1. No parent, whether an adult leader or not, is allowed to sign advancement records for their son. The only exceptions to this policy are those requirements which can only be done and evidenced at home (e.g. requirements 3b and 4 of Safety merit badge, the requirements for Home Repairs merit badge, and Family Life merit badge). Parents are encouraged to assist their sons in the learning process that is part of advancement. The purposes of this policy are: 1) to give scouts an opportunity to practice formal, business-like relationships with counselors and others outside the home; and 2) to encourage equality in merit badge requirements. Occasionally, a parent will be asked by the counselor to witness the completion of a requirement and send a note.
3. Merit badge counselors should be experts in the field of the merit badge. Teachers make excellent counselors for merit badges within the subject they teach. Scouts are encouraged to use their teachers as counselors since often times the district counselors are difficult to contact. To do this, get a Merit Badge Counselor Registration form from the Troop Advancement Chairman, Mr. Owens. Ask your teacher if he/she will serve as a counselor and get him/her to fill out the form. There is no fee required to register a counselor. Return the completed form to Mr. Owens.
4. With a few exceptions, a single event, task or project may not be used to fulfill two separate requirements. Each requirement must be completed separately. Check with Mr. Owens if in doubt. Scouting's founder's full name was Sir Robert Stephenson Smythe Baden-Powell.
5. Scouts are responsible for setting their own advancement pace. Scoutmasters may occasionally prompt a scout to work on some advancement or to arrange a Board of Review. However, scouts should not depend on prompting. The Troop sometimes studies a portion of a merit badge or rank as part of a Troop program. These programs rarely complete the advancement. The scout should pursue completion by contacting the Troop Advancement Chairman, Mr. Owens.
6. A scout can sign off on another scout's skills requirement for a rank if his own rank is at least 1st Class, at least 2 ranks above the rank he is signing off on, and he holds an appropriate office (like PL for the scout he is signing off for, SPL, ASPL, Instructor, or Troop Guide).
When a Scout is seeking a particular merit badge he should:
2. Obtain and study the merit badge pamphlet. These may be borrowed from our troop library, purchased at our Council Office Scout Shop in Raleigh, or may be ordered from the Scout Supply Center catalog.
3. See the Troop Advancement Chairman (Mr. Owens) who keeps a current list of Approved Merit Badge Counselors. He will provide the scout with a blue merit badge card that should first be signed by the Scoutmaster, filled out with the scout’s name and address information, and taken to the merit badge counselor.
4. Contact the counselor to schedule appointments before and during work on the requirements. The counselor will review the work and give guidance and help.
5. When the counselor believes that the scout has completed all the requirements for the merit badge, he will sign the merit badge card. Remember, the listed requirements are the exact requirements set by the BSA National Office. No requirements may be added, changed, or deleted. The counselor should be an expert in the subject matter of the merit badge. The Scoutmaster, the Troop Advancement Chairman, and the Scout's Board of Review hold the ultimate responsibility for ensuring that all requirements have been completed.
6. Deliver the signed card to Mr. Owens. He will send a record to the Occoneechee Council Office in Raleigh. It will be filed in the Scout's permanent record at the BSA National Office in Texas.7. Attend the next Court of Honor, where the Merit Badge will be awarded.
One of the requirements for a rank award (advancement) is a Personal Growth Agreement Conference with the Scoutmaster or one of his assistants. During this conference the scout's progress is reviewed and a contract or agreement is made for the scout's continuing advancement. These are sometimes written and placed in the scout's file for future reference. The scout should bring his Scout Handbook to the Conference.
The Conference is usually scheduled after all other award requirements have been completed but before the Board of Review. Scouts are encouraged to schedule their Conference by contacting Mr. Owens at least one week in advance. If the scout waits until the Wednesday prior to a Court of Honor, he may be too late.
When a scout completes all the requirements for a rank award, including the Scoutmaster Conference, he should contact Mr. Owens to request a Board of Review. Troop Boards of Review are generally held at Wednesday meetings. Scouts should schedule their Board of review with Mr. Owens at least 2 weeks prior to a Court of honor if they expect to receive that award at the COH. For Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class awards, the Board of Review may be conducted by adult leaders or by the Senior Patrol Leader with members of the Patrol Leaders Conference (PLC). For Star and Life awards, the Board of Review is conducted by the Troop Board of Review which consists of adult scouters. For the Eagle award, the candidate will be evaluated at the Troop level by a Troop Eagle Board organized by Thomas George, our Eagle advancement chair. The final Board of Review will be conducted by representatives from the Three-Rivers District, Occoneechee Council. The Scoutmaster will be present at this board but does not participate. Complete class A uniform must be worn for all Boards of Review.
Each Scout should keep a record of his progress in his own Scout Handbook. The Handbook lists each step required for advancement and must be precisely followed to assure acceptance by the Scouting National Office. It has spaces for Scout Leaders to initial and date as requirements are completed. The Scout should keep careful notes of the dates he completes the requirements for each merit badge, the dates the badges were awarded, and the dates of advancement. Many scouts have found their personal records to be invaluable for verification when uncertainty arises in regard to their progress through scouting's ranks. This back-up system serves as excellent preparation for the adult world of work where individuals must be responsible for their own successes and accomplishments.
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