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Merit Badge Books in PDF Format


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#1 AlabamaDan

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 05:08 PM

If this has been discussed before, I apologize, but I couldn't find it anywhere. As we are in the 21st century and we have boys bring ipads to Troop meetings with cookbooks, meritbadge worksheets, BSA handbook, etc. I'm being asked by the boys how they can get the merit badge books in PDF. I remember a year or so ago I found some nice PDF of the merit badge books online, but they've since been taken down. Does anyone know of a source for merit badge PDFs?
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#2 Sqyire21

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 07:50 PM

Hope you find this... I started a thread looking for these types of things for both Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts.. also great way to hold whole library of stuff in one device for campouts..
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#3 Papadaddy

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 08:21 AM

I don''t think you will see it from BSA...all pubs are copyrighted and selling literature is a revenue stream. UNless you scan and pass around the files yourself (which would be illegal), ...
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#4 eagle90

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 09:55 AM

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
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#5 Krampus

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 08:37 AM

A few years ago there was a website that had many of the MB books online in PDF format. However, they were forced to take them down by BSA which, as pointed out above, was likely for financial reasons. Ironically, many other BSA publications are freely available (like the troop program guide) online directly from BSA. Our troop encourages scouts to donate their MB books to our troop library. When we have a large number of scouts taking a class (i.e., at summer camp) we will purchase a few books on behalf of the troop and put them in our libaray. We have a database which our Librarian uses to keep track of the books and he opens the "library" before each meeting for Scouts to check in/out books as needed. Oddly enough I was able to find one troop online who had scanned a large number of MB books into PDFs and have made them available. Bad boys. ;-) It is not all of them but the ones they own copies of. I am not a lawyer so I am not sure if that is legal or not (suspect it isn't). The link is enough to find. Don't want to post as I really don't want to go to jail for aiding and abetting. ;-)
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#6 packsaddle

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 09:47 AM

Copyright is a big deal and violating that not only asks for legal remedies, it is a clear violation of the Scout Law, at least one of them, and the Oath. On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with creating a 'lending library' for the troop to use. Old copies of the pamphlets can be donated by boys once they're finished with the merit badges or they can be purchased directly by the troop. OR multiple boys who intend to work on the same badge can share the cost and purchase a single shared copy. But Copyright does prohibit MAKING COPIES, no matter what form they take, even if not for profit. Krampus, telling someone about a criminal activity is not a crime in itself, even if the reader decides to engage in the criminal activity as a result. However, the better action would be to inform those who are breaking the law that they should stop, BEFORE they receive that stiff note from an attorney.
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#7 Krampus

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 12:01 PM

Copyright is a big deal and violating that not only asks for legal remedies, it is a clear violation of the Scout Law, at least one of them, and the Oath.
On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with creating a 'lending library' for the troop to use. Old copies of the pamphlets can be donated by boys once they're finished with the merit badges or they can be purchased directly by the troop. OR multiple boys who intend to work on the same badge can share the cost and purchase a single shared copy.

But Copyright does prohibit MAKING COPIES, no matter what form they take, even if not for profit.

Krampus, telling someone about a criminal activity is not a crime in itself, even if the reader decides to engage in the criminal activity as a result. However, the better action would be to inform those who are breaking the law that they should stop, BEFORE they receive that stiff note from an attorney.

I suspect the troop knows what they are doing. Or then again, maybe not. I know people who try to excuse away the copyright law by saying they are doing it for "educational purposes" or since their troop is tax-exempt they are somehow immune to the law. They look to be a small troop so maybe they are not aware. They are using Google Docs so you think they would have something like YouTube where they can identify third party copyrighted content. I sent them a note so maybe they will take it down.
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#8 strance

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 01:19 PM

My troop would pay a yearly subscription fee to the BSA for access each merit badge pamplet on-line.
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#9 Basementdweller

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 01:23 PM

A question to the group. How common is it for scouts to own Ipads????? Honestly they should be able to afford 5 bucks for a merit badge book. The BSA has a right to recoop cost of producing the books. So why don't they make them available on Google play or itunes????? I think that would go a long way to making them seem at least remotely current and relevant with the way most folks operate now a days.
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#10 strance

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 01:36 PM

Almost all of my Scouts own a Ipad, Ipod or some type of Kindle device. As a Troop now we do not buy Merit Badge books. If the troop could pay a $100 a year fee to access all of the books. By using some of the new tool in Myscouting you could give each registered scout in your unit access to them. This would also increase the money brought in to the BSA from unit that are not close to a service center.
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#11 Basementdweller

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 01:44 PM

Why would the troop buy merit badge books????? Many of my scouts have ipod, and some even some smart phones
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#12 strance

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 01:55 PM

For most of my scout if they want to purchase a MB book they have to do it on-line. it is over 100 miles to the nearest scout store. We have a troop libary that has been passed down and several books are old. If the troop does not have the book most scout will not use the book for the MB. It would also reduce the amount of stuff our librarian would have to drag to meetings.
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#13 Krampus

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 03:46 PM

Why would the troop buy merit badge books?????

