Merit Badge Requirement Updates

The following merit badges have been updated as of January 1, 2021.

  • Archaeology (4b; requirements 8-11 reordered)
  • Collections (1, 5a, 5c, 5e, 5f; deleted 7; added 3d)
  • Digital Technology (5b)
  • Disability Awareness (1a, 1b)
  • Electricity (10)
  • Fish and Wildlife Management (3)
  • Fishing (10)
  • Fly-Fishing (10, 11)
  • Lifesaving (1, 2, 15, 16)
  • Motorboating (1a, 2a, 3a, 4, 5a, 5c)
  • Photography (1a, 1b)
  • Public Health (1)
  • Rowing (2)
  • Sports (1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 2c, 2d, 4)
  • Theater (5, added 3j)
  • Woodwork (7)
Learn More




New Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook

There is a new Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook available. Please make sure that your Life Scout is using the correct workbook when requesting a project review from the district. Download the new workbook. For more information and details contact your district advancement chairperson.

Learn More




Requesting Extensions for Advancement

Preliminary Note: the National Council of the BSA released new guidelines for Rank Advancement for all Scouting programs during COVID-19 related social distancing.  There has been an update to the Rank Advancement COVID-19 FAQ on 1/5/2021 – please click the link to see those updates (marked with a diamond) –

link: https://www.scouting.org/coronavirus/covid-19-faq/

Requesting an Extension – Guide to Advancement (GTA) Section 9.0.4.0

Step 1 – Is the Scout eligible for an Extension?

  • These extensions are available only to youth members who qualify under the three tests listed in the below explanation from the 2021 edition of the Guide to Advancement (GTA)
  • “Time Extensions” 9.0.4.0 – posted below

Note from Mayflower Council:
Council Advancement Committees have been told that after Dec. 31, 2020, there is no plan to authorize COVID-19 extensions as has been allowed during 2020. It is possible, however, that as of Jan. 1, 2021, COVID-19 could become a circumstance that warrants an extension if it qualifies under the three tests listed in 9.0.4.0, below.

9.0.4.0 Time Extensions

If a Scout foresees that due to no fault or choice of his or her own, it will be impossible to complete the Eagle Scout rank requirements before age 18 may apply to the local council for a limited time extension.  These should be granted only when necessary and are reserved only for work on Eagle.  When a time extension is requested, the Scout should continue working on the requirements until a final decision is delivered.   In most cases, unless the National Council has issued other direction, a request must meet the three tests listed below to be approved.

Sea Scouts or Venturers who foresee that due to no fault or choice of their own, it will be impossible to complete the Quartermaster or Summit requirements before age 21, must use the same tests, process, and form described in topics 9.0.4.0, 9.0.4.1, and 9.0.4.2 to request a limited time extension.

The Three tests to see if a Scout is eligible for an extension:

Test #1:
1. The member joined or rejoined (or became active again after a period of inactivity, or became refocused on advancement after a period of inattention) in time to complete all requirements before turning 18.

Test #2:
2. Through no fault or choice of the Scout, an unforeseen circumstance or life changing event with severe consequences has come to exist that now precludes completion of the requirements before the deadline.

Examples might include, but are not limited to, a hospital stay, disabling injury, significant personal or family incident or issue, natural disaster, severe unseasonable weather, or the actions of others (see below the line, “Misinformation from adults in positions of authority”). If the circumstance is health related, it should have been unforeseen and of recent onset, or a complication or intensification of an ongoing issue.

Test #3:
3. The circumstance is beyond the control of the Scout, could not have been anticipated or planned for, and was not or cannot be resolved in time to complete the requirements.


Misinformation from adults in positions of authority
Since we teach obedience as one of the Scout Laws, it follows that guidance and direction from an adult leader carries significant weight. Adults who are misinformed about advancement requirements and timing have, at times, created circumstances that necessitated extensions. Councils must consider the circumstances of each case. If it can be established that a Scout followed incorrect guidance and direction in good faith, then Test #2—as it relates to the actions of others—may be considered fulfilled, even though the Scout has a handbook and should have read it.

Applying the three tests
Whether a request for extension meets the three tests above requires the exercise of carefully considered and debated judgement. If the council advancement committee is unsure about whether  an extension should be granted, the National Council encourages local councils to find in favor of the Scout.


 

Step 2 – Process for Requesting and Reviewing a Time Extension – GTA Section 9.0.4.1

See “Process for Requesting and Reviewing a Time Extension,” 9.0.4.1, written below:

To begin this process, please use this form: 11.2.0.0 Request for Extension of Time to Earn the Eagle Scout Rank

Please email AdvancementExtension@mayflowerbsa.org to let them know to expect this, and to get their guidance and suggestions on how to proceed


Who is able to get an extension? – These are available only to youth who qualify according to the three tests listed in “Time Extensions,” 9.0.4.0 (please read section above).

Who can request an extension for a Scout? – A Scout, his or her parent or guardian, unit leader, or members of the unit committee may file such requests.

Who reviews these requests for extension? – The Council Advancement Committee must research and evaluate requests and recommend decisions to the Scout Executive.  A subcommittee in the Council Advancement Committee will be in touch with all individuals involved in the reason for the extension.  A letter from the Committee and the Scout Executive will be sent out if/when the extension is granted.  This is explained in items #2 and #3 below.

