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Introducing the Guide to Advancement

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The long-awaitedand much anticipatednew Guide to Advancement is finally finished. Your electronic copy can be accessed via this link: https://rcpt.yousendit.com/1248434208/aa3b5cf4b81427d26dabf4562825f940


It is currently on the press and will be delivered for sale at Scout shops in the fall. The guide has been reorganized for easy reference and features a list of the questions most often asked of the national Advancement Team. It is a complete rewrite of the Advancement Committee Policies and Procedures, which it replaces.


Councils may choose to make a transition over the next

few months from the former advancement publication

to the new Guide to Advancement. After January 1,

however, the new guide must be consulted for all

advancement procedures. Until January 1, Eagle Scout

candidates may choose to use either the new Eagle

Scout Service Project Workbook or the one we have

been using. The new workbook in fillable PDF will

be added shortly to www.Scouting.org.


Because the new guide has been completely rewritten, it is difficult to cite specific differences. However, a number of sections merit close review. These can be found in the guide under section, Significant Changes. Note that the contents pages and index based on the new section numbering system should make it more efficient to find various references on advancement procedures.(This message has been edited by bnelon44)

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The third part of explanation for active. It appears they are giving more leeway to the unit to determine "their criteria". But they also seem very specific regarding the scout using bits and pieces to meet the overall requirement.


3. The Scout meets the units reasonable expectations;

or, if not, a lesser level of activity is explained.

If, for the time period required, a Scout or qualifying

Venturer or Sea Scout meets those aspects of his

units pre-established expectations that refer to

a level of activity, then he is considered active

and the requirement is met. Time counted as

active need not be consecutive. A boy may

piece together any times he has been active

and still qualify.


Alternative to the third test if expectations are not met:

If a young man has fallen below his units activityoriented

expectations, then it must be due to other

positive endeavors in or out of Scoutingor to

noteworthy circumstances that have prevented a

higher level of participation (see below). In this case

a Scout is considered active if a board of review

can agree that Scouting values have already taken

hold and been exhibited. This might be evidenced,

for example, in how he lives his life and relates to

others in his community, at school, in his religious

life, or in Scouting. It is also acceptable to consider

and count positive activities outside Scouting

when they, too, contribute to his growth in character,

citizenship, or personal fi tness. Remember; it is not

so much about what a Scout has done. It is about

what he is able to do and how he has grown.

There may be, of course, registered youth who appear

to have zero level of activity. Maybe they are out of the

country on an exchange program, or away at school.

Or maybe we just havent seen them and wonder if

theyve quit. To pass the fi rst test above, a Scout must be

registered. But he must also have made it clear through

outright participation or by communicating in some way

that he still considers himself a member, even thoughfor

nowhe may not meet full expectations. A conscientious

leader might make a call and discover the boys intentions.



It appears that they have actually listened and tried to meet expectations of adults and scouts, including allowing some flexibility and broader definition of "active".(This message has been edited by skeptic)

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Very interesting.


I'm still trying to digest the "active participation" stuff, but I generally like what I'm reading. The sections on Positions of Responsibility, Scoutmaster's conferences and service projects are good and very much in line with a common-sense approach to the requirements. I feel like they capture the spirit of the things I have been taught and understood over the years.


I sure wish the language regarding PORs was around about six years ago when we went through our blood-bath of an Eagle appeal. "Holding a position and doing nothing, producing no result, is unacceptable" would have saved me, our troop committee and the council (not to mention the Scout involved) hundred of hours of grief, heartache and aggrevation.

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For those who may read Scouts-L; been a very good discussion about this, as well as now, the "new" Eagle workbook. Have to go take a direct look at that; but there appears to be a few "major" course corrections and so on relating to contracts, money raising, and filing a "tour plan".

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Yah, hmmm...


Boy, this beastie is long! :p


Flipped to da bit TwoCubDad mentioned and I have to agree with him. Da new section on PORs is much more sensible. Looks like our good volunteers took the ball back from da folks in the office who were directin' things the other way. Scout salute to 'em. As skeptic reports, for some reason they didn't just keep the same sort of common-sense thing for the infamous "definition of active", though. That would have made it straightforward and understandable for everybody. Looks like they tried to, but someone inserted a loophole da size of Montana to try to preserve "active=registered." Be interestin' to see what happens when da first round of appeals hit over not being given credit for band when that's allowed and seemingly encouraged.


