Environmental Protection Agency – 50 Years

50th Anniversary  – Program Term: January 1 – December 31, 2021

The Environmental Protection Agency, as part of a public awareness campaign to celebrate its first 50 years, has partnered with the Boy Scouts of America to create an award for members of troops, crews and ships. This new award will recognize youth who research and learn about the subjects of human health and the environment, as the EPA develops its vision for the next 50 years.

The objective of the EPA award is to combine a variety of disciplines to challenge and educate youth; introduce them to the breadth of the EPA’s involvement in environmental protection and conservation; and encourage them to research, investigate, experiment, demonstrate, survey, and study air pollution, water pollution, solid and hazardous waste, and ocean dumping.

Members must earn the Public Health merit badge and three additional merit badges from selected categories. Finally, they must participate in an environmental/public health community service project as part of an approved Scouting program.

Download the application here.

Completed applications are submitted to the local Scout Shop to receive the commemorative patch.




Congratulate your Eagle Scout!

Congratulate an Eagle Scout in a Special Digital Edition of Scout Life

Scout Life is honored to introduce the special digital edition to honor and celebrate the Eagle Scout Class of 2020, including the inaugural class of female Eagle Scouts, all of whom earned the highest rank in the Scouts BSA program while navigating unprecedented challenges last year. Families with either a young man or young woman (or both!) who earned the Eagle Scout Award last year are welcome to commemorate their Scout’s achievement in this issue.

To honor Scouts that earned the Eagle Scout rank in 2020, those who want to commemorate a Scout’s achievement can buy an ad in a special digital edition of Scout Life, which will be available in the Scout Life app (available at the App Store and on Google Play) and on scoutlife.org at the end of January. 

Submissions can include photos for each advertisement, as well as a special message. The deadline to purchase an ad is January 27, 2021. Pricing is $450 for a full-page ad, $300 for a half-page ad and $200 for a quarter-page ad.

If you have any questions, please contact kendra.tidwell@scouting.org.

Learn More




Congressional Award Scouts Can Earn

In Congress, it’s the rare subject about which there’s unanimous agreement.

It’s the Congressional Award, the highest recognition Congress bestows on young people. To qualify, a young person must meet certain goals in four key areas: voluntary public service, personal development, physical fitness and expedition/exploration.

Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Yes, many of the activities young people enjoy in Scouting fit nicely into those four categories. Better yet, double-dipping is encouraged, meaning work on merit badges, rank requirements and Eagle projects counts toward the award.

This natural correlation explains why, in 1999, the BSA became partners with the Congressional Award Foundation, which remains Congress’ only charity.

As jobs and colleges become increasingly more competitive, the Congressional Award — along with a young person’s experience in Scouting — will look great on a résumé. That “something extra” is exactly what hiring managers and college admissions counselors want to see.

Scouts have been earning the Congressional Award ever since it was established in 1979. In 2019, at least 75 of the 538 Congressional Award Gold Medal recipients were Scouts. But I say it’s time to raise that number even higher. The award is noncompetitive, meaning anyone who properly completes the requirements will receive the award.

Important: Scouts must register first

Before you consider retroactively counting Scouting experience toward the award, let me point out one key statement from the Congressional Award site: “This is not an award for past accomplishments. Instead, you are honored for achieving your own challenging goals after registering for the program.”

That means your Scouts should register for the award as soon as possible after turning 13.5 years old, giving them the maximum amount of time to count Scouting requirements toward their progress.

But even if your Scout or Venturer is 16, 17 or older, all hope is not lost. They have until their 24th birthday to complete the requirements.

‘Things I was already doing in Scouting’

After registering, any qualifying activity — in school, Scouting or another extracurricular activity — can count toward the award. That fact is confirmed in the award’s FAQs: “If you belong to groups such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Venturing, 4-H, etc., your activities may often be used to achieve a particular goal.”

That was certainly the case for Eagle Scout Todd Christian, who earned the Congressional Award in 2019, at age 23.