How long may these extensions be? – Councils have the authority to grant Scouts only enough time to complete the requirements, but not more than a total of six months after the 18th birthday. Under most circumstances, however, three to four months has proven sufficient. This is explained in item #4 below.   If a council denies a request or the Scout needs more than six months, an appeal process is discussed in “Appealing a Time Extension Denial,” 9.0.4.2, this is explained in item #5 below.


Note from the BSA: Definition of a month

Note as stated on page 2 of the Guide to Advancement a month is a month regardless how many days it has. It is not defined as 30 days or four weeks. For example, the maximum extension of six months means the time period beginning on the Scout’s 18th birthday up to the corresponding day six months later, for example, February 2 up to August 2 or August 30 up to February 28 (or 29th if leap year). In essence, the extension expiration date acts like a pseudo 18th birthday, prior to which all requirements must be fulfilled. Six months does not mean 180 days.


How to Request an Extension:

1. Requesting an extension

Requests for time extensions must be submitted to the Mayflower Council Advancement Committee via email to AdvancementExtension@mayflowerbsa.org or by mail to the attention of the staff advisor for advancement or other council designated advancement administrator. 

The form, “Request for Extension of Time to Earn the Eagle Scout Rank” (GTA Appendix, 11.2.0.0) may be used for this purpose.

Since council-granted extensions expire no more than six months after the Scout’s 18th birthday, it is wise to submit requests well before a Scout turns 18 years old. For the same reason, Scouts should be encouraged to continue work on advancement throughout the extension request process.

Requests must:

(a) Explain why or how the circumstances necessitate an extension

(b) indicate the number of months believed to be necessary to complete the requirements

(c) explain how that period of time was determined and,

(d) include documentation of the circumstances. (See “Time Extensions,” 9.0.4.0 above on this webpage)

      • If a cause is health related, a statement from a health professional must be provided. All documentation and supporting evidence submitted must be dated and include the name of the author.

2. The council’s role in evaluating extension requests

The Mayflower Council Advancement Committee understands that time is of the essence.  This committee meets monthly through most of the year, however, ad hoc meetings are called to discuss and vote on special case extension situations.

A request for extension will be investigated by a subcommittee of the Council Advancement Committee composed of registered adults who are familiar with Scouts BSA advancement.  They will conduct interviews with as many people with knowledge of the case as possible and obtain detailed written statements from them or prepare written summaries of what is said.  A thorough review will likely include the Scout themselves, Scoutmasters, parents, adults registered in the Troop, Eagle coaches, or more in the process, as necessary.  This effort must also include any adults who committed errors or provided misinformation and who are reasonably available. 

The results of the investigation are then reported to the council advancement committee to deliberate and vote on a recommendation to the Scout Executive, who has final authority on the extension decision (see item #3 below).

All documentation, statements, notes, and any other information collected are retained.  They are retained for any situation including the successful rank advancement through a board of review, where this material must be included, OR in the event of a denial and subsequent appeal. (See item #5 below, “In the event of denial.”, for information and form)

3. The Scout executive’s role

If after receiving the recommendation of the council advancement committee, the Scout Executive approves an extension, a letter is sent to the Scout, his or her parent or guardian, the unit leader, and the petitioner who initially submitted the request. A copy of the letter is placed
in the council’s unit file. The letter will include the following: (a) the date the extension expires—no later than six months after the 18th birthday (see above, “Definition of a month”), (b) a statement that the Scout must complete the requirements prior to that expiration date, and (c) a requirement that a copy of this letter must be attached to the Eagle Scout application when it is submitted to the council. The board of review and submission of the Eagle application and other paperwork may take place after the expiration date. The Eagle application is entered into the BSA system.

In the event the Scout Executive disagrees with the council advancement committee’s recommendation—whether about approval, the length of an extension, or denial—the Scout executive is consults with the advancement committee chair in order to clarify any misunderstanding of advancement policies and procedures or any recommendation requires more supporting evidence. If agreement is not reached, the Scout Executive’s decision stands.  See item #5 “In the event of denial” for more steps that can be taken after that.

4. Extensions of more than six months

A six-month extension allows for completion of time-oriented requirements such as position of responsibility, active participation, and those found in some required merit badges.  Council’s are given guidance from the BSA that in the unlikely event a Scout requires more than six months, the Council must deny the request.

5. In the event of denial

If a Scout is denied an extension, a letter is prepared and sent to the Scout, his or her parent or guardian, the unit leader, and the petitioner who initially submitted the request. The letter will explain the reason for the decision and how to appeal it to the National Council. A copy of the letter is placed in the council’s unit file. Only the Scout or his or her parent or guardian may initiate an appeal of an extension denial.

