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What’s the intent behind advancement requirements?

What’s the intent behind advancement requirements?, July 23, 2019, Michael Freeman, Scouting magazine. Bryan on Scouting article

Are you asking or just sharing the article?

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Sharing article. But feel free to comment.

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Bill is the King of finding and sharing useful info!

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Well here has been my experience with that question:

  • To give adults who couldn’t run a HOA an opportunity to be all powerful and overly interpret the meaning of the requirements to include mental abuse.
  • To generate a disdain from youth doing any of the work as the adults hammer topics that in the end - does not encompass the entire learning experience.
  • To add to the requirements something that in the adults eyes is missing and is more important than the overall requirements themselves.
  • And the last rank on the rails - is a method to punish a kid who with an 8th grade education writes like an 8th grader, and the people behind the desk thinking that the Eagle Service Project Proposal needs to be a Doctorate Thesis. Unfortunately, adding to the requirements of what the Scout is supposed to do.

So regardless of what the requirement intent was - is lost by larger Egos from Adults who think that sanctioned bullying by covering it up through the advancement process is OK. I don’t put up with it - and it ticks off every single person who gets called out.

Guide to Advancement 2019

Advancement Defined: Advancement is the process by which youth members of the Boy Scouts of America progress from rank to rank.

“Advancement is one of the eight methods used by Scout leaders to help youth fulfill the aims of the BSA.” The Methods of Scouting From Cub Scouting through Venturing and Sea Scouts, we put the methods to work. Together they lead to mission fulfillment. For example, the methods of the Scouts BSA program are Scouting ideals, the patrol method, advancement, adult association, outdoor program, the uniform, personal growth, and leadership development. Scouting ideals, put forth in the timeless instruments of the Scout Oath and Scout Law, represent the most basic method. Moving on, we know young people

BSA Mission Statement

The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law.

The Aims of Scouting

Every Scouting activity moves young people toward the basic aims of: character development, citizenship training, leadership, and mental and physical fitness.

I think you were associated with the wrong unit. I try to put the focus on principles over rules. Not that we change the rules. That would not be Obedient. But we look at the intent behind the rule and try to remain true to the intent.

But then I have little use for most of the discussions over the meaning of a requirement. Most of my experience when those discussions come up is that they quickly descent into rampant attempts at armchair lawyering that could quickly go away if you put the focus on the ideals of scouting.

Kirk - I am in agreement. However, when we get to Eagle Boards, everyone’s standards is how much crap they got in their Eagle Board when they went through in the '80s. If I see a Scout ectively utilizing the requirements - there’s no testing to be done - he or she has aced it. When I was Scoutmaster I had to hose down those who wanted to continue toe requirement past the learning and practicing stage to some bastardized version of it such as having to demonstrate a camping requirement in a meeting.

Too many egos attempt to make the Scouts not want to be in the Troop - and hence the new guide to advancement that was only a few sheets deep now is getting written like a 900+ page edition of a step-by-step. The intent of the advancement program is that they learn while they earn, not be cross-examined by a big head who has what they say is a good intentions.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions, and as a leader, my job is to quell the good intentions to a more realistic life long gain.


And… I think most of those men should go and reacquaint themselves with the first point of the Scout Law. Not only did I not have a grilling at Eagle BOR, my neither of my brothers didn’t get grilled. None of my friends felt it was some bad experience. My father sat on a number of Eagle BORs. I have known a lot of Eagles and very few had some hard case Eagle BOR.

Unfortunately, there are some blowhards who need to be called out. Scouters need to understand you can’t teach ethics while telling scouts a lie. When I hear a rule I haven’t read I ask for a reference.


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