Policies and Procedures

Updates on Eagle extentions and more – from Byron on Scouting

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Advancement during COVID-19: Official details about Eagle extensions and more

The BSA has a message to young people concerned that the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak will prevent them from completing Eagle Scout rank requirements before their 18th birthday: Don’t worry; we’ve got your back.

During this unprecedented interruption to Scouting nationwide, the BSA has released new guidance on advancement during COVID-19. This includes:

  • Time extensions for qualifying Scouts and Venturers working on the Eagle Scout, Summit and Quartermaster awards. Local councils will have the authority to grant this extension through the end of September 2020.
  • The ability to accept electronic signatures for rank advancement and award applications — effective now through the end of September 2020.
  • An option to complete Scoutmaster conferences via videoconferencing. (Section 4.2.3.5 of the Guide to Advancement says Scoutmasters “should not” conduct Scoutmaster conferences online; it doesn’t say “must not.” The new COVID-19 guidance clarifies that this practice is OK, as long as Youth Protection rules are followed.)
  • An option for parents or other adults in a Cub Scout’s family to sign off on Webelos and Arrow of Light requirements — effective now through the end of July 2020.
  • An option for Scoutmasters to allow time missed during the COVID-19 outbreak to count toward requirements for participation and positions of responsibility.

Here’s what else you need to know.

Time extensions for Eagle Scout, Summit and Quartermaster awards

Normally granted only in rare circumstances, the BSA and its local councils will allow extensions for Life Scouts needing more time to finish their Eagle Scout requirements. The authority for councils to grant this extension is effective immediately and continues through Sept. 30, 2020.

Extensions also are available for Venturers needing to finish Summit Award requirements and Sea Scouts needing to finish Quartermaster Award requirements beyond their 21st birthday.

These extensions are reviewed case by case, and not all Scouts will qualify. To get an extension through a local council, Scouts must meet the following requirements:

  1. It can be established that COVID-19 disruptions were the only circumstances that delayed work on Eagle Scout/Summit/Quartermaster advancement requirements, such as the service project or merit badges. If any other causes were involved, the extension request must go to the National Council following the process outlined in the Guide to Advancement.
  2. Extensions shall only be granted to youth in Scouts BSA who have already achieved Life rank.
  3. When the council receives a COVID-19-related request for a time extension, the council reviews the request and approves it if appropriate. A written response stating the outcome of the extension request must go to the youth. If approved, the notification must be attached to the youth’s Eagle/Summit/Quartermaster rank application.
  4. For Eagle, the extension must not exceed 3 months from the youth’s 18th birthday; for Summit/Quartermaster, the extension must not exceed 3 months from the youth’s 21st.
  5. Upon turning 18, the Scout must submit a completed adult application and successfully complete Youth Protection training. Their participant code will now be UP for SBSA or VP for Venturing and Sea Scouting.
  6. Extension requests for more than 3 months beyond the youth’s 18th/21st birthday must be sent to the National Service Center following the process outlined in the GTA.

A note for council administrators: Once the council approves an extension, the council’s administrator will need to go into Member Manager to activate the COVID-19 extension. This will automatically add the three-month extension and allow the youth to continue working past their 18th/21st birthdays. (They’ll still need to be registered as UP/VP after “aging out.”) This flag will then show on the member’s profile.

For more guidance for Scouts BSA, Venturing and Sea Scouts advancement, read the complete FAQs.

From the office of Joseph E. Wiltrout Scout Executive and Chief Executive Officer

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Dear Unit Leaders,

With the first case of COVID-19 being confirmed in a school setting within our Council, we wanted to take a moment to reach out and share the proper protocol with you.

If your school closes because of a confirmed case of COVID-19, please follow the protocol set forth by your school. Cancel any meetings until the school re-opens, and use extra precautions to protect yourself and your Scouts.

If you have to cancel meetings, please encourage parents to use this opportunity to teach their kids the lessons that they would be learning during their Scout meetings.

Lastly, we encourage all leaders to keep the youth and parents updated as they receive updates from the school by providing regular communications.

Sincerely,

Joseph E. Wiltrout
Scout Exectuive/ CEO

Reminder – New Eagle project workbook available

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eagle scout workbook (2019) image

New Eagle project workbook available

https://bobwhiteblather.com/new-eagle-project-workbook-available/
— Read on bobwhiteblather.com/new-eagle-project-workbook-available/

UPDATE: A copy of the 2019 version may also be downloaded from here.

PLEASE NOTE: it cannot be read by Apple’s Preview. You must have a free copy of Adobe Acrobat ver. 9.0 or higher to open it. See bobwhiteblather.com’s link above for more information.

New Eagle project workbook available (UPDATED)

Posted on Updated on

eagle scout workbook (2019) image

New Eagle project workbook available

https://bobwhiteblather.com/new-eagle-project-workbook-available/
— Read on bobwhiteblather.com/new-eagle-project-workbook-available/

UPDATE: A copy of the 2019 version may also be downloaded from here.

PLEASE NOTE: it cannot be read by Apple’s Preview. You must have a free copy of Adobe Acrobat ver. 9.0 or higher to open it. See bobwhiteblather.com’s link above for more information.

Social Media standards for Family Scouting Marketing

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BSA has provided guidance for marketing Family Scouting. In some part it is simply a reminder to follow the Scout Law in marketing with concrete examples of violations of the Scout Law in this context.

Even so, it gives a checklist of “don’ts.”

Make sure you review this against your unit websites and emails.

