Purchase of badges by advancement chair

All non-advancement related awards and recognitions. (Anything except Ranks, Merit Badges, and Palms.)

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Purchase of badges by advancement chair

Postby jhawk » Mon May 15, 2006 2:57 pm

I am the advancement chair for our troop. it is our policy to award merit badges, palms, rank emblems, whatever award has been earned, etc. at the earliest possible date. We do not wait until a COH. (We give scouts the cards then to recognize their achievements.) When I became the advancement chair, I was given a big tool box with divided drawers with many badges someone had purchased somewhere at some point in time. I use those badges when someone earns one contained in the supply, or go buy one from the local council scout shop. I like to have the badges the night they are earned if possible, so earlier this year I bought every boy the next rank emblem they would earn and before each merit badge day or camp I have purchased the badges that each will work on so it is ready for them once the blue card is completed and given to me. This rewards the boys right away and makes my life easier--way fewer trips to the scout shop. Until a few weeks ago, there was no problem with this, and then suddenly the scout shop refused to let me purchase a badge unless the badge was listed on an advancement report. When I explained why I wanted it, I was still refused. They said it is a new policy from National. Now I am back to several trips a week sometimes because the scout shop is continually out of something I need and doesn't restock for weeks sometimes. I was a little offended when the clerk insinuated that I was giving out awards that had not been earned. I would NEVER give out a badge that was not earned, but nor do I want to disappoint a boy because the scout shop can't do a good job with inventory and re-ordering. Is there really a policy from National about this? I really resent driving 12 miles to the shop more times than necessary at 3 bucks a gallon. Not a very environmentally friendly policy. I know many boys wait 4-6 months to get a badge but our boys do not. Does anyone else find this ridiculous? I am probably most offended by the suggestion that we just hand them out.... I just like to BE PREPARED! I thought that was a good thing in scouting.....
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Postby Mrw » Mon May 15, 2006 3:36 pm

Our shop will not sell badges without the Advancement report and it has been this way for several years. I too, have a box of older stuff that they used to be able to stock up on, but that has not been the case for the 4-5 years since I have been Advancement Chair. All I have left is the stuff no one will ever earn.

I go about once a month to the store or can sometimes get someone who goes by there to stop and pick stuff up for me. The boys have their accomplishments announced when they earn them, again when they get the badges and then at a COH.

We have not had a problem with badge inventory at the shop, but if I want something that is out, they will make sure it is ordered and call me when it comes in.
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Postby Chief J » Mon May 15, 2006 4:26 pm

Our Scout Shop will not sell any rank advancements without the Advancement report. It has been this way since I became a Scouter in this Council in 1998.

We always acknowledge the individuals accomplishments the night he earns the badge. We also call the Scout forward to receive his badge (usually at the next Troop Meeting) and finally we recognize him at the Court of Honor where we present him with the Pocket Certificate.

I have found our Scout shop is usually well stocked, and if they are out of anything they will order it, and give you a call when it comes in.

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Postby DadScout » Mon May 15, 2006 4:42 pm

Our council is the same way. No MB's or ranks (including cub ranks) without the advancement report. It's been that way for a good many years. One of our leaders works in NJ and is able to buy Cub Scout ranks and AoL awards with no questions asked. It seems they assume he'll file the rpt with the home council. Another leader works in NYC (GNY council) and must fill out the report for all the Boy Scout awards and they forward to our council.

BTW we recognize any rank advancement the night of the BOR but the rank badge or MB is given at the COH.
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Postby scoutaholic » Mon May 15, 2006 5:28 pm

Our Scout Shops have always (as long as I have known about) required the advancement reports to buy Ranks and/or MBs. The one exception to this, is if you tell them that you are replacing something that got lost. I have found, however, that when I turn in an advancement report, they don't match it to what badges I am purchasing. I have many times purchased extra, or different badges than what is on the report.

