By Maria Milligan
May 27, 2015

Updated guide brings changes to Scout advancement

2015-Guide-to-AdvancementGrowing up with six brothers meant spending a lot of time at Cub Scout pack meetings and courts of honor. I watched my brothers get belt loops, rank advancements, arrow points, and merit badges. As of a few years ago, I watched all six achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. Advancement was a big part of my vicarious Scouting experience.

The BSA’s summary of the Aims and Methods of Scouting describes the benefits of advancement:

Boy Scouting provides a series of surmountable obstacles and steps in overcoming them through the advancement method. The Boy Scout plans his advancement and progresses at his own pace as he meets each challenge. The Boy Scout is rewarded for each achievement, which helps him gain self-confidence. The steps in the advancement system help a Boy Scout grow in self-reliance and in the ability to help others.

This cycle of Scouts facing and overcoming obstacles leads to rewarding experiences that these boys remember for a lifetime. In order to make sure the advancement system is as effective as possible, every two years a team of professionals and volunteers updates the Guide to Advancement. This year there are some pretty significant changes.

For one thing, the new Cub Scout program requirements and advancements are included. These changes coincide with the launch of the new Cub Scout program on June 1st. The guide also lays out the new Venturing awards.

The new Guide to Advancement also clarifies the use of merit badge worksheets, effective merit badge instruction, Scoutmaster conferences, and more.

Check out this post at Bryan on Scouting for a list of the 13 big changes.

You can view or download the full 2015 Guide to Advancement by clicking here.

How have you seen advancement help your Scouts?

Maria Milligan


Author: Maria Milligan | Grant Writer, Utah National Parks Council, BSA

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