No more CSVs, and other advancement news

Time marches on, and technology comes along for the ride. It’s true of the Boy Scouts of America, which a couple years ago unvelied Scoutbook, a unit recordkeeping software package initially developed by a Scouter who had a better idea. Available to units at a reasonable cost (or free in some cases), Scoutbook is a step forward in terms of integration with the BSA’s own databases.

For the past several years, paper advancement forms took a back seat to Internet Advancement, which allowed units to enter advancement data directly online instead of having to complete forms in triplicate and hand-carry them to the council’s service center. Continue reading “No more CSVs, and other advancement news”

More advancement updates

No sooner had the Boy Scouts of America published the 2017 revision to its omnibus reference work Guide to Advancement, which we reviewed in a recent article, than it announced a few changes.

Eagle Palms

There are some important changes to the way Eagle Palms are earned and awarded. Most significantly, the new rules allow a newly-minted Eagle Scout to receive Palms for his aggregate total of merit badges up to the date of his board of review. This will be a benefit to Scouts who earn Eagle late in their Scouting careers, and who would not have otherwise had an opportunity to earn Palms. Continue reading “More advancement updates”

Guide to Advancement 2017

Since its inception in 2011, the Guide to Advancement has been the single point of reference for nearly all matters related to advancement across all our programs. It replaced a smattering of documents, references in handbooks and training manuals, and official policies that were not well documented.

The Advancement Team did a great job putting it all in one place, and their efforts have withstood the test of time. Changes do take place, though, and every couple years they’ve been updating the book to reflect the current status of things.

The 2017 Guide to Advancement was released a couple weeks ago. Continue reading “Guide to Advancement 2017”

2017 Advancement Updates

January first is usually a significant day in the advancement process. Most rank and merit badge requirement changes become effective as of the first of the year. New Year’s Day in 2016 marked significant and sweeping changes in Boy Scout requirements. Most ranks saw changes or an overhaul, and Scout was added as an official rank and not just the joining requirement. The permissive period started January 1, 2016, meaning that Scouts who were working toward a rank could continue to use the old requirements until they completed that rank, but had to use the new requirements if they started after that date. As of January 1, 2017, all Scouts have to use the new requirements.

Possibly less noticed were the requirement changes that took effect January 1, 2017. Yes, there were a few – some you probably didn’t hear about – but they are worth noting. Continue reading “2017 Advancement Updates”

The merit badge counselor’s role

If you’re a merit badge counselor, you’re probably pretty familiar with the role that merit badges play in the Boy Scout advancement system. Once they reach First Class, Scouts must earn a certain number of merit badges to continue advancing, with some drawn from the list of badges required for the rank of Eagle Scout and the rest on any subject at the Scout’s discretion.

The merit badge counselor, therefore, has a pivotal role in the advancement process for our older Scouts, and the Scouting experience for all Boy Scouts. Continue reading “The merit badge counselor’s role”