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Scout | Merit Badge Counselor List | Venturing |
Unit Recognition | Adult
For contact information see the Contact
2018 District Advancement Committee Meeting
Fourth Thursday in Sep, Oct, Jan-Apr and Jun-
7:00PM - TC3 - Room 262
Third Thursday in Nov, Dec, May- 7:00PM -
TC3 - Room 262
July meeting is usually at Camp Barton
No August meeting
The monthly District Advancement Committee meetings
will be a "one stop shopping" place for prospective Eagle
Scouts to get their projects reviewed and approved, meet with mentors,
and have their Eagle Board of Review. The Advancement Committee is
also charged with encouraging and coordinating advancement at all
program levels (Cub, Scout and Venturing). Each unit is requested to
send a representative to the District Advancement Committee - for more
information, contact advancement@TompkinsCortlandScouts.org
on Advancement Policy?
National HQ publishes the Guide to Advancement.
The Guide to Advancement replaces the publication Advancement Committee
Policies and Procedures and is the official Boy Scouts of America source
on advancement procedures at all levels - Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and
No council, committee, district, unit, or individual has
the authority to add to, or subtract from, advancement requirements.
There are limited exceptions relating only to youth members with
This publication clearly identifies mandated procedures
with words such as “must” and “shall.” Where such language is
used, no council, committee, district, unit, or individual has the
authority to deviate from the procedures covered, without the written
permission of the national Advancement Team. Recommended best practices
are offered using words like “should,” while other options and
guidelines are indicated with terms such as “may” or “can.”
Refer questions on these to your local district or council advancement
chairs or staff advisors. They, in turn, may request interpretations and
assistance from the national Advancement Team.
There are lots of other resources on Scouting issues on
the internet - but it's important to remember, as the Guide
(Section 188.8.131.52) says:
Be aware that statements or interpretations offered from
unofficial websites and other such sources may be out of date or
incorrect. They will not be considered in resolving advancement
questions and issues. In situations not specifically covered in this
guide, advancement chairs, coordinators, or other administrators should
make decisions based on the aims and mission of the Boy Scouts of
America, as well as the Scout Oath and Scout Law, other applicable
official and current BSA resources—and common sense.
Every unit should have a copy of the Guide - download
it from the National Website (PDF - 12MB)
The National website has a page for training
videos about advancement procedures and issues.
Cub Scout Advancement
As with other program updates (including updates
to Venturing and Boy Scouting), you can find everything you need to
know at the BSA’s indispensable Program
Boy Scout Advancement
There have been some changes to Boy Scout advancement
requirements for 2018. See the US
Scouts Service Project website for details.
Eagle Palm Requirements Changed
Effective August 1, 2017 - Updated October 25, 2017
Previously, a Scout had to wait three months after his
Eagle Board of Review before he could apply for his first Eagle Palm.
Effective Aug. 1, 2017, the tenure requirement will not apply for the
first Palm(s) only. The requirement now reads:
"After successfully completing your Eagle Scout
board of review on or after Aug. 1, 2017, and being validated as an
Eagle Scout by the National Service Center, you will be entitled to
receive an Eagle Palm for each additional five merit badges you have
completed before your Eagle Scout board of review beyond those
required for Eagle. In addition, all current Scouts who completed
their Eagle board of review and who had not passed their 18th birthday
before Aug, 1, 2017 are entitled as well. For these Palms only, it
will not be necessary for you to complete the requirements stated
This means that at his Court of Honor a new Eagle can
receive his Eagle award and as many palms as he has earned before his
Eagle Board of Review. After that, the three-month tenure requirement
applies as before.
The original announcement said that this change only
applied to Scouts with Boards of Review after August 1, 2017. As of
October 25th, this has changed to apply to all Scouts who earned
their Eagle and who were not yet 18 as of August 1st. . Now
those current Eagle Scouts can immediately apply for and receive Eagle
Palms for merit badges earned before their board of review.
Let me reiterate: Only those merit badges earned before the
Scout’s Eagle board of review count, assuming those merit badges have
not already been applied to a previously awarded Palm.
