Advancement updates

[Merit badges]Every couple months, the national advancement team at the Boy Scouts of America puts out an update for council and district advancement chairs and committee members. The current issue has a few items of interest:

  • Scoutbook allows den leaders to set up the year of program activities with just a few clicks. Planning resources are integrated, so meetings fulfilling the required Adventures can be planned easily. What to do before, during and after the meeting is laid out, attendance is automatically updated, and advancement can be recorded. The system will e-mail parents of youth who are absent to inform them of the requirements they need to make up. (Note, however, that this won’t work unless all your youth members are registered! If you have new members, be sure to submit their application forms and payment as soon as possible! Don’t wait until rechartering to do so; otherwise they won’t show up in Scoutbook and den leaders won’t be able to credit them with requirements completed. -Ed.)
  • There’s a description of why experiential learning is important, and is a keystone to advancement. We don’t just teach Scout skills; we provide the means for Scouts to experience learning those skills, and that’s done hands-on.
  • The rules for merit badge counselors meeting with Scouts are clarified and emphasized, particularly with respect to female Scouts. A female registered adult must be present if a female Scout is meeting with a counselor unless the Scout’s parent is present.
  • Also, a reminder about handling lists of merit badge counselors, particularly that the Scouts should not be given the list to protect the privacy of the counselors.
  • With the charters for troops chartered to the LDS church expiring at the end of the year, there’s guidance on those Scouts who are about to complete Eagle Scout requirements. All requirements must be completed while registered – and if their troop’s charter ends, their unit registration also ends – but the board of review can be held by the district after the unit’s charter expires. (Of course, the Scout could choose to transfer his or her membership to another troop and continue the process there. -Ed.)
  • Scoutbook has a demo mode where you can log in as an example user and play around with the system using hypothetical Scouts and advancements.
  • Advice on Cub Scout Blue and Gold Banquets: Have fun and food, but don’t forget to recognize advancement!
  • And a list of the multitude of advancement-related publications and resources available.

You can read the latest Advancement News here.

This post first appeared on Bobwhite Blather.
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