SWAAR Leader Guide

Please note the change in location for this event:

Sweetwater Advance-A-Rama will be held January 29th, 2022 at South Gwinnett High School

Registration Notes:

1) You MUST Register Online for this event or as a walk-in at the event. Online registration is only done by using the link on our registration page. If you do not close out your shopping cart and pay, your registration will not be completed and you will NOT have a reserved class seat. We can not make adjustments to full classes to accomodate errors. To avoid disappointment later, please make sure you complete the process.

2) Please make sure your scout is registered under his/her correct unit (Troop/ Crew) number; correct scouting district; and correct council. This is especially important when multiple scouts are registered from the same unit but by different persons. (see lunch details note below) You will have the best results when ONE UNIT LEADER makes all the registrations for your unit, rather than each parent registering individually. Although we strive to be Helpful, we can not always fix errors on your part once classes fill, or once you arrive at the event.

3) Adult lunches/ Extra lunches may be preordered under the "Products" tab at checkout.

4) (Can't stress this enough:) Multiple scouts from the same unit?- Print and BRING a roster because we will not be distributing rosters prior to class to eliminate the traffic jam in the morning.

Event Fees: 

All Class registrations include lunch. Additional lunches for leaders and parents should be preordered or they may also be purchased onsite with limited quantities available.

Earlybird Registration: $15 (Ends December 15, 2021)

Regular Registration: $17 (Online Registration closes January 15, 2022)

Walk-in Registration- Day of Event: $20 

Some classes may have an additional $10 materials cost added (Space Exploration)

Single Scout class change fee on day of event $3 (please have exact change)

Additional Lunches for adult leaders/ parents are $5 each (Preorder recommended due to limited availability.)

No-Show or scout substitutions without a class change- No addtl. Fee. Please come to the "Changes" table.

Unit leaders who register a group all on a single account will have full authorization to change their unit's registrations up to the closing date to avoid waiting in the "Changes" line on event day. Reprint your roster after any changes.

Event Day Schedule:

7:00 am- 8:30 am Walk-in Registration and Changes- (Closes at 8:30 am for opening ceremonies.)

7:00 am - 8:00 am       Merit Badge Counselor Check-In
7:30 am - 8:30 am       Scouts' Arrival in the Gymnasium
8:40 am - 8:50 am       Opening ceremony- Release to classes
9:00 am                          Morning Merit Badge class session begins

9:30 am- 11:00 am       Troop leaders will pick up rosters, and "group" lunch tickets in Commons (only applies to group registrations of two or more scouts.)

11:00 am                      Lunch in Commons 
12:00 pm                     Afternoon Merit Badge class session begins
3:30 pm                       Merit Badge classes end, classrooms are cleaned and restored to original order.
                                   Scouts return to The Commons to meet your group and depart.
4:00 pm                       Counselor check out. Staff meeting in Commons.
4:30 pm                       Staff departs.

Event Information and Guidelines:

  • Check-in:  To better serve our scouts and scouters, morning check-in procedures have changed for 2022. Unit Check-in on the day of event is NOT required for pre-registered Scouts. Name tags will be distributed by the individual Class Counselors based on their roster, and ALL Scouts MUST wear their name tag in a visible location. NO EXCEPTIONS. The safety and security of the Scouts is our top priority. Name Tags will also serve as lunch tickets for scouts registered individually. Please help your scouts avoid the long line at the help desk by keeping them informed prior to the event.
  • Class changes/ Walk-In Registrations: Walk-in registrants and scouts with class changes will receive a name tag at the registration table and they will be directed to the correct class. (Closes between 8:30 am and 9:00 am for opening ceremonies.) Expect this process to take time. Arrive early. Table opens at 7:00 AM
  • Blue Cards: As required by BSA protocol, we will be using official BSA Blue Cards to report Merit Badge partials and completions. It is the responsibility of the individual units to provide each of their attending Scouts with a Blue Card signed by the Unit Leader. The Merit Badge Counselor will list completed requirements on the individual Blue Cards and return these to the Scouts at the end of class. No other printed advancement records will be provided to