“I completed all of the requirements for the program exclusively through the things I was already doing through Scouting,” he says.

Christian earned the Gold Medal, which is the highest of the Congressional Award’s six levels. That top honor includes an invite to the national award ceremony in Washington, D.C., where honorees meet other recipients as well as their congressional representatives. (Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s ceremony was held virtually.)

The Gold Medal requires at least 400 hours of volunteer time, 200 hours of personal development, 200 hours of physical fitness, and an expedition of at least five days and four nights.

“Essentially, anyone who completes a multiday trek as well as a comprehensive service project — what we call an Eagle project — has already overcome a major hurdle to receiving the top award,” Christian says.

The entry-level award — the Bronze Certificate — is within even closer reach for most Scouts. It requires 30 hours of volunteer service, 15 hours of personal development, 15 hours of physical fitness, and a one-day expedition or exploration.

“Virtually every Scout has met these requirements many times over, just by being a Scout,” Christian says.

Learn more about the program and how you can earn your award.

Read More




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.

 

 

 




Scout Sunday, Scout Sabbath & Scout Jumuah 2021

Through a trio of faith-based celebrations known as Scout Sunday, Scout Sabbath and Scout Jumuah, young people give back to the chartered organizations that give them so much.




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.




Order of the Arrow Lodge Leadership Update

In the midst of uncertainty, turmoil, and change, it is easy to become overwhelmed. Strong leadership is essential in helping us navigate through rough waters and the Tantamous Lodge has been blessed with exceptional leadership! Several of our Lodge’s youth leaders have gone on to serve in key positions for our Area and at the National level of the Order of the Arrow. We are proud of these young leaders and all they have and will accomplish as they serve this great organization! In addition to our youth leaders, our adult advisors have played a significant role in developing the qualities in our young people that have led to their elevation to these esteemed positions. I want to personally thank Josh Paulin for serving as Tantamous’ first Lodge Advisor and setting us on a path toward greatness. For the past year, Candy Martel has served as our Lodge Advisor, through one of the most challenging years anyone can remember. The dedication, commitment, flexibility, and grace she has shown through this year is truly amazing! Her contributions will pay dividends for generations to come.

As we begin a new year, we have our third Lodge Advisor stepping up to assist in the development of the youth in Tantamous Lodge. Mark Vecchione will serve as our new Lodge Advisor and will guide our Lodge through the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. I am excited about our youth and adult leadership and look forward to seeing all they will do to serve the brotherhood in the coming months.

In Brotherhood,

Bryan Feather
Scout Executive
Supreme Chief of the Fire




2021 Virtual Merit Badge University

We are excited to announce our 1st ever Virtual Merit Badge University (VMBU).

The Virtual Merit Badge University offers Scouts the opportunity to earn merit badges, both eagle and non-eagle required with the help of our merit badge counselors.  The VMBU will run the entire month of March 2021 so there will be a variety of times to choose from.

Registration will open on February 1 at 8:00 AM and close February 19 at 11:55 PM.  All sessions will be through Google Classroom and Google Meet and links will be provided in the confirmation email, please keep this for your records.

VMBU will be by individual vs unit sign up. 

Individuals are urged to sign up as soon as possible as these classes will fill up fast.

The cost is $5.00 per registrant plus $10.00 per merit badge.

Scouts should review with and receive permission from their Scoutmaster before registering for any merit badge. Scouts are responsible to review the pre-class requirements and come prepared to the first VMBU class.

Virtual Merit Badge Schedule

Now that we have our Virtual Merit Badge University schedule finalized, we are recruiting for Assistant Counselors who will serve as part of the two deep leadership requirements for all virtual classrooms. If you were reluctant to lead a course but would be interested in assisting the lead in a class, please use the link below to view the badges, schedule, and to volunteer to assist. You will be put in contact with lead counselor to plan out how you will work together.  If you have any questions, please email:  mbu@mayflowerbsa.org

Register To Become An Assistant Counselor