Unit Leader Signature on MB Cards

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Re: Unit Leader Signature on MB Cards

Postby RWSmith » Tue Jan 11, 2011 6:28 pm

WeeWillie wrote:If responsibility for approving MBs could be delegated, the policy would state such. It doesn't!

Just so there are no mis-understandings here (e.g., for our newer folks)...

  • The responsibility for approving a MB rests solely w/ (any) MBC on (any) District/Council's approved MBC list... for the MB in question, of course.
  • The authority to sign as 'Unit Leader' on BCs may be delegated to one or more 'Asst. Unit Leaders' (Asst. Scoutmaster, Asst. Coach, Associate Advisor, or Mate) within that unit, at the sole discretion of that units' 'Unit Leader' (Scoutmaster, Coach, Advisor, or Skipper)... but, not to unit committee members.
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Re: Unit Leader Signature on MB Cards

Postby smtroop168 » Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:36 pm

smtroop168 wrote:I know it works in different ways depending on the troop's resources. The local Army troop up here has 20+ ASM LtCols and Cols so they can do things that the Troop with 5 boys can't.


What I meant to say is that the Army sponsored troop has the ability to have a full time AC and lots of ASMs. The other troop has the bare minimum so they have triple hatted folks.

My least favorite job would be to start a troop from scratch.
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Re: Unit Leader Signature on MB Cards

Postby Fred Johnson » Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:15 pm

smtroop168 wrote:
smtroop168 wrote:My least favorite job would be to start a troop from scratch.


My least favorite is being an assistant leader in a troop where you don't agree with how they implement the BSA program.
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Re: Unit Leader Signature on MB Cards

Postby Jean9 » Fri Apr 01, 2011 2:58 pm

We have a group of homeschooled scouts who meet once a week to work on merit badges. The boys requested CITW blue cards before we had our classes (I am the MBC for that badge). The AC hadn't gotten the blue cards to us when we started the class for it. We gave him plenty of time, but life got in the way and we didn't get them. I didn't have a problem with it, but when we were finally able to get the blue cards, the kids had done and showed me all the work for it. I was going to sign it off so they could get the badge, but the AC said no because it wasn't signed by him before the work was done. Do these boys have to redo everything they did in the class before I can sign off on it? I personally think this is crazy. They asked for it before we started the work and it isn't their fault that life happens.
Looking for some sage advice.
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Re: Unit Leader Signature on MB Cards

Postby wagionvigil » Fri Apr 01, 2011 3:34 pm

You are counselor it is totally up to you
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Re: Unit Leader Signature on MB Cards

Postby Quailman » Fri Apr 01, 2011 3:37 pm

You are the MB counselor, aren't you? If so, it is up to you to decide whether or not the boys have satisfied all the requirements. You just told me that they did, so sign the cards when presented to you. I will reserve comment on the AC, because there are people lining up behind me to tell you what they think of him.

Thank you for being a MBC for these boys.
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Re: Unit Leader Signature on MB Cards

Postby smtroop168 » Fri Apr 01, 2011 4:29 pm

I don't know why one of the simplest processes gets so messed up.

A Scout can work on any MB he wishes if he has approval of his Unit Leader.
He obtains a signed MB application (The Blue Card) by the Scoutmaster and contacts the MBC.
The Scout does the requirements exactly as stated and the MBC signs the card
The card is returned to the SM who signs the botom of the middle part of the card and turns it over to the Advancement Chair
AC records completion, gets the MB and presents it to the scout as soon as possible after it is earned.

Now for your situation...some of these steps are instantaneous when the SM and MBC are in the same unit ( I'll assume you are???) and most units exert some flexibility on whether the chicken or egg comes first.

MBCs should not start a MB with a scout without a signed Blue Card because the MBC has no idea if the SM is aware of the scout wanting to do the MB and the SM doesn't know if the scout is using an approved MBC. However once a registered and approved counselor has passed a Scout on its requirements, a merit badge cannot be taken away. Neither does unit leadership have the authority to “veto” it.

