National Committee member Roger Tate has produced a series of “Perspectives” on advancement that will appear in this and upcoming copies of Abilities Digest.
The mission of the BSA is to prepare young people to make ethical choices throughout their lifetime. Advancement is one of several methods for promoting the mission. There are many wonderful Scouts who never become Eagle Scouts (author included). However, many of us that focus our attention on Scouts with special needs want to see these Scouts advance, by any means necessary. Such a viewpoint does not always mesh with the mission, aims or traditions of the BSA. While we are advocates for our Scouts, the purpose of this column is to help Scouters and parents of Scouts with special needs/disabilities better understand other leaders who are advancement specialists and vice versa. This allows us to focus our advocacy in ways that truly benefit the Scout and fulfill the promise of Scouting for the Scout. Don’t let the method become the mission.