All rank advancements beyond First Class Scout require merit badges. Everyone should know the system and the blue card process is a big part of that. Blue Cards or Merit Badge Applications are the documents needed to get merit badges. To start this process the unit leader and Scout should meet and go over the merit badge procedure together. The unit leader and Scout select the merit badge counselor; sign and date the blue card to get it officially started. Remember that the two-deep leadership applies to Merit Badge counselors too. That includes online conferencing, emails, text messaging, etc. Merit Badge counselors must be approved by the council, trained, the proper age, and be YPT certified. On completion of the merit badge, the counselor will sign-off the first two parts and remove the part for their record. The Scout then gives the application part of the blue card to the unit leader or the unit’s advancement team. The Scout should retain the “Applicants Record” part of the blue card. Scout Camp and Online Merit Badge Academies may have a different form however the blue card process should be maintained. One of the rumors going around is that Blue Cards are phasing out. As of the date of this filming, it is only a rumor. Eventually, it will become electronic and even moved over to Scoutbook.
🌎 The Merit Badge Program: https://www.scouting.org/resources/guide-to-advancement/the-merit-badge-program/
📄 Blue-Card PDF: http://usscouts.org/advance/docs/34124.pdf
📄 Guide to Safe Scouting: https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/34416.pdf
⚜️ Note: Cub Scout leaders should not skip this video. Even though the blue card process will not apply to Cub Scouts. Most cub scout requirements are in their book and signed off by leaders or parents. However, Cub Scout leaders should know about the process for future reference and interactions with Den Chiefs and other Scouts. Some Cub Scout leaders are also merit badge counselors.
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