See  “Appealing a Time Extension Denial” GTA section 9.0.4.2 and form from the GTA: 11.2.1.0 Appeal of Extension Request Denial


Scouts with disabilities — choosing between extension or registration beyond the age of eligibility

Note from Mayflower Council: Requesting an extension for Rank advancement is typically because of an unforeseen, sudden circumstance that hinders a Scout that would have otherwise been able to finish their rank advancement.  Registration beyond the age of eligibility is for Scouts that have permanent and severe disabilities that gives them special consideration to continue as a participant in the Scouting program (advancement, activities, training, etc.) beyond the age of 18.   The age of eligibility is defined as (18-y-o for Scouts BSA, 21-y-o for Venturing and Sea Scouts)

Please read the descriptions below from the GTA to understand if your Scout should request an extension or registration beyond the age of eligibility:

In most cases, Scouts are expected to overcome life’s ordinary trials. Cause for an extension requires an extraordinary circumstance uncommon to the Scout. Known circumstances, such as moderate learning disabilities or ADD/ADHD, that the Scout has faced over many years and has coped with in the past should not suddenly become an issue shortly before the Scout’s 18th birthday. Council advancement committees, however, might consider exceptions and grant extensions to Scouts with significant disabilities that do not meet the level of severity or permanence required for registration beyond the age of eligibility, but are such that they essentially preclude advancement within the timeframe allowed.

Scouts with permanent and severe disabilities such as those described in section 10, “Advancement for Members With Special Needs,” have the opportunity to be registered beyond the age of eligibility. (See link: “Registering Qualified Members Beyond Age of Eligibility,” 10.1.0.0.) They do not need to request an extension, but please read the documentation required for the Council to review and deliberate in order to grant this registration.

Examples from Section 10.1.0.0 of the GTA of conditions that, if severe, may be criteria that qualify a youth for registration beyond the age of eligibility:

    • Autism spectrum disorders
    • Blind or sight-impaired
    • Deaf or hard of hearing
    • Cognitive disability
    • Developmental delay
    • Down syndrome
    • Emotional or behavioral disorder
    • Physically disabled
    • Traumatic brain injury
    • Multiple coexisting disabilities

Advance copies of these topics and forms are also published at www.scouting.org/advancement.

 

 

 




Proposed Eagle Scout Merit Badge Delayed

January 7, 2021

The introduction of the proposed Diversity, Equity and Inclusion merit badge is being delayed to allow for the careful consideration and evaluation of feedback received from a wide variety of commenters on the draft requirements. Until further notice, all Scouts working on the Eagle Scout rank should continue to use current rank requirements. Once the Eagle-required Diversity, Equity and Inclusion merit badge is introduced, Scouts in the process of earning the rank of Eagle Scout will be given adequate time to earn it.

Specific questions are welcome via email at Officeof.ChiefDiversityOfficer@scouting.org.




Inaugural Class of Female Eagle Scouts Update

Those connected to the process for the inaugural class of female Eagle Scouts should review the updated guidance.




Rank Advancement and Covid-19: April Update

COVID-19 FAQ
UPDATED 4/13/20 – The most recent updates are indicated by a diamond in front of the question.

Advancement

Q: How can advancement be tracked remotely?

Scouting units should use Scoutbook to record and track advancement.

To track advancement remotely, parents should:

  • Connect with their child’s member profile via an invitation that the unit leader sends within Scoutbook. You may also connect to your youth via the Scouting app “Add a Parent connection.”
  • Once a connection is made, the parent should use the Scouting app, found in both the App Store and on Google Play, to stay connected with their unit.
  • The Scouting app provides parents the ability to report any advancement that was completed at home.

Learn more about how to start using Scoutbook and how to connect parents to their Scouts at Scoutbook.com.

Advancement — Cub Scouts

Q: May parents sign off on Webelos and Arrow of Light requirements?

Yes. Through July 31, 2020, parents and other adults in the Cub Scout’s family, may sign off on Webelos and Arrow of Light requirements. We strongly encourage that parents use the Scouting App or ScoutBook to record completion of their child’s requirements.

Q: If my den is behind in advancement due to COVID-19, can my Cub Scout continue to work on advancement through the summer?

Yes. Cub Scouts can continue to work on their current den’s advancement through July 31, 2020.  This is to provide any additional time a Cub Scout needs to complete their badge of rank; if they earn their badge of rank prior to July 31, 2020, they may advance to the next rank.

♦ Q: Can the Arrow of Light (fifth-grade dens) requirements fulfill the requirement to visit a troop or attend a troop outing to function as a patrol? 

Yes. Two things to keep in mind, the standard of completion for Cub Scout advancement is “Do Your Best,” so given the circumstances, we want to look at the purpose behind the requirements. Remember that doing nothing is never doing your best. 

Dens can visit a virtual troop meeting to see the patrol method and youth leadership in action. Since the den cannot attend a troop campout or outing, the idea is for the den to function as a patrol while attending the virtual troop meeting. During this time, a virtual den meeting where the den functions as a patrol can be done. Elect a patrol leader, pick a patrol name, play a virtual game together as a patrol. Plenty of opportunities to Do Your Best to meet the intention of the requirement. Remember to maintain all youth protection standards online.

Advancement — Scouts BSA, Venturing and Sea Scouts

♦ Q: Can merit badge counseling or Nova/Supernova counseling be done using digital technologies like Zoom or WebEx?

