First of all, thanks for an awesome COH. Really well done by Mark and the Scout Leadership team.
Congratulations to those who earned rank advancements and merit badges. Well done by all of you.
And: Congratulations to those Scouts who were re-elected and elected into their positions:
PL: Zander (new position)
As a reminder, since I get a few questions and such tnight about how we do things such as rank advancement and merit badges.
Scouts need to show thier skills and demonstrate their knowledge to two senior Scouts (PL then ASPL/SPL) on separate occasions (can be same night, just separately) prior to coming to an adult leader for sign off in thier book. the Scout Leaders should sign on the left side margin next to the rank requirement.
The first Four Ranks (Scout-1st Class) can be worked on simultaneously, but must be completed/finalized/awarded in order). Scouts can get onesies and twosies signed off by Scout Leaders and Adult Leaders as they go along. There is no need to wait until all the initials are gathered for an entire rank before getting an Adult to sign off on a requirement. One or two rank requirements signed off a week is not out of the realm of possibilities, and should be sought after as a progressive way to advance.
Why do we do it this way: The Scout seeking advancement will have two opportunities to reinforce their knowledge/skills with their peers prior to presenting to an adult leader (which may be intimidating for some Scouts). The Scout Leader will have the opportunity to teach the younger Scout the skills using the Scouting EDGE method (Explain, Demonstrate, Guide, Enable). Once the Scout has two sets of initials next (left side) to the rank requirement, they can present to an Adult Leader for final sign off (right side).
Merit Badges: There are several steps to obtaining a merit badge, which must be completed in order.
1 Pick a subject (MB to complete)
2 Get permission from the Scoutmaster (signed blue card)-this officially starts your MB journey-Scoutbook will be updated with the date on the Blue Card)
3 Seek out an official BSA certified counselor and coordinate with them (counselor must be YPT and registered with BSA to be a counselor)
4 Either learn from the Counselor, or demonstrate your previous knowledge to the satisfaction of the counselor and get them to complete your Blue Card.
5 Turn in your Blue Card to the Scoutmaster and get awarded at the next COH.
Scoutbook: Parents can sign off on items in scoutbook attesting to items given as “homework” if the Counselor for that particular Merit Badge has authorized this action. If not, parents should not sign anything in Scoutbook because we as a troop track these items for Courts of Honor and such. As a MB Counselor, I often authorize this action since I can’t be there for every Scout to watch them do the stuff I am counseling for, since I pretty much only do “mass merit badges” for the entire troop and i often assign most of the badgework as homework so the Scout is required to do research and bring back the information they have discovered. More on that as we go along.
If anyone has any questions or concerns, please let me know. Apologies for the long post.