Re: Advancement recognition
Calvin H. Gray (405geezer@IGG-TX.NET)
Wed, 13 Aug 1997 16:41:24 -0400
Here is what our troop does:
1. We work with the new boys on advancment during troop meetings. We
have a "New Scout Advancment Chairman" who coordinates this. We use the
experienced Scouts to teach skills but we also have adults who cover a
few items such as the "meet with civic leader" and "drug program." Our
goal is to get the new boys to First Class within the first year. Our
experience is that they usually drop out if they don't do this.
We also have an "advancement campout" each year, usually in May, where
the skills are taught by the older boys. We don't let older boys attend
this campout unless they will commit to helping with the activities.
During our 1997 advancement campout, we covered 15 items having to do
with T'foot, 2nd Class & 1st Class. There were also some strictly fun
activities such as fishing and a game of capture the flag.
As a result, the boys work on merit badges at summer camp rather than
participate in summer camp "new Scout advancment programs" which vary so
much from camp to camp (we travel around to different camps) that we
gave up on these several years ago.
2. We do the SM Conferences and Boards of Review during troop meetings.
When a boy is ready, I send a letter to his parents telling them the
time for the SM Conference (usually prior to the troop meeting). When
we have several boys eligible on the same night, the letter reminds the
parents that we will need them to sit on BORs for Scouts other than
their sons. Over the years, we've tried several arrangements but this
is the one that works best for us. We've had around 90 advancments
during each of the last two years and this process is the most effecient
one we've found for our troop which has averaged 70-80 Scouts for the
past two or three years.
3. We try to give each boy his badge within a couple of weeks of his
earning it. We only obtain the badges once each month so we aren't
always successful at this. For Eagles, I ALWAYS present the badge at
the troop meeting after the Board of Review as I keep a spare supply of
Eagle badges on hand. I also give new Eagle Scouts their cards as soon
as I receive them. Everything else is saved for the Eagle COH which is
usually several months after the BOR.
4. At our quarterly Courts of Honor (March, May/June, August, December),
we present the advancment cards (and any recently earned badges).
Family members are invited to these. The SPL and Senior ASPL (we have 3
ASPLs) present these. We have a written COH program which lists the
advancments and other awards. An ASPL or other Senior Scout reads the
requirements for the particular badge before they are presented. We
also recognize advancement in a "Trail to Eagle" column in our troop
Calvin H. Gray
Scoutmaster, Troop 405
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City