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ADVANCEMENT FAQs


written from a Christian perspective. To me, what I would find really cool is to have everybody do a little some- thing that’s a sampling of their own faith and then explain what they’re doing. I would like that.


IT SOUNDS AS IF YOU SEE SCOUTING AS A WAY TO ENCOURAGE INTER- FAITH DIALOGUE. Absolutely. It’s just like Baden-Powell’s vision. Through Scouting, people of diverse cultures and diverse faiths can come together and learn from one another, learn to respect one another, and live together.


IS THAT WHY THE PACK AT ADAMS HELD A JOINT PINEWOOD DERBY WITH A PACK FROM A JEWISH SYNAGOGUE? Yes. When you really get down to it, Jewish Scouts and Muslim Scouts have so much more in common than people can even imagine. It was fun. You should have seen the kids playing with one another. They had no clue that they were supposed to not like each other. I thought it was fantastic.


HOW DO YOU RECRUIT PARENTS? With recent immigrants, some of them had Scouting in their own home countries. I’ve come across that more than once. Also, because of the nature of this community, a good recruiting tool for me is to tell parents that the Eagle Scout award looks really good on résumés and college applications. When I talk about the benefits it pro- vides, they really get interested. ¿


TO LEARN MORE about the National Islamic Committee on Scouting and its roles, click on islamicscouting.org.


What ‘Active’ Means


How troop leaders should measure a Scout’s participation for BSA requirements.


TO EARN EACH of Boy Scouting’s top three ranks— Star, Life, Eagle—a Scout must “be active” in his troop and patrol for a specified number of months and “serve actively” in a position of responsibility such as patrol leader or quartermaster. So what exactly does “active” mean and how can troop leaders measure participation? Read on to find out.


WHY IS BEING ACTIVE IMPORTANT? Scouts best achieve the aims of Scouting (character development, citizenship training, and personal and mental fitness) when they participate in meetings, outings, and service projects. Scouts who hold positions of responsibility only fulfill their responsibili- ties by being present.


WHAT CONSTITUTES ‘ACTIVE’? To meet the requirement of active participation, a Scout must be registered in the unit and be in good standing, meaning he hasn’t been dismissed for disciplin- ary reasons. In addition, he should meet the unit’s “rea- sonable expectations.”


CAN TROOPS SET ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS FOR THEIR MEETINGS AND OUTINGS? Yes, so long as the standard is reasonable and recognizes the many worthwhile oppor- tunities beyond Scouting. A Scout who falls short of the unit’s expectations must be given the chance (during a board of review) to offer an explanation. Certainly there are medical, educational, and other issues that may prevent participation. If the Scout would have been more active under other circumstances, he is deemed active. A board of review must also let Scouts demonstrate how non-Scout- ing activities contributed to growth. For example, a Scout might have missed a campout to attend a church retreat.


CAN STANDARDS GO BEYOND PARTICIPATION? No. Expectations such as uniform compliance, payment of dues, and parental involvement can’t be considered when evaluating tenure.


DO MONTHS OF ACTIVE PARTICIPATION HAVE TO BE CONTINUOUS? No. A Scout may piece together any


periods he has been active and still qualify. And active months won’t expire if fol- lowed by inactive months.


CAN A TROOP SET PERFORMANCE STANDARDS FOR LEADERSHIP POSITIONS? Yes, as long as they are established up front. It’s a disservice to the Scout and the unit to reward work that hasn’t been done. Holding a position and doing nothing is unacceptable.


HOW DO YOU EVALUATE A SCOUT WHEN THE UNIT HAS NO ESTABLISHED EXPECTATIONS? An adult leader or the Scout—or both—should work out the responsibilities to fulfill. BSA literature such as the Patrol Leader Handbook can provide the basis for this effort. If it’s left to the Scout to determine the responsibilities, and he makes a reasonable effort, he passes the requirement.


WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE? The best source is the Guide to Advancement 2011 (No. 33088), available at Scout Shops and online at scouting. org/filestore/pdf/33088.pdf. ¿


MARCH•APRIL 2012 ¿ S COUTING 15


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