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Advancement Resources

Scouting ranks, merit bades, and the advancement programs

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  1. Whip that rope!

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  2. Completed MB?

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  3. Cyber Chip

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    • While to a Webelos it may be "backpacking," I do not think it is. I remember my old council having a mega event where people had a choice of either carrying their gear 1 mile or more from the parking lot to their campsite, or using the "4th Marine Division Delivery Service" to drop off their gear at some point at their campsite. We had a number of families carry things in. So I have seen Cubs carrying their own gear a mile or more to a campsite. I know when my youngest was a Webelos, he was ticked off that his older 2 brothers were going to go backpacking on the AT, and he could not go. To prove his point that he was capable of backpacking with his brothers, on a pack camp out that included hiking, he wore his pack and carried everything but his hammock and tarp. He did about 6-7 miles that day. And the only reason he didn't carry the hammock and tarp was good trees to hang in were few and far between.   I would make sure that the campground is approved by your council for Cub Scouts, if they even have a list. I know my council does not have one, and packs in my district use the OA's WHERE TO GO CAMPING BOOK as their guide on whether the campground is approved or not. Sadly I have met a few council level Scouters who have stated, "Cubs don't need to camp."  
    • I remember (during the Reagan years) taking a Webelos den with my Explorer post on an overnight camping trip.  We did hiking, rapelling, and climbing.  Great chance for the Explorers to do instruction and move from doing to teaching.  They had a blast (Explorers / Webelos / Parents).  As the Webelos and parents talked with the Explorers we talked about an upcoming outing (the next month) which involved a ferry to a barrier island, hiking up the beach a few miles and camping behind the dunes for a couple of nights.  They tagged along and very much enjoyed the experience. Go have adventure, THAT is what will make Scouting continue to be great.
    • Yes, parents are going. And I would rather cook out there than eat freeze dried stuff, or sandwiches. I sat down with them (boys) and I asked what does everyone enjoy the most, they all said camping. I suggested a "backpacking" trip and they flipped out. Parents are on board too. This all stems off my oldests AOL experience that has been less than stellar. That's a whole other topic (If you ask nicely, I might tell you) Anyways, he was jealous of what we are doing, and told me he wants to come be in our den. He crosses over in February, and he is very much looking forward to Scouts BSA    
    • This is a good article about the challenges faced by a council with 80% LDS membership.  To me, this was the most significant statement in that article:  "Braithwaite said he has even seen the new community troop in Idaho Falls created by a local businessman and a group of Scouts, including Braithwaite’s two sons, grow instead of shrink over that last year.  'We’re just trying to keep the kids going,' Braithwaite said. 'The more we do, the more kids keep coming.'”  (Emphasis added.)  We have to keep front and center the reality that neither BSA National nor our local councils are "Scouting."  Baden-Powell's Scouting program didn't arrive in the United States with the formation of a corporation.  It arrived with with copies of Scouting for Boys, a book chock-full of fun and adventure and challenge, and the resulting ad hoc formation of local Scout troops.  More than a century later, that truth has not changed:  All Scouting is local.  It happens in dens and packs and troops and crews and ships.  All Scout recruiting is local.  Youth join units because of their friends and families and unit activities.  Even in the midst of all of the problems of BSA National, youth continue to join -- and stay in -- active units with great outdoor programs and great leadership.  They continue to leave units that don't hold their interest.  The more we do [in our local units], the more kids keep coming.   I am reminded of a line from the movie Follow Me Boys where plans for a troop celebration are being explained to Lem, the old Scoutmaster.  When he is told that the Troop Committee is handling things, he responds, "The Troop Committee?  They'll just gum everything up."  I'm wondering if that applies on a vastly larger scale to the decisions made by BSA National, at least starting with the "improved" Scouting program that broke American Scouting at its height in the 1970s.  Maybe BSA's priorities should be to shrink its corporate bureaucracy as much as possible, issue only policies that are absolutely necessary (such as YPT), and get out of the way of Scouting at the local level so that units, Scouts, and Scouters can improvise, innovate, and adapt their membership policies, training, and program elements to local conditions.
    • I hear you and good point. I think I internalized a while back that this split was going to eventually happen - it was just a question of when.  So, now that it's happening, it's not so much a negative reflection on anyone, but more just a question of how to manage it.  In councils which will be significantly smaller in January it will be more challenging to adjust.  But, I'd coach that SE to avoid descriptions like the Titanic or that it's bleak. The Titanic was an accident and a tragedy.  This - is not the case here. So, I think it's natural for folks there to mourn what once was, but I'd encourage them to avoid that as much as possible.  I think you've got to look at it cheerfully and find they way forward.
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