Life Rqmt 3: "Either/OR" Merit Badges

Hello, I think Scoutbook is misinterpreting how the “either/OR” Eagle required merit badges are being recorded for Life Rank advancement. (Most likely the same issue exists with Star rank, as well). According to Life Rank req’mt 3, a scout must earn “any three additional badges from the required list for Eagle. You may choose any of the 17 merit badges on the required list for Eagle…” As a result of this language, I think the programmers at Scoutbook have mistakenly allowed scouts to be credited for both an “either” badge (such as Swimming) and an “OR” badge (such as Cycling). But if you go on to read the last sentence of requirement 3, then I think we can learn that this interpretation is wrong. The last sentence reads “See Eagle Rank requirement 3 for this list.” If we go look at the list, it is clear that a person must choose “either/OR” when it comes to these unique choice-driven Eagle Required badges. If a scout uses Swimming for advancing to Life, then I believe he/she cannot also use Cycling to fulfill an additional Eagle badge requirement towards Life. They must instead use Cycling as one of their Electives. I hope the Scoutbook programmers will see fit to correct this misinterpretation, because it is making things very difficult on slower witted Advancement Chairs such as myself. And it allows a youth to think he/she has completed their 14 required Eagle badges, when in reality, they have NOT. Sincerely frustrated, but yet appreciative of all the Scoutbook team does. - Brian Heflin
P.S. I expect this problem exists for all the “Either/OR” badges.

There was a discussion about this quite some time ago. If I recall correctly, one of the SUAC members posted that the Scoutbook application was correctly applying the rules (i.e. any of the Eagle- required MB including two or more of the “either/or” badges), according to the national advancement folks they contacted. However, completing all Eagle requirements, in terms of MB was subject to the exclusivity of the either/or clause.


The BSA’s Guide to Advancement says that any of the Eagle-required merit badges can be used for Star and Life ranks.

I am on my phone, but I think the section is: Earning Eagle-Required Merit Badges for Star or Life Rank.


@BrianHeflin - a stuuning example of fractal wrongness.

This is implemented properly Earning Eagle-Required Merit Badges for Star or Life Rank
Candidates for Star or Life, in the selection of “any four” or “any three,” respectively, of the merit badges required for Eagle, may choose from all those listed, including where alternatives are available: Emergency Preparedness OR Lifesaving; Cycling OR Hiking OR Swimming; and Environmental Science OR Sustainability. For example, if a Scout earns Cycling, Hiking, and Swimming, all three of them count as Eagle-required for Life rank. Only one, however, would serve toward the required merit badges for the Eagle Scout rank. The other two would count toward the optional merit badges required to make up the total of 21 merit badges.
Note that Star and Life requirements each allow two non-Eagle-required merit badges. It is the Scout’s decision, however, to earn more—or all—of the merit badges for the Star and Life ranks from the Eagle-required list.


Thank you for posting the actual wording, Donovan. The written guidance itself seems problematic to me, but this is just my opinion, and I most certainly could be wrong and misguided in that opinion. There must be some valid reason this approach is explicitly taken to the “either/or” badges, but it is currently beyond my understanding. I am happy to learn that the Scoutbook program is implementing the written guidance properly and that there is no bug. I am a big fan of Scoutbook, a big fan of the SUAC, and I am a big fan of this forum as well. Sincerely, Brian Heflin

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@BrianHeflin the way to think on this is all 18 Eagle Required (ER) Merit Badges are ER Merit Badges. Star says earn 4 ER Merit Badges - or Have earned 7 ER Merit badges for Life. It has nothing to do with if they are going to be used for Eagle or not, they are still ER Merit Badges.


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