SB needs a check box for Scout camp/class so “scout camp/class” or “on original” appears on the counselor signature line on a printed blue card. If a scout completes a MB in a class, he often is provided a statement that he completed it but no card. I print one out of Scoutbook. It would be helpful to have something in the counselor line already printed.
We normally attach the report from the class/camp to the blue card, so we can see the complete record. We haven’t started doing that for “normal” blue cards yet, but might start it in the future.
Similarly, we submit the camp record with the blue cards when purchasing, but I’ve found that printing the images from Scoutbook can be ineffective (resolution ends up too low). The only thing I’ve seen work reliably is a document sharing service (Google drive, etc) link to a good-quality scan of the document so it’s archived digitally.
I can see some value to some sort of indicator, since currently blue cards printed from Scoutbook with no counselor approval will simply be blank there. I’m not sure what form it would take, though, since the “digital” blue card is basically just a PDF of the physical document, which has no slot for “completed at camp”, which itself isn’t an acceptable name to put in the “Counselor” field.
Ideally, a flag indicating that the scout completed this at camp could permit for the council to backcheck the advancement in an effective way. Ideally, I’d like to see the camps move to actually making that Scoutbook connection between the counselor at camp and the scout. That way, the counselor can execute the Counselor Approved step, and the scout and leader actually know who the counselor was in case there’s a verification question.
Many camps are…less than careful about making sure that the counselor’s full name and contact info is provided either to the scout or to the leader. This is less true where physical blue cards are used, but has frequently been an issue at camps where they have used third-party tracking/management software. There’s just a list of what was completed (either requirements or the full badge) without even the counselor’s name. It makes it hard to execute proper follow-up if there are questions (e.g. “I showed you my first aid kit and we talked about it. Remember? You commented that purple was an unusual color choice, and I told you I was colorblind…”
Yeah, we’ve received more than a few of these this past year, marked “approved” by the camp, but no counselor info…
Some of our counselors have been fine with this, but some have been unwilling to accept this as evidence of a partial and have asked Scouts to re-do those requirements. Personally, I fall on the side of “The document from Council says APPROVED, so it’s approved”.
As National has stated that Scoutbook is an acceptable alternative to the Blue card you actually do not need a printed blue card
If this is the case, how can National or local council accept an approved merit badge that has no merit badge counselor information.
I agree with Charley Hamilton that the camps need to start adding counselor information.
When the unit leadership marks as approved they are verifying it came from a valid source
The BSA does not require a Blue Card to purchase a Merit Badge, all that is required is a completed Advancement Report. The person who signs the advancement report (or approves the MB in Scoutbook for the unit) is certifying the MB was properly earned, which includes working with a Merit Badge Counselor.
The final signed Blue Card is the record for the MBC, Scout and Unit, it does not get submitted to the BSA or to the local council.
When national released the covid-19 faq it included
Q: Does a Scout need a hard copy of a Blue Card when working on merit badges?
No. Since the introduction of Scoutbook, the BSA has offered Scouts two ways of recording merit badge requirement completion: The Blue Card and Scoutbook. Both remain authorized methods to record merit badge work. Scoutbook is a part of the BSA Internet Advancement system, which means that entering an advancement record in Scoutbook is the same as entering it in Internet Advancement. Anyone with a BSA member ID automatically has access to a Scoutbook account through their my.scouting account.
I questioned the national advancement team on this vs the guide to advancement. They stated it is official and will be in the next GTA
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