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Permissions for STEM Mentor Outside of "Home" Unit

I am a Supernova mentor for our district. When I work with scouts outside my home unit where I am an Advancement Chair, I am not able to approve any requirements - but I can see and mark them complete. Is this the correct level of permissions for me or should there be a way to allow me to approve the requirements?

Thank you,


In the long run, I think we may eventually see a system for nova and super nova that is similar to merit badge counselor functionality. But first, the merit badge counselor functionality needs to be completed. Then, there may be functional differences that need to be addressed.

In the meantime, units can give you at least edit advancement permissions with the scouts you are counseling/mentoring. Technically, that’d give you permission to edit all advancement for that scout. So, if they aren’t comfortable with that, they may have to mark requirements complete in scoutbook with a note that you approved it.

I email the Scout’s parent a certificate of completion for Nova awards along with proof of my registration as a Nova counselor. If the parent provides me with email addresses for those in the pack who enter advancement, I copy them as well. My email lists which requirements were completed and the dates they were approved. This allows the pack to make sure the same adventure isn’t used to complete more than one Nova award.

I’m active in a Nova/Supernova Google Classroom, and I have not yet signed off on any of these awards for a Scout in my own council. When I sign a Supernova application, I include proof of my registration as a Supernova mentor.

It would be great to just do all this through Scoutbook.

While some councils are getting this done efficiently, other seem to be struggling. I had a Cub Scout complete the Alvarez Supernova Award on May 29. I mailed him the signed Supernova Award application on June 9. The mail from Delaware to Texas must be extraordinary, because his Cubmaster’s signature is dated June 10. I have no doubt his mother submitted it to either the appropriate STEM or advancement committee quickly. It appears Sam Houston Area Council is requiring two volunteers to approve the application. The first signature is dated September 27. The second is dated December 3. The Scout executive’s signature is also dated December 3.

Sometimes it is the professional staff that delays approval. In my own council, a district advancement chair submitted a Supernova Award application to the council registrar in ealry July, and the Scout executive didn’t sign off until mid September.

At every level, the Supernova awards represent significant accomplishments for the Scouts who earn them. The Alvarez Award is particularly difficult, because not many Wolves and Bears are ready for something like that. We have to do a better job at practicing the immediate recognition we are preaching.


There are items in the backlog to add Nova/SuperNova support similar to what is in Scoutbook for Merit Badge Counselors. I suspect it will not be scheduled until after the planned updates for Merit Badge Counselors are completed.


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