Is a physical blue card still required if Scoutbook was used to track the requirements and approve the MB? The Covid-19 guidelines say not right now but what about in general? Is there a need for scouts to have physical proof?
Even when Merit Badges are recorded in Scoutbook, it is still a good idea for the Scouts to have a physical Blue Card as a backup.
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Some consider it a good idea to have physical blue cards, but it is not required. Note that BSA keeps backups of the system far longer than anyone would need a blue card, so a record is always available.
The issue isn’t data loss due to a system failure in Scoutbook. There are backups of the database.
The reason I still give Scouts physical blue cards is so they have proof the MB was completed if someone clears the record in Scoutbook. I doubt BSA IT would go through the expense of restoring backups and searching for a record that was mistakenly changed by a leader.
Good practice. I also like to give out blue cards to remind the Scouts that it’s THEIR responsibility to document their Scouting career, not mine.
When a scout brings a completed “blue card” to me as unit leader, I always give them their part and tell them to hold on to it until they receive the merit badge certificate card at the next CofH. Mistakes happen and sometimes a record doesn’t get recorded or presentation missed and this is the scouts only record.
In our District when boys go to do their Eagle the counselor requires them to show the Blue Cards showing they completed all of their merit badges.
I could only see doing that if the council records for some reason don’t indicate that the scout has completed the minimum 21 MBs. I would probably advise a scout to try to locate them if he or she can, in the event that there’s a question later. That said, I would likely let them know that it’s not automatically the end of the world if they can’t locate every blue card.
As an ASM and MBC, I regularly remind the scouts to hang onto their blue cards and store them somewhere “safe and memorable” so that they can locate them if there’s ever a question later. They will probably never need them, but an ounce of prevention…
@AprilMcMillan1 then GTA 22.214.171.124 About the Application for Merit Badge (“Blue Card”)
"It is important to note the “blue card” is the nationally recognized merit badge record. "
needs a rewrite if Advancement is saying they are not needed
Thanks - the next update to the Guide to Advancement will have verbiage very similar to what’s in the COVID FAQs.
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