Advancement! Does your pack receive its due return from the time and money expended on the program? Advancements are your return - your measurement of your overall success. If every pack analyzed its program with this in mind, there would probably be quite a few disappointments. Advancement in most packs could be greatly improved.
How do we achieve advancement? What can we do to insure our pack of a high percentage of advancement? There are not cut and dried solutions to this. Only by trial and error, using different methods, and then selecting the one best suited to your pack will get the job done. Most Cubmasters have faced the problem of a boy who has been in the pack two years and is old enough to be inducted into the Webelos den, but is still a Bobcat. Why? This same boy may earn almost every Webelos activity badge during the next year. Where did the pack fail? Probably the pack did not fail. It could easily have been "parent failure".
Parent failure...failure to have enough interest to find out why other boys are advancing when their son isn't. Failure to have enough interest to work with their son a short time each week to help him pass achievements. One solution to this problem is an up-to-date parent orientation program. Every new parent should be told their responsibilities as parents in the pack, with emphasis on working with their son at home on advancement. Most parents want their son to do well, and would help if they knew just what was expected of them. Show the Parent's Supplement to the parents, explain it, and ask them to read it.
Make a commitment about advancement. This is your goal - something to work towards. These are some ways that you can achieve that goal.:
- Provide a quality Cub program full of action, fun and boy-appeal.
- Insure parent involvement and participation, and understanding.
- Keep accurate advancement records. Keep an eye on those boys who are not advancing and find out why.
- Den leaders can provide incentives for advancement in den meetings by using the Instant Recognition badge and beads, den doodles and wall charts.
- Incentives for advancement can be provided in pack meetings by the use of impressive, colorful, meaningful ceremonies.
Make certain that the boys who have earned awards receive then at the next pack meeting. Don't let them be disappointed or discouraged.
It all boils down to the fact that if the boys aren't advancing on the average of one rank per year, they are really not getting the program as it is intended. Provide a good program, encourage the boys along the way and give them the proper recognition for their achievement.