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Advancement Ceremony if some boys haven't completed badge requirements

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  • Advancement Ceremony if some boys haven't completed badge requirements

    We have a unique Pack in that our dens only meet once a month, so it takes us the whole school year to complete our badge requirements. We hold our Advancement Ceremony at our June campout, which consists of awarding badges, moving their name up the Advancement Ladder to the next den level, and getting their new neckerchiefs. We have a few boys who will not be done with their badge requirements by the campout. Our Unit Commissioner said the boys can use the summer to complete their badge requirements. I was thinking that we would acknowledge the boys at the campout and announce that they are going to use the summer to continue working on their badges, but not let them move their name up the ladder or give them their new neckerchiefs at the campout. We could hold another Advancement Ceremony at our September Pack meeting for those boys. What has been your experiences on how to properly recognize the boys who completed their requirements in time for your Advancement Ceremony (probably at B&G) while still acknowledging the boys who are in the process without making them feel so bad that they just want to give up.

  • #2
    Okay, I can think of a few different thoughts, so I'll try and put them all down.

    - Did the Scouts "Do Their Best" to complete the requirements? While I don't normally consider this theory acceptable, I have heard of leaders who do.
    - Cub Scouts are supposed to advance programs on 1 June. That being said, my pack will allow a scout to continue to work on rank advancement for a couple of weeks into June if they really need it. But, you also need to consider: By allowing them to delay advancement....you may be preventing them from completing their requirements for the next rank next year.

    I would consider sitting down with the parents and mapping out what each Scout has left, and making sure they can complete the missing items quickly. Each program is easily completed in a matter of a couple of months....so even if you only meet a few times a year, if the scouts are active during the off weeks...they can finish the yearly program easily.

    Hope this helps.. as I'm sure there will be other thoughts.

    Comment


    • #3
      We have our rank badge earned ceremony and advancement ceremony. They are two different things to us.

      On June 1st every boy moves from one rank to another, and it doesn't matter if they did all the requirements for Tiger Wolf etc badge. they need to have earned their badge by then in order to receive it, else they just dont get it. The badge requirements must be done while the boy is that rank. You cannot do Wolf requirements and have them count towards the Wolf Badge when you are a Tiger or Bear.

      On June 1st our council considers all the kids graduated to the next rank, so a kid who didnt show up to any Den Meetings at all would still be in the next rank at June 1st. I mean if someone signs up for cub scouts as a wolf in the spring then doesn't attend meetings and returns in the fall, he isn't still a wolf, he is a bear.

      Comment


      • #4
        "Dens only meet once a month"...is there some reason the den leaders can't meet once a week, as the program is designed? I am always amused at those who don't follow the program, then ask for solutions when it doesn't work out. The others are correct...once a boy is advanced to the next level, he can't go back and work on badges he didn't complete.

        Comment


        • jc2008
          jc2008 commented
          Editing a comment
          Our den does have 3 Den Meetings a month and one Pack Meeting (unless its a holiday, campouts etc also take the place of a den meeting). So basically we are doing cub scout things 4 times a month minimum. Not everyone can make every meeting due to other things. But if you had one den meeting a month and the "other things" like den leader being sick or other families are out of town etcetc, that kid is down to not having a Den Meeting for 2 months!

          Not everyone can make every meeting. I send out a quick email with what we did in our den meeting and ask the parents work at home with their kids of they missed the meeting. If we, as leaders, cannot make the meeting, we find someone who can hold a meeting. Life can go on without the Den Leader there. Heck the meeting could be simple as go to the park and play kickball or go on a hike or give the parent who is having the meeting something to do with the kids.

          But basically our kids see each other every week, be it at a Pack Meeting, Den Meeting, Council Campout etc. The only times we don't see each other is Thanksgiving and Christmas weeks.

          To people who say that more than 1 den meeting a month is too much ,please talk to someone who has their kids in Karate, Baseball , Soccer, Football etc. Do those activities meet once a month? I think you will get an entirely different answer.

