This section is from the book "Scouting For Rural Boys. A Manual For Leaders", by Boy scouts of America. See also: Outdoor Adventure Manual: Essential Scouting Skills for the Great Outdoors.
In the United States we have a very wide spread of education, specialized skills and hobbies. These are abetted by schools, inexpensive books, radio and by the press of which we have 40% of the world's total with but 5% of the world's population.
It is fair to affirm that there are no districts, even in farm and mountain areas, which do not have a probably unsuspected wealth of trained and experienced human resources. There are men who have had vista-opening experiences and schooling. There are men who have attained conspicuous skill and success in farming, horticulture, construction, soil management, horsemanship, fishing, hobbies of various sorts. The countryside and the nearby villages and towns have much in resources awaiting use. The District Advancement Committee needs to seek them out and use them to benefit all rural boys.
The members of a Scout Group Sponsoring Committee may all qualify as counselors thus giving them personal contacts with the boys as individuals.
The Council Advancement Plan provides for a District Board of Review and District and/or Council Courts of Honor. The Troop or Tribe Advancement Plan provides for a Troop (or Tribe) Body of Review and a Troop (or Tribe) Court of Honor in the sponsoring institution.
To encourage Scouts in worthwhile self-action. To afford Scouts chances to progress and to reach out for new knowledge thus feeding their natural interest.
To equip Scouts with outdoor and life skills which will enable them to find success in playing the game of Scouting and of life.
To prepare Scouts for ordinary and emergency service.
To acquaint Scouts with hobby skills and with skills and interests of possible vocational value.
To bring Scouts into friendly contact with men of character.
To provide experiences which will contribute to desirable habits of conduct and to sound character. To afford chances for the Committee to observe and evaluate the extent to which the Oath and Law and "Good Turn" have influenced individual Scouts. To encourage Scouts in the development and pursuit of life work plans.
The requirements are the same as set forth in the regular Boy Scout literature. The standards in each case are those which the Council Committee adopts under the general national plan. The counselors, the personal study, the Lone Scout or Patrol coaching are the same. The Scoutmaster's and rural leader's relations are the same. The "passing" is done by the same Troop or Tribe or Scout officers or designated counselors.
In the reviewing is the first difference between the plans. In the "Troop or Tribe plan"-which may prove of especial convenience to an isolated group of Scouts in the council-a Troop or Tribe Body of Review and the group Court of Honor are set up involving prominent representatives of the institution. These serve one Troop, Tribe or other rural group. In the "council plan" this is done by a District Board of Review serving all Scouts of the entire district-also a District Court of Honor for the Award if distances or population make that desirable. In small Councils where distances are not too great, the higher awards may be made in a Central Council Court of Honor.
To serve the boys in small rural places and thus make it possible for them to qualify without having to leave home and go long distances to large population centers, an Examining Committee may be developed. This is usually, but not always, the Troop Committee. The Neighborhood Patrol of Scouts and their homes can have such an Examining Committee of three men of their own neighborhood group and to serve their own Neighborhood Patrol. This in essence is quite like the Troop or Tribe Advancement and their Court of Honor Plan.
Note-To use Troop Advancement Plan Local Council approval is required.