Latest Updates:

During the current emergency, monitor the Patriots’ Path Council Scouting from Home page for ideas, events and resources to continue effective advancement.

MERIT BADGE COUNSELORS UPLOADED TO SCOUTBOOK May 5, 2020:
All approved Patriots’ Path Merit Badge Counselors (and their approved badges) have been uploaded to Scoutbook.  Unit leaders granted MBC privileges by the unit Scoutbook admin can now search the district merit badge counselor list in Scoutbook, and assign individual Scouts to counselors.  (The approved online version of the paper blue card.) The Scout, parent, and Counselor receive a notification email.  Once requirements (or badges) are complete, the counselor can mark them complete on the Scoutbook app.  Such records are immediately visible to the Scout, parents, and unit leaders.  Additions or corrections of assigned badges MUST go through the District Merit Badge Dean, and will be reflected in Scoutbook asap.  Details and resources below:
Quick one page pdf for unit leaders
Detailed “How do unit leaders assign merit badge counselors to a Scout?”

Scoutbook Merit Badge List FAQ
Scoutbook Merit Badge Counselor Guide
Getting a unit started on Scoutbook
Basic Scoutbook FAQ

APRIL 13, 2020:
Updated National Statement on COVID-19 with temporary rank requirement advancement mechanisms by video conferencing.

APRIL 9, 2020:
See the Eagle Advancement Info page for details of the Patriot’s Path process for approving Eagle extension requests that arise because of Covid-19 restrictions, and Virtual Eagle Boards of Review approvals.

MARCH 25, 2020:
National Statement on COVID-19
National COVID-19 FAQ
  with general advancement advice and details about a temporary process for Eagle Extensions.
Bryan on Scouting Official Details about Eagle Extensions and more.

MARCH 21, 2020: National Guidance on Cub Scouting/Scouts BSA/Venturing/Sea Scouting Rank Advancement and the Coronavirus (COVID-19) (pdf dated March 18). Also, monitor Bryan on Scouting for National updates on advancement and virtual Scouting.

MARCH 18, 2020: How to conduct a Board of Review through Videoconferencing: (Note, in Patriots’ Path Council, permission to conduct Eagle Boards of Review by Videoconferencing is delegated to the relevant District Advancement Committee.  See this link for the official PPC policy statement.)

DECEMBER 2019: Patriots Path Council 100 Degrees of Frost Award.  The 100 Degrees of Frost Award is presented to the Scout, Venturer, or registered adult leader who “earns” 100 or more below freezing points between October 1st and May 30th.  The link above downloads a pdf with instructions and an application.


Scouts BSA Advancement

Scouts BSA Program Resources

  • University of Scouting 12/7/19 overview of the Guide to Advancement: Powerpoint.
  • University of Scouting 12/7/19 course on District Advisor Eagle Project Approvals 2019.
  • University of Scouting 12/7/19 PDF ‘s of Eagle Mentor Training Slides only and Eagle Mentor Training with Notes Original powerpoint: PPC Unit Eagle Mentor Training_2019_final.
  • Introduction to Advancement for Parents 2019 presentation from Merit Badge Introduction Workshop Nov 2, 2019.
  • REMINDER ON TWO-DEEP LEADERSHIP: In May 2018 National released new Youth Protection policies  and emphasized that “Two registered adult leaders 21 years of age or over are required at all Scouting activities….”  The Guide to Advancement (Section 9.0.2.14) is clear “All Eagle Scout service projects constitute official Scouting activity and thus are subject to Boy Scouts of America policies and procedures. Projects are considered part of a unit’s program and are treated as such with regard to policies, procedures, and requirements regarding Youth Protection, two-deep leadership, etc.”
  • Policy and implementation for special 2019 Eagle extension requests for youth over 16 but not yet 18 years of age on February 1, 2019 interested in earning the Eagle Scout rank. PDF
  • February 2019: New Guide to Advancement released.  Details of updates in section 1.0.3.0.

Eagle Advancement Info
Who Approves Scouts BSA Advancement?