        • dedkad
          dedkad commented
          Editing a comment
          jc2008, I don't know how soccer, football and baseball in your area work, but where we are at, the kids don't get to choose what days to practice. They are assigned a team and that coach decides what day to practice. If it falls on a den or pack meeting day, tough luck. It is much easier to ask the boys in my den to miss just one practice a month to attend a den meeting, then it is to compete with that sport on a weekly basis over the entire season.

        • jc2008
          jc2008 commented
          Editing a comment
          dedkad, I totally know where you are coming from. We had one of our scouts who took up football and literally missed 2 months of meetings because of his practice schedule. I just emailed his family with what we were doing so they could keep up and when the season was over he was back to normal with our meetings. Even in that sort of situation, its still the same thing, they could decide to miss one practice a month to attend a meeting. But the other meetings were still going on for the other kids who could make them. The sports coach isn't competing with you to get them to attend practice/games, you don't need to compete with him. Just do what you do and keep the parents informed of what is going on with the den for the meetings they cannot attend.

          I had one parent come to me last summer concerned that their child was going to miss a lot (if not all) meetings in the fall due to their practice schedule. And I just reminded her that Scouting is a year round activity and we will be doing this with our kids for X amount of years until they are finished with Boy Scouts. Missing 1-2 months of meetings isn't as large in the grand scheme of scouting as it would be to miss a month of practice for football when you only are playing football for 2 months out of the year.

      • #5
        The Rank award is just that - an award. Advancement in Cub Scouts is a whole 'nother animal. Advancement happens at the end of the school year (BSA uses June 1) when the boys change grade levels, no matter what, if any awards they have earned. To that end we have always kept our award recognition ceremonies, entirely separate from our advancement (graduation) ceremony.

        Our dens meet weekly. Those meetings are usually 2 den, 1 outing, and 1 Pack meeting per month. Sometimes there will be extra activities thrown in as well. We use our B&G as a goal to be completed with all requirements for the rank awards. That is reasonable goal, and gives everyone a time frame to work toward. It Is, however, not set in stone.

        We do award ceremonies monthly. Mostly they are for small accomplishments/awards. Rank awards get the bigger, fancier, ceremonies. The major one is held in February, at our B&G, but we can/have done them at other times when a Scout has completed the requirements (usually later, rarely earlier).

        Even when the rank awards are completed in February, there is plenty for the boys to do/earn for the rest of the year.

        Come the end of May - beginning of June, we hold our last Pack meeting of the Scout year. At that meeting we will first do ceremonies to present any final awards earned. After all awards have been presented, we hold our "Graduation" ceremony and move our Cubs from their current, to their next Scout level.

        There have been times when Cubs have not finished the requirements for their rank awards. BSA allows some extra time to complete those requirements (for the RANK award ONLY, no others including Electives). We explain that the Scout can only work in ONE level at a time, and that until he has finished work on his current (old) rank award requirements, he can not work on anything at his new Cub level.

        If any did choose to stay at their "old" level to work on their rank award we would have included them in the Graduation ceremony. They would have received their new necker, and slide, but their new Handbook would be held until the first den meeting of the new school year. They would then have their rank award ceremony at either our end of summer picnic, or the September Pack meeting (Scout's choice).

        No boy has ever taken us up on the added time. They are ready for the new stuff, and are really not that excited about the bling. That is all the parents.

        Comment


        • dedkad
          dedkad commented
          Editing a comment
          But wouldn't giving them their new neckerchief and slide imply that they have advanced and can no longer work at the old den level? I like the idea of being able to do that because it allows them up on stage with the other boys in their den to get some sort of recognition, but just not sure if that is considered OK.

        • Basementdweller
          Basementdweller commented
          Editing a comment
          All cubs advance in rank June 1 or at the end of their school year.

          So if a lad hasn't finished his wolf at the end of school, tough luck he advances to Bear without his wolf patch........

