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Changing Unit Leader Approval on Merit Badges

Preparing for our Unit’s virtual Court of Honor, the following issue came up: several Scouts started a merit badge with the last Scoutmaster (Who has moved) and have just completed them. Attempting to print new Blue cards for them, is there any way to change the “Leader Approved” entry to the current Scoutmaster so the signature on the card matches ScoutBook?

@RandySaltzmann Are you referring to the signature underneath “I have discussed this merit badge with this Scout and recommended at least one merit badge counselor”?

Or are you referring to the signature on the other side in the Applicant’s Record section?

The initial Leader Signature for a merit badge

If you want to change it, the current Scoutmaster will need to go to each merit badge, click on “Initial Unit Leader Signature” and change it to reflect his or her name. The blue card will show the name of the user who updates the “Initial Unit Leader Signature”.

One would think. But, no. I am the current SM. Scoutbook will let me change the date, but it does not update the name. There will be sticklers, at some point, that will complain that the “Blue Card” doesn’t match the Scoutbook report and give a Scout going for Eagle a hard time over this.

If the old Scoutmaster signed the Blue Card, it is valid. The initial and final signatures do not need to match. Many Scouts have the initial discussion with one SM but not finish the MB until after a new SM has taken over. In addition, once a MBC signs a Blue Card, there are very few reasons a MB can be revoked. Lack of Initial or final SM signatures are not valid reasons.

I suspect you have to clear the date and save then set the date and save to get the signature to change.


I cannot imagine an EBOR saying “you don’t get Eagle because your old Scoutmaster retired.”…

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We have plenty of cases where one SM/ASM had the initial conversation and signs the card, then another one signs the “receipt” when it gets turned back in. Who signed the “return” receipt tends to be more likely to be one of the ASMs than the SM, since it’s really only acknowledging that we received the counselor-signed blue card back.

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The only way I’ve found to change the “Initial Leader” name is to delete and re enter the entire badge. What I’m primarily concerned with is scouts who have misplaced their original blue card and need a re-print from Scoutbook. Their paper and digital records then, do not match.

I"ve seen scouts get grief for less, unfortunately.

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I would probably handle this issue, if it was a concern, by indicating in the comments section in Scoutbook that the initial paper document was misplaced and that this was a reprint.

I’d also be pretty up-front with any EBoR member who kicked my scout back because of who had signed the leader slot on his or her blue cards that it’s a clear violation of the Guide to Advancement. I’d also do it in writing to the District and Council advancement committees, as well as our DE and perhaps even the Scout Exec. That’s “mites-on-the-fleas-on-the-dog” level of crazy, and a clear violation of what the G2A says an EBoR is supposed to be.


Unfortunately that sounds like a unit but probably a District problem - the guide to advancement is crystal clear - the scout fills out Eagle App - the Council verifies it - that is the end of merit badge questions.


Maybe it’s time to get a new EBOR, then. If the people on the EBOR are going to grief a kid because an adult was replaced, they need to be removed from the process.

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Thanks All !!! In essence, that’s what I thought, and I’ll keep on keeping on as I have been, But it’s nice to have confirmation of my thoughts. (I just wish that Scoutbook was more user-friendly)

I just successfully changed the Initial Signature on a Blue Card for a MB that was approved and awarded.
I clicked Initial Unit Leader Signature, erased the date and clicked save. Then I clicked Initial Unit Leader Signature, entered the same date and clicked save. The signed by name changed from the old SM to me.

I’ll have to check again, maybe my ‘settings’ are off?

This issue goes straight to the district Advancement Committee and Key 3 if it happens to any of my scouts. Our troop prepares an introductory letter for the board that includes the schedule, membership, key requirements from the GTA, and suggested questions. That way it is abundantly clear that (1) my unit, not the district, owns this board; (2) we know what we are doing; (3) the district representative is there to represent, not direct. The system works well. We are fortunate to be in a district that has opted for the unit-run model allowed under paragraph

Several years ago I had a district advancement chair give one of my scouts grief because there was no tour permit attached to his package, and this was after the requirement for tour permits was eliminated. He was also negative about the project report being missing from the package at the board, but it was his own staff that left the project report at the council office and didn’t send it to the board with him. I gave him chapter and verse from the guide to advancement and won my case.

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@KennethAdams - I wish I could convince the folks on Mercer area district advancement committee that an EBoR is not 3 hours minimum. They ignore my quotation of the GTA since they have their own guide.

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Come south the Garden State! :grin:

Or maybe, go over their heads. A chat with the DE and SE to start, followed by the district and council chairs.