Scott Robertson

Announcing the Guide to Advancement 2013
By: Posted On: 2013-06-24

This post was taking from a series on the Scouts-l mailing list. Please let us know what you think, of anything that may be missing or wrong, etc on facebook.

Now that I got your attention. Let me introduce you to the new Guide to Advancement 2013.

Announcing the Guide to Advancement 2013
Over the past two years, the 2011 Guide to Advancement has proven its worth as a valuable tool for unit, district, council, and national Scouters. An updated version is scheduled for release in the summer of 2013.

The new version will become the sole definitive guide when released, but it won’t rewrite the book. Instead, the Guide to Advancement 2013 will clarify, enhance, and update the content to address many common questions, while adding new information as BSA advancement continues to evolve.

The revised Guide will further address several key advancement goals discussed for the 2011 edition:

  • Create better informed volunteers who implement the advancement program as intended.
  • Establish uniform advancement policies and procedures across the BSA.
  • Support smooth and purposeful advancement for youth members.
  • Answer the most common questions through improved clarity.

Key Changes
The Guide to Advancement 2013 continues the tradition of excellence established in the 2011 edition, while addressing many of the questions and concerns Scouters have raised. Below is a sample of some of the changes. Please note that since we aren’t through the final national review process, we can only touch on a few of them.

  • A revised and expanded emphasis on experiential learning and personal growth
  • New sections on building an advancement committee and advancement educational resources
  • Further details on the process of advancement in Boy Scouting, including how youth continue practicing and learning in the Scouting program after requirements are completed
  • A topic permitting, under certain circumstances, for a Scout’s work to satisfy more than one requirement—also known as “double dipping”
  • Updated camp advancement responsibilities for the council advancement committee
  • A revised description of the merit badge (blue card) process, and how to handle situations where merit badges may not have actually been earned
  • Added sections addressing guidelines to improve the quality of instruction at merit badge fairs and discouraging for-profit merit badge events
  • More comprehensive coverage of the responsibilities of Eagle Scout service project coaches, and recommendations for designating their responsibilities

Please note that the basic procedures surrounding the Eagle Scout service project will remain unchanged. Feedback suggests that moving away from council or district approval of a project plan to a project proposal is considered a positive step by a substantial majority of Scouting leaders. There will be additional steps taken this year, however, to better inform project beneficiaries of their authority to review and require changes to a Scout’s final plan.

New Merit Badge Counselor Information Available Online
(Formerly the Merit Badge Counselor Application Form A new Merit Badge Counselor Information sheet, No. 34405WEB, released in February, is now available online at This user-friendly, fillable-PDF form will enhance the entire merit badge process for unit leaders, parents, and most of all, Scouts. Although at first glance it may appear similar to its predecessor, the new form affords more space for gathering vital information such as Youth Protection training, email contact information, and up to three telephone numbers. There is also more room for individuals to list the specific qualifications they have to counsel a particular badge. The back of the form now provides both general and specific information on the program to counselors and unit leaders, with special emphasis on Youth Protection and useful references for additional information.


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