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 badge counselor, 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.