Talk:Alternative Requirements

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Alternative versus Alternate

I clearly didn't do a thorough search before creating the Alternative Requirements page. I searched for pages with "alternative" in their title and didn't find any. I used the word "alternative" in my search and in creating this page because that is the word used in these BSA documents and web pages:

However, I have since discovered that there are three meritbadge.org pages that use the word "alternate" in their title, not "alternative":

These pages were create some years ago and were likely named that way because that is how BSA used the term. The word "alternate" was used in the following BSA documents (and probably many, many others):

  • 12th edition of The Boy Scout Handbook on rank pages.
  • Guide to Advancement (2011) uses "alternate" in the text, but uses "alternative" in the titles of sections and in the text.

It appears that BSA tightened up its wording for current requirements and documents to use "alternative" throughout and deprecate the use of "alternate".

I don't have access to any version of the Boy Scout Requirements book earlier than 2017, so I can't tell when the switch was "officially" made.

Note, too, that with the 2016 changes to Boy Scout requirements, the Scout rank is now a regular rank and so it, too, has an option for "alternative" requirements. With the name of the page being "Alternate Requirements for the First Three Ranks", the title no longer matches the new requirements even if we leave the word "alternate" in it or not. The "First Three Ranks" is not accurate as it should include four, not three, ranks.

So, what do we do now? I see at least a few major options:

  1. Switch to use the new Alternative Requirements page.
  2. Rename the pages that use "alternate" to use "alternative" instead; delete the Alternative Requirements page.
  3. Delete Alternative Requirements and just live with the other pages as is (inconsistent use of "alternate" vs. "alternative").

~10 pages throughout reference the "alternate" pages, so there still needs to be some clean-up to bring those into conformance with current wording on requirements.

Options #1 and #2 seem roughly equivalent. Option #1 consolidates all the "alternative" requirements to a single main page versus two main "alternate" pages. The Boy Scout Requirements book has separate pages for Eagle versus Scout/Tenderfoot/2nd Class/1st Class, so I could argue we should match that. But it could work fine with just a single page. I appreciate any constructive ideas and discussion. — User:Nicouds 18:11, April 1, 2018 (EDT)

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