In our troop, we recognize the boys verbally when they complete things. They don't get the actual badge/award until the Court of Honor. This helps to create some excitement and anticipation for th CoH. If we only hand out cards at the CoH, why would they care? As long as CoH is held regularly, (at least quarterly), we don't usually have a problem with waiting too long to get things. Even when a boy misses the CoH, I've never had them complain about waiting until the next one.

I have also created an "immediate recognition" totem, (similar to the official one sold at the shop, but including ranks/MBs about 1st class). Maybe this has helped so the boys don't feel slighted to not have the badge immediately.
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Postby wagionvigil » Mon May 15, 2006 5:54 pm

Our scout shop is the same. I will give you an example how getting things without a report can hurt the boy.

Cub Pack Advancement Chair went to another council service center to get the Rank badges etc. No paper work required. Gave the boys their ranks etc. at Pack Meeting. When it came time to move to the troop tere was no record of any advancement as he never sent the advancement reports to our council service center.
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Postby DadScout » Mon May 15, 2006 7:58 pm

wagionvigil wrote:Cub Pack Advancement Chair went to another council service center to get the Rank badges etc. No paper work required. Gave the boys their ranks etc. at Pack Meeting. When it came time to move to the troop tere was no record of any advancement as he never sent the advancement reports to our council service center.


Waigonvigil, that's the same thing our pack guy was doing and it bothered me. I didn't think it would hurt with crossing to a troop but figured one the lads might end up going for his Eagle and there'd be questions. So for all the boys in my den I filled the reports myself. What kind of problem can no pack adv records cause with troop ranks?

In this case the guy was just to lazy to fill them out and I just thought it was little effort for making sure the boys got the right credit.
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Postby Mrw » Mon May 15, 2006 8:13 pm

If the Webelos are crossing over before all the boys have turned 11, as is often the case, and there is no record of the boys earning the Arrow of Light, they are not eligible to join Boy Scout until their birthday.

Also, in an ideal world, the Boy Scout app for a boy crossing over is marked as a transfer and his record from cubs follows him along.
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Postby wagionvigil » Mon May 15, 2006 8:32 pm

Bingo!
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Postby ICanCanoeCanU » Mon May 15, 2006 10:50 pm

Our Council is the same and has never allowed us to purchase badges without the proper paperwork and only after the badge has been earned.
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Postby Lynda J » Tue May 16, 2006 10:07 am

Our Council is the same way. The entire point of a COH is to receive your badges.

What we do is this. When a boy passes his BOR the SPL brings him back into the troop meeting and announces that _______has just advanced to
______ The next meeting he is awarded the patch for his shirt. THe COH he received the card.
But badges are only handed out at CHO. Which we do about 4 times a year.

I was working with a troop that had been doing exactly what you have been doing. When the SM left they were trying to figure out where everything was. Guess what only about half of the advancement records had ever been turned in to the Coucil. Took us for ever to get it straight.

It won't hurt a boy to wait for his badges. It also gives you an chance to have parents come and see what has been going on. When your parents come and see you present their son 4-5 badges for several months of work it makes them feel like he is really working.
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Postby MisterChris » Tue May 16, 2006 11:14 am

As Adv Chair for our troop, I concur. The COH is for badges. Try to have them more often, but the boys have to learn to wait for many things as they get older. Sorry, can't drive til you're 16. Can't use or carry a knife til you get your Tote-N-Chip. Can't go to summer camp until we leave as a group. No you can't go home to mom, this camp is one week long and we'll stick this thing out together.

Immediate Recognition is good, a boy who earns a MB should receive his blue card portion that night, with a handshake and a quick 'congratulations!'. No fanfare, just a smile and a handshake.

At the COH it's a bigger deal, not just because the parents are watching, but because it's the moment when you get recognized publicly for your work. And because it's recognition for accumulated awards.

Giving a card at the COH rather than a badge makes the COH more of a 'letdown' since the pretty badge is the actual 'reward' or 'award' for the work.

