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Merit Badges : An Explanation
The key to the Merit Badge program is placing the responsibility for the work, and the paperwork, on the boys themselves.  Self-reliance is a big part of  the entire Scouting program.
When the Scout begins to work on a Merit Badge, he should receive a blue card with three sections.  Before any work is done, a Scoutmaster from Troop 7 needs to sign this card to acknowledge the Scout's intention to work on that merit badge..  The boy then turns over the card to their counselor.  After the completion of work on the Merit Badge, the counselor should keep one section of the card and return the other two to the boy.  These sections need to be turned over to a Troop 7 Scoutmaster, who will turn in one section to the Boy Scout Council office, and can either return the Scout’s portion to him or retain this section with Troop 7 records.  This section is the Scout’s only record of the badge he earned until the badge is awarded at the next Court of Honor.  It is essential that each Boy Scout has some place to keep these blue cards and awarded Merit Badge Certificates for as long as he is a Boy Scout (baseball card notebook sheets work well).   In many circumstances (for example the Merit Badge Workshop) the Scout will work directly with a counselor.  In these instances it is critical the boy write down the name and phone number of their counselor in case they do not receive their Merit Badge blue card back in a timely manner.  Also, this contact information may be needed to make arrangements to complete the Merit Badge at a later date.  (Note : Whenever the boy works with any counselor they are not to be alone in a one-on-one situation.)
As the Scout earns Merit Badges, a Scoutmaster will submit the blue cards to the Council office.  The badge and certificate will not be presented to the Scout until the next Court of Honor.  Therefore, completed blue cards must be given to the Scoutmaster allowing enough time for this process to take place before the Court of Honor.  In the event that the Scout can only partially complete the work on a Merit Badge,  the entire three-part blue card will be returned to him.  The badge can be completed later by working with a certified counselor for that Merit Badge.  However, if this "partial" blue card is lost, the boy must start all over again from the beginning.
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