Advancement updates for Spring 2018

The Boy Scouts of America’s National Advancement Team continuously reviews and updates matters of advancement across our programs. They work to keep requirements relevant and establish clear wording so the chances of misunderstanding are minimal.

Part of their mission is to keep volunteers informed not only on new advancement opportunities, but also ways we can better provide for the advancement of our Scouts. In support of that goal, the Advancement Team publishes updates periodically.

The most recent newsletter, for the second quarter of 2018, has a number of informational items that pertain to Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Venturing and Sea Scouting. Here’s a summary of some of the updates: Continue reading “Advancement updates for Spring 2018”


Print pagePDF pageEmail page

Do you plan, or “wing it”?

I’ve had the opportunity to review several Eagle Scout leadership service projects over the years. Just as each Scout is different, so is their level of preparation for their projects. Some have mapped out their projects down to every screw and nail, while others give a more general description of what is being proposed or what was actually done.

I was confronted with the same sort of thing when we were embarking on a family vacation recently. My son likes to plan every aspect of the trip, down to what, where and when, and make all the arrangements. My wife, on the other hand, likes to be more spontaneous and not cling to a fixed plan – rather, intending to decide what to do on the spur of the moment.

There are pros and cons to each sort of approach. Continue reading “Do you plan, or “wing it”?”


Print pagePDF pageEmail page

Double-check your adult registration requirements

Recently, the Boy Scouts of America updated (overhauled, really) its youth protection training and related requirements, which I wrote about here.

Among the changes is the new requirement that adults staying at a long-term Scouting event, such as summer camp, must be registered with the BSA if they attend the event for more than 72 hours (three nights). The time need not be consecutive, which means the 72 hours is reached if the adult camps, say, two nights at the beginning of the week and returns for the last night of summer camp.

I’ve been hearing, though, that some camps and councils are tightening the requirement, Continue reading “Double-check your adult registration requirements”


Print pagePDF pageEmail page

Combining committees

One of the most persistent problems in keeping a troop or pack going is obtaining sufficient adult leadership to get all the various jobs covered without causing burnout of the small group of people who usually get stuck with everything.

It’s often advised to make sure each committee role is covered, and in a Cub Scout pack, to ensure that den leaders (and the Cubmaster) aren’t doing committee-type things.

Troops are usually better off, because parents are more familiar with Scouting after going through it as their sons grew, and they see the value in the program and the need to get things accomplished. Or perhaps it finally dawns on them that nobody else is going to do the work, and the pack or troop can only go when supported by enough volunteers.

One solution, as suggested by a reader, is to combine the pack and troop committees for units that are chartered by the same organization. Continue reading “Combining committees”


Print pagePDF pageEmail page

Rebooting a troop committee

It doesn’t happen very often, but on rare occasion a troop’s committee withers away as Scouts leave or age out and their parents, who served on the committee, also depart without being replaced. Sometimes, others just take on the added responsibilities rather than recruiting a replacement, until the burden gets too great and they themselves step down. When you’re wearing not just one hat but a stack of them, it’s not easy to take off just one or two.

A question arrived a few weeks ago from a Scoutmaster who said that his troop committee had essentially disbanded. Continue reading “Rebooting a troop committee”


Print pagePDF pageEmail page