Advancement in Summer Camp

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Main article: Merit Badge Policies
In developing council procedures for handling Advancement Reports and distributing badges, remember that many Boy Scout advancement opportunities take place in summer camp. Special attention should be given to ensure that the procedures include summer camp.

The procedures for advancement in summer camp are established by the council advancement committee in cooperation with the committee responsible for summer camp, the camp director, and the program director. These procedures must be approved by the council advancement committee prior to the opening of camp. This procedure must include the four processes of advancement -- learning, testing, reviewing, and recognition.

The camp director will organize program staff, specialists, commissioners, and department heads in such a way that the program in camp is completely operative from the beginning of the camp season. These procedures should be given to each troop as part of pre-camp orientation.

The program director is responsible for assuring that all program equipment relating to advancement is available for use.

Camp staff members should be prepared and available to assist unit leaders in teaching and testing Scouts on Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class requirements.

Camp merit badge counselors must be qualified (see "Qualifications of Counselors", page 13). Camp staff members who are qualified in the subject and are younger than age 18 may assist the merit badge counselor with instruction. The merit badge counselor or instructor in a particular subject should be available to both individuals and groups.

Revised in 2007 Printing
However, regardless of the class format, each Scout must be reviewed individually by the counselor to ensure completion of the badge's requirements.

Because of the need for continued practice in some subjects, it will be necessary to meet candidates at a certain time each day. For other subjects, it may be necessary to meet as a group once or twice during the week.

Each counselor must maintain the exact standards as outlined in the merit badge requirements -- nothing deleted, nothing added -- and make himself or herself available at the time most convenient to the Scouts. Partial completion of merit badges should be credited to a Scout on the Application for Merit Badge and given to the Scoutmaster at the end of the week.

Advancement Policies #33088, p. 34)

There is no time limit for completion of merit badges other than age 18.

Group Instruction of Merit Badges

The question arises as to whether it is permissible to have Scouts earn merit badges in groups. Many subjects may be presented to groups of Scouts without defeating one of the purposes of the merit badge plan -- working closely with a qualified Scout.

The National Executive Board has approved this policy statement on merit badge counseling:

To the fullest extent possible, the merit badge counseling relationship is a counselor-Scout arrangement in which the boy is not only judged on his performance of the requirements, but receives maximum benefit from the knowledge, skill, character, and personal interest of his counselor. Group instruction and orientation are encouraged where special facilities and expert personnel make this most practical, or when Scouts are dependent on only a few counselors for assistance. However, this group experience should be followed by attention to each individual candidate's projects and his ability to fulfill all requirements.

In the end, the Scout must be reviewed individually by the counselor to ensure completion of the badges requirements.

In harmony with this policy, a troop or team may use merit badge counselors in unit meetings. The merit badge counselor can make a presentation covering the highlights of a merit badge subject. Scouts should then be given an opportunity to try some skill related to the badge. This introduction to a merit badge can spark an interest in the subject.

Advancement Policies #33088, p. 26)

Advancement for Scouts with Disabilities

Advancement for Boy Scouts with Disabilities - All current requirements for an advancement award (ranks, merit badges, or Eagle Palms) must actually be met by the candidate. There are no substitutions or alternatives permitted except those which are specifically stated in the requirements.
Advancement Policies #33088, p. 40)

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