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Category: Scouts BSA

2020 District Awards

Nominations close Monday November 30. 

Update on Scouts BSA Advancement: 26-Aug-2020

National has just released a number of temporary changes to Scouts BSA advancement requirements due to the ongoing challenges of COVID-19.

The complete text can be assessed from: Note that this link goes to a pdf file which you can either open in your browser or download and open with typical pdf reader software.

Highlights of the changes:

  • “… the Swimming rank  requirements for Second Class (5b) and First Class (6a) may be deferred until each Scout’s next rank, as  necessary (through Life, but not Eagle).”

  • “Rank advancement requirements identified in the COVID-19 FAQ may continue to be completed by Scouts  by using video conferencing through December 31st, 2020.”

  •  Camping Merit Badge requirement 9b “…will be temporarily suspended as a  requirement for Scouts to earn this badge.
    • All other Camping merit badge requirements must still be completed to earn this badge.
    • Upon direction from the National Council, requirement 9b will be reinstated  with 30 days’ notice…”
  • The temporary 3 month time extension for work on Eagle Scout only was originally slated on expire on September 30, 2020. National has now granted local Councils the ability to approve an additional 3 moth extension through December 31, 2020. The application for requesting an extension in Occoneechee Council  may be found at:

The above points are a summary of communication. Please do not depend on the summary alone; do make sure to download and read the entire referenced document.

Feel free to contact me with questions.

Yours in Scouting,


Steven G Blanchard
Chair, Shakori District Advancement Committee

Covid-19 & Eagle Projects Update

As of July 29, 2020 the State of North Carolina remains in phase 2 of the Safer at Home reopening plan. The policy of Occoneechee Council for in person activities, including Eagle projects, during phase 2 is outlined in Mr. Charles, Flowers’, the Occoneechee Council Scout Executive, communication dated May 21, 2020.  This communication was sent to all registered adult leaders in the Council and is linked here:

Note that all Eagle projects work sessions are official unit activities. As a reminder, two trained registered leaders are required at all activities.

As described in that communication:

  • “…decisions about unit meetings and activities should be made by unit leadership and chartering organizations based on the unit’s individual circumstances and current CDC and local health department guidelines.”
  • Project workers should follow the “three W’s”
    • “Wearing face masks”
    • “Waiting (Maintaining our 6 feet distance) responsibly”
    • “Washing our hands frequently”
  • The ability to conduct Eagle Project work sessions is also dependent on the current status of the planned venue. For instance, some beneficiaries (e.g. schools, churches, parks) may have more stringent restrictions on access or group size at their facilities.
    •  As a result, candidates should ensure that access to any intended work site is allowed and any restrictions can be met before scheduling a work session. 

Merit Badge Counselors must renew in April

A reminder to all Scouts BSA adult leaders:

ALL merit badge counselors must re-register annually in the month of April. Every registered leader should have received a message with the procedure via ScoutBook at the beginning of the month. In the event that you did not receive the message:

There is a special electronic procedure in place during the covid-19 necessitated shutdown of the Council office.

You can obtain the procedure at this link:

Existing counselors need to do the following:

  • Complete the merit badge selection form:
  • Scan or save the completed form as a pdf.
  • If you have not already done so, complete a Background check authorization
    • Do this ONLY IF you have not already completed the authorization for a position for which you (re)registered in January.
  • Ensure that your YPT is current/up-to-date.
  • Submit the completed merit badge selection form, a copy of your YPT certificate and the background check authorization (if needed) to the Council Registrar (

In addition to the above new merit badge counselors must:

  • Complete an adult application for the merit badge counselor position even if you are registered for another position.
  • Complete Merit Badge Counselor training. This course is available online through the myscouting training site.

Please forward this message to all current or prospective merit badge counselors associated with your unit.

Yours in Scouting,

Steven G Blanchard
Chair, Shakori District Advancement Committee
Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop 820
Council Executive Board
Occoneechee Council, B.S.A.
1903 Fountain Ridge Rd.
Chapel Hill, NC 27517

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