Nothing Ventured… Nothing Gained

Nothing Ventured… Nothing Gained.. 

That is pretty much how the advancement program in Boy Scouts works.  If you don’t do the don’t get the rank.  It’s that simple.  Unlike advancing in Cub Scouts where the Group works together to achieve, Boy Scouts is different in that it challenges the Scout to do the work, not necessarily on his own, but with out the out stretched hand of the Den leader planning advancement activities and working toward a rank by the end of the year.
In a Scout Troop opportunities are given for Scouts to succeed by participating and taking advantage of those opportunities.  The requirements ask the Scout to participate, learn, take an active role in leadership, skills development, and living the Scout Oath and Law.  It is up to the Scout to decide what that level of activity looks like and it is up to the Scout to decide when and where he wants to do the work.
The other night, we did something in our Troop that we rarely do.  We dedicated an entire meeting to advancement.  To provide an opportunity for Scouts to get over the hump to the next rank if they were struggling a bit.  To provide a forum for the Scouts to work on a skill together and have an Assistant Scoutmaster on hand to sign off.  Once again, the determination of many Scouts proved to make the night a success.. in fact every Scout, and it was the majority, that participated moved many steps closer to the next rank.  And with the exception of a couple Boards of Review, are ready to advance.
We thought this was important entering Summer camp.  Summer Camp always offers great opportunities to work toward advancement, but we never push the Scouts to crank out Merit badges, we want them to have a great week of fun and adventure.  So by front loading many of the “Trail to First Class” skills and requirements, we assisted in moving our Scouts just that much closer to a rank that they can achieve over the summer.
I was satisfied in the way it turned out, and it reinforced how the advancement process works in Boy Scouts.  We will support a Scout and do our best to help, but we will not do the work for them.  I think they understand.
Have a Great Scouting Day!

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