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Advancement Resources

Scouting ranks, merit bades, and the advancement programs

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  • LATEST POSTS

    • I've staffed Wood Badge courses and see all kinds of people attend.  I think it's pretty fair to say that it certainly helps to see value in being an optimistic, goal oriented leader.   Yes, it would be useful to be optimistic enough to think you can achieve that goal. But, yeah - if you look at the 20 questions and alarm bells go off, then a different kind of course probably makes more sense.  As @mrkstvns suggests, perhaps the subject matter courses would be a more comfortable fit.
    • Controversies, scandal, significant membership loss, irrelevance . . . Scouting, that is, the Boy Scouts of America, has been taking a lot of hits, with no relief in sight.  With the loss of the LDS Church and talk of bankruptcy, BSA certainly looks like it is on the ropes.  BSA's character-based pitches ring hollow given the sex abuse scandal and reversal of its moral stand.  Its uniforms seem . . . quaint (sashes? really?) as do some of its other program elements (merit badges, Tenderfoot rank, knot tying).  And its marketing is uninspired (Scout Me In, Prepared for Life).  How can we retake the initiative?  Reshape the image of Scouts and Scouting as dynamic, contemporary, and/or absolutely necessary for America's future?  And since changes to the program itself (1) are unnecessary, and (2) make us look desperate, how do we change our image without any more changes to the program?  What can we say or do that is short, simple, clear, and powerful, and works at every level from a Scout leader talking to a parent at a school night to a national marketing campaign.  How do we tell people that whether they know it or not, they need Scouting.  Again:  Dynamic, contemporary, and/or absolutely necessary for America's future. Just some initial thoughts: Scouts save lives. Scouts are saving the planet. The more Scouts we have, the more America we can fix. Scouts step up when others step back. Scouts are America's guardian angels. Scouts will do what needs to be done. Keep a Scout close by for emergencies. If you need to light a fire, you know who to call. Everyone wants them, but America needs them. Scouts can do what most people can't. Scouts keep going when other people give up. The Scouts of today are the heroes of tomorrow. When the lights go out, you'll wish you had a Scout. A Scout will get you there. You'll sleep better at night knowing that Scouts are out there. When you have a Scout, the fire never goes out. Sometimes it just takes a Scout. Scouts do more - because they can. [Girls] [boys] who are Scouts today are the ____________s we need tomorrow. Don't worry - [his] [her] roommate is a Scout.
    • There's nowhere on an Eagle Scout application for the MBC names, how do they check?  And if the council's official records which are in scoutnet show the merit badge what argument would they have to change it?
    • We had several learning disabled or artistic scouts earn Eagles. I have lots of great stories, but I would say their success in our troop was the support of the patrol mates. Barry
    • Even in just the basic advancement program, Scouting offers a very broad range of subject matter, from wildlife study to swimming and cycling, compass use to hand axes, cooking to first aid, and much more, before you even get to the scores of subject areas covered by merit badges and STEM awards. You learn things that will be useful for the rest of your life, and you can become an expert in subjects that will amaze your friends and family. In Scouts BSA and Venturing, youth learn and advance at their own pace. You work on some things individually, some things as a team, and some things as a leader. Achievements are immediately recognized. There is nothing better than sitting in front of a campfire under a sky full of stars.
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