BSA’s 411 Program Updates are nearly all in place except for Boy Scouting, which makes its final changes in January 2016. Of course, the first things you will notice are the new rank requirements. These were introduced last May but take full effect on January 1st ; Scouts joining on or after Jan. 1, 2016 MUST use the new requirements.
- Boys who joined prior to Jan. 1, 2016 and who are working on the Scout badge may continue to work on the existing requirements, but must convert to the new requirements upon completion of the Scout badge.
- Scouts who are working on Tenderfoot through First Classmay continue to work on the existing requirements, butmust convert to the new requirements upon attaining First Class.
- Scouts have completed First Class may complete the rank they are currently working on in the existing requirements, but thenmust convert to the new requirements for subsequent ranks.
Based on the work of BSA’s National Strategic Plan Goal, the 411 Task Force developed these changes to insure that every rank refocuses on one of Scouting’s Aims: Character, Citizenship or Fitness.
Diane Cannon, a member of the 411 Task Force, explained, “There was really a desire to make sure that all our programs were focused on the right things. Fun for our youth, but also that the activities were supporting the aims and mission of our organization. As a result, every single rank requirement was looked at with the question being asked, ‘Does this requirement help to support at least one of the aims of BSA: character development, citizenship training, or personal fitness? Or does the requirement support one of the important tools that we use to teach the aims, like outdoor program or leadership development?’ And if the requirement didn’t support one of those, then the question was asked, ‘Why are we doing it?’”
She went on to explain that Boy and Varsity Scouting on needed small adjustments, while Cub Scouting and Venturing got an overhaul. She went on, “Scouts are going to find some new requirements, and there’s going to be a realignment of some of the Tenderfoot to First Class requirements, but the basic structure of the Boy Scout advancement program is going to remain unchanged. ”
The most complete set of resources listing the changes is available at “Program Updates – 2015 and Beyond” and are included in these links:
- Notes on Transitioning to the New Requirements in 2016 | En Español
- 2016 Boy Scout requirements—parallel comparison
The 2016 Boy Scout rank requirements are now available for viewing. This document gives a parallel comparison of existing requirements and requirements that will be effective Jan. 1, 2016.
- 2016 Boy Scout requirements FAQs
- 2016 Boy Scout Rank Requirements
- 2016 Boy Scout Rank Requirements – Printable Insert
- Latest New Merit Badge News and Counselor Resources
- Program Features for Troops, Teams, and Crews
Volumes 1 and 2 of the new Program Features for Troops, Teams, and Crews are now available at www.scoutstuff.org. Volume 3 will be available in early 2016. Each volume includes 16 program features with a mix of topics: outdoor, sports, health and safety, citizenship and personal development, STEM, and arts and hobbies. Leaders and youth members can use these to plan exciting programs, help facilitate advancement and personal growth, and keep youth members engaged.
- Troop Leader Guidebook, Volume 1
This new resource, which replaces the Scoutmaster Handbook, gives new and relatively inexperienced troop leaders an introduction to the Boy Scout program. However, leaders of all experience levels will find this resource helpful. The Troop Leader Guidebook, volume 1 (SKU 616729) is available at www.scoutstuff.org . The appendix in itself is a valuable collection of resources and is available to download here.
- Roundtable Planning Guide
The new Roundtable Planning Guide is now available to help roundtable commissioners provide leaders with program ideas and information on policy and events, as well as training opportunities.
- Guide to Advancement—New Edition Now Available
The 2015 edition of the Guide to Advancement is now available from www.scoutstuff.org . A PDF also is available online.
- Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook
This resource for Eagle Scout candidates is available online. The workbook can be downloaded for PC or Mac users—just follow the download instructions.
- New! Interactive Digital Merit Badge Pamphlets
The Cooking, Robotics, Animation, and First Aid merit badge pamphlets are now available in a new and exciting interactive digital format. These electronic versions of the pamphlets can be downloaded to your tablet or smartphone. Experience cutting-edge technology such as video clips, quizzes, sound bites, and other supplemental information. Additional titles will continue to be added. For a current list of interactive digital merit badge pamphlets, go to www.boyslife.org/meritbadges .