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Herms

Work done prior to starting an award?

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Been at Scouts a long time, and I have seen this question come up time and again at all levels from Cub Scouts, through Boy Scouts and now in Ventures.

 

I have heard kids ( but mostly parents) when looking at requirements for a particular award say "Oh, he did that last summer" or "He did that with his church group" or "I did that in school last year".

 

What is the feeling out there about allowing a scout to use stuff he has done in the past for the advancement he is working on now???(This message has been edited by Herms)

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Speaking for Cub Scouts. As long as the comparable outside work was done to the best of his ability while he was a Bear, he can apply it to his Bear achievements. I won't let a Webelos who built a catapult in a second grade science project count it towards his Engineer Activity Badge. It needs to be timely and age appropriate--comparable to his current capabilities.

 

I also query the boy a bit and have him describe what he did before I credit him with completing the requirement. If he still has the work, I ask him to bring it to a den meeting and do a little show & tell about it. It makes him think about the project and the requirement a little more.(This message has been edited by MarkS)

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For Cubs, I was trained that the parent is "Akela" and if they sign it off, it's good to go. No second guessing, unless there is an obvious misunderstanding.

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Cubs is pretty straight forward, if the Akela signs the boy off, I'm not going to question it.

 

But as an ASM signing off advancement, a Merit Badge councilor, or Crew Advisor where do we draw the line?

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Excellent question.

 

In a troop, for boys who are pursuing merit badges, it is up to the counselor. I often see a six-month or so window of grace as acceptable to most counselors before a boy gets his blue card signed by the SM. So for example, for the Scholarship MB, he can generally use his grades and class participation for the spring semester if he gets his blue card signed during the summer. From my experience, the greatest numer of questions are regarding the nights spent camping for the camping MB.

 

Most of the rank advancements requirements are written clearly enough to eliminate confusion. There are some requirements where the SM or ASM must set some time limit (eg. 1st Class: visit with an elected official). This should be a general policy known in advance by all scouts and not merely an ad hoc decision made just for Johnny.

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With all due respect, even parents should follow the program rules; otherwise its not fair to those boys who do.

 

In a post to another thread about Cub Scouts, John Daigler pointed out:

 

In the Cub Scout Leader Book (2005 Printing), in section 18, page 18-3 is a section entitled "How fast should a boy advance?". It continues over onto 18-4 where it states, "He may not begin working on the requirments for the next rank until he reaches the next grade or age requirement."

 

Webelos Scouts can earn activity badges at anytime during their time in a Webelos den, but they cannot earn the Arrow of Light until they are in 5th grade (or age 10). A boy joining a Webelos den as a 5th grader can earn both the Webelos Badge and the Arrow of Light. The Webelos Badge must be earned before a boy can earn the Arrow of Light award.

 

"If a boy is close to earning a badge of rank when school ends, he may be allowed a few extra weeks to finish before going on to the next rank."

 

The Scout leaders have an obligation to teach the parents the program.

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In Cub Scouts it really needs to be in the hands of the parents.

Webelos Scouts follow a different path and having the Webelos Scout Den Leader sign off is a step toward them becoming Boy Scouts.

Merit Badges it is up to the Counselor.

A well rounded balanced Troop program should cover just about everything else.

Eamonn.

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Several of the posts are right on - In CS, you can't work on requirements for more than one rank at a time. IOW, you wouldn't count something you did when you were a Wolf toward one of your Bear requirements. Likewise, you wouldn't count something you did before joining Scouts toward a requirement.

Belt Loops and Pins are not rank-specific and do not have an actual timeline to follow.

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"But as an ASM signing off advancement, a Merit Badge councilor, or Crew Advisor where do we draw the line?"

 

 

In all cases, the youth should be a member of the program & at the level required for the activity. If the requirements state you must be a Star Scout to do an activity than doing the activity while a Tenderfoot does not count.

 

When it comes to signing off on advancement, in most cases the boy has to demonstrate an ability. The ASM, or whoever is signing, should be satisfied that the requirement has been completed.

 

In Venturing, as in Boy Scouts, the Adviser who is signing off on a requirement has to be satisfied it has been accomplished. For many of the Venturing award requirements it states that the award candidate should consult with the Adviser when setting their goals for the requirement. This means that nursing home visits with your school class last year, before they had set any personal growth goals for the Gold Award, do not count.

 

Utilizing things they do in the community & school is fine, but they should be prepared to demonstrate and/or prove their accomplishment. Use common sense.

 

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