Merit Badge Requirement Detail on Completed Cards

I am bringing this one forward as I think there is a need here. Even if a merit badge is completed, the progress, specific dates when requirements were completed are valid information to have noted. Understand the limitations of the number of requirements that can show but this is already an issue with partials which is where you really have an issue anyhow.

Our advancement chair spends time validating information and just getting a card from a counselor via ScoutBook that says they did it all on one date does not always look legit. Especially if they have been working with them for months on requirements that have the time factor as part. And the back of the card has no markings.

Side suggestion, maybe at minimum, cross out the back of the card with a completed date and signature of the counselor just to put something back there.

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The BSA has previously stated that once a Blue Card is signed by the MBC, the dates of the individual requirements are not needed. Because there are some Blue Cards that would take multiple cards once completed, the BSA decided to be thrifty and omit the requirement dates.

There are no plans to add this data to completed Blue Cards.


While I understand, what is the hurt in having them printed? As mentioned, the issue of “too many requirements” already exists for a partial. I don’t see why printing them for a complete is an issue but a partial is fine.

If we made this change, we would get more complaints about wasting paper than thanks for printing requirements on the completed Blue Card.

The data is in Scoutbook so if the Scout or unit wants to know the individual requirement dates, they can get it.

Once the Blue Card is signed by a Merit Badge Counselor, even if the Advancement Chair finds a discrepancy, there are very few cases where a Merit Badge can be revoked. See sections and of the Guide to Advancement.


This type of requirement by requirement audit or sign off has never been required. The individual requirements sign offs are only needed for partials. The advancement coordinator doesn’t really have a role in confirming or validating this type of information. If there is a concern with the quality of an MBC, there is a method for reporting that in the guide to advancement. Once signed off, the MB is the Scout’s except in very rare situations (again, see guide to advancement).

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While I understand the role and responsibilities of an Unit Advancement Coordinator, I can’t see why a once over isn’t something anyone would be against. Just in the past 6 months, ours caught…:

  • Scout earned Bugling and never held the Bugler position (requirement 6)

  • Scout earned Camping but hadn’t recorded 20 nights of overnight camping (requirement 9a)

While not in the job description, maintaining some basic standards I would think is important to all of us.

I didn’t realize there would be such an outcry against something as simple as listing requirements / sign off on the card. It makes the card look more complete and not pencil whipped. As mentioned, even putting in a cross out on the back with the computer generated signature like summer camps do would be better than a blank card.

Thanks for listening.

I don’t understand how having Scoutbook print the completed requirements on the Blue Card helps in this case. The advancement chair could just log in to Scoutbook to see which requirements have been marked complete. Scoutbook does not require each (or any) requirements to be marked complete before marking the Merit Badge complete and approved by the MBC. Because of this the lack of requirements is not an indication that the Merit Badge was not completed properly.

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I guess the issue I have is that this specific situation is covered in the guide to advancement. It says to even question the completion should be rare, let alone a normal step in the process…

“Just as we avoid penalizing Scouts for the mistakes of adults, it should be a rare occurrence that a unit leader finds the need to question whether merit badges have been earned.”

If it wasn’t so clear on this being rare, I guess it wouldn’t be as big of a deal. It also talks about how this should be a conversation between the unit leader and the Scout, not the advancement coordinator from the committee.

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Point made… I’ll retreat.

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