Guide to Advancement 2021

Guide to AdvancementThe Boy Scouts of America’s National Advancement Team has completed its biennial review and updates to the Guide to Advancement, BSA’s canonical reference to all things related to advancement.

First published in its current form in 2011 and updated every two years since, the Guide has chapters covering all aspects of advancement across all the BSA’s programs. In the past, updates have been quietly published with little fanfare, but in recent years – and especially with changes necessitated in the last year or so – there’s been more publicity surrounding its release. So you’ve probably heard or read about some of the changes.

Just in case you haven’t, though, here’s a quick rundown: Continue reading “Guide to Advancement 2021”

Pandemic-related Eagle extension changes

A few months ago, we wrote about the special extension of time to complete Eagle Scout, Summit Award and Quartermaster Award requirements beyond the age of eighteen due to circumstances related to the pandemic and the closures and program shutdowns that occurred in 2020.

Now that the year is ending and those temporary extensions are expiring, we’re being provided with new guidance on Eagle extensions and how to request one. Continue reading “Pandemic-related Eagle extension changes”

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion merit badge

Diversity

Update, October 1, 2021: The badge will be known as CItizenship in Society. Release date is expected sometime in November. Requirements are still being formulated. It is expected that counselors will be required to complete the BSA’s Diversity training. 

Update, January 7, 2021: The BSA has announced a delay in the implementation of the DEI merit badge. Here is the official announcement from BSA Program Updates:

The introduction of the proposed Diversity, Equity and Inclusion merit badge is being delayed to allow for the careful consideration and evaluation of feedback received from a wide variety of commenters on the draft requirements. Until further notice, all Scouts working on the Eagle Scout rank should continue to use current rank requirements. Once the Eagle-required Diversity, Equity and Inclusion merit badge is introduced, Scouts in the process of earning the rank of Eagle Scout will be given adequate time to earn it.

Updates regarding the merit badge will be shared with councils directly and via Scoutingwire. Specific questions are welcome via email at Officeof.ChiefDiversityOfficer@scouting.org.

You may have heard that the Boy Scouts of America are planning to update their portfolio of ScoutsBSA merit badges to include a new one on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

With the renewed attention being paid to the plight of minorities in America and around the world, brought to the forefront by the myriad cases of violence and brutality against people of color and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, it’s only natural that the premier organization devoted to the furtherance of ethics among our youth should incorporate an element of tolerance and understanding toward others.

In June, the BSA announced its commitment to combat racial injustice. Continue reading “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion merit badge”

Journey to Excellence modifications for 2020

The pandemic has affected life in so many ways, Scouting being just one of them. Units have had to scramble to continue providing program despite restrictions on group meetings – the very lifeblood of the Scouting experience – and trying to plan for the future in a world where the future could change with little advance notice.

Realizing this, the Boy Scouts of America have realigned one of the tools we use to evaluate how we are doing in providing the Scouting program to our youth. Journey to Excellence has been with us for a decade now, and although it was overhauled repeatedly early on, its measurements have remained relatively stable in recent years.

This year, however, is different, and many of the evaluation points became difficult to meet. Continue reading “Journey to Excellence modifications for 2020”

A quieter summer

The summer of 2020 in Scouting is shaping up to be very different from any other summer we’ve experienced in our lifetimes. With personal protection and social distancing the current norms, a lot of the activities that Scouts enjoy either cannot happen or need to be modified substantially.

Councils around the country are figuring out how to provide a summer camp experience to tens of thousands of Scouts while maintaining the health and safety we hold in high priority. Continue reading “A quieter summer”