Our Personal Achieve Programs enable our Scouts to achieve to the level they desire
Our Challenges focus on our Scouts acquiring creative and critical thinking skills
Our Scouts Choose Their Own Challenges
Challenges are presented and evaluated during the Did and Do portion of the team meeting
Behind every struggle or progress, there are dreamers. While these efforts appear vast and impossible to conquer, the spirit of the intrepid pioneers and dreamers who march into the future demonstrate that the impossible is possible. That is the spirit of adventure our Scouts embrace when they take part in our Personal Achievement Programs.
In the school environment, our Scouts are told what to study; whereas, in our Scout Programs our Scouts pursue what excites and interests them. This permits our Scouts to increase their knowledge, acquire new skills, and enhance the personal qualities of determination and self-confidence.
We are focused on helping our Scouts acquire creative and critical thinking skills, master essential skills, such as first aid, and instill true proficiency in outdoor skills. Our Scout Programs offer personalized programming to meet the interests of all our Scouts. Our personal achievement program award levels are earned based upon successful demonstration of our Scout’s ability to meet challenges in the present and in the future.
The Scout Programs of Adventure Scouts USA, as a part of its Personal Achievement Program, provide all of our Scouts the opportunity to personally achieve to the level they aspire to. We have developed criteria and standards of performance that permit each of our Scouts to earn personal achievements on an inclusive and fully non-discriminatory basis. Our Scouts can launch rockets, climb mountains, and explore far away places. Each of our Scouts, if they choose to earn the requirements, can earn the highest award in their Scout Program. The highest award in the North Star Scout Program is the Challenger Award.
The Scout Programs of Adventure Scouts USA offer our Scouts the opportunity to earn achievements just for themselves. Our Personal Achievement Programs allow our Scouts to choose what they are passionate about and to earn award levels based upon areas of interest they choose.
Our Scouts who choose to participate in our Personal Achievement Programs achieve individual challenges and develop new skills. Individual Challenges our Scouts achieve are comprehensive and build upon one another. Our Personal Achievement Programs are comprised of a series of award levels that become more in depth and complex as our Scouts progress. Award levels are comprehensive and build upon one another. Successful completion of each award level inspires our Scouts to pursue future challenges.
The North Star Scout Program has its own personal achievement program.
North Star Personal Achievement Award Levels are:
- Aim High
How Our Scouts Earn Personal Achievement Awards Criteria
To progress in our Personal Achievement Programs, Scouts need to earn a certain number of Challenges as well as other requirements. Other requirements include base requirements, true proficiency in first aid and outdoors skills, use of P.O.L.E., a planning tool, and completing either the Religious or Ethics Recognition Program.
Challenges allow the opportunity for acquiring a particular skill and acquiring new knowledge. When a Scout goes on a hike, they also acquire knowledge about the plants, animals and landforms they see while hiking. While the hike is the Challenge, the true Challenge is everything that goes into it from planning to acquiring knowledge along the way. Our Challenges offer our Scouts the opportunity to exercise their curiosity and acquire a vision of the whole picture. How does pollution of one lake for instance affect all the plants, animals, and people living in the area? By being comprehensive, our Personal Achievement Programs encourage our Scouts to become whole people and see the big picture.
In order to earn an award level, a Scout needs to have accomplished a certain number of Challenges in various categories. Challenges are comprehensive and build upon each other, becoming more complex as the Scout progresses.
Each of the Challenges the Scouts choose to undertake has its own level of complexity and is designed to interact with other Challenges that contribute to the development of creative and critical thinking in our Scouts. Each Challenge includes a planning, implementation, revision, demonstration, evaluation and review component.
Scouts plan ahead of time what will be needed to accomplish a Challenge. If they are going hiking, they will need to consider the location, the weather, safety issues, what clothing they will need to wear, and what they may need to eat or drink.
Scouts proceed with their Challenge. While working on the Challenge, they will acquire new information about what can be changed and how to complete the Challenge to the best of their ability.
Demonstration Did and Do
As a part of each Challenge, the Scout is expected to demonstrate to their fellow Scouts their efforts. These demonstrations permit each Scout to uniquely demonstrate the quality of their efforts. By doing the demonstrations, the Scout acquires greater self-confidence and improves their public speaking and communication skills. The demonstrations also enable their fellow Scouts to learn by doing, with the Scout helping the other Scouts to have a hands-on experience. Demonstrations may take any form that is appropriate.
Challenges are evaluated by their fellow Scouts during the Did and Do portion of team meetings. Did and Do takes place during nearly every team meeting. For instance, special team meetings that have a single focus likely will not have Did and Do as a scheduled portion of the team meeting. Generally fifteen minutes are allowed for each session, however in cases where more time or space are needed, for example, a Challenge involving building and launching a rocket, arrangements are made so the Scout can fully demonstrate their skill. During the Did and Do session, a Scout is evaluated by their fellow Scouts. Often there are several different demonstrations going on at the same time, and Scouts may choose which to evaluate.
Evaluation criteria include whether the Challenge was done, was done correctly and within reasonable time limits.
