milominderbinder2 wrote:In 2007 you had two committees updating their books. Both made many important changes.
The Advancement Committee chose to maintain the requirements.
The Requirements Book committee chose to reduce the requirements.
Just like for any other corporation, the BSA's policies legally take precedence over it's handbooks and manuals.
Craig, the National Advancement Committee is responsible for both "Boy Scout Requirements" (33215) (BSR) and "Advancement Committee Policies and Procedures" (33088) (ACP&P). There is no separate "Requirements Book Committee".
There may be subcommittees that review various merit badge requirements, rank requirements, and the requirements for other awards, and there may be a subcommittee that reviews changes to the ACP&P, but all of the changes to both books must get final approval from the National Advancement Committee.
If you check with Bill Steele, he will confirm that the former requirement that read "The candidate must complete as many of the requirements of the required merit badges as his ability permits." is NO LONGER in effect. If it still appears in ACP&P, it is an editorial error that one subcommittee overlooked. But the whole committee approved the specific removal of the clause in BSR, with the intent of removing it completely.
Furthermore, the Requirements Book specifically states
"The requirements listed in this book might not match those in the merit badge pamphlets because the pamphlets may not have been recently revised. The requirements in this book are the official requirements of the Boy Scouts of America."
That second sentence would override anything to the contrary in ACP&P.
BTW, That same item was removed from "A Guide to Working with Scouts with Disabilities" (33056) some time ago, so it's been in conflict in various publications for years.
As for "policies taking precedence over handbooks and manuals", that may be true in general. But where there is a conflict, BSA's Policies are overruled by BSA's Rules and Regulations and by its Charter and By-laws.
And in this specific case, policies are also overruled by written requirements, which have the effect of rules.
Paul S. Wolf, P.E.(Ret.) mailto:email@example.com
Secretary, US Scouting Service Project, Inc.