One could argue that uniforming is the most visible of the eight methods of Scouting, even though a lot of boys would rather be invisible while in uniform! The method of advancement, however, certainly has a lot of impact and affects just about every aspect of what we do. Scouts like to advance and earn badges for the things they do. Much of the Scout handbook is devoted to rank advancement requirements and ways to get there.
To define exactly how advancement is handled, the Boy Scouts of America provides us with an excellent publication, the Guide to Advancement. Issued in 2011, the Guide covers nearly every conceivable aspect to advancement across all programs of the BSA. But one book can’t do the job by itself, so there are supplemental educational presentations that help Scoutmasters, committee members and merit badge counselors navigate the maze of administering the advancement program within the unit. Continue reading
As leaders in the Scouting program, we sometimes think that we have the ultimate authority in how our troop runs. But do we?
Yes, we are responsible for ensuring that things are done safely, and that the Scouting program is followed. The committee provides essential support in the form of equipment, finance, and administration. A Scout troop, however, is meant to be led by the boys, not by the adults, and this means not taking the authority away from the boys when it comes to running their troop. Continue reading
Spring is finally here, at least in the north, and we’re finally getting outdoors (without heavy winter gear) enjoying some warmer weather. School may be winding down or ramping up for the final push. Many troops undergo a shift in activity over the summer as well, and it’s time to look forward and see what the committee needs to do to support the boys. Continue reading
No, parents are not being pushed out of Scouting. They are as essential as ever from Cubs all the way up to Venturing. What’s being changed is the ScoutParent designation, a pseudo-registered position that’s been with us for several years in an effort to involve more parents in the Scouting program. Continue reading
Just about all of us Scouters are also parents. As parents, we want the best for our kids, and some parents go a bit out of bounds to make sure they get the best and do their best – even if it isn’t really their best, if you know what I mean.
As Scouters, though, we really need to put some of these parenting instincts aside in order to make sure that we not only deliver the Scouting program as promised, but also to help our kids do their best by not helping them directly. Continue reading