For example: David had 41 merit badges when he
became an Eagle Scout on July 29, 2017. That’s 20 more than required.
Under the revision, he’s entitled to receive and wear a Silver Palm
(representing 15 additional merit badges) and a Bronze Palm
(representing five additional). Under the previous rule, it would’ve
taken David a year to earn those Palms — three months for every five
What about any merit badges David earns after his board of
review on July 29, 2017? The usual requirements apply - he will have to
wait until he has satisfied them before applying for additional palms.
Also changed are the following:
No Board of Review is required for Eagle
Palms. A palm is not a rank, so no Board of Review is necessary. A
Unit Leader Conference is still required, and can be held any time
during the period since the last Palm (or Eagle Board).
Three-month tenure in any BSA program is
acceptable, not just in the "troop or patrol".
Leadership requirement is broadened to
include “accepting responsibility” as well as “demonstrating
For a PDF listing of the current requirement, see here
on the National website.
"Serve actively ... in ...
positions of responsibility" and "Active Participation"
For many years, these phrases in the requirements for the
ranks in Boy Scouts has been a matter for dispute and inconsistent
application. The Guide to Advancement has
Positions of Responsibility" and "184.108.40.206
Active Participation" discussing and defining what does, and does
not, count as satisfying these requirements as well as what a unit can,
and cannot, do in defining them. Every troop leader should review these
sections, and note that the Guide explicitly points out that
"must" means must - waivers from something which
"must" be done cannot be given by unit, district or council
Eagle Scout Forms: Be
sure that you are using the very latest forms. You can find the printing year
above the barcode on the back of the application. Better yet, always
download a new form before you fill one out - you can find the
latest forms on the District Forms page.
Life-To-Eagle Procedures: The
Council Advancement Committee have set up the following required
procedure for all of the districts in the Baden-Powell
Life to Eagle Training: All Scouts
should attend a "Life to Eagle" training session
as soon as they earn their Life rank. These training
sessions are offered at Roundtables several times a year -
watch the District Calendar or Training
Page for upcoming dates.
Find a project and get troop approval:
Scout, with the help of the Scoutmaster, finds a project.
Complete the Eagle Scout Service Project Proposal, pages A
thru E, and Eagle Scout Service Project Fundraising
Application, page A, found in the Eagle
Project Workbook, making
sure to collect all signatures except for the District
Schedule a meeting to present the
project: The Scout then schedules his first meeting with
the District Advancement Committee. He should contact the
District Advancement Chairman at advancement@TompkinsCortlandScouts.org
no later than two weeks before the next Roundtable and make an appointment for that
Committee meeting (see District
Calendar for times and place).
Present the Project Proposal:
Project will be discussed with board.
Any problems are discussed and explained
to the Scout
Chairman gives go ahead with project and
A Mentor is assigned to Scout.
Execute the Project - The Mentor
should stays in contact with the Scout, calling every once
in a while if they have not heard for the Scout in a while.
Fund Raising for Eagle
Projects: be sure that any fundraising you do complies
with the Eagle
Scout Project Fundraising Policy set by the Baden-Powell
Once the Project is finished - The
Collect required signatures for the rest
of the packet.
Finish project write up and after-action
The Troop Committee or Scoutmaster, not
the Scout, contacts three of the six references listed
on the Eagle Application, secures a sealed confidential
letter of recommendation from each of those individuals,
and includes them in the Eagle Scout Application
Once all merit badges are completed,
collect all needed signatures on the Eagle Scout
Application up to and including Baden-Powell Council certification.
Make an appointment for final project
review at the next monthly District Advancement Committee
Final Project Review (by District
The Scout should bring all complete
project materials as well as blue cards for all merit
badges, and be in complete uniform
Board gives tentative approval if
acceptable, if not the Scout gets feedback and fixes
issues and makes new appointment with board
If project is acceptable, merit badges
are completed, and all paperwork completed the Scout is
given his final board of review
Final Paperwork Processed - District
Advancement Chairman delivers all paperwork to office
Application (link to National site) and Eagle Scout Biography and Project Summary
(Locally updated form).