One final added point - The Scout offices and National are putting these safeguards in place to protect the boys and leaders fromn frustration and disappointment years later when they attempt to make Eagle. It just makes sense to schedule BORs for a week or two before the COH, and go retrieve the badges there just before the COH. Youd be surprised how the boys will scramble to finish their badges on time if otherwise they'll have to wait a couple months for the badge.

After all, life is FULL of deadlines, and setting some for the kids is good training for life. Helps counteract procrastination.
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Postby Mrw » Tue May 16, 2006 11:33 am

I would have boys pretty upset if we tried to schedule BOR's for a few weeks before the COH for a couple reasons.

1 - We have a couple who have goals of how many palms they expect to earn and they are working hard to get the ranks done as soon as possible.

2 - We have a big troop and it is common to have 8-10 BOR's per month. They are patient about having to wait if we don't get them all done when we have them scheduled, but more than another week isn't very fair to the kids we just couldn't get to.
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Badge of Rank

Postby riverwalk » Tue May 16, 2006 12:02 pm

My Council has always (since '82 anyway) required these to be on the Report. It's probably how they account for them, as a local Scouting supporter (deep pockets) has paid for ALL Ranks, Cub and Boy Scout over these years, for the entire Council. Units/Leaders could get replacements (duplicates) however. We also used this practice when replacing items traded with International visitors. This too required a Report, but we indicated it was for replacements. Seems like you could get "replacements" in order to have them at your meetings.

I like the practice of having a Court more often, then Awards catch up to them in less time. Either way it's still good to make a big deal out of Advancement.
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Postby MisterChris » Tue May 16, 2006 12:03 pm

Actually, Mrw, you are right, we normally schedule them about 3-4 weeks in advance of the COH just to make sure everyone gets covered. If necessary we postpone the COH by a week to get everyone ready for a BOR done. I also am willing to stay late to get it done, long as other adults stay with. I've been there as late as 10pm completing boys on BOR. That's awful late for a school night (just plain awful, huh? :wink: )
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Postby Scouting179 » Tue May 16, 2006 2:28 pm

IF you award things right away, what do you even have a COH for?
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Postby Mrw » Tue May 16, 2006 2:47 pm

The COH is to show the parents what the troop has been doing and to give additional recognition to the boys.

It seems to be a fairly good motivater for the kids who aren't advancing to see other kids get more awards than they did.
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Postby scoutaholic » Tue May 16, 2006 2:52 pm

Mrw wrote:I would have boys pretty upset if we tried to schedule BOR's for a few weeks before the COH for a couple reasons...


There is no rule that requires the BOR to be within a certain amount of time from the CoH. Especially for those boys who are counting the days for their advancements, have the BOR as soon as possible after they have completed the other requirements. That way, those who are counting can start counting for the next rank, and every boy gets his BOR.

Ideally, every boy should have a SMC and BOR regularly even if they are not advancing. This gives the SM and Committee members a time to work individually with the boy and keeps them (and him) aware of his needs and progress. That helps to make sure you have a well-rounded program that is working for everyone.

In my troop we have CoH quarterly. I try to do SMC every other month (half one month, and the other half the next). BOR is usually scheduled 2-3 weeks before CoH, or as needed prior to that time.

Ranks, MBs, and other awards are all presented at the COH with the parents there, and appropriate oohs and aahs. The boys get a brief recognition as they complete things, and they get to put a bead on their immediate recognition totem.
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Interesting

Postby ThunderingWind » Wed May 17, 2006 8:34 am

In both of the councils I have lived in, I have been able to walk in to the Scout Shop and buy everything I needed (as a parent getting his son a new uniform with all the stuff earned to date and as an Adult Leader). He gets a new uniform shirt every year (he is a growing boy).

Maybe I have just been "lucky." This went for Cubs and the last two years of Boy Scouts.

I have also been able to pickup many other Crew uniform items for the members of both the Crews with which I have worked.

A knot here, a MB there, and rank patch now and then.

somebody must have abused the process somewhere.
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Postby Mrw » Wed May 17, 2006 10:02 am

There should never be an issue with the uniform pieces, it is just the Advancements that require a report for purchase.
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