Re: Personal Management MB
Bruce E. Cobern (bec@PIPELINE.COM)
Fri, 21 Nov 1997 13:14:10 -0500
> From: Calvin H. Gray <405geezer@IGG-TX.NET>
> Date: Friday, November 21, 1997 12:16 PM
Thanks for taking the time to try to clear this up, and for posting John's
> Recently, I asked a few people on this virtual roundtable who are
> involved with advancement at the district or council level whether the
> requirements listed in the Personal Management MB book (#35002-revised
> 1996) or the requirements listed in the 1996-97 Boy Scout Requirements
> book should be used when a Scout begins working on this badge.
> Some thought that the requirements listed in the MB book should be used.
> Others felt that the requirements in the 1996-97 BS Reqmts. book should
> be used since this is the most recently published "official"
> To clear this up, I wrote to John Dalrymple, BSA Director of
> Advancement. Mr. Dalrymple's reply is that, "The most current merit
> badge pamphlet is the book that should be used."
I fully understand WHY he would say this, considering the specific
situation involving this MB where, for once, the revised MB booklet was
released BEFORE the requirements were supposed to take effect. However, I
believe he is incorrect. (I know, now I'll here about how can I disagree
with THE professional responsible for advancement, but read on.)
Very clearly the Requirements Book states that where there is a conflict
between the Requirements Book and the Merit Badge pamphlet it is the
REQUIREMENTS BOOK which governs, NOT the merit badge pamphlet. I know
that this was designed to deal with OUTDATED merit badge books, but this
statement is absolutely unambiguous.
Now, you can say that this RB expired at the end of August, but then you
would have to say that ALL requirements expired then, and so there are
currently NO requirements for anything. That is clearly preposterous, so
I think we all agree that (with the possible exception we are discussing)
we should continue to use the requirements in the 96-97 RB.
That being the case, I see no justification for an exception here,
especially since there is no way for people to know that there is an
exception. Other than those who happen to frequent media like this, HOW
is anybody else supposed to even know that there has been a change? There
is no new RB. It has NOT (to my knowledge) been announced in either
Scouting or Boys Life, etc. So, unless you happen to be in a district
where SOMEONE has seen the discussion here, OR someone has purchased the
new book and asked the question, MOST Scouters and PM Merit Badge
counselors are still unaware of the change and, therefore, their Scouts
will naturally go about completing the OLD requirements, and I see no
reason they should not be permitted to do so.
What I have told my district is that until the new RB is released, or at
least until the change is announced in BL and/or Scouting, they should
continue to rely on the 96/97 RB, including for PM. However, should a
Scout prepare himself using the new requirements (I have no idea why
anyone would CHOOSE to use them) that would be okay as well.
I hate to disagree with John, but in this case I don't believe he is
> He also stated that,
> "If a Scout started on a merit badge and then the requirements change he
> should continue working on those requirements that he originally started
> Mr. Dalrymple also indicated that when a badge is eliminated or dropped,
> Scouts that were already working on the dropped badge can continue to do
> so until they complete the badge or reach the age of 18.
Well, at least John and I agree on the rest of this. This is a contention
I have been making for some time, although others have contended
otherwise. At least this clarifies the "discontinued badge" or "changed
requirements" time limit issue. (Unless, of course, you feel that John
now has no credibility. <grin>)
Again, thanks for the update.
Bruce E. Cobern
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City