Nice that they included lots more information on special needs exceptions. Despite da added length, lots of districts and councils fumbled around lookin' for how to handle these things when they'd come up. Probably could have avoided pages of descriptions of cub scout and venturing awards that are described in other literature. Da long additions to sections on BORs, appeals, and da Eagle process I'm sure are goin' to keep council and district advancement committees workin' for da next year or so until they get comfortable with da new stuff.


Since it seems like yeh were on da committee, bnelon44, do yeh have anything in particular to highlight? Some of our cub scouters might want to take a look at da new section on cub advancement, which didn't really exist before.




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>Since it seems like yeh were on da committee, bnelon44, do yeh

>have anything in particular to highlight? Some of our cub >scouters might want to take a look at da new section on cub >advancement, which didn't really exist before.


I wasn't on the committee. I did preview parts of it dealing with unit boards of review and gave some feedback. I didn't (and haven't) read the Cub Scout section.



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Looking at the CS side, it looks like they are trying to slowly move away from the parents siging off. This caught my attention: Who Approves Cub Scout Advancement?

A key responsibility for den leaders is to implement the core den meeting plans as outlined in the Den & Pack Meeting Resource Guide, No. 34409. For Wolf, Bear,

and Webelos advancement, den leaders take the lead in approving requirements, though their assistants, and also parents who help at meetings, may be asked to play the

role of Akela and assist. Parents sign for requirements that, according to meeting plans and instructions in the handbooks, take place at home. (emphasis mine) For the Bobcat trail and Tiger Cub achievements, parents (or adult partners) should sign in the boys handbook; the den leader then approves as progress is recorded in the dens

advancement record. p14.



Also looks as if the Sports and Academics program now fall s under Advancement.

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Yah, chaoman45, what BoR expectations are yeh referring to?


I did catch where they have moved away from only unit committee members serving on BORs at all levels. Now parents and other adults are clearly permitted if/when TCs aren't available. That's a common sense change since it's what everyone was doin' anyways. They haven't (yet) gone back to havin' youth members participate on BORs, though.


It's also interestin' for BORs that they seem to have toned down the "don't retest" language a bit. Again, that's a common sense change since everyone was doin' some of it anyways, even if only about da Oath and Law.


Overall, I like the tone on these things and through most of the book. It seems to support a balanced, common-sense approach to most things. Only traps so far seem to be the new overemphasis on no adding/subtracting (just because it will inevitably get misinterpreted by da "precision" novices) and da loophole on "active.". But I'm only part way through. Mrs. Beavah had me doin' too much work over the weekend. ;)


Thanks again for da post, bnelon44.





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Yah, hmmm....


Just came across this one under Unit Advancement Responsibilities:


7. Establish practices that will bring each new Boy Scout to First Class rank within a year of joining, and then to Star rank the following year.




Now yeh all know I've been skeptical of da First-Class-in-a-year thing since we first introduced it in 1990. But now it's not just that units should have a program that could bring an active lad to First Class in a year. It's that units have a responsibility to bring each new boy to First Class in a Year, and then to Star in year 2???


Where'd this come from? That's a pretty huge program change to be slipped in on da sly like that.




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I didn't notice that until this weekend. It is different. Now for our troop, Star is pretty easy for our Scouts to get once they ge to 1st Class since they usually already have the necessary merit badges. But yes, it is a program change.

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Next year it will be established that the Eagle Rank should be made by the age of 13.. Maybe the project of little boy picking up trash with mommy & daddy, I proposed in the other thread would be a decent project given the young age of the Eagles..


First Class in a year.. Hmmmphhhhh... All I know is when my son entered BS is was stated as expected, and quite capable.. And since admittedly it took about a 1 1/2 years for me to get out of a slight helecopter mode (I don't think I was obnoxious, but I did hover a little).. All I know is when son looked like he couldn't make it, it made mommy worry.. Of course it didn't help he started out in a troop that decided early who the 10 scouts out of the 40 they recruited they had decided to keep.. And then spent the year letting the other boys know they "lacked" the ability to be a good scouts, until they discouraged them enough to quit.. So while 10 got ample opportunity, the 30 did not, then got harrassed for being behind, the 10 "worthy" scouts..


Anyway, I have bad memories of First class in a year..


Star by 2nd year?? Any reasoning behind this? Like I know the First class in a year had something like some sort of study that boys dropped out by feeling left behind if took too long to make first class.. Of course if all the other boys weren't pushed for 1st class in a year, and just left to make rank in thier own good time, why would any boy feel left behind?

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