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Cub Scout Advancement

 


 

 

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Who Does What in Cub Scout Advancement? 

4.1.0.1 Delivering the Cub Scout Program

 

Den leaders, Cubmasters, and their assistants conduct meetings implementing the three steps in Cub Scout advancement: preparation, qualification, and recognition. Four separate den leader guides—one each for the Tiger, Wolf, and Bear programs, and one combined for Webelos and Arrow of Light—explain the mechanics for doing so while helping to maximize advancement. Den meetings—ideally three per month, one of which may include an outing—follow a traditional school year and are designed to result in advancement for all boys. Elective adventure plans provide flexibility for dens that meet more often and facilitate summertime den activities or adjustments for different school schedules. To achieve a full experience and the greatest impact, “do-at-home projects” challenge and encourage parents and sons to work together. Packs should meet monthly to assure timely recognition of the Cub Scouts’ accomplishments.

 

4.1.0.2 The Role of the Pack Committee

Den leaders, Cubmasters, and their assistants stimulate interest in advancement and present the program where it occurs. The responsibility for Cub Scout advancement administration, however, belongs to a pack committee ("Unit Advancement Responsibilities," 3.0.0.3). The pack committee collects den advancement reports, compiles and maintains them in pack records, reports advancement to the council (see“Internet Advancement Highlights,” 6.0.0.0), purchases awards and ensures their presentation, and helps plan and facilitate various ceremonies. The committee may also recommend special pack activities that lead to greater levels of achievement. Consult the Cub Scout Leader Book, No. 33221, to learn more about the responsibilities of the pack committee.

4.1.0.3 Who Approves Cub Scout Advancement?

A key responsibility for den leaders is to implement the den meeting plans as outlined in the four den leader guides shown within this topic. For Tiger through Bear ranks, if the activity is completed outside of the den meeting, the parent, adult partner, or another trusted adult should sign in the boy’s handbook, indicating the Cub Scout has done his best to complete the requirement. The den leader then approves that requirement after consultation with the family or the boy to confirm completion. If the requirement is completed in a den meeting, the den leader signs in both places. Den leaders may, however, ask an assistant or parent who helps at meetings to play the role of “Akela” and assist with the approvals.  Akela (Ah-KAY-la) is a title of respect used in Cub Scouting—any good leader is Akela, who is also the leader and guide for Cub Scouts on the advancement trail.  For Webelos and Arrow of Light ranks, the den leader signs for approval of all requirements, unless the den leader delegates this responsibility

4.1.0.4 “Do Your Best”

Cub Scouts—even those of the same age—may have very different developmental timetables. For this reason, advancement performance in Cub Scouting is centered on its motto: "Do Your Best." When a boy has done this—his very best—then regardless of the requirements for any rank or award, it is enough; accomplishment is noted. This is why den leaders, assistants, and parents or guardians are involved in approvals. Generally they know if effort put forth is really the Cub Scout's best.

When a boy completes advancement, he should be congratulated immediately and publicly. And though badges of rank should be reserved for the next pack meeting, it is best to present items such as belt loops and pins soon after they have been earned. If it is possible for the pack to report and purchase these awards quickly, they could be presented at a den meeting, rather than waiting for a pack meeting. If presented at den meetings, the accompanying pocket certificates can be used in a ceremony at a subsequent pack meeting—or vice versa with the pocket certificates at a den meeting. However this is done, it is important to note that advancement is an individual process, not dependent on the work or progress of others. Awards should not be withheld for group recognition. Likewise, a boy should not be presented with recognition he has not earned simply so that he will “not feel left out.”

In the same spirit as "Do Your Best," if a boy is close to earning a badge of rank when the school year ends, the pack committee, in consultation with the den leader and the Cub Scout's parent or guardian, may allow him a few weeks to complete the badge before going on to the next rank. Earning it will give him added incentive to continue in Scouting and carry on and tackle the next rank.

What about a boy who must repeat a grade in school? Generally, repeating a grade does not mean being kept back in Cub Scouting, but it depends on the circumstances and what is best for the boy. The decision is up to the parent or guardian.

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