My husband joined Scouts at the age of twelve. He enjoyed doing activities and making friends. By the end of the year, he received his First Class rank. He was involved and ready to move forward in Scouting.

A goal in “The Guide to Advancement” is for Scouts to receive their First rank in the first year and a Star rank the next.  Some might wonder why achieving this goal is so important. Why not let Scouts achieve ranks at their own pace? Why push a deadline?

According to an archive article in the Advancement News, “The goal is to keep each Scout involved, active, and interested in the troop for those important first few years.” (see p.3)

The concept is that if Scouts aim for a big goal early on then they’re hooked on Scouting. Best of all, we’ve seen it work! The Advancement News said that troops who use this method reported higher retention for the first year and years to follow. Correlation also exists with implementing this method and becoming an Eagle Scout.

“A random sampling of 200 Scouts who achieved Eagle Scout rank in 2011 conducted by the national Advancement Team showed that on the average, they had taken just 18 months to achieve First Class rank,” said the Advancement News.

According to the article, not every Scout will reach this goal. That isn’t what matters. What matters is that, as leaders, we give them the opportunity.

” Whether the Scout shows up for enough outings and does enough work to complete the requirements are up to him. The responsibility of unit leadership is to make sure the opportunities are there and that they are so much fun that he wants to show up,” said the Advancement News.

As boys engage in Scouting and work towards goals, they will learn crucial life skills, preparing them for a successful life.

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Michelle Carpenter
is a reporter for the Voice of Scouting and a marketing associate for The Utah National Parks Council. Her father, husband, and brother are all Eagle Scouts, so she firmly believes some of the best men did Scouting.

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