          The neckercheifs mean nothing.....Just show what rank they are working on


          So if it was me.....I would call all of the boys up front who actually completed the rank requirements and award their patches.......Then call the remainder of the den of to change neckercheifs..... NO PATCHES

      • #6
        Regarding meetings: Once monthly meetings work if you only want to complete the minimums for rank advancement.

        My youngest son's den met once monthly during Tiger, Wolf and Bear. He doesn't have any gold and silver arrow points on his shirt nor has he ever asked to earn one. Sure, we had longer meetings, but we had near perfect attendance and got it done. I am taking over as the Webelos leader this fall. The boys are attending summer resident camp and will earn/almost complete 4-5 activity pins. We plan on meeting monthly and we will easily finish all the required Webelos and AOL activity pin requirements during 4th grade. During 5th grade, we will work on "Scout Rank" requirements, troop activities and their SMC and finish up early. We found we have better success with attendance if we aren't competing with sports, church, drama club, etc. and filling up the parents' schedules with tons of scout meetings--only to pick the ones they were not going to attend. An organized den leader can make it work. And yes, it goes against the JTE 2013 Silver Level recommendations, but it works for our families.

        Comment


        • jc2008
          jc2008 commented
          Editing a comment
          KDD.
          I actually have a spreadsheet I print out with the electives on it. At a meeting in January before they got their Wolf badges, I printed out the spreadsheet and a copy of the elective descriptions and gave them to the parents and had them sit down and check off everything their kids had done this year while we did an activity with the kids.
          so i gave them this sheet:
          https://dyp.im/mI2kUJ4mC4

          and then a copy of the electives, like:
          http://usscouts.org/advance/cubscout/wolfarrow.asp

        • King Ding Dong
          King Ding Dong commented
          Editing a comment
          Jc thanks that is good, but I still wonder if that is the best approach. Shouldn't th Cub be using his book and marking things off ( the paw prints) ? Taking some degree of responsibility for his advancement. To that end bought the spiral handbook for my wolf this past year.

        • jc2008
          jc2008 commented
          Editing a comment
          KDD, yes I agree the cub and his parent need to take some responsibility and mark off their book. We had parents who did that. But I also had parents who did not keep up with their book. If they have their book filling out the sheet for them was easy because they just went through their book and marked it on my list. The other parents had to read through all the activities to see if their kids had done them while sitting at the den meeting.

          If they were Boy Scouts it would be a different idea, but Tigers and Wolves are still young and I don't want them to lose out on the bling that they have earned just because their parents aren't going over the book with them.

          But in an ideal world, yes you are correct, the parents should be doing it already.

      • #7
        This shouldn't be like youth baseball....

        Participation does not equal trophy.....Do the work get the award and recognition. The boys know who earned it and who didn't, don't cheapen the award for the boys who earned it.

        Comment


        • Sentinel947
          Sentinel947 commented
          Editing a comment
          Amen! Amen! Basementdweller has it right!

      • #8
        Too bad the dens can't meet online. Or maybe someone could develop an app so the boys can complete their badges on their own. Then busy families would only have to attend pack meetings when their Scout is actually receiving the awards.

        Comment


        • Basementdweller
          Basementdweller commented
          Editing a comment
          Your being funny, I hope????

        • Polaris
          Polaris commented
          Editing a comment
          .......duh....skip the pack meeting. Advancement chair emails scout shop who ships awards via USPS.

        • Polaris
          Polaris commented
          Editing a comment
          Seriously....pick one:

          1). Busy families in scouting
          2). Busy families not in scouting

      • #9
        Don't fool yourself 2c, if they won't participate in person, chances are they'll ignore you online as well. This is from experience with a Venturing Officers Association which tried web-hosting its meetings this year.

