meet you to explain what is expected of you and to start helping you meet the requirements."
Here is the link to that page. http://meritbadge.org/wiki/index.php/Me ... adge_Rules