Yes, registered merit badge counselors or Nova counselors/Supernova mentors may work with youth using digital platforms, ensuring that all youth protection measures noted in the Guide to Safe Scouting and BSA’s social media guidelines are in place. In addition to youth protection, the advancement guidelines in Guide to Advancement (GTA) Section 7 are required.

♦ Q: Are merit badge counselors allowed to provide online instruction?
Yes. Merit badge counselors should follow the guidelines in the Guide to Advancement 7.0.3.2 and ensure you are adhering to all youth protection requirements and online communications guidelines. It is acceptable—and sometimes preferable—for merit badges to be taught in group settings, including online instruction. We currently allow group instruction at camp and merit badge midways, fairs, clinics, or similar events. These can be efficient methods, and interactive group discussions can support learning. Gathering a group online can also be beneficial. Guest experts and speakers that assist registered and approved counselors may be more willing to speak to a larger online audience. Slide shows, skits, demonstrations, panels, and various other techniques can also be employed, but as any teacher can attest, not everyone will learn all the material. Therefore, the standards we use to verify that each Scout has fulfilled requirements must not be relaxed. Merit badge counselors must be sure that each Scout has individually gained the knowledge intended. When accomplished, counselors can easily sign off requirements via ScoutBook.

Q: Can I connect directly with my Scouts/Venturers/Sea Scouts if I am a merit badge counselor?
Yes. In ScoutBook, merit badge counselors can now connect directly with the Scouts they are counseling; see https://discussions.scouting.org/t/march-23-2020-scoutbook-updates/165970 NOTE: Scouts/Venturers/Sea Scouts still must get approval from their leader, according to Guide to Advancement 7.0.3.0.  

Q: How will I know if a Scout/Venturer/Sea Scout has obtained approval from their leader to work on a merit badge?
In the member profile, you will see if the leader has signed off with their approval.

Q: What if my member profile shows that my merit badge counselor status has expired:
Check with your council. Local councils may need to upload their latest list of approved merit badge counselors.

Q: Will unit leaders know that a merit badge counselor has connected with one of their Scouts/Venturers/Sea Scouts?
Yes. The unit Key 3 will receive an email that includes the name of the merit badge counselor, the Scout, and the name of the merit badge.

Q: What if I have other merit badge/ScoutBook questions?
See https://help.scoutbook.com/knowledge-base/scoutbook-merit-badge-counselor-council-upload-faq/

♦ Q: What changes have been made to rank advancement/camping requirements given the need to maintain social distancing during this time?
We have implemented temporary changes, detailed below, to allow Scouts to complete rank requirements, detailed below, by video conferencing through September 1, 2020. This deadline will be re-evaluated as needed.
The goal when using video conferencing must be to preserve the ideals and intent of each requirement as best as possible. Scoutmasters or their designee(s) should remain mindful of the Methods of Scouting, such as the Patrol Method, before implementing the modified requirements listed below. Some advancement activities can be completed by video conferencing but not all. For example, virtual visits to a city council meeting, national historic landmarks, museums, and art galleries may be acceptable, but swimming, rifle shooting, and motorboating merit badges cannot be completed virtually.
Even when using video conferencing, all virtual campouts and activities should consist of as many elements found on a normal outdoor campout or activity as possible. The most significant difference is that patrol or troop members are not all in the same location. All existing youth protection policies and digital safety guidelines must be followed.
Tenderfoot rank requirements
1b. – Virtual patrol or troop campouts via video conferencing will be permitted.
2a. – During the same day as your virtual patrol or troop campout, assist in preparing one meal with the help of those with whom you live. Tell your patrol or troop why it was important for each person to share in meal preparation and cleanup.
2b. – During the same day as your virtual campout, demonstrate the appropriate method of safely cleaning items used to prepare, serve and eat a meal.
5a. – Explain the importance of the buddy system as it relates to your personal safety on outings and in your neighborhood. Verbally commit to following the buddy system on your next troop or patrol outing.
7a. – Tell how to display, raise, lower, and fold the U.S. flag.
Second Class rank requirements:
1a & 1c. – Virtual patrol or troop activities via video conferencing will be permitted.
3b. – Using a compass and map together, plan a 5-mile hike approved by your adult leader.
4. – Evidence of wild animals can be demonstrated with information or photos of your local area found online.
5c. – May be completed virtually via video conferencing on dry land.
7c. – Learn about the dangers of using drugs, alcohol and tobacco and other practices that could be harmful to your health. Discuss what you learned with your family and explain the dangers of substance addictions. Report to your Scoutmaster or other adult leader in your troop about which parts of the Scout Oath and Scout Law relate to what you learned.
8a. – May be completed virtually using video conferencing.
8d. – May be completed by comparing costs at three (3) online sites or locations.
First Class rank requirements:
1a – Virtual patrol or troop activities via video conferencing will be permitted.
2e. – On the same day as your virtual campout, serve as the cook. Supervise your assistant(s) in using a stove or building a cooking fire. Prepare the breakfast, lunch, and dinner planned in First Class requirement 2a. Supervise the cleanup.
4a. – By drawing, computer software, or other virtual methods, plan an orienteering course that would cover at least one mile. Explain why measuring the height and/or width of designated items (tree, tower, canyon, ditch, etc.) is helpful. Explain how you would complete your course using a real map and compass.
4b. – Scouts do not need to follow their route.
5a. – Evidence of native plants can be demonstrated with information or photos of your local area found online.
6e. – May be completed on dry land.
9a. – Visit may take place virtually or by phone.
9c. – Outings can include past or future plans.
10. – Invite the potential new member to a virtual meeting or future activity using video conferencing. 