Eagle Court of Honor - once the Eagle
application is approved by BSA National, the troop should
schedule a Court of Honor to present the award to the Scout.
Don't forget to invite anyone who had any part in the
Scout's progress to Eagle!
How to become a merit badge counselor:
Check the Merit Badge Counselor List
- please don't sign up for a badge just because your son or
a boy in your son's troop wants to take a badge. If there's
already a Counselor in your town who is listed for one of
the badges, encourage the Scout to call them first. This
serves two purposes: (a) it has always been a part of the
Merit Badge program to encourage Scouts to meet with outside
experts in the area of the badge; and (b) recruiting many
duplicate Counselors in the same area weakens the system (if
there are too many Counselors for a badge, none of them gets
contacted very often, and we wind up losing most of
them). There are over 100 merit badges - why not pick
some for which there aren't already Counselors in your
Qualification: A Merit Badge
Counselor must be at least 21 years old, and must meet the
requirements for any BSA adult member, including taking Youth
Protection Training (YPT) and keeping that training
current. A Counselor should be
proficient in the merit badge subject by vocation,
avocation, or special training - as the purpose of the Merit
Badge system is to allow Scouts to meet people who are well
informed in a given area, please do not apply for badges
unless you are very familiar with the field.
Choose your badges: While there is no
specific limit for how many badges any one person can sign
up for, as a general rule the District would prefer that
Counselors limit themselves to five or six badges. Pick the
ones you're most qualified for or which are most
needed. You can find a complete list of merit badges,
with requirements, on the US
Scouts Service Project website.
Register and Apply: (Two Options):
The Council will do the routine
background check, as for any adult application.
The District Advancement Committee will
review the application at its next monthly meeting
Listing: If approved by the District
and Council, the counselor is notified, and listed on the
Merit Badge Counselor list on this website.
Baden-Powell Council Merit Badge Counselor List:
All of the counselors on
the current list have been contacted and are presently
registered and willing to serve. The list is Council-wide - any Scout may work with any counselor,
whether or not the counselor lives in the same district as the
Scout. If the counselor is flagged with a "Y" in
the "Troop Only" column, he or she has asked to work
only with Scouts from their own troop - out of troop Scouts
should be considerate and contact them only if there are no
other available counselors.
The list can be downloaded in three different sort orders:
NOTE: In order to protect the data on the list from being
indexed by search engines, the merit badge counselor PDF file is password
protected. You will need to enter a password to open and print
the list. The password is the Scout
Motto, in lower case,
without a space between the two words. (And no, that
doesn't mean the password is "scoutmotto", wise guy.
Two words, first letters "b" and "p" - you do
have that memorized, don't you? Of course you do.)
Want the list in Excel format? Send an
e-mail to webmaster@TCScouts.org
- I'll be happy to e-mail it to you, but I really don't
recommend this approach as your local copy will not be
updated periodically when the PDF's on the website are.
If you have technical problems
downloading or opening or reading the file, contact webmaster@TCScouts.org
If you have any updates or corrections to the
information on the list, contact advancement@TompkinsCortlandScouts.org
for Taughannock District counselors, or B-P Council Program
Director Adam Kovalchick at email@example.com
for counselors in the other three districts.
Merit Badge Counselor Training is
available through My.Scouting.org
as is most BSA training. Log in to My.Scouting.org,
go to "My Dashboard", then select "Training
Center". Click on "Boy Scouts" and you should
find Merit Badge Counselor training on the list. Click
"+Add Plan" next to the training, and take the course.
Merit Badge Resources: see our Forms
and Links page
New Boy Scout Merit Badges
For the latest information on changes to the merit badge
list see the
Scouting Magazine blog
Explorers and Venturers, 14 years old and older,
can earn the Duke of Edinburgh Award!
Duke of Edinburgh's Award and the Boy Scouts of America have joined forces
to expand the internationally renowned DofE Award into the world of
Scouting. This year, the BSA national office launched the pilot program in
five councils nationwide: Baden-Powell, Circle 10, Los Angeles Area,
National Capital Area, and Yocona.
Founded in 1956 in the UK by Her Majesty The Queen's
husband, HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, the Duke of Edinburgh's
Award is a non-competitive, self-development program for youth ages 14 to
25. Dedicated to achievement in community service, physical fitness,
special skills, and adventurous journey, the Award aims to build
self-esteem and promote character development within every participant.
The Award is an exciting, non-competitive experience that
cultivates and instills confidence and self-worth within every
participant. Through its proven and trusted quality framework,
participants enjoy an unparalleled experience that hones their talents and
skills and instills within them a crucial sense of belonging and
Over 7 million people have received the Duke of
Edinburgh's Award since its inception. The Award's fundamental philosophy
and Four Tenant operational format have proved resilient, attractive, and
adaptable to many cultures, languages, and environments, and it remains as
relevant today as ever before, experiencing record levels of interest
annually. Last year, more than 140,000 participants from around the world
earned a Bronze, Silver, or Gold Award.
A letter introducing
the Pilot Program can be downloaded here in PDF format.
For more information or to get involved, please contact
Baden-Powell Council DofE coordinator, at 607-844-3921 or
A summary of the Venturing advancement program can be found on the
Scouting Magazine blog, and details are available on the
Venturing Facebook Page.
a quick summary, there are four ranks, going from the joining-level
Venturing Award to the Summit Award, now the highest honor in Venturing.
The new awards blend adventure, leadership, personal development and
service to give Venturers a structure for developing their own personal
vision into manageable goals. That’ll translate into recognition by
peers, mentors and the larger community.Each award has a focus. For the
Venturing award, it’s joining; for Discovery, it’s participation;
for Pathfinder, it’s leadership; and for the Summit award, it’s
mentoring. The requirements are available here.
patch incorporates the Venturing logo, and the design gets progressively
more intricate as a young man or young woman progresses in
Recipients of the Summit Award get an awesome patch but also receive
a new medal. Plus, as adults, Summit Award recipients may wear the
green, white and silver square knot pictured. It’s the same knot worn
by recipients of the old Venturing Silver Award, which was retired
at the end of 2014.
"Scouting's Journey to Excellence"
Journey to Excellence” is the BSA’s performance recognition
program designed to encourage and reward success and measure the
performance of our units, districts, and councils. It replaced the Quality Awards Program as a means of encouraging excellence
in providing a quality program at all levels of the BSA.
"Journey to Excellence" marks a change in
emphasis from year-end numbers to year-round quality. Rather than set
numeric targets for results, the program tries to help units judge
their performance on those factors which create quality program for the
youth members, which in turn helps units retain members and grow.
Units earn points in a number of areas (13 areas
for Packs and Troops, 11 for Crews and Ships). In most of the areas,
there are three levels - Bronze, Silver and Gold. The Bronze level is
supposed to represent those things which are a minimum for a quality
program, a unit which earns all Gold would be one of the best of the
best. To earn the annual "Journey to Excellence" award at the
Bronze Level, a Pack or Troop has to be at least at Bronze Level in 11
out of 13 areas (or 9 out of 11 for Crews and Ships), and must also have
a total number of 700 points overall. If they have met the Bronze
requirements, units can progress to Silver Level with 1,000 points, and
to Gold Level with 1,600 points.
One of the requirements for Journey to Excellence is
Service - units must perform service projects for their community. In
order for the service projects to count, they have to be reported on the
Turn for America website. There's a Unit
Tips for Success page to help you with your projects.
For general information on Journey to Excellence:
Click on the links in this table for forms and
information specifically for your type of unit:
|Boy Scout Troop
|Sea Scout Ship
PowerPoint show for Unit
Be sure to log your service hours! Enter them on
Service Hours website.
National has a Journey
to Excellence website with additional information, including the
Journey to Excellence for the District and Council.
Adult Leader Recognition
For more contact information see the Contact
The following awards will be given at the
Annual District Awards Program:
National or B-P Council
Training and other Recognition Knots: Ever wondered about all those knots you see on other
leaders' uniforms? Here's a page giving the
meanings and requirements for all of the square knots (offsite link to
The US Scout Service Project) (also see this
web page from boyscouttrail.com). Training knots are available
for Cub, Webelos, Boy Scout and Venturing Leaders as well as Commissioners
and District Committee members - you can apply for those yourself. Contact Kathlene Gross firstname.lastname@example.org
to apply for the knots.
Veteran Scouter Recognition -
Veteran year pins are awarded every 5 years (5, 10, 15, 20...). Note that pins up to 20 years are
awarded by Council, 25 years and up are from National. Submit this
(fillable PDF from National website) to the Council office for all
- National Unit Leader Award of Merit - This award is
presented at the request of the unit to the unit leader - Cubmaster,
Scoutmaster, Venturing Crew Advisor or Varsity Coach. The unit committee chair completes the Unit
Leader Award of Merit Nomination Form on behalf of the unit
committee. For Boy Scout troops, Varsity Scout teams, and Venturer crews,
the nomination must include endorsement by the senior patrol leader, team
captain, or crew president, respectively (Cub packs, being adult led, do
not have this requirement). The unit or district
commissioner certifies that the form is complete. The unit submits the
nomination form to the council for approval by the Scout executive and
council commissioner or president.
- District Award of Merit - The highest
award a District may give. Each year, Taughannock District gives one
or two awards. To nominate someone for the District Award of Merit,
nomination form on the National website, or get a copy from
District Recognition Chair. There are no specific hard-and-fast
requirements for the District Award, but a general rule of thumb is
that someone should have been active at least five years and have
done at least some Scouting service outside the unit in which he or
she is registered (although long service unit leaders will be
considered). You can download a complete list
of previous recipients of the District Award of Merit (PDF).
Taughannock District Awards
These "unofficial" awards are given by the District,
among others which pop up from time to time. If you know someone
you think would deserve one of these awards, nominate them! Download
the Nomination Form MS
Word - PDF - and send it to
Recognition Chair Kathlene Gross - email@example.com
(or give it to her at Roundtable).
awarded to a non-Scouting individual or organization who has done
particular service to Scouting or to youth in general.
Outstanding Unit - awarded from time to time to Scouting
units - Packs, Troops, Crews, Posts - who have delivered outstanding
program to their youth members.
Spark Plug Award - Does your unit have a
leader who gives real "Spark" to the unit and its activities?
Give leaders the recognition they deserve and tell them "Thank You!"
The Spark Plug recipients are selected by the Unit, and confirmed by the
No more than one Spark Plug per unit per year, please, and no one can get
the Spark Plug twice in the same unit.
The District may
award one or more of the following each year, as selected by the Key 3 (Chair, DE, District Commissioner):
- Rising Star - may be presented to
"newish" leaders who have done special service for the
- Old Guard- may be presented to an Old F... we mean,
"Distinguished Elder Scouter" who has been serving the
District and/or units for many years.
- Patriot Patrol - a group of current Scouters who have done
outstanding service for the District over the past year.
- Taughannock 76'er - as a youth
leader parallel to the Patriot Patrol, this will be awarded annually to
a group of outstanding youth leaders in the District.
- Old Scout - given occasionally to repeat members of the Old
- Founders Award - awarded from time to time to Scouters with
especially long and distinguished service - download a
list of recipients of the Founders Award (PDF)
- Good Turn -
Masonic Scouting Awards
The Masons have two awards available for Scouts and
The General Douglas MacArthur Youth Award
recognizes distinguished or outstanding voluntary community service by
non-Masonic orgaiznations or individuals. It is given to "those who
have given of themselves, that ultimate goal in life, serving our
youth." Download a nomination
form here (PDF).
The Eagle Scout Award "recognizes the
dedication of a Scout to the pursuits of Scouting and of his achievement
leading to Eagle Scout. The recipient will get a special personalized
commendation certificate and letter from the Grand Master, along with a
medallion. Download a nomination form