Guide to Advancement updated for 2019

As the Scouts BSA program continues to roll along, our published materials are getting caught up with the changes. After the Guide to Safe Scouting updates released earlier, there is a new Guide to Advancement for 2019.

Typically updated every two years, the current edition mainly edits content to reflect the addition of female youth members in the traditional programs, but there are a few other updates. The Guide can be found online at the Guide to Advancement section of the Boy Scouts of America website.

Here are the major changes in the latest version: Continue reading “Guide to Advancement updated for 2019”


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Guide to Safe Scouting updated for 2019

Scouting safety is important enough that the guideposts we must follow are continuously reviewed and updated. The Boy Scouts of America maintains the latest version of the Guide to Safe Scouting online and provides a new printed version every year or so.

This year’s Guide includes several changes and updates. Some, as usual, are cosmetic or represent wording changes and clarifications. Others revise sections or an entire chapter.

Here’s a summary: Continue reading “Guide to Safe Scouting updated for 2019”


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Volunteer – Just Do It!

If you’re reading this article, you’re probably an adult volunteer in the Boy Scouts of America or another Scouting organization. We were the ones who took a step forward – or stayed in place when everyone else stepped back – and found ourselves in a job we didn’t know much about at first, other than it would help the pack go, or allow us to be with our children and have some fun and adventures with them and their friends.

When I first volunteered to be a den leader, our Cubmaster told me that I needed to do two things – go to basic training, and attend Roundtable each month. Wanting to not let down the boys in my den, I went and got trained, and each month I joined our Cubmaster and many others at Roundtable.

At these events, I marveled at the knowledge and experience of the volunteers leading the sessions. Continue reading “Volunteer – Just Do It!”


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What is a commissioner?

For over fifteen years, I served as a den leader, Cubmaster and committee chair, as well as on the training committee for our district. In that time, I worked with dozens of other Scouters and well over a hundred Scouts (not to mention more Scouting professionals than I can recall) in supporting the Scouting program in our pack and troop.

When my sons aged out of Scouting and went off to college, I decided to step back from the troop committee chair responsibility and allow someone else to have the experience of one of the best jobs in Scouting (thanks, Bill!). So it was a natural step to take my experience and apply it in another way – as a unit commissioner.

But just what is a commissioner?

Continue reading “What is a commissioner?”


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Recent updates: Training in progress, bankruptcy news

As we near the end of the year, there are a couple recent developments that Scouters need to pay attention to, for the good of our Scouts, units and families.

Training in progress

If you’ve taken any of the online basic training courses recently, you know how they are structured. Instead of a single course that might run an hour or two, basic training is divided into manageable chunks that only take a few minutes to complete. The total time isn’t any less, but the format is organized into logical sections so you can better understand what’s being presented. It also allows you to take a few segments here and there, and your progress is saved. If you can’t devote an uninterrupted two hour span, you can train a little at a time as long as you finish everything up.

Finishing everything up is the issue now. The Boy Scouts of America’s national training team is planning to roll out revised courses after January 1. Continue reading “Recent updates: Training in progress, bankruptcy news”


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