♦ Q: Will virtual camping count toward Order of the Arrow nights camping? 

No, virtual camping will not count toward the 15 nights camping required for membership in the Order of the Arrow. 

♦ Q: Can merit badge requirements be adapted since some elements can’t be completed as stated right now?
The published guidelines for the methodology of the merit badge program and the role of the merit badge counselor is found in the Guide to Advancement, Section 7.0.0.0. It is important to remember that leaders and merit badge counselors must not make additions or deletions to requirements. The Scout is expected to meet the requirements as stated; however, in some cases, virtual “visits” may fulfill the intent of a requirement. When the requirement’s intent cannot be reached virtually, the requirements cannot be completed, and the Scout must wait to complete that badge/requirement. Merit badge counselors signing off on requirements must determine to the best of their ability if the Scout has demonstrated the intended outcome.
All existing youth protection policies and digital safety guidelines must be followed.

♦ Q: Does a Scout need a hard copy of a Blue Card when working on merit badges?
No. Since the introduction of Scoutbook, the BSA has offered Scouts two ways of recording merit badge requirement completion: The Blue Card and Scoutbook. Both remain authorized methods to record merit badge work. Scoutbook is a part of the BSA Internet Advancement system, which means that entering an advancement record in Scoutbook is the same as entering it in Internet Advancement. Anyone with a BSA member ID automatically has access to a Scoutbook account through their my.scouting account.

Q: May time missed due to canceled unit meetings count toward active participation requirements?

Yes. If youth are registered and in good standing, a disruption from COVID-19 virus can be the “noteworthy circumstance” that prevents participation. This policy has been in place for many years and is explained in GTA Topic 4.2.3.1.

Q: May time missed due to canceled unit meetings count toward position of responsibility requirements?

Yes. If youth are registered and unable to meet the expectations of their positions because of COVID-19 disruptions, then units may need to waive or rethink the expectations. Just as youth must not be held to unestablished expectations, they must not be held to expectations that are impossible to fulfill. See GTA Topic 4.2.3.4, “Positions of Responsibility,” with its six subtopics.

Q: Does the National Council grant extensions of time to complete rank requirements beyond the 18thbirthday for the Eagle or 21st birthday for Summit or Quartermaster?

Yes, but only for the Eagle Scout rank as described in GTA Topic 9.0.4.0 or for Venturing Summit or Sea Scout Quartermaster as described in GTA Topic 4.3.3.0. Unit leadership must become familiar with the five tests under 9.0.4.0. The tests were designed to accommodate such obstacles as those presented by COVID-19 disruptions.

Q: Will youth who are not yet Life Scouts be allowed to apply for an extension to earn the Eagle Scout rank?

Extensions are considered only for Scouts who are Life rank. If, once a Scout achieves Life rank, it turns out that COVID-19 disruptions along the way have left them with insufficient time to complete Eagle requirements, then this may be cited when the time comes to submit an extension request.

Q: May local councils grant extensions?

Mayflower Council is granting extensions for Eagle Scout, Summit Award, and Quartermaster.  Please look at the information at the following link:  https://www.mayflowerbsa.org/petitioning-advancement-extensions/

Normally, that is not allowed. However, due to the current situation—effective immediately and through September 30, 2020—council Scout executives may grant extensions, or delegate authority to the Council Advancement Committee to grant extensions under the following limitations:

  1. It can be established that COVID-19 disruptions were the only circumstances that delayed work on Eagle Scout/Summit/Quartermaster advancement requirements, such as the service project or merit badges. If any other causes were involved, the extension request must go to the National Council following the process outlined in the GTA.
  2. Extensions shall only be granted to youth in Scouts BSA who have already achieved Life rank.
  3. When the council receives a COVID-19-related request for a time extension, the council reviews the request and approves it if appropriate. A written response stating the outcome of the extension request must go to the youth. If approved, the notification must be attached to the youth’s Eagle/Summit/Quartermaster rank application. For Eagle, the extension must not exceed 3 months from the youth’s 18th birthday; for Summit/Quartermaster, the extension must not exceed 3 months from the youth’s 21st birthday.
  4. Upon turning 18, the Scout must submit a completed adult application and successfully complete YPT; their participant code will now be UP for SBSA or VP for Venturing and Sea Scouting.
  5. Extension requests for more than 3 months beyond the youth’s 18th/21st birthday must be sent to the National Service Center following the process outlined in the GTA.

Note: A “month” in BSA advancement is defined as a day from one month to the next. For example, March 5 to April 5.

Q: If youth have already received an extension, can they request additional time due to COVID-19?

Yes. Council Scout executives may grant extensions, or delegate authority to the Council Advancement Committee to grant extensions under the limitations listed above.

Q: What should be done while an extension request is being considered?

Youth should continue to work on advancement in so far as they are able—e.g., independently, or over the phone or videoconference—and at Scouting activities once they resume.