Whether Scouts gave their best is also an evaluation criteria. The Scout giving the demonstration and their fellow Scouts evaluate whether the Scout has given their best.
On the surface, demonstrations allow a Scout to prove they have mastered a Challenge, but there are many more benefits. Scouts also acquire self-confidence, public speaking skills, and get the opportunity to show their friends that they can really do it!
Since each of the Challenges includes multiple steps, the Scouts as a part of their undertaking are expected to complete a review of their efforts. However, some of our Challenges include the creation of a Challenge Journal. Their Challenge Journals are comprehensive and include the Scouts personal insights and the process they undertook to achieve their desired result. Their Challenge Journals also include whether their desired result was achieved, why it was or was not and how in the future they might improve upon their efforts. The Challenge Journals may take any form that the Scout chooses. Whereas one Scout might communicate better using a visual medium such video, another might communication better using writing. For example, a Scout could choose to create a videotape journal that documents their efforts and insights.
There are basic requirements in every subject however, which all our Scouts earn, called Base requirements. Base requirements include such things as reciting the Scout Code, helping another Scout recite the Scout Code, proper folding of the flag, and explaining the Scout Spirit.
True Proficiency in First Aid
True proficiency in first aid is a skill our Scouts may need. Their skills in CPR or the Heimlich maneuver could come in handy anywhere from out with friends to eating dinner with family. Our Scout Programs contribute to the development of “whole people”, by helping our Scouts be self-sufficient and helpful to those around them at all times.
Outdoor skills is also something we emphasize in our Personal Achievement Programs. Outdoor Skills are skills our Scouts develop which help them be safe in the outdoors and have FUN. As our Scouts become increasingly more comfortable in the outdoors, the skills they acquire become more complex. The American Camp Association has developed a set of skills they encourage all youth to become familiar with over a course of time, called Outdoor Living Skills, and we use their standards in our Scout Programs. We also instill an appreciation in our Scouts about minimum impact camping.
P.O.L.E. stands for Plan, Organize, Lead, and Evaluate. P.O.L.E. is an educational platform we encourage our Scouts to use to improve in their daily lives, our Scout Programs, and our Personal Achievement Programs. Consequently, we encourage the development of these skills life long. Our Scouts plan their projects and work with others. They organize what is needed to accomplish the project. They also develop leadership skills and work with their communities, and evaluate their own efforts and those of their fellow Scouts.
Religious and Ethics Recognition Programs
Religious Recognition Programs are created by individual faiths for their youth. The Scout Programs of Adventure Scouts USA do not create Religious Recognition Programs or their criteria. All Criteria and curriculum are created by each individual faith.
Our Scouts move through the curriculum under the guidance of a religious leader. Scouts must abide by the criteria of the individual faith in order to complete the program. After the program has been completed, we arrange for a Religious Recognition Award to be given to our Scouts.
Ethics Recognition Programs are created by individual ethics organizations for their youth. The Scout Programs of Adventure Scouts USA do not create Ethics Recognition Programs or their criteria. All criteria are determined by ethics organizations, such as CHARACTER COUNTS!.
Our Scouts move through the curriculum under the guidance of an Ethics leader. Scouts must abide by the criteria of the individual ethics organization in order to complete the program. After the program has been completed, we arrange for an Ethics Recognition Award to be given to our Scouts.
Our Personal Achievement Programs appreciate there is a distinction between satisfactory and exceptional effort. Although each of our Scouts is always expected to Give their Best in all that they do, we recognize those Scouts who have chosen to demonstrate exceptional effort. For example should a Scout choose to undertake the Challenge of building and launching a rocket which is supposed to fly at least twenty-five feet into the air but that their efforts resulted in an anticipated and actual launch exceeding a hundred feet.
Benefits of Participation in the Personal Achievement Programs
Scouts achieve many goals by choosing to participate in our Personal Achievement programs. These include the Scout's:
- choice to always Give their Best in all that they do
- discovery of new interests which they choose to pursue life long
- opportunity to pursue interests of their choosing
- supporting their fellow Scouts by developing the skill of teamwork
- enhancement of their self-esteem
- development of confidence
- development and improvement of their writing, grammar, research and reading skills
- development and improvement of their interviewing, reevaluation and creative and critical
- enhancement of their communication skills
- meeting, interacting and networking with new people
- acquisition of job and career skills and introduction to the diversity of job and career choices
- exploration of their community and the world
- development of new and lifelong friendships
- opportunity for embarking on new adventures
- all while our Scouts are having FUN.
Celebration of Accomplishment
One of the things we pride ourselves on is that our Scouts have FUN. As member driven Scout Programs, we always encourage our Scouts to value their personal achievements. We encourage them to have FUN while personally achieving, and as a part of all of our Scout Program activities. Consequently, when a goal has been partly or entirely met, periodically, either spontaneously or with planning, our Scouts have an opportunity to celebrate their personal achievements. Too often, celebrations of achievements are held long after they occur. We believe it is important that recognitions and celebrations occur as closely as possible in time to the achievement so they serve as an inspiration for the future and to others. These recognitions and celebrations need not be highly organized, formal or costly but they are immediate or nearly immediate.