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Advancement Resources

Scouting ranks, merit bades, and the advancement programs

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  1. Eagle BOR questions

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  2. Minimal Effort Eagle

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  3. Trail to First Class

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    • What an awesome!!!! idea.  What a brain dead decision by the SE - doh!  From hearing these stories, I realize that I'm in a pretty decent council with empowered volunteers.  There's got to be some kind of national advisory board that hears these stories and establishes policy for SEs.  Here's hoping...
    • Our District Committee voted unanimously to do it as a district, to be awarded at Klondike Derby or Camporee  or District Dinner, with  ceremony at the unit as a last resort.  Council Exec vetoed on grounds leaders might see it as pressure.  Imagine that , a ribbon's-worth of pressure to deliver Scouting to youth. 😉 Shortly thereafter, all districts were abolished, creating some interesting Bylaws issues.
    • Why not do this anyways?   As a UC you're a district level Scouter.  Invent the award locally and start promoting it.  Honestly, in our district folks would care way more about a local award than JTE. 
    • Not black and white,  and, like all scoring system, subject to "gaming," but JTM doesn't even try.   If you have more than one patrol. all Scouts, except troop leadership, belong to a semi-permanent patrol that meets, camps, performs service, learns, and participates in troop program together. Patrol Leaders and,If you have more than one patrol, the SPL are elected by democratic vote of the Scouts. If you have more than one patrol, have at least X  PLCs, including an annual program planning event, at which the patrol leaders, chaired by the SPL, plan the troop's program for the year, inclusive of all troop meetings and other activities, and prepare a written annual program plan.   The SPL presents the troop annual program plan to the Troop Committee and, with the SM's support, asks the TC to support that program Have at least X patrol meeting lasting at least one hour every month. Have at least x patrol outings a year Have at least x patrol service projects per year. Scouts primarily learn Scout skills in the context of their patrol. All patrols by month x of the program year have names, patrol medallions, flags and yells, cheers, or songs. Every Scout by month x of the program year has a job within his patrol and can explain the responsibilities of that job in summary fashion. All troops certified by their UC (judged by the DC to be performing as UC to minimal standards ) to be complying with the X points of the Patrol Method certified by the District Program Committee, to be annually awarded a ribbon for the troop flag bearing the words " Scout Troop" and the program year (e.g. "2020").  The ribbon shall be publicly awarded at a district event. The SPL leads troop activities, working through the patrol leaders whenever practicable.   Of course, this would be more fair if BSA actually explained what The Patrol Method" is.
    • When JTE first came out I remember being told that they would tighten up the requirements every year to slowly improve all the troops. I'm not sure what happened to that idea. One of the problems with JTE is that it is entirely based on easily measured concepts. The number of meetings held, number of campouts, number of advancements, etc. This is straight out of SMART goals. It is entirely based on the methods of scouting with no room for the aims of scouting because character, the oath, and law can't be measured. I could see a problem with with measuring improved growth of scouts and silly arguments between the districts and scoutmasters as they try to decide who deserves gold.  However, character has never been a simple idea to measure. If it were, the bible would be a very simple algorithm to measure people's character so they could see whether they were good or bad. Instead, there are lots of stories about struggling with good and bad. If the PL doesn't know what his patrol is then, sure, that's a huge red flag. Can you imagine the list of rules for trying to measure how well a troop uses the patrol method? What a nightmare. I'd much rather see the SM and ASM's sit down with a knowledgeable facilitator to evaluate their aims. Rather than a ranking make it a win/win way to help develop units. It would be great to see that in Rogue Scouts as well. I think I'll go back to my woodworking shop. I'm trying something new. There was a huge wind that took down some trees at my mother-in-law's farm and a cherry tree got knocked down. I'm hoping to get a local sawyer to come and slice it up for me. I have a spot all ready to create a stack to dry the wood.
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