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Blue Cards for Virtual Merit Badges

We have a lot of Scouts taking merit badges virtually now; however, I am concerned about the record tracking for these merit badges. Our tried and true blue cards allowed the Scoutmaster to be part of the system and gave “reciepts” to the Merit Badge counselor and to the Scout.

I have found a fillable PDF blue card online, but once one person signs it, it is locked; and as we all know, there should be at least three signatures on it plus initials.

How is everyone solving this? We are not a troop that does Scoutbook for tracking, and some virtual merit badges are being taken in other Councils.

Much Thanks,

Rich

I’ve been tracking the work in Scoutbook for the Scouts I’m counseling, and when we can meet face to face again I’ll give them their blue cards.

@SteveCagigas heck you could email the full blue card from SB - just print to blank paper.

Do you use Scoutbook for Internet Advancement? For those that are being done in other councils, I’d suggest that they complete it in Scoutbook for those scouts. Even though the unit isn’t using it, MBC can add the completed requirements. It autogenerates the completed cards for the troop and adds it for approval and purchasing. My troop doesn’t use Scoutbook much, but the leaders do input the blue card info in there in order to make purchases at the Scout Shop.

One of the assistant scoutmasters in our troop has taken on the responsibility of tracking merit badges. Scouts have been asked to let her know what badges they are working on virtually, and to send her whatever completion documentation they receive from the counselor when finished. I’m sure that 100% of scouts are not reporting to her, but I imagine the majority are. In the last month, she has been notified of almost 100 merit badges being started and worked on. Once things are back to normal, records will be properly updated, blue cards issued and/or signed off (we don’t use Scoutbook), and merit badge patches distributed. It’s not 100%, but it’s our best effort given the circumstances.

My son has taken Merit Badge courses from a few different places online. Soutbook is easy to print off. Just get some blue card stock and print two sided. It lines up perfectly. Trim it up and fold up it the same as the regular blue card he would get from his SM. He prints it off as well as the his email from his SM approving it. He adds it to a bag of items he has to have his SM sign off when they finally meet again in person. He has some that were emailed to him possibly from Black Pug system. I’ve had to help help size it up and place it so it prints the same size and lines up on the back.

Troopmaster also allows your to print “blue cards” (Reports>Advancement>Merit Badge Blue Cards). if the scout is in your troop the partial MB card will populate with completed requirements. You can also print blank cards on paper or as a PDF.

SIMPLE: COUNSELOR SIMPLY VERIFIES COMPLETION BY EMAIL TO SCOUTBOOK COORDINATOR WHO THEN ENTERS IT INTO SB. IF BLUE CARD IS NEEDED, SCOUTBOOK CAN PRINT ONE.

If the leader is a registered MB counselors, they can record the completion themselves. Then the troop leader can approve it.

To make things easier because we have 20 active counselors, we have the counselor verify by EMAIL to our Scoutbook coordinator that the scout has completed the requirements and we enter it as completed in Scoutbook. We do not track partials at this time and let the Counselor manage that aspect offline.

My son did an online class and was sent an email with the items he completed. I took that and filled out a blue card for him based on what was in the email and he can get it signed by the Scoutmaster when we meet again in person.

This is very adult oriented. How about the counselor gives the scout the completion email like the would the blue card. The Scout then returns that to the Scoutmaster. No change from the current process as described in the guide to advancement. It just happens electronically.

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Why don’t you just have the MBC enter the data into Scoutbook for the MB and mark it Counselor Approved? Then when you print the Blue Card from Scoutbook, it will include the Counselor’s signature (in a script font) on the card.

All MBCs have access to Scoutbook via their my.scouting.org ID and password.

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That assumes a MBC who has more than a VAX station view of the 'net. My son has worked with a few whose last voluntary encounter with a computer seems to have been in the mainframe era.

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@CharleyHamilton - I think they still have VT-100 emulators available and I can lend out my telephony modem.

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That’s what is happening with us, it just so happens that I am the Advancement Chair for his Troop.

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I counseled a Scout from another Troop over the past couple of weeks via 3-way Zoom calls with me, the Scout, and his dad. At the end of each session, I pulled up Scoutbook and reviewed with them which requirements I was marking complete, and which ones we would work on for the next Zoom session. When he completed all of the requirements and I signed off that the MB was completed in Scoutbook, I dropped his Scoutmaster a quick email to let him know the MB was completed and updated in Scoutbook.

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