Swimming AND Cycling MB counting towards Life Rank!

My son completed the Swimming MB and then the Cycling MB. In Scoutbook, the Cycling MB is counting towards one of his Eagle required MB’s towards Life Rank, when it really should be counting towards one of his optional MB’s. Scoutbook is now showing he has completed all required MB’s for Life Rank, when he really has one more to complete. How can this get fixed?

For Star and Life ranks, a Scout may choose any of the 18 merit badges on the required list for Eagle. These ranks are not limited by categories, like the Eagle Scout rank is.

Scoutbook is working as designed.

You pick Swimming, or Hiking, or Cycling as the one that counts towards an Eagle required MB. Right now Scoutbook is showing that Swimming and Cycling are counting towards the Eagle required MB’s for Life Rank.

ETA - He earned Swimming first, so Cycling should be counting as one of his elective MB’s, but it is counting as one of the Eagle required for Life Rank.

Looks like he has a 2016 version of the handbook. That version states for Life Rank you have to earn 3 additional Eagle MB’s (above the 4 for Star) and two elective MB’s. Is that not the case anymore?

You can follow up with one of the unit leaders or your district/council advancement committee if you want a local response. However, what @JenniferOlinger noted is my understanding as well. For purposes of Star and Life ranks, all of the merit badges on the Eagle required list, including the alternates, count toward the Eagle-required badge requirement. However, when counting for the Eagle Scout rank, only one of the “alternatives” counts as Eagle-required. Amy others in the set that are earned count as electives.

Ok. I will check with our local leaders.

@JenniferOlinger I do see that it says that you can choose from any of the 17 merit badges (now 18) on the required list for Eagle to fulfill the requirement. I was under the assumption the Cycling MB would only count as an elective for all ranks.

Scouts in the Scouts BSA program should be on the current requirements regardless of which Handbook they have:

Minor Modifications to Scouts BSA Rank Requirements
Beginning August 1, 2022, these minor modifications to the Scouts BSA requirements for the ranks of Scout through Star will take effect. Scouts may continue using the existing requirements for the rank on which they are currently working, or they may choose to use the new requirements. Scouts must use the new requirements once they advance to their next rank. On January 1, 2023, all Scouts must use only the new requirements.

From the BSA’s Guide to Advancement: 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.

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Thank you very much!

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