Is there a book or web or something that tells me how to wear/earn/apply for/recommend someone for/purchase a particular badge or uniform item? Why does the BSA make everything a search...the people in the Council office should have all of these answers? Why do you have those answers when they do not?
<!-==========Copy or Paste information BELOW this line!!=======> There are some 14 books and manuals that explain how to earn, apply for, recommend someone else for and wear various BSA awards and medals. The BSA cannot possibility put everything you need into ONE publication, because not all of the items will apply to you. For instance, if you're a Cub Scouting volunteers, you are not really interested in award for Boy Scouts or Venturers nor their adult leaders; the same applies to Sea Scouts or Venturers...they are not interested in things which Cub Scouts only may earn and wear!
There is a BSA Insignia Guide, which serves as the purpose behind my Unofficial BSA Uniform and Insignia Guide located online. The Insignia Guide, however, does NOT tell you how to EARN the various items...just where they should go on various uniforms. Several websites, with the US Scouting Service Project and the Unofficial Uniform and Insignia Online Guide taking the lead, are attempting to "consolidate" not just national awards but also many awards earned by Scouts and Scouters locally into one online location. It's a hard process, because you're talking about some 450 BSA official awards, and an equal number of unofficial awards.
In the leaders' guides for each program are requirements for various leadership and service awards, as well as information about youth awards pertaining to that program. Additionally, the Boy Scout Requirements Booklet lists all requirements for all Boy Scout and Varsity Scout Awards and items (to include merit badge requirements). The Cub Scout Leaders' Book, the Venturing Advisors' Manual, the Sea Scout Skipper's Handbook and the Boy Scout Leaders' Book all list requirements for various awards. The Leadership Development Guidelines booklet has the same kinds of requirements of training awards for all other volunteer Scouters.
It's just not all in ONE book. Yet.
As far as why I have the answers when local Councils don't, please don't believe the hype. Your Council DOES have the same materials I have access to (more so, they have access to MORE materials than I ever will have!) but they are either unwilling or lazy in getting you the information you are seeking. In many cases, your Council's professional and volunteer staffs have copies of the same publications that I have here; it is a simple matter of asking them for the information and getting the information from them. Many Scouters don't ask, for a variety of reasons, their local Council folk. That should be your FIRST STOP after asking your peers. If they don't know or if you think they just gave you an answer for "just giving it so you'll go away", then I invite you to ask me. But please don't look to me as a "one-stop source" for any and everything Scouting...because in all truthfulness, I'm not. The answers which come together on the Insignia site as well as on Leaders' Online...come from lots of other Scouters including myself and where noted, I give them credit for their responses.
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