IYOS website rebuild

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What is “IYOS”? It is the “Ideal Year in Scouting.” It is the way for the Crossroads of America Council to tell you what the Best Practices for units will be in the next 12-18 months. What camping opportunities and activities are coming up. When deadlines for summer camp are. When rechartering will take place. When popcorn sales will begin and end. How unit budgets should be developed. How big summer events can be paid for.

Council is in the process of rebuilding the website dedicated to IYOS. Make sure to stop in regularly and monitor the progress. Hopefully you will learn something every time you stop in. We expect the 2018-2019 district calendars to be added in the next couple of weeks.

New Adult Applications

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From Council’s Registrar Sharon Cone:

Hello all!  We just received new applications from National, and I wanted to make you aware of the changes in the adult application.  Some of it looks similar, some of it looks completely different.  Here’s what to look for:

  • Only 2 sets of initials required by signature line (was 4);
  • Approval signature needed from Chartered Org Rep or Institutional Head only (no Committee Chair approval needed);
  • Criminal Background Check Authorization page is very last page of the application (page 9).

I’ve attached a PDF of the new adult application, as well as the updated youth application previously released.  The adult application is a scanned copy that I made, because the Scouting Forms page on Scouting.org does not have an updated version of the adult application, nor does it have updated versions in Spanish.  I ordered Spanish apps but did not receive any.

You can find these versions in Field Service/District Executive Resources/Forms, etc.  We will put the new versions out on the shelf and lose the old ones.

Any questions, let me know.  Thanks.

Sharon Cone  |  Registrar
BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA
Crossroads of America Council #160

Application – Adult (English) 524-501 (rev’d 2/2018) (no word if older versions are still acceptable or not).

Application – Youth (English) 524-406-1

JTE Changes for 2018

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As we are wrapping up our 2017 Journey to Excellence scorecards with rechartering. Now is a good time to become familiar with next year’s scorecards.

Units

For the most part, at the unit level, there are few changes. On line 10, the consistent change is from requiring the minimum adult leadership for rechartering plus an assistant unit leader (i.e., assistant Cubmaster, Assistant Scoutmaster, or Associate Venturing Advisor). Now the requirement for Bronze on line 10 is simply to have an assistant unit leader. This makes sense, since the others are required to recharter. Even units that do not qualify for bronze need a unit leader and committee members. This is less of a change than a simplification of the scoring method.

I have omitted other wording changes that do not change the underlying scoring mechanism for the criterion.

District

The significant changes are at the District level. While most unit leaders have little interest in what district qualifies for, it does impact units. The impact is on what commissioners and committee members do to support the units. In their efforts, they need the cooperation of unit leaders to be able to meet BSA JTE requirements.

On line 4, membership growth, the focus is shifting from the district-at-large to Cub Scouts. So lower overall growth is sought but actual growth in Cub Scouts is the minimum level. The logic is that if we grow Cub Scout membership, we will grow overall membership. With co-ed taking effect in 2018 for Cub Scouts, ideally this is an easy requirement to meet.

On line 7, the target percentage of scouts with advancement is reduced between 2-3% on all levels.

On line 9, the target percentage of Cub Scouts camping is increased 2-3 % on all levels.

On line 12, unit retention is increased for bronze but reduced for silver and gold. All now seek 90% retention.

On line 13, unit commissioners are expected to have more detailed and more frequent information about the health of the units in their charge. That means the unit commissioners are expected to ask better questions so that they better understand the units. They are then accountable for summarizing that information in the reportingJTE system.

Line 15 requires one less committee member to qualify for gold.

Conclusion

So for planning purposes, very little is shocking to units. The amount of requests for assistance from district may go up. It seems the goal is to have better overall scouting experiences available to boys and girls without putting more pressure on any one unit to fulfill that goal.

Please look at the scorecards for 2018 and build improving into your monthly unit committee meetingsto insure a great 2018.

 

Chief Scout Executive on co-ed choice

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Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh, Patrick Sterrett’s new boss, made these remarks the day after the vote to go co-ed. Surbaugh is a good speaker and worth a listen.

It is too bad these types of posts did not precede the vote.

https://livestream.com/bsa/nationalcouncil/videos/164161163

BSA rolls out 100% co-ed

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You may have heard, but all programs will be co-ed by January 1, 2019. Cub Scouts start, as I read it, June 1, 2018.

Here is the announcement from CAC Council Commissioner Ron Penczek:

Team,

I wanted to take a moment to forward on to you official communications from our National Council regarding girls in Cub and Boy Scouting.  While it is too late for my girls to stand beside their brother in earning Eagle Scout, I am very excited to bring our program of citizenship, leadership and fitness to girls around the country, I hope you are as excited as me.  I know for some Scouters, this change will be concerning and their concerns are not without merit, but as a Commissioner Corps, I am sure we can help deliver a positive message.  We can be the agent of change that helps everyone to see the benefits of such a change and help implement such change in a positive way.

Please cascade this to your District and Unit Commissioners and begin talking with your units about this change.

I look forward to talking with you next week.

Kind regards,

Ron

BSA Expands Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts Programs to Welcome Girls

The BSA’s board of directors has unanimously approved welcoming girls into our Cub Scouts program and delivering a Scouting program for older girls that will enable them to advance and earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout.

The historic decision comes after years of receiving requests from families and girls. The BSA evaluated the results of numerous research efforts, gaining input from current members and leaders — as well as parents and girls who have never been involved in Scouting — to understand how to offer families an important additional choice in meeting the character development needs of all their children.

Linked below (or attached) are a few resources to help you learn more about today’s decision, as well as respond to any inquiries you may receive. As always, please direct all media queries to pr@scouting.org:

Official BSA news release

Family Scouting page on scoutingnewsroom.org

Family Scouting FAQ