Q: Are extensions required when an Eagle/Summit/Quartermaster board of review must be delayed?

No. Councils may grant Eagle/Summit/Quartermaster boards of review up to six months after the youth’s 18th/21st birthday. See GTA Topic 8.0.3.1, “Eagle Scout Board of Review Beyond the 18th Birthday.”

See also, GTA Topic 8.0.1.6, “Boards of Review Through Videoconferencing.”

Q: Are electronic or digital signatures acceptable for rank advancement or for the Eagle/Summit/Quartermaster packets/applications?
Yes. Electronic or digital signatures will be accepted through September 30, 2020.

Q: How can a youth continue to work on advancement requirements if they don’t have internet or high-speed internet for videoconferencing?
Youth may take a picture of their completed activity/requirement and share the work with unit leaders. In keeping with youth protection policies, all communications from youth should be sent to at least two adults. See our Barriers to Abuse for details. Parents or guardians may send advancement work on be

Source for this information: https://www.scouting.org/coronavirus/covid-19-faq/?utm_source=scoutingwire&utm_campaign=swvolunteer4152020&utm_medium=email&utm_content=




Inaugural Class of Female Eagle Scout Extension

Details on Extension for Eagle Boards of Review for Those Who Wish to Be in the Inaugural Class of Female Eagle Scouts

These are historic times for our Movement. The coronavirus pandemic is having a direct impact in many Scouts’ ability to continue on their trail to Eagle – especially having completed all their requirements prior to the boards of review that are to be held from 10/1-31/2020.

Because we want all girls who joined in 2019 and wish to be a part of the Inaugural Class of female Eagle Scouts to have the benefit of such an experience, and after carefully considering recommendations from stakeholders, including feedback from volunteers and professionals, we will be extending the period for boards of review from 10/1/2020 – 1/31/2021. To further support the Inaugural Class, all boards of reviews will be dated with the same date by the National Service Center.

While this notice discusses the Inaugural Class of female Eagle Scouts, the lengthening of the Eagle board of review window is applicable to all Scouts who were granted the inaugural extension, regardless of gender.

As a reminder, all requirements must be completed while the individual is a registered member of Scouts BSA, or as a member of a Venturing crew or a Sea Scouts ship after achieving First Class in Scouts BSA, per the Guide to Advancement.




Requesting Adv. Extensions Due To COVID-19

As of March 20, 2020, the National Council of the BSA released new guidelines for Rank Advancement for all Scouting programs during COVID-19 related social distancing (link: https://www.scouting.org/coronavirus/covid-19-faq/)

Mayflower Council’s Advancement Committee has been assigned permission to grant extensions for Eagle Scout, Venturing Summit Award, and Sea Scout Quartermaster.

Extension Process

If a Scout meets the requirements outlined in the “Specifics” below please follow this process for submitting a petition for an extension

  • A petition for an extension may be filed by the Scout, their parent or guardian, their unit leader, or a member of the unit committee
  • Petitions should include information such as:
    • Scout’s name, unit, town, rank and mailing address (we will mail you a letter with the committee’s decision)
    • Unit leader name (Scoutmaster, Crew Advisor, Skipper), their contact information (phone, email)
    • Completed requirements, requirements in progress
    • Reason for requesting additional time
    • Status of advancement towards the rank/award
    • Expectations/plan/time frame needed to complete requirements
  • The petition is sent to the council’s designated appeals coordinators at the following email address: advancementextension@mayflowerbsa.org
    • Please submit requests before the Scout’s 18th birthday to allow the committee to conduct the process for approval
  • When the council receives a COVID-19-related request for a time extension, the petition coordination team will review the request and approve it if appropriate.
  • Upon approval, a written response stating the outcome of the extension request will be sent to the Scout and their unit leader.
    • If approved, the notification must be attached to the youth’s Eagle/Summit/Quartermaster rank application.

Specifics:

  • Extensions can be granted for up to three months beyond a Scout’s 18th birthday (or three months beyond their 21st birthday for Venture Scouts and Sea Scouts).
  • Extension petitions will only be accepted until December 31st 2020 – please do not wait until 12/25 to email for an extension.
  • Scouts BSA requesting an extension must already have achieved the rank of Life Scout.
  • For Scouts in Troops: Upon turning 18, the Scout must submit a completed adult application and successfully complete YPT; their participant code will now be UP (Unit Participant) for Scouts BSA Troops or VP (Venturing Participant) for Venturing and Sea Scouting.  You MUST fill out a FULL Adult application, CORI form, Additional Disclosure, and complete Youth Protections training on my.scouting.org.
  • Extension requests for more than 3 months beyond the youth’s 18th/21st birthday must be sent to the National Service Center following the process outlined in the (Guide To Advancement) GTA – these requests will go through a different process than what is outlined below.
  • Note: A “month” in BSA advancement is defined as a day from one month to the next. For example, March 5 to April 5.

 

Note from the decision committee: We expect Scouts and their Units to adjust by using digital tools for completing their advancement process.  The following will all be important items to consider as you move forwarigital signatures, video chat with two adults present, digital fundraising with District approval, showing leadership while maintaining social distancing and utilising all methods of virtual connection and document sharing.

