One of the most important parts of Cub Scouts is advancement. Advancement is a great way to give the boys a sense of accomplishment as they complete the different parts of each adventure.
Packs manage the achievement process differently. In some packs, parents may log onto an online tracking system (such as Scoutbook) and post their son's accomplishments themselves. In other packs, the den leader may compile the information and pass it on to the pack achievement coordinator. Regardless of the pack process, the parents and their Cub Scouts are responsible for keeping track of the boy's achievements. So, it's important to record the activities your son does.
At the back of each rank book, you'll find a chart where you can record the completion of each activity. But just having the chart is not beneficial unless you use it. When should you record the activities?
- Mark the activities as soon as you complete them. This seems so simple, but it's hard to remember.
- Dedicate a specific time to go through the book and mark completed tasks. You may choose to review your activities right before each den or pack meeting.
- Compile your list when the den leader emails you to say he needs it by the end of the week.
Unfortunately, I have been guilty of number 3 on more than one occasion! So, I can tell you that recording your activities as soon as possible is a much better alternative than trying to remember what your son has done.
Regardless of how you track your son's accomplishments, make sure you keep your list up to date!
Yours in Scouting,
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Old Time Cub Scouter
Sunday 24th of April 2016
Back in the day (before Scoutbook), tracking my Cubs’ advancement progress was the most challenging task that I faced as a Den Leader. In our Pack, it was the Den Leader’s responsibility to track their Cubs’ weekly accomplishments and to report (via telephone) all completed awards to our Awards Chairperson. That made it imperative that I keep accurate records. For my first attempt at record keeping, I tried a proactive approach—I had purchased a Cub Scout Advancement Chart from the Scout shop to encourage my Cubs to check off their own accomplishments each week. In theory, the Cubs would take ownership of their advancement, and by openly displaying the chart at our Den meetings it would encourage the boys to keep pace with each other. But this method did not work as well as I had hoped as the Cubs did not bring their handbooks regularly, nor could they remember what they had worked on during the previous week. After several fruitless months (tracking-wise), I insisted that the Cubs must bring their handbooks each week. At the beginning of the year I had also showed the Cubs and their parents the tracking chart in the back of the handbook where they could record all of their accomplishments, but for some unknown reason nobody used it. Thus began the painstaking chore of me skimming through individual handbooks every week, page by page, checking for the most recent achievements and electives that had been signed off. Over the years, the Advancement Chart was replaced by an Excel spreadsheet and a Den doodle, and the Awards Chairperson was notified by e-mail. The Cubs really enjoyed the Den doodle, with the beads providing extra incentive to remember to bring their handbooks each week. My Cubs and their families still refused to use the tracking chart inside the handbook (I don’t know why), but I remedied that situation (for my Den) by supplying a pad of Post-its inside each handbook for them to use to mark the pages where recent accomplishments were signed off.
Monday 20th of June 2016
That's always a challenge! :) Your Post-It idea is great!