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shemgren

District Advancement Committee

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I have just been appointed to the position of District Advancement Chair for our new district. I have read and re-read Advancement Committee Policies and Procedures and have sat down with the District Executive to plan things out, including forming our district Eagle Board of Review.

 

Any advice from the distinished forum members?

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As none of the Distinguished members have answered I thought I would take a shot

 

1. Get as many Committee members as you can from as many troops as you can, as you bring committee members up to speed, they take it back to the troops they serve

 

2. Have Eagle projects reviewed by as many people as you can, to get different insights, but keep it to the same people so there is consistently

 

3. At Roundtable, always have a short statement, an Advancement thought for the month, like.

 

"If a scout is active in your troop, can he earn First Class in a year?"

 

or

 

"If you are asking to demonstrate skills in either the Scoutmaster Conference or in the Board of Review, do you know you are wrong?"

 

I am sure you can think of many others, just one liners to review Advancement Policies and also establish yourself as the "guy"

 

get the merit Badge counselor list and update it, this is something to farm out if you can, but will cause misery if not done well

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I feel strongly that the DAC Chair should be the only one to give final approval of Eagle projects and then should absolutely be involved in the Eagle Board of Review. The only signatures on the completed Eagle Project are those of the Institutional Representative and the Scoutmaster. Without the DAC Chair present to evaluate the write up of the project, when the Eagle candidate presents himself to the Board no one will know if what was proposed is what was done! Although the SM is allowed to be present at the Board of Review, he is not allowed to participate.

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I've seen a lot of good district advancement chairmen over the years. Most are very good about tracking on and approving Eagle Scout stuff, many are very good about tracking the mathematics of advancement -- percentage of kids advancing, etc.

 

However, the one piece that I think is missed by many advancement chairmen, is monitoring and encouraging the use of advancement as a method of Scouting.

 

I think it would be great if the district advancement chairman attended our monthly commissioner meeting. Just to point out that troop 123 hasn't had any advancement for the past two months. Commissioners, from my experience, rarely get that information. It's something they can use in discussions with the Scoutmaster to help the troop's program and retention.

 

It's funny how this Scouting stuff can coordinate itself as long as we all share information. I wouldn't expect a district advancement chairman to go to troop meetings for the sheer purpose of looking at the troop's program -- that's a commissioner function. However, keeping commissioners informed is important and statistics kept to themselves don't do anyone any good.

 

Just a few thoughts.

 

Unc.

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I don't know how large the district is?

While Eagle Scout BOR are important, I have found that the best advancement chairs,do keep track of the reports that show how the troops and packs are doing (Yes Cub Scouts do advance.)Our guy gives that report at the District Meeting. One very important thing is to have a good working relationship with the Dean of Merit Badges. The Scouts need and deserve an up to date merit badge list.

In some councils it is up to the District Advancement Chair to select people to sit on the Committee that selects the people who will be awarded the Silver Beaver and other awards. Selecting the right person can at times be hard.

There are at times a lot of advancement topics discussed in these forums. I would suggest if you are unsure about something that you go to your Council Advancement Chair. And the professional that has advancement and ignore what we have to say. While the stuff in the book seems very straight forward, at times we can read it different ways!! And see things that maybe are not there.

The same goes for much of the stuff on the net. There are many good and useful sites, however a lot of times people add what they think and not what is in the material from the BSA. When push comes to shove the material from the National Office wins every time.

Eamonn

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I want to echo what Eamonn is saying. If your focus is on the needs of the Eagle rank thenyou are missing the advancement needs of over 95% of the youth.

 

I think you have taken a good first step by reading the Advacement resources, but I encourage you to seek ways to use the influence of the Advancement committee to support and enhance all levels of advancement throughout the various program levels.

 

Happy Scouting,

BW

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