        Comment


        • #10
          Busy families is a lame excuse. It is about priorities. Either the family wants to particpate and thinks scouting is important or they dont. Sports, Band, Karate, Swimming, etc. are all choices. Scouting is a choice. Coaches dont allow partial participation. Why should Scouts act any differently? If the scouts and their families can not complete all the requirements only meeting once a month, than meet more often like the program is designed. If den meeting night conflicts with sports,band,etc, then the family either has to decide to choose a different den/pack that meets on a night that does conflict with sports or choose a different sports team that practices on a different night and doesnt conflict with scouts. Choices. We all want everything. We cant have everything. Learn that choice at a young age and it solves many problems throughout your life.

          My son was an over involved sports player. We was a member of up to 3 teams at the same. 8 practices in 5 days with 3 games the same week. Yeah he attended double practices several days a week. Yeah he was tired. Yes he had to schedule his eating, school, homework, "fun" time, and every bit of his life. It was a choice he made. It was a family choice as well since he had to be driven to and from all these activites. It meant the family schedule had to be adjusted to get all family members to and from all the other obligations.

          He did not join Boy Scouts until almost 15. He continued to play sports with the high school team and travel team. He had to often choose to attend a Scout event or a sporting event. He wanted to earn the rank of Eagle. He reviewed every scout event to determine if he could complete enough requirements to make it worth while. He attended a district camporree without his troop because he was able to complete many requirements for a required MB. He also was able to complete a number of additional requirements for rank requirements he needed. That weekend really paid off for him towards completeing Eagle. He made a choice. He was able to earn the rank of Eagle in 3 years and 2 months. Just 2 months before his 18th birthday. As a family we offered him opportunities to be involved in scouts and sports. He had to to the hard work and make both successful.

          Families see scouts as a drop in when it is convienent type of activity. They see sports as a must attend activity. Tell the families that you think scouts is equally or more important than sports. As the leader, you will be holding meetings on this day every week for the next 9 months. By the way, that just happens to be the same night as the Pack meeting so it is easy to remember. Attendance is expected. If the scout does not attend, he will not advance. He will also miss out on a lot of fun. You support the scout being involved in other activies including but not limited to sports, theatre, band, dance, martial arts, school plays, etc. We understand that occasionally a scout cannot attend. Just like when you miss practice, the coach will not start you, when you miss scouts, you may not advance. Choice.

          If scouts did not complete the requirements for advancement, they dont get the patch. Cub scouting they still advance to the next rank due to age/school. Bring up the ones who completed the requirements first and celebrate their achievements. Bring the remainder and congradulate them for Doing Their Best and wish them well on the next years adventures. No trophies for second place.

          Comment


          • jc2008
            jc2008 commented
            Editing a comment
            There of course is the Lone Scout option for kids who cannot make meetings. They just do everything under the guidance of their parent or approved counselor

        • #11
          I'm sorry but I can't see how a organized Pack can effectively operate with Dens meeting once a month. We meet weekly with Pack meetings every other month. Between pinewood derby work shops, weekend outings, overnights and comunity service projects we have an extremely busy year and that not counting the summer event and Parents Meetings (Pack Commitee Meetings). We have a busy year ( 12 months) and we have about a 99% den meeting attendance and about 70% outing attendance so our parents understand the commitment. All our boys meet rank requirements and end up with other awards that we have time to perform through the year. One example this summer we will meet as a group and do the World Conservation Award. I've also found if you make the meetings fun for the parents along with the kids you get more family involvement which equals better attendance. I have had numerous parent tell me they look forward to meeting nights.

          Comment


          • jc2008
            jc2008 commented
            Editing a comment
            ^^ what mdp said!

            The issue that I know units have with that is that they need someone to come up and actually put on these fun events for the kids and parents. Its second nature to us, but I have seen where its sometimes very hard for people to step up and take charge and make the program more than just following a pre-written script all year.

          • ScoutNut
            ScoutNut commented
            Editing a comment
            So, you don't understand how a Pack can effectively operate with once a month den meetings?

            Perhaps in the same way that your Pack operates with only having a Pack meeting every OTHER month?

            Neither of these ways is how BSA has written the Cub Scout program to operate. Yet, they seem to work (to varying degrees) for these "rogue" units (yours included!).
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