Below: guidelines from the National Council about advancement

 




Rank Advancement and COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Questions and Answers

Cub Scouting/Scouts BSA/Venturing/Sea Scouting
Rank Advancement and COVID-19

The following questions regarding advancement have arisen as we deal with closures, cancellations, or other issues caused by the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Although there are difficulties and constraints, advancement can continue. Youth, parents, and leaders should work together to implement creative, common sense ways to facilitate advancement while adhering to the Guide to Safe Scouting and following the rules of Youth Protection training.

Please follow this link to the Guide to Advancement (GTA), which remains the primary source for information related to Scouts BSA advancement. It is referenced throughout the answers provided here.

 

All Scouting Programs

Q: How can advancement be tracked remotely?
A: Scouting units should use ScoutBook to record and track advancement.

To track advancement remotely, parents should:

  1. Connect with their child’s member profile via an invitation that the unit leader sends within ScoutBook.
  2. Once a connection is made, the parent should use the Scouting app, found in both the App Store and Google Play, to stay connected with their unit.
  3. The Scouting app provides parents the ability to report any advancement that was completed at home.

Go to help.scoutbook.com to learn more about how to start using ScoutBook and how to connect parents to their Scouts.

 

Cub Scouts

Q: May parents sign off on Webelos and Arrow of Light requirements?
A: Yes. Through July 31, 2020, parents and other adults in the Cub Scout’s family, may sign off on Webelos and Arrow of Light requirements. We strongly encourage that parents use the Scouting App or ScoutBook to record completion of their child’s requirements.

Q: If my den is behind in advancement due to COVID-19, can my Cub Scout continue to work on advancement through the summer?
A: Yes. Cub Scouts can continue to work on their current den’s advancement through July 31, 2020.  This is to provide any additional time a Cub Scout needs to complete their badge of rank; if they earn their badge of rank prior to July 31, 2020, they may advance to the next rank.

 

Scouts BSA, Venturing and Sea Scouts

Q: May merit badge requirements or rank requirements be modified?
A: No. All requirements must be completed as written. If meetings or activities are canceled or limited, youth should continue to work on requirements as far as possible. By employing common sense and creative solutions, many requirements–even Scoutmaster conferences–can be fulfilled through videoconferencing or telephone calls.

Q: Can merit badge counseling or Nova/Supernova counseling be done using digital technologies like Zoom or WebEx?
A: Yes, registered merit badge counselors or Nova counselors/Supernova mentors may work with youth using digital platforms, ensuring that all youth protection measures noted in the Guide to Safe Scouting and BSA’s social media guidelines are in place. In addition to youth protection, the advancement guidelines in GTA Section 7 are required.

Q: May time missed due to canceled unit meetings count toward active participation requirements?
A: Yes. If youth are registered and in good standing, a disruption from COVID-19 virus can be the “noteworthy circumstance” that prevents participation. This policy has been in place for many years and is explained in GTA Topic 4.2.3.1.

Q: May time missed due to canceled unit meetings count toward position of responsibility requirements?
A: Yes. If youth are registered and unable to meet the expectations of their positions because of COVID-19 disruptions, then units may need to waive or rethink the expectations. Just as youth must not be held to unestablished expectations, they must not be held to expectations that are impossible to fulfill. See GTA Topic 4.2.3.4, “Positions of Responsibility,” with its six subtopics.

Q: Does the National Council grant extensions of time to complete rank requirements beyond the 18th birthday for the Eagle or 21st birthday for Summit or Quartermaster?
A: Yes, but only for the Eagle Scout rank as described in GTA Topic 9.0.4.0 or for Venturing Summit or Sea Scout Quartermaster as described in GTA Topic 4.3.3.0. Unit leadership must become familiar with the five tests under 9.0.4.0. The tests were designed to accommodate such obstacles as those presented by COVID-19 disruptions.

Q: Will youth who are not yet Life Scouts be allowed to apply for an extension to earn the Eagle Scout rank?
A.    Extensions are considered only for Scouts who are Life rank. If, once a Scout achieves Life rank, it turns out that COVID-19 disruptions along the way have left them with insufficient time to complete Eagle requirements, then this may be cited when the time comes to submit an extension request.

Q: May local councils grant extensions?
A: Normally, that is not allowed. However, due to the current situation—effective immediately and through September 30, 2020—council Scout executives may grant extensions, or delegate authority to the Council Advancement Committee to grant extensions under the following limitations:

  1. It can be established that COVID-19 disruptions were the only circumstances that delayed work on Eagle Scout/Summit/Quartermaster advancement requirements, such as the service project or merit badges. If any other causes were involved, the extension request must go to the National Council following the process outlined in the GTA.
  2. Extensions shall only be granted to youth in Scouts BSA who have already achieved Life rank.
  3. When the council receives a COVID-19-related request for a time extension, the council reviews the request and approves it if appropriate. A written response stating the outcome of the extension request must go to the youth. If approved, the notification must be attached to the youth’s Eagle/Summit/Quartermaster rank application. For Eagle, the extension must not exceed 3 months from the youth’s 18th birthday; for Summit/Quartermaster, the extension must not exceed 3 months from the youth’s 21st birthday.
  4. Upon turning 18, the Scout must submit a completed adult application and successfully complete YPT; their participant code will now be UP for SBSA or VP for Venturing and Sea Scouting.
  5. Extension requests for more than 3 months beyond the youth’s 18th/21st birthday must be sent to the National Service Center following the process outlined in the GTA.

