Sunday, May 5, 2013

Updates to the Merit Badge Workbooks

I'm in the process of updating all of the current merit badge workbooks to a PDF format that will allow Scouts to type into the form and save their work (but not, of course, change the wording of the requirements).  I've got the Eagle required badges done, and a few others (the badges with names starting with "A", plus Game Design), and I have posted the ones I've completed to the USSSP site.  I'll continue  to work on  the rest over the next few weeks, and will post them in groups as I get them completed.

The PDFs have been tested successfully with the Adobe Acrobat Reader, the Foxit PDF Reader, and the Nuance PDF Reader.  Each of those programs are available as free downloads.

As part of the process, I have changed the PDFs visually by making most of the entry areas text boxes, instead of blank lines. I am also concurrently converting the source files from "doc" to "docx" format.  That substantially reduces the size of the files, but it will make them no longer usable to those with legacy (pre-2007) versions of Word or other word processors which do not support that file format.  There are, however, reader versions of Office 2010 and Office 2013 that can display, but not edit, them.

Please submit errors, omissions, comments or suggestions you feel appropriate, positive or negative, (such as "There needs to be more space for a response to requirement 3b(1)") about the format of any of the WORKBOOKS to: Workbooks@USScouts.Org

Comments or suggestions for changes to the wording of the requirements for any MERIT BADGE should be sent to the BSA merit badge team at: Merit.Badge@Scouting.Org

Copies of all of the workbooks we've developed (PDF format only) are also available on the website. (I'll upload the new versions to that site as soon as I can.) A few, like Game Design, are also available through the BSA's site. However, if you find copies on any other site, they have been placed there without our permission, and we would be grateful to be notified of those cases.  Please write us at Workbooks@USScouts.Org with the website address.  

After Ive done all the merit badge workbooks, I'll convert the other workbooks we've created (such as the ones for Cub Scout belt loops and pins, rank advancements, etc.) in a similar manner. Should keep me busy for a while.

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