What's also puzzling here is that it appears the AC signs Blue Cards - which is wrong.
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Re: Unit Leader Signature on MB Cards

Postby Bill Pitcher » Sat Apr 02, 2011 1:22 pm

I agree with smtroop168. The AC is usually a Committee Member and has no say in the matter. If you have signed BC's by the SM or a delegated ASM, then it's your decision to sign off on the MB. Just date it after the SM's date, and in the requirement log, draw a line across the boxes and write "Completed" and date the same way, too. Done!Good luck!
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Re: Unit Leader Signature on MB Cards

Postby smtroop168 » Sat Apr 02, 2011 1:43 pm

Bill Pitcher wrote:I agree with smtroop168. The AC is usually a Committee Member and has no say in the matter. If you have signed BC's by the SM or a delegated ASM, then it's your decision to sign off on the MB. Just date it after the SM's date, and in the requirement log, draw a line across the boxes and write "Completed" and date the same way, too. Done!Good luck!


I was hoping someone would agree since some of my posting is a direct quote from the new Adv Policy book. :wink:
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Re: Unit Leader Signature on MB Cards

Postby wagionvigil » Sun Apr 03, 2011 9:55 am

smtroop168 wrote:
Bill Pitcher wrote:I agree with smtroop168. The AC is usually a Committee Member and has no say in the matter. If you have signed BC's by the SM or a delegated ASM, then it's your decision to sign off on the MB. Just date it after the SM's date, and in the requirement log, draw a line across the boxes and write "Completed" and date the same way, too. Done!Good luck!


I was hoping someone would agree since some of my posting is a direct quote from the new Adv Policy book. :wink:

why would anyone want to agree to the rules? :lol: :twisted:
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Re: Unit Leader Signature on MB Cards

Postby FrankJ » Sun Apr 03, 2011 3:07 pm

The official advancement policy is that unless otherwise stated the scout can work on the requirements at any time. So many requirements for a merit badge can be done before receiving the blue card. If what the scout has done clearly meets the requirement to require them to repeat it just to satisfy a gate keeper is just silly & does a disservice to the program.
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Re: Unit Leader Signature on MB Cards

Postby Pgdavis2 » Sun Dec 30, 2012 1:05 pm

I know it can be a pain to get all the signatures required for merit badge, rank and blue cards. As a solution for our large troop, I developed an application to automatically "sign" them when they are printed using scanned signatures for the Scoutmaster, SPL and Committee Chair (depending on the rank, different sigs are needed for the rank cards). <snip>Advertisement deleted by Admin.</snip> I would love to hear your feedback!
Last edited by RWSmith on Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Advertisement deleted by Admin.
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Re: Unit Leader Signature on MB Cards

Postby Fred Johnson » Sun Dec 30, 2012 8:33 pm

I hate to even reply ... as this is a baited post to advertise a product from the poster, but I must admit he hit at one of my hot points. I've seen troops that print merit badge cards and the rank advancement cards that you can get for 10 or 12 cents each at the scout store. The printed copy looked fine, but I really really missed the hand written versions that looked like people actually touched them and worked with them. Those hand processed, torn, beat up, scribbled on, physically signed cards look really nice in a scout scrap book. It's more like real history and less like a computer printed report.

More importantly, I really missed the lessons taught to the scout by asking for signatures and keeping track of the paper; and, the benefits of a nice friendly conversation with the SM (or delegate) as he signs the card or hunts for a pen.

The BSA blue card and surrounding process is an elegantly simple solution that just should not be complicated and should not be automated ... except for maybe at the national jaboree where you have 10,000+ scouts, 100+ merit badge offered and thousands of troops represented.

Plus, the last thing I want to think about is lugging a car battery around on a camp out to power a wireless hub and a printer so that we can provide blue cards.
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Re: Unit Leader Signature on MB Cards

Postby Quailman » Sun Dec 30, 2012 9:29 pm

If the signatures were meant to be preprinted on the card, there wouldn't be a requirement that the unit leader sign it in the first place. I'm sure it's a nifty bit of code to merge a scanned signature with a canned form, but it's in direct contradiction to the process. I don't see that anything is gained by doing this.

And you should consult the policies on advertising or promoting your own products in the forums.
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Re: Unit Leader Signature on MB Cards

Postby Pgdavis2 » Mon Dec 31, 2012 8:31 am

There are many opinions regarding the value and appropriateness of using scanned/printed signatures on anything. For small troops it would certainly be of less value than really large troops. My solution makes this optional so you can choose what works for your troop. It is also optional to use official BSA card sheets or to create your own with the software. I personally prefer to have the names, dates, council etc. printed on official BSA cards, but without the scanned signatures. To each his own. Sorry if anyone is offended by my advertising but the subject matter of the original post is clearly related and I am providing a possible solution to the question at hand. Some people will find this quite useful and others can easily ignore it :)
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