Note: A “month” in BSA advancement is defined as a day from one month to the next. For example, March 5 to April 5.

In Mayflower Council our Scout Executive has delegated the authority to grant extensions to the Council Advancement Committee.  The authority for councils to grant extensions is temporary, lasting only through Sept. 30, 2020.

Q: If youth have already received an extension, can they request additional time due to COVID-19?
A: Yes. Council Scout executives may grant extensions, or delegate authority to the Council Advancement Committee to grant extensions under the limitations listed above. In Mayflower Council our Scout Executive has delegated the authority to grant extensions to the Council Advancement Committee.

Q: What should be done while an extension request is being considered?
A: Youth should continue to work on advancement in so far as they are able—e.g., independently, or over the phone or videoconference—and at Scouting activities once they resume.

Q: Are extensions required when an Eagle/Summit/Quartermaster board of review must be delayed?
A: No. Councils may grant Eagle/Summit/Quartermaster boards of review up to six months after the youth’s 18th/21st birthday. See GTA Topic 8.0.3.1, “Eagle Scout Board of Review Beyond the 18th Birthday.”

See also, GTA Topic 8.0.1.6, “Boards of Review Through Videoconferencing.”

Q: Are electronic or digital signatures acceptable for rank advancement or for the Eagle/Summit/Quartermaster packets/applications?
A: Yes. Electronic or digital signatures will be accepted through September 30, 2020.

Q: How can a youth continue to work on advancement requirements if they don’t have internet or high-speed internet for videoconferencing?
A: Youth may take a picture of their completed activity/requirement and share the work with unit leaders. In keeping with Youth Protection Training policies, all communications from youth should be sent to at least two adults. Parents or guardians may send advancement work on behalf of their child.




Virtual Board of Review Resources

Scouting Magazine has recently posted an article regarding using video conferencing to conduct Board of Reviews.

Board of Reviews are an integral part of the Advancement program for Scouts BSA Troops, Venturing Awards, and Sea Scout ranks.  While making considerations for other people’s health and safety through social distancing, we encourage all Unit leaders to look at this article and consider using these resources and guidelines to conduct the Scouting program through virtual Boards of Review.

From Scouting Magazine article: How to conduct a board of review through videoconferencing

What guidelines should be followed in a video board of review?

The following is adapted from the BSA’s Guide to Advancement (section 8.0.1.6).

  1. For Eagle Scout boards of review, the local council must grant permission to hold it by videoconference. Other ranks do not need approval but should follow the requirements below.
  2. Test all equipment, including cameras, lighting, microphones, software, and internet connection.
  3. Make sure everyone is visible — including all members of the board of review, the Scout and any observers with the Scout. No one within hearing range on either side shall be off-camera. It is important to consider your technical capabilities when planning how many board of review members to involve. Observers should be minimized for any board of review, and this applies especially to videoconference reviews. Their presence can change the discussion dynamics.
  4. A parent or guardian of the Scout, or two registered adult leaders (as required by the Guide to Safe Scouting) who are familiar with these requirements for videoconference boards of review, must be directly present with the Scout at the beginning of the conference. The Scouters may be from the nearest council, district or unit. Their role is to verify that the Scout is in a safe environment and that the board of review appears to be in compliance with these requirements. Once all the members of the board of review are present on their end of the call and introductions are completed, and the review is about to begin, anyone present with the Scout must leave the room or move out of hearing distance unless they have specifically been approved to remain as observers.
  5. Once the review process has been concluded, if the Scout is under age 18, the Scout’s parent or guardian, or two registered adult leaders, must rejoin the Scout. Their purpose is to be available to answer any questions that may arise, to join in the celebration of the Scout’s accomplishment, or to be party to any instructions or arrangements regarding the appeals process or the reconvening of an incomplete review. Once this is done, the board members end the call and sign off.
  6. Videoconference boards of review must not be recorded.
  7. If an appeal is necessary (as outlined in the Guide to Advancement), this may be conducted via videoconference as well.

Videoconferencing tips

  • Look presentable. Just as you would want to look sharp in your uniform for an in-person board of review, the same should apply to one conducted via video.
  • Find a quiet space with a clean background. Try to minimize audio and visual distractions.
  • Test your equipment. Enlist a friend or family member to help you test your connection, making sure they can see and hear you with minimal lag.
  • Try for eye contact. Though your instinct will be to look at the screen to see the board of review members, spend some time looking directly into the camera. It may feel strange, but it will look better to the people watching.

Free videoconferencing options

Note: Each of the options below has a paid option, but I’m outlining the features of the free tier.

  • Google Hangouts: Easy to use, no time limit, allows up to 10 participants
  • Zoom: Great features, 40-minute time limit (for group meetings), allows up to 100 participants
  • Skype: Good stability, four-hour time limit, allows up to 50 participants
  • UberConference: Excellent video quality, 45-minute time limit, allows up to 10 participants