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Can a Scoutmaster refuse to give a blue card?

posted Aug 2, 2014, 7:58 PM by Rowan District BSA   [ updated Aug 3, 2014, 7:45 AM ]
Posted on December 23, 2013 in Ask the Expert 

"What are the valid reasons a Scoutmaster can use to refuse to give a Scout a blue card? A particular example that is of issue in our troop is having too many outstanding partial merit badges. If a boy has three or more partials the Scoutmaster will not give him more because of this troop policy."

The policies regarding blue cards changed with the release of the 2013 edition of the Guide to Advancement. See topic 7.0.0.3. Unit leaders do not have the authority to refuse to give a Scout a blue card.

The signature on a blue card signifies, simply, that the unit leader has had a discussion about the badge with the Scout and that the Scout has been provide the name of at least one registered and approved counselor.

The discussion should cover what the Scout might face as he challenges the badge. The SM, for example, may suggest that a Scout wait to take Shotgun Shooting until he is strong enough to lift the firearm. The SM could also suggest that it would be wise for a Scout to finish up the badges he’s already begun, and so on. The Scout, however, regardless the advice of the SM, is free to pursue the badge.

He may also choose a different registered and approved counselor if he wants to. The blue card has been revised and reprinted to reflect this change, but there are still many old blue cards out there.