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:

  • As with most other BSA publications, the Guide to Advancement has been updated to change references to Boy Scouts to Scouts BSA throughout. This includes emphasizing that all aspects of advancement, including requirements and eligibility, apply equally to male and female participants in both Cub Scouts and Scouts BSA.
  • The Scouts BSA Handbook, having replaced the Boy Scout Handbook, is available in editions for boys and for girls, and Handbook references have been updated to conform.
  • In Cub Scouting, requirement particulars for the Lion rank have been added. It’s also stated that den leaders must approve all requirements, even if the parent or other Akela has OK’d them as well.
  • In Scouts BSA, there’s clarification that the youth protection and social media provisions in the Guide to Safe Scouting must be followed when counseling Scouts in merit badges. There’s also a stipulation that, before an Eagle board of review under disputed circumstances is held, the council must verify all information that’s not in dispute before the board is scheduled. And, the Eagle project workbook has been added to the items that a Scoutmaster can not require that the Scout bring to a unit leader conference.
  • Except as pertaining to advancements already earned, references to Varsity Scouting have been deleted, as that program disappeared in 2017 with the organizational separation from the LDS Church.
  • For advancement committees, the summaries of the various educational programs available were deleted, but committees are still encouraged to avail themselves of the training provided.
  • With a co-emphasis on leadership now in the Aims of Scouting, references to the Aims have been updated to include leadership along with character, citizenship and fitness attributes.
  • There are also a few updates to Sea Scouting procedures, deletion of the list of advancement and recognition literature from the References, and a few new FAQs pertaining to special-needs Scouting.

Unit leaders, advancement coordinators and anyone else who administers the advancement programs of Scouting units should be familiar with the Guide, or at least the portions that pertain to their programs. The Guide is available to be read or printed online for free; bound printed copies will be for sale in Scout Shops soon, if not already in stock.

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