Many of my scouts have ipod, and some even some smart phones

Because not every Scout owns a smart phone, ipod or ipad. So for those who don't the troop is there. It is not often we buy them, but sometimes we do.
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#14 packsaddle

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 06:14 PM

"So why don't they make them available on Google play or itunes?????" LOL, Basementdweller, haven't you been a participant in some of the threads in which we complain about National's ability to maintain a database, or their websites, or, or....? Do you really think these guys are THAT modern? Me, I'd use the approach championed by Ronald Reagan and let some private entity do this work...WHAT AM I SAYING? BSA itself IS a private entity.....nevermind.
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#15 Eagle92

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 07:36 PM

Trust me, you do not want to deal with copyright lawyers. They will hound you. Long story short, wife did book review in grad school. paper got submitted for some competition, and was one of three finalists. The "payout" was a free ticket to the lcoal librarian convention and the paper being publiched in the group's journal. Due to the three publishers being housed in the WTC on 9-11, copyright permission was never secured, and it was too late for the paper to be pulled form the journal. 3 years and a move later, we get calls from 3 copyright laywers. After several conversations, 2 back off. One is a P.I.T.A. Could not understand that no financial compensation was given for the paper the wife wrote. after several months of being harassed, It finally got to her when I mentioned that maybe the journal should charge her client for the 3 full pages of advertising they got from the paper my wife wrote since it was a book review promoting the the book to all the libaries and school systems in the state. I got one final call saying fine, don't do it again.
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#16 bnelon44

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 06:10 AM

Much of the merit badge program is financed from the sale of merit badge books and badges. The BSA has looked into and will be offering electronic merit badge books in the not too distant future that will be dowanloadable to iphones and tablets and the like and sold where you get applets.
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#17 packsaddle

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 09:56 AM

Trust me, you do not want to deal with copyright lawyers. They will hound you.

Long story short, wife did book review in grad school. paper got submitted for some competition, and was one of three finalists. The "payout" was a free ticket to the lcoal librarian convention and the paper being publiched in the group's journal. Due to the three publishers being housed in the WTC on 9-11, copyright permission was never secured, and it was too late for the paper to be pulled form the journal.

3 years and a move later, we get calls from 3 copyright laywers. After several conversations, 2 back off. One is a P.I.T.A. Could not understand that no financial compensation was given for the paper the wife wrote. after several months of being harassed, It finally got to her when I mentioned that maybe the journal should charge her client for the 3 full pages of advertising they got from the paper my wife wrote since it was a book review promoting the the book to all the libaries and school systems in the state.

I got one final call saying fine, don't do it again.

I'm trying to envision how a book review would go crosswise of copyright laws? Did she use extensive quotes from the book? If so, and if she referenced them appropriately, as a scholarly paper she was within the realm of 'fair use'. Of course that won't stop an attorney who smells a case but in this case it would be a losing one for them.
Or did she use the intellectual property in some other way for that review? Like I said, I can't figure out how something like this would bring out the attorneys.
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#18 packsaddle

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 10:09 AM

I am donning my 'neo-Luddite' hat now, I would like to add that there is still nothing wrong with those 'old-fashioned' paper pamphlets. They work without electricity and you can jump page-to-page a LOT faster than on some d***** iPhone or similar electronic crutch. And before you go on about pages getting wet or something, dunk that infernal electronic contraption in the creek and let me know how that works for you.
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#19 OldGreyEagle

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 12:12 PM

I am donning my 'neo-Luddite' hat now, I would like to add that there is still nothing wrong with those 'old-fashioned' paper pamphlets. They work without electricity and you can jump page-to-page a LOT faster than on some d***** iPhone or similar electronic crutch. And before you go on about pages getting wet or something, dunk that infernal electronic contraption in the creek and let me know how that works for you.

You know Pack, not every scout has the money to own an Ipad or a smart phone. Scouts wealthy enough to have such things could learn to make do with the old standy paper publications
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#20 Twocubdad

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 03:42 PM

Much of the merit badge program is financed from the sale of merit badge books and badges. The BSA has looked into and will be offering electronic merit badge books in the not too distant future that will be dowanloadable to iphones and tablets and the like and sold where you get applets.

Wonder what the budget for the merit badge program is? Supposedly, much of the editorial input is volunteer, of course there's the design and production cost. At $4.50 each, wonder how much is made off each merit badge book?

And at $2.00, I wonder what th profit is on a merit badge? $1? 50 cents? It's an interesting question as there are just under 2 million merit badges earned every year, according to meritbadge.org. Rather puts an interesting light on high speed/low drag advancement policy.
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