I have two questions about presenting newly earned ranks or Merit Badges to Scouts.
Can a Troop, as a standard practice, delay presentation of new rank and Merit Badge achievements until some later event, even if it is several months later?
Can a Troop specify additional requirements before they will present a newly earned rank or Merit Badge to a Scout? If so, what types of additions are permitted, and what types of things are not permitted?
These questions pertain to ranks and Merit Badges where all requirements have been met and appropriately signed off, including the Scoutmaster Conference and Board of Review for the rank requirements.
The “Guide to Advancement 2017 says, “When a boy has earned the Scout rank or when a board of review has approved his advancement, the Scout deserves recognition as soon as possible. This should be done at a ceremony at the next unit meeting. His achievement may be recognized again later, during a formal court of honor.” Since it says “should,” this means that it is a recommended best practice but not required. So I guess they can wait as long as they want. Also, what form must the “recognition” take? Can it simply be saying that the scout has the new achievements? What is acceptable about presenting the actual patches?
I know a troop that will only present newly earned ranks and Merit Badges at a Court of Honor. They have a Court of Honor 3 times a year. If the Scout does not attend the Court of Honor, then they must wait until the next Court of Honor they attend to be presented with their new rank and Merit Badges.
The troop does say that the Scout earned the rank as of the date of their Board of Review and uses that date as the start of their next rank progress, and they do say the Merit Badge is achieved as of the date the counselor signs off on completion. They will give the Scout their portion of the Merit Badge Blue Card at that time, however they will not give the new rank card, the new rank patch, or the Merit Badge patches until a Court of Honor. This means that the Scout may have to wait almost 4 months to receive these items, and even longer if for some reason they cannot attend the next Court of Honor.
Additionally, they say that if the Scout is not current on their dues at the time of the Court of Honor then they will not present their rank and Merit Badges. The “Guide to Advancement 2017” says, “No council, committee, district, unit, or individual has the authority to add to, or subtract from, advancement requirements. There are limited exceptions relating only to members with special needs.” There are similar guidelines regarding Merit Badge requirements. The troop’s position would be that the Scout has still earned the new rank or Merit Badge and it is recorded as such, so they are not adding to the requirements for earning them, they are just not presenting it to them until they have fulfilled additional requirements. It still seems contrary to the guidelines and spirit to me.
Are these policies permissible?