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Advancement Resources

Scouting ranks, merit bades, and the advancement programs

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  1. NOVA Award question...

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    • As of the end of 2017, BSA had:  266 local councils.  99,814 units.  1,245,882 Cub Scouts.  834,142 Boy Scouts and Varsity Scouts.  87,827 Venturers and Sea Scouts.  114,751 Explorers. The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law. It's a very simple equation:  The more youth who are active in a BSA program, and the longer they are active in a BSA program, the more likely they are to have absorbed the values of the Scout Oath and the Scout Law, and the more successful BSA will be in accomplishing its mission. So how do we get more youth to be active in BSA programs, and how do we get them to stay active in those programs longer?  Another simple equation:  All recruiting into the Boy Scouts of America is by local units and the adult volunteers and youth in those units.  All retention of youth members is by local units.  The more units that have high quality programs, the more members we will recruit and the longer those members will stay -- resulting in more youth being "Prepared for Life." Bottom line:  The degree to which the Boy Scouts of America is successful in its mission is in direct proportion to how many of its units have high quality programs.  If you want the Boy Scouts of America to produce more great citizens who live the values of the Scout Oath and Law, then expanding the number of high quality unit programs is what you have to care about and what you have to convince your fellow volunteers to care about.  It all starts in our own units, but it doesn't stop there.
    • As a law abiding citizen, someone who has never committed anything more serious than a traffic violation, someone who has never harmed another human, an Eagle Scout, NRA member, Thin Blue Line supporter, proud father to be and blue collar worker Ryan Rosier never expected to be staring down the barrel of a loaded gun and being thrown face first into the pavement while police refused to answer any of his questions. On December 30th 2018 Ryan was pulled over for what police say was improper lane change and upon approach of his vehicle noticed a box under the passenger seat with the words “Tarus. Making Better Guns.” written on it giving them probable cause to search the vehicle under suspicion there would be firearms in the vehicle. Police body cameras and dash camera footage will show this to be totally false. Police approached him guns drawn, reached inside of his car, unlocked it and proceeded to jerk him out and shove him to the ground. Police searched the driver side and then searched the passenger side. When police didn’t seem to find whatever it was they were looking for inside the car they then moved to the trunk and searched in there. Which is odd, because their report says they saw it upon approach under the passenger seat, why the need to leave the passenger side to search somewhere else if you say you seen it there already. Unsatisfied they returned to the interior of the car and pulled from under the seat his brand new, unfired, tag still attached and unloaded .357 revolver which he LEGALLY purchased and owned. When Ryan mentioned to them the officers didn’t tell him their name when he was stopped or why he was stopped he was ignored. When he mentioned to the officer as he reached inside his vehicle to unlock it that the officer couldn’t do that just for no reason he was ignored. While standing there with cuffs slicing his wrists and blood running down his knees and chin he was polite and asked the officer what all of this was about and he was told “We will explain it to you in a bit.” He was incarcerated and charged with felony possession of a loaded firearm. Now at the start of his adult life corrupted interests and infringed 2nd amendment rights have cost Ryan his job leaving him unable to provide for his pregnant fianceée, maintain his bills and caused him drastic mental distress and worry about how he will support him and her, prepare for the baby, pay their bills and still manage to pay for a lawyer to defend him which alone will cost upwards of $15,000 to fight such a case. A GoFundMe has been set up for the family and can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/help-ryan-get-justice&rcid=r01-154796188922-0a1318e885284f18&pc=ot_co_campmgmt_w and anything will be greatly appreaciated by the family.
    • I've also shows away from the manager/subordinate mentality.  Instead, I've used the phrase "we're all simply playing different roles to make the troop work".  This has always led me to treat my fellow volunteers with the utmost professionalism.   Seems to work pretty well for us.
    • I fear using the analogy of managers and subordinates in scouts.  I fear trying to create the perfect troop or perfect scout hierarchy.  Of course, help them work in small groups with their PL as their representative.  Help their SPL representative the whole troop.   We need to coach leaders to focus on the fun.  Get the scouts outside.  Encourage activities and camping and adventures.  Within that context, scout leaders have plenty of opportunities to set examples and coach our scouts.   
    • I understand the idea behind this.  It's pretty common today in many things we do.  Basically - when something's not working as we'd like, as a society we look to a higher power to create some sort of testing or process to improve things.  But, I don't think it's right for the BSA to do this. First - I'm with @David CO on this.  Why would volunteers want to be part of a system where they are getting assessed and graded for what they do.  No thanks on that one. Second - The BSA already has all kinds of systems in place to assist units.  The biggest problem is that many areas don't utilize them well.  So, I'm not sure why we'd want to invent another.  
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