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Advancement Resources

Scouting ranks, merit bades, and the advancement programs

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  • LATEST POSTS

    • I loved (and still miss dearly) my Big Angus! Try sleeping on the floor one evening. If you only loose a couple of hours, you’ll be fine with a thermarest. Your scout is probably so light he won’t notice a thing.
    • This is absolutely the right way to recruit a volunteer.  Well written.  A few comments: On delegation - a good strategy is in someone's first year as a volunteer recruit them to do specifics tasks or own a small role in the troop.  Year two, give them larger role to take on - ASM of new scouts or ASM of troop guides - something like that.  Then 1st assistant ASM.  Then, a year or two later SM.  The same is true for Committee positions.  Don't recruit the new parent to be Pack Committee Chair or Troop Advancement Chair. Never try to recruit someone who isn't already a leader in the troop or pack to be SM or CM.  That is a recipe for disaster. I'd suggest that you want to make den leaders, Cubmasters, etc. ASMs as soon as their child bridges.  Why?  Since you should never give the reins of the troop to a new leader, leaders need time to learn your troop's culture.  The best way for them to learn the culture is to be a part of the leadership team.  They'll see how the team works, what the troop's goals are, how they interact.  Along the way they'll bring fresh ideas and perspective.  Of course you are not going to put a Cub Scout leader in the position of Scoutmaster or ASM of Troop Guides or New Scouts - they just don't have the experience yet.  But find them a role, get them engaged, and get them learning your troop's culture. EDIT: On more point... For the SM selection - of course the Key 3 should drive the selection of Scoutmaster.  However, for other new leaders it should be everyon'e responsibility to recruit new leaders.  
    • DISLAIMER: abuse is a horrible, reprehensible act and those people who abuse kids should be punished to the furthest extent of the law.  Proposal: As this in part was a country wide issue, in addition to shutting down the BSA and selling it to settle claims, I lobby for a special tax fund to pay each victim of child abuse $25,000,000 per incident.  Everyone in the country knew that child abuse was happening.  That the government did not shut down all youth serving organizations that reported an incidence of abuse was clearly a sign that we were not doing enough as a country.  Our country clearly was at fault here.  We all need to recognize our culpability for this.  Just because we have come along later in history doesn't mean that we are any less responsible as a country for the actions of those we predated us. The more I look at this, the more I come to the same conclusion. So it's OK not to sue schools systems or the government, but it is the BSA?  I'm not following the logic. The same arguments that apply to why you hold the BSA responsible apply to the government.  The same arguments that apply to why you don't hold the government responsible apply to the BSA.  You don't get to argue one without the other.
    • Succession planning is key. Getting the right adult in charge is vital. I have seen what happens when the wrong adult takes over. He nearly destroyed a troop. Having an Interim or Emergency SM is fine, but EVERYONE needs to be working on finding a successor. A few comments.  1) Unit key three (SM, CC, and COR) need to meet to come up with a list of potential names. 2) At least 2 of the three, but all three if possible, should meet with the prospective successor, and make the pitch. This needs to be done privately so if the person declines and you need to go to the next person on the list, no one feels slighted. TRUST ME ON THIS! (emphasis). One new SM found out he was not the old SM and CC's first pick, and it created a problems for all involved, including the one who rejected the position. 3) Delegation and having a good, supportive ASM team is vital. SM's can't do everything, they need to delegate to reliable people. And you got to know your folks strengths and weaknesses. We have one ASM who cannot camp on weekends due to his job. But Saturday trips, summer camp, etc he is "da bomb." 4) Me personally, I would avoid just from the Cub Scout ranks adults as SM. They need to "unlearn what you have learned" as Master Yoda would say. They need time to make the adjustment to Scouts BSA, and some mentoring in troop culture.
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