The Fall Court of Honor last Tuesday was a great opportunity to reflect on many of the accomplishments that each of you have been working on. Many merit badges and rank advancements were recognized including two eagles scouts, special awards like 50 Miler, 3-Point Awards (Friendly, Courteous, Kind) Wilderness Camping, and some merit badges like Radio and Scuba were highlighted. Those on the Bedford Flag trail will also get recognized at a later date when the medals are received. You should all be proud of your accomplishments and share and encourage others. If you did not receive a badge or if you have any questions, please contact me and we will sort it out!
As for advancements, the process is a scout learns, is tested, is reviewed and is recognized. There are many learning opportunities provided by the Troop and Council. If you are interested in merit badges, first start off by getting a blue card from me, your Scoutmaster. This makes the tracking progress a lot easier.
As you are tested and reviewed, see your Patrol Leader first, because they can sign off up to the rank they currently have. If they cannot sign off, see your ASPL and/or SPL or your Scoutmaster for sign off. This sign-off happens in your Scout Book, so always have that ready at meetings or on trips. Keep good records and in the back there are logs for service hours, camping nights, biking and hiking miles. It’s good practice to keep those up to date and serves as a record for boards of review.
At any time during scouting, not always at the end of an advancement, you can request a Scoutmaster conference. I like to conduct those before or after meetings or on camping trips where we have plenty of time. Our meetings are planned and doing one in the middle of the meeting means you are missing out or missing out helping others and being part of the troop. The purpose of the Scoutmaster conference is to check in on your progress learning and putting into practice the scout oath and law. I often ask for examples in everyday life of where you have been kind, helpful, or thrifty. So please think about some examples.
When you are ready, I’ll schedule a board of review; that is not your job. My job is to make sure you are ready and if so, schedule or arrange a board of review. These adults will ask you questions about your progress, and you can use the examples you shared with me. They might also ask you what is working well in the troop and patrol and it’s an opportunity to share with them your scout journey and feedback. The board assesses the quality of the experience and decide or determine the requirements have been met. No worries, I won’t request a Board of Review until you are ready. I also introduce you to the board. The board is not a job interview but a dialog with adults scouters (adults who help with the troop). The first Board or Review is always a challenge and each one is a new experience that will help you grow.
We have an exciting program year in front of us and back to full swing managing COVID. I’m sure there are now flu and colds so if you are not feeling well then best to stay home for the protection of others.
I’m most pleased with individual, patrol and troop progress on living the scout oath and law. We live by a law – it is not merely a guideline. Each week and sometimes more, we recite this oath and law. No one is perfect and sometimes stray but if you keep the oath and law forefront that will serve you well now and in life ahead.
Each day you have an opportunity to put the oath and law into practice and one simple way is to do a good turn daily!
Well done scouts. I’m very proud of all your accomplishments but more pleased with how you behave individually and to each other as a troop and put the scout law into practice.
Do your good turn each day, not just when scouting.
Yours in Scouting,
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This blog is a weekly message from the Scoutmaster.