Aurora District

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Adult Leader Guidelines

* The Nova & Super Nova awards are part of the
    BSA advancement program, which includes Merit Badges.
* Therefore, the Counselors / Mentors follow all the
    rules set up for the Merit badge counselors. 
* Nova / Super Nova is an additional registration for Adults.
   It is free, but requires paperwork and approvals.
* Youth Protection Training and Nova Counseling (code D83) is required.   
* The list of approved STEM Counselors / mentors will be sent to the scoutmasters with the regular updates to the Merit Badge Counselor lists. 

Counselors are Adults approved to work with and sign off on the Nova Awards.  Nova Award adult counselors need to be registered with the Council. Except a parent working only with their Cub Scout, and no others. 

Mentors are Adults approved to work with and sign off on the Super Nova Awards.  Super Nova Award adult Mentors must be registered with the Council.

HOW TO REGISTER:

Potential counselors and or mentors must register with the Boy Scouts of America. 
(1.)  Complete the BSA's Adult Application form (if you are not registered with BSA currently) In the District position box at the top of the form, enter: code 52 Supernova Mentor or code 58 Nova Counselor.
(2.)  Nova Counselors - Fill out pdf Nova Counselor form .(Code 58)        
(3.)  Supernova Mentors must fill out the pdf BSA Supernova Awards Mentor Information form  (Code 52)
        (You will be notified when your application is accepted)
(4.)  Complete Youth Protection Training annually. (Go online at My.Scouting.org and take the appropriate Youth Protection Training)
(5.)  Turn into your Advancement Chair, or District Merit Badge Counselor committee Chair, or your District Executive.

Renewal of this registration and youth protection training annually is necessary to continue as a Super Nova mentor.  You will be contacted via email in April / or May to confirm registration. A Nova counselor may counsel any Scout, including his own daughter or son - although this is discouraged in order to offer a Scout the chance to meet a diverse group of outstanding adults. Supernova Mentors may NOT be the parent or unit leader of their son or daughter unless the Scout is in a group of participants. A Nova Counselor may also serve as a Supernova Mentor, with all the correct paperwork completed and with approved by the Council.

What Is a Nova Counselor and Supernova Mentor?

A Nova Counselor and Supernova mentor are both teachers and mentors to the Scout as he or she works on the Nova or Supernova award.  A Nova Counselor need not be a specialist in STEM topics, but is willing to work with Scouts to facilitate their exploration and learning of the technical topics and completion of projects.  A Supernova mentor is very much like a merit badge counselor for Boy Scouts but specializing in STEM topics in greater depth than in merit badges.

Nova counselors and Supernova mentors should be satisfied that each Scout under their guidance meets all the requirements set forth for the award. In this sense, a counselor or mentor is an examiner. In a larger sense, the real opportunity for a counselor/mentor lies in coaching -  helping Scouts over the different hurdles of the requirements and helping make them aware of the deeper aspects of the subject from their knowledge and experience.  Like merit badge counseling, you can not delete or add requirements to the program. 

The Supernova mentor leads the Scout to learn by research and doing. The mentor may help a Scout by providing instruction and more in-depth guidance on the subject matter. However, the counselor or mentor must not complete the Scout's work on the requirements. The counselor or mentor must test the Scout to ensure that the work is completed to meet the requirements but may not modify the award requirements in the process. This standard ensures that the advancement requirements are fair and uniform for all Scouts.