In Scouts BSA, both adult and youth leaders approve advancement. This permits greater emphasis on standards and more consistency in measurement, but it also places additional importance on teaching and testing. As Scouts work with one another, learning takes place on both sides of the equation as they play teacher and student in turn. Parents are involved at home encouraging, mentoring, and supporting, but they do not sign for rank advancement requirements unless they serve as registered leaders.

Providing a troop program supporting advancement

Scouts advance from Tenderfoot to Eagle by doing things with with their patrol and troop, with their leaders, and on their own. Well-delivered programming will take youth to First Class in their first year of membership and then to Star rank the following year.  The New Scouts Path to First Class is a council-provided resource to help troops develop a program (and track progress) for the transition of youth from the Cub Scout program to the Scouts BSA program and retain them through an advancement program that provides new Scouts the opportunity to achieve the rank of First Class within a year.

Four Steps in Scout Advancement

Advancement is a simple matter when the four steps outlined below are observed and integrated into troop programming.

  1. The Scout Learns – Scouts learn by doing, and as they learn, they grow in their ability to do their part as a member of the patrol and troop. As they develop knowledge and skill, he they are asked to teach others; and in this way they learn and develop leadership.
  2. The Scout Is Tested – The Scoutmaster authorizes those who may test and pass the Scout on rank requirements. These might include patrol leaders, the senior patrol leader, an assistant unit leader, a troop committee member, another Scout, or the Scoutmaster. Merit badge counselors teach and test the Scout on requirements for merit badges.
  3. The Scout Is Reviewed – After completing all requirements for a rank, the Scout meets with a board of review. For Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, and Life ranks, and Eagle Palms, members of the unit committee conduct the meeting. The Eagle Scout board of review is held in accordance with National Council and local council procedures.
  4. The Scout Is Recognized – When the board of review has approved advancement, the Scout deserves recognition as soon as possible. This should be done at a ceremony at the next unit meeting. The certificate for the new rank may be presented later, during a formal court of honor.

It is important to remember that, in the end, a badge is not as much a reward for what the Scout has done, but recognition of what the young person is able to do and how he or she has grown.

Cub Scout Advancement

Cub Adventure Program Resources

The responsibility for Cub Scout advancement administration belongs to a pack committee. The pack committee collects den advancement reports, compiles and maintains them in pack records, reports advancement to the council using Internet Advancement, 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.

Who Approves Cub Scout Advancement?

A key responsibility for den leaders is to implement the core den meeting plans as outlined in the Den & Pack Meeting Resource Guide, No. 34409. For Wolf, Bear, and Webelos advancement, den leaders take the lead in approving requirements, with help from their assistants and parents or guardians who are asked to assist at meetings. Parents sign for requirements that, according to meeting plans and instructions in the handbooks, take place at home. For the Bobcat trail and Tiger Cub achievements, parents (or adult partners) should sign in the Cub’s handbook; the den leader then approves as progress is recorded in the den’s advancement record.

Standard is “Do Your Best”

Advancement performance in Cub Scouting is centered on its motto: “Do Your Best.” When a youth has done this—their 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.

Cub Scout Ranks

The Cub Scout program is centered primarily in the den, the home and neighborhood, but often takes place in the outdoors. It leads to advancement through six ranks. More on Webelos advancement.

  • Bobcat badge is earned first, before all other ranks. The trail to Bobcat involves learning the Cub Scout Promise, Law of the Pack, and signs and symbols of Cub Scouting, with an introduction to Character Connections®. After earning the Bobcat rank, new members begin work on the rank appropriate to their age: Tiger Cub, Wolf, Bear, or Webelos.
  • Tiger Cub rank is for youth who are in the first grade (or are 7 years old).
  • Wolf rank is for youth who have completed first grade or are 8 years old.
  • Bear rank is for youth who have completed second grade or are 9 years old.
  • Webelos, an acronym for “We’ll Be LOyal Scouts,” is the rank for youth who have completed third grade or are 10 years old.
  • Arrow of Light Award is Cub Scouting’s highest rank.  It is earned after fulfilling the requirements for the Webelos badge, usually during the second-year Webelos program.

Venturing

Program Updates

New Venturing award requirements have been released. There handbook for Venturers, the Venturing Advisor Guidebook, and the Venturing Awards and Requirements Books are all new. The Program Updates page of Scouting.org will always have the most recent information on what is coming and when.

Venturing Program & Awards

Venturing is for young men and women who are 14 through 20 years old, or who are 13 and have completed the eighth grade.  Its purpose is to build character, promote citizenship, and develop personal and mental fitness. Each Venturing crew is responsible for achieving these aims by designing a program that appeals to its members. The purpose of the Venturing awards program is to facilitate these four goals; provide a pathway for personal development; encourage learning; growth and service; and recognize high levels of achievement.

Advancement is accomplished when an active program emphasizes it and pays attention to the four steps of the process: preparation, learning, qualification, and recognition. Bronze, Gold, and Silver are the awards for the advancement track. Other awards can be earned.

For detailed requirements and more information on Venturing advancement or recognition, see the Venturer/Ranger Handbook, No. 33494; Sea Scout Manual, No. 33239; Quest Handbook, No. 33151; TRUST Handbook, No. 33154; and Venturing Leader Manual, No. 34655. Except in Sea Scouts, Venturers work on awards, not ranks, and they can choose to work along with others in a crew or go it alone.

They may also work simultaneously on the Bronze, Gold, and Silver awards; there are time-oriented requirements, but not between the earning of one award to the next. The Gold and Silver awards require a crew review. There is no council or district involvement, except perhaps guidance on best practices. All work for the awards must be completed before the member’s 21st birthday, but the review may be held after that date.

Council Advancement Committee

The council committee’s members include the chair, the chairs of the 6 district advancement committees, and several members-at-large.  These volunteers represent a breadth of experience, both in Scouting and professionally. They cooperate with the other program function elements — outdoor programs, activities and civic service and training —and also with the membership, finance, and unit-service functions.  The committee is supported by a council professional staff advisor.

Committee Responsibilities

The committees are responsible for implementing and facilitating advancement and processing most special awards and recognitions.  This is done according to national procedures and local practices under the direction of the council executive board.  The council advancement committee falls under the authority of the vice president for program.

We follow BSA’s official source for administering advancement, the Guide to Advancement.  For situations not specifically covered in that document, we make decisions based on the aims and mission of the Boy Scouts of America,  the Scout Oath and Scout Law and common sense.  Advancement is nothing more and nothing less than a method. It is a means toward accomplishing the Boy Scouts of America mission; not an end in itself.

Unit Eagle Mentor and Coach Training

Traditionally, knowledgeable unit leaders often work with Life Scouts as informal Eagle Mentors to encourage and advise Eagle candidates on their trail to Eagle.

The committee oversees advancement for: Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA and Venturers.


Council Advancement
Chairman
Bruce Benson
(973) 538-8325


Council Advancement
Vice Chairman
George Kamper
(201) 704-1000

District Advancement Chairs


Black River
Dave Meehan
(973) 886 8751


Fishawack

Bob Weber


Munsee

Peter Glaser
(908) 688-5016


Raritan Valley
Deb Hopkins
(732) 752-4634


Sussex

George Lippencott
(973) 383-6022


Watchung Mountain

Christine O’Brien
(908) 612-3119

M.Kamichoffweb
Camp Advancement
Martha Kamichoff
(732) 827-2883

MM
Events:
Electives Extravaganza &
Merit Badge Introduction Workshop
Michael Merritt
(973) 568-7979

DebReidmiller
Member at Large
Deb Reidmiller
(973) 903-6939

ScottBurger
New Merit Badges

Scott Berger
(908) 889-1760

Mary Lynn Capen
Special Needs

Mary Lynne Capen
(201) 230-4897


Council Advisor

Mark Spaldo
(973) 765-9322 x251