Merit Badge Worksheets

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Merit Badge Worksheets

Postby Eko » Wed Mar 05, 2008 12:53 am

For the "three month" merit badges (Personal Fitness, Personal Managment and Family Life) and any other merit badge that I would like to do outside of a class, can I simply fill out the worksheet for the badge and send it to a counseler?
Last edited by Eko on Wed Mar 05, 2008 11:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby WeeWillie » Wed Mar 05, 2008 1:06 am

Talk with your MBC and find out what he or she wants.
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Postby wagionvigil » Wed Mar 05, 2008 8:30 am

Totally up to the counselor as Mike said. When in Doubt Ask!
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Postby Chief J » Wed Mar 05, 2008 9:03 am

Agree - if its OK with the counselor you are good to go.

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Postby WeeWillie » Wed Mar 05, 2008 12:14 pm

I am becoming more and more disenchanted with MB Worksheets. To easy to cheat. Too much copying from the MB Book. At Summer Camp I've found too many instructors accepting any level of effort. When the requirement says discuss, too many MBCs are accepting the workbook instead of actually diiscussing the specifc requirment. The result, many Scouts don't know how to talk with an Adult i.e. eye to eye contact, yeah, mumbling... The come E-BOR and the perspective Eagle can't explain what he did in Scouting because he can't hold a conversation. So much for Communications MB (ER)
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Postby RWSmith » Wed Mar 05, 2008 1:29 pm

I understand you're frustration. However, liked anything else, they can be abused... but, only if the MBC allows it. Cetrainly, MB Worksheets are not meant to replace actual reading the MB Phamplet. Nor are they meant to give the Scout (or the MBC) easier way to do less than the requirements specify. That being said, I still support their use, as I expect them to be used appropriately.
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Postby Billiken » Wed Mar 05, 2008 9:42 pm

My son just finished Citizenship in the World.

Most of the requirements are "explain, describe, etc.."

He's been working on the MB since at least last October and used a worksheet. There's no way he'd remember the volume of information for that length of time without using the worksheet (as a place to record the explanation/definition).
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Postby Mrw » Thu Mar 06, 2008 9:15 am

When my kids used worksheets, they were as an outline to get their thoughts and information together.

I don't think they ever saw a counselor who would have accepted a worksheet in place of a discussion. And I know they would not have accepted a mailed in worksheet as the original poster asked.

As Advancement Chair and keeper of the MBC list in our troop, I would never again send a boy to a counselor who either required the work sheet OR accepted it in place of meeting and discussing with the boy.
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Postby Billiken » Thu Mar 06, 2008 6:05 pm

Mrw wrote:As Advancement Chair and keeper of the MBC list in our troop, I would never again send a boy to a counselor who either required the work sheet OR accepted it in place of meeting and discussing with the boy.


I would add...nor to a counselor that did not allow their use.
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Postby smtroop168 » Thu Mar 06, 2008 9:02 pm

I tell my guys that the worksheet are a TOOL they can use to help them with the MB requirements but they are not the end all. Some of the MB pamphlets also are not real clear on some of the requirements either so the combination of both helps the scout PRIOR to meeting with the counselor. There are also links at the bottom of each MB on the web that also help the scout.

Bottom line is that according to the BSA guidelines, it is the MBC who makes the final determination on whether or not the scout has met the MB requirements and signs the blue card.

Question for MRW: if you knew of a counselor that did what you said and a scout gave you a signed blue card from that counselor, what would you do? The scout can use any counselor that is approved by the council.
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Postby Mrw » Thu Mar 06, 2008 11:41 pm

smtroop168 wrote:I tell my guys that the worksheet are a TOOL they can use to help them with the MB requirements but they are not the end all. Some of the MB pamphlets also are not real clear on some of the requirements either so the combination of both helps the scout PRIOR to meeting with the counselor. There are also links at the bottom of each MB on the web that also help the scout.

Bottom line is that according to the BSA guidelines, it is the MBC who makes the final determination on whether or not the scout has met the MB requirements and signs the blue card.

Question for MRW: if you knew of a counselor that did what you said and a scout gave you a signed blue card from that counselor, what would you do? The scout can use any counselor that is approved by the council.


Most of our boys come to me for merit badge counselor names as I keep the list of counselors. There is a Council list on the web site, but it is not at all complete or correct.

If the boy comes to me with a blue card signed by a counselor, I cannot question whether he has earned the badge. What is done is done. What I can do is give the next kid to work on that badge a different name(s) to call. We can, to a point, control who our kids see by steering them to people who we know do a good job as much as possible.
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Postby WeeWillie » Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:20 am

Advancement Committee Guide, Page 26, Merit Badges, last sentence.

"A merit badge can not be taken away once it has been earned, providing the counslor is a registered councilor for the badge."

Note the word "earned." If a MBC deletes or modifies MB requirements to allow a Scout to receive a MB that he did not earn, it can be denied until the requirements are met. Do MB worksheets rise to this level? I don't think so. Does a MBC blowing off 2 requirements because H.S. Basketball starts next week and his son is a starter? I think so.
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Postby smtroop168 » Fri Mar 07, 2008 9:04 am

MRW: I guess the answer I was looking for was that if the MBC is doing what you said, I would get the counselor on the phone and talk to them about their approach.

WeeWillie is correct about a card laid is a card played. If you know a counselor is blowing off requirements, please take that to the council and they can be removed from the approved list. It's been done here. The council did not revoke the scout's MB however.

Also there are a lot of MBCs that have never heard/seen the worksheets or meritbadge.org. I think the boys educate the counselors sometimes.
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Postby Mrw » Fri Mar 07, 2008 10:42 am

If I ever came across a counselor that really should not be working with boys or is not doing their job without adding or subtracting requirements, yes, I would be on the phone or sending an email to our district/council advancement folks to ask about removal. I have not had an issue with this.

As it is the ones I have steered kids away from are the ones who are really hard to catch up with or that did a good enough job, but the kids just didn't think they were very personable to work with.

We have several in the troop for many of the required badges and a core group of outside counselors that are close by and responsive and do a good job for the popular badges. And these are the ones I refer the kids to.

If I send a boy to a counselor I don't know, I tell them to let me know how it went so I know if I should recommend them again.
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Postby smtroop168 » Fri Mar 07, 2008 11:28 am

Great. I'm wondering if the powers that be should move this discussion to the Merit Badge Counselors section of the forum. Seems out of place here for what we're talking about since it applies to all not just Eagle Required MBs.
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Postby Mrw » Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:21 pm

Yes, but the original question posted had everything to do with Eagle required badges.
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Postby cballman » Fri Mar 07, 2008 1:15 pm

As a MBC for the aquatic merit badges which some are required I would say no to just filling them out and sending them in to me. I tell the kids and parents that these worksheets are just that worksheets that help keep all the paperwork together in a easy format. I wish I had had them a few years ago when I was a scout. To me the worksheets are not the completed badge work but just what the name implies WORKSHEETS. is making a child use them adding to the req. ? YES but then also telling a child it would be very helpful to finish the badge with all the work together using the worksheets. it makes keeping all the work together.

for some merit badges using them is great but for other no.

just remember they are WORKSHEETS
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Postby scoutaholic » Fri Mar 07, 2008 4:03 pm

There may be a few MBs where a worksheet can cover the subject/requirements sufficiently. Many can not be covered on paper. There are parts of most MBs that the worksheet CAN probably cover, but the paper certainly cannot take the place of demonstrating your ability to handle a canoe or to safely handle a gun or to climb a rock wall, etc, etc, etc.

That question would have to be answered by the MBC for the MB you are looking at.

I would say that none of the 3 MBs in the original question could be completed without a face-to-face with the MBC, but you can ask your MBC.
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Re: Merit Badge Worksheets

Postby milominderbinder2 » Sat Apr 05, 2008 5:50 pm

Eko wrote:For the "three month" merit badges (Personal Fitness, Personal Managment and Family Life) and any other merit badge that I would like to do outside of a class, can I simply fill out the worksheet for the badge and send it to a counseler?
Personal Fitness requries prior approval from your counselor before you begin the 12 Week program.

As others have said, talk with your counselor.

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Re: Merit Badge Worksheets

Postby milominderbinder2 » Sun Apr 06, 2008 10:17 am

Eko wrote:For the "three month" merit badges (Personal Fitness, Personal Managment and Family Life) and any other merit badge that I would like to do outside of a class, can I simply fill out the worksheet for the badge and send it to a counseler?
Personal Fitness requires prior counselor approval.

26 merit badges have prior counselor approval requirements. Unless stated otherwise work for a merit badge is not limited to when you got a blue card, became a boy scout, etc.

I would say to talk with your counselor if possible before you start no matter what merit badge.

- Craig
Last edited by milominderbinder2 on Sun Apr 06, 2008 10:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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