Norman Rockwell's Boy Scout painting

Setting Advancement Goals with Boy Scouts

As Advancement Chair for the troop, my job is to encourage Scouts to advance. My most recent method has been to try to take some time to work individually with the Scouts. We’ll sit down and look at their book or advancement record and review what they need to do to work toward their next rank. The problem is, I just can’t keep up. There are so many of them that it’s often several months between meetings. So I’m going to try something different and see how it works.

My new plan is to get all of the Scouts of the same rank together at one time and give them some encouragement. I’ll give each of them an advancement goals sheet to fill out (see below). Then we’ll review what everyone is planning for the next few months. I’m hoping at a minimum they’ll encourage each other and get some ideas from each other about how to accomplish their goals. Maybe there will be some overlap. If a couple of them need to meet with an Environmental Science merit, they can go as a pair. If most of our Second Class Scouts want to work on similar requirements, they can bring that to the attention of their leaders.

I still like the idea of giving them a sheet of paper and having them set some goals. But doing it as a group of Tenderfoots as opposed to one Scout at a time will allow me to meet with them more often. So they can adjust and reevaluate what they are doing to advance. We’ll see how it goes. Maybe after six months I’ll have a different idea. As a mentor, I have to be able to adjust and modify my goals and methods, just like I expect the Scouts to be able to do.

Advancement Goals Worksheet

3 Responses to Setting Advancement Goals with Boy Scouts

  1. Pyromomma December 16, 2010 at 8:08 AM #

    Respectfully, this is the job of the SPL and the Patrol Leaders. You have made up a good resource, but the troop is to be Boy-Led. While advancement is one of the goals, it is most important that the boys lead it. Place your resource form in the hands of the SPL and stand back.

    • Scouter Mom December 16, 2010 at 8:28 AM #

      Troops operated differently based on their size and leadership needs. What works well for a large troop with lots of youth leaders might not work for a small troop where only the most basic leadership position is filled. This is what they really emphasize when we go to training here. Our SPL and ASPL have their hands full training the other youth leaders and leading the meetings. They don’t have time to go to to the side to meet with two or three Scouts during the each meeting also. So helping Scouts understand what they need to do to advance falls under the role of the Advancement Chair.

  2. ScouterAdam December 16, 2010 at 8:40 AM #

    I am the Cubmaster, and have no knowledge of direct Troop Advancement how-to’s. That being said, I know that every unit is different. So what works in one unit might not work in others.

    Having another set of eyes on Scouts is not a bad idea. It will help those Scouts who might slip by the SLP/ASLP & Scoutmaster as to why they are not advancing. It should help that Scout realize different avenues of what Merit Badges to take besides the normal 21.

    It could be that the Scout has a lot of half done requirements and they can finish them up with a project/campout or other activity. Then they advance.

    Yes, it is up to the boy and others than you to work their advancement. However, a little mentoring and pointing in the right direction or motivation cannot hurt.

    YIS

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