Guest Author - Erik Moeller
Are you new to Scouting? Had 3 boys in Scouting and been to Philmont twice? Been an Assistant Scoutmaster for 4 years and have a son who is an Eagle Scout?
There is rarely anything that is inexpensive yet can provide something useful to a group that has members a diverse as the one covered by the questions asked above. Whether you are new to Scouting or been around a long time, the most useful book for the adult Scouter is the “Advancement Committee Policies and Procedures” manual.
What are some of the useful bits of information that can be found in this manual that you might not think of:
1. When looking at troop performance, one group you should pay attention to is a troop that is not showing advancement by the boys. Although some troops survive by just having activities, a troop with boys who aren’t advancing is usually a troop that is going to fold in the near future.
2. Did you now that each year you district should update and get each merit badge counselor to reconfirm that he or she wants to continue to be a counselor? This list should also be approved by the council Advancement Committee. If this is not done properly, having unapproved counselors signing applications can raise questions about the validity of the merit badge. We normally tend to make decisions that are most favorable to the Scout, but why take the risk?
3. For advancement in Cub Scout, the theme is “Do your best.” In Boy Scouts the all requirements must be completed and they must be completed in the manner designated. If the requirement says “Write…”, then the Scout means answer the requirement in writing. No requirements may be altered, added or deleted.
4. Unit leaders, assistant unit leaders, relatives or guardians may NOT serve as members of a Scouts’ Board of Review. The Unit leader may be present at the Board of Review, but may not participate. Most unit leaders do not exercise this option because they feel this puts additional pressure on the Scout. The Scout must feel comfortable with the unit leader being present.
5. The objective of the Eagle project is to show leadership. Pre-approval of the project does not mean the project will be acceptable to the Review Board. Completing the project is not enough. The Scout must demonstrate leadership in completing the project. If the project is not accepted, the Scout must do another project (provided he has not already reached his 18th birthday). This is a good reason not to save the project until the last minute.
This manual is an invaluable tool for adults in Scouting. If you are looking for an inexpensive and useful gift to get a Scouter for the holidays, get him a copy of the Advancement guide. It is available at your local Scout Shop.
Once you think you know all about advancement, use the link below to take you to the Advancement Quiz. Enjoy!!