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ADVANCEMENT FAQs


WHO’S THE MOST IMPORTANT VOLUN- TEER IN SCOUTING? The youth himself. He doesn’t have to be there; he shows up because the unit’s offering him something he just can’t get anywhere else. Program Produces Participants.


OF COURSE, IN BOY SCOUTING, THAT PROGRAM IS SUPPOSED TO BE PLANNED BY THE SCOUTS THEM- SELVES. Yes. The Scoutmaster’s most important responsibility is to train the youth leaders so they can run their own program. If you get that, you’re doing 90 percent of what you’re supposed to be doing. The rest is paperwork.


HOW CAN COURSES LIKE NYLT AND NAYLE HELP? They can support a Scoutmaster’s effort by giving him trained Scouts—Scouts who know how a troop’s supposed to be run, who have had leadership experience, and who can come back and counsel other Scouts.


THERE’S STRENGTH IN NUMBERS, RIGHT? If one Scout from a troop goes to NYLT and comes back and still has to deal with “the world’s oldest senior patrol leader” —otherwise known as the Scoutmaster—he’s a lone voice in the wilderness. That’s why bigger troops who send


more Scouts to NYLT and NAYLE are better. It’s impossible for Scoutmasters to be “gray-haired patrol leaders” anymore. They’re simply outnum- bered by Scouts with know-how and the moxie to speak up about it. ¿


READ “ASK ANDY” COLUMNS written by Daumé at scouting magazine.org/askandy.


The Hero’s Due How the BSA recognizes attempts to save a life.


SCOUTS LEARN how to save a life with Scouting skills. When the training gets put to use, the BSA offers a trio of awards for heroism.


WHAT AWARDS DOES THE BSA PRESENT FOR HEROISM? Three awards are available to those who demonstrate heroism and skill in saving or attempt- ing to save life: the Honor Medal with Crossed Palms, the Honor Medal, and the Heroism Award.


WHAT’S THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN THESE AWARDS? The Honor Medal with Crossed Palms recognizes actions that involve extreme risk to self. The Honor Medal recognizes actions that involve some risk to self. The Heroism Award recognizes actions that involve minimum risk to self; however, the Scout must put into practice Scouting skills and/or ideals.


HOW DOES THE BSA DEFINE ‘HEROISM’ AND ‘SKILL’? “Heroism” is defined as exhib- iting courage, daring, skill, and self-sacrifice. “Skill” is defined as using one’s knowl- edge effectively in execution or performance of an action.


HOW RARE ARE THESE AWARDS? In 2011, the BSA awarded 13 Honor Medals with Crossed Palms, 31 Honor Medals, and 121 Heroism Awards.


MUST THE ATTEMPT TO SAVE A LIFE BE SUCCESSFUL? No, the awards recognize the attempt.


CAN BOTH YOUTH MEMBERS AND ADULT LEADERS RECEIVE THESE AWARDS? Yes.


WHAT ABOUT SCOUTERS WHO ARE TRAINED FIRST RESPONDERS? Lifesaving actions performed as part of the duty of a trained life- saver—such as a doctor or nurse—will not be considered. However, some situations— say, when a doctor is off duty and uses his skills to save a life—may qualify.


CAN MORE THAN ONE MEMBER BE RECOGNIZED FOR THE SAME INCIDENT? Yes. A separate application is required.


WHO APPROVES THE NOMINATIONS? The National Court of Honor.


HOW CAN I NOMINATE SOMEONE? The Lifesaving or


Meritorious Action Award nomination form can be found at scouting.org/awards_central. Contact your council advance- ment committee or volunteer recognition committee. That committee must investigate the case, interview the prin- cipals and witnesses, secure signed statements, and make a recommendation within 30 days of the recommendation.


WHAT IF WITNESSES ARE NOT AVAILABLE? No nomination form should be forwarded without a signed statement from the applicant and at least one eyewitness.


CAN A MEMBER SELF- NOMINATE? No.


IS THERE A DEADLINE FOR MAKING A NOMINATION? No application may be con- sidered after a lapse of six months from the incident without a written explanation from the Scout executive or adviser to the council com- mittee. No application may be considered after a lapse of 12 months of the incident. ¿


FIND MORE INFO on the heroism awards at scouting magazine.org/heroism.


NOVEMBER•DECEMBER 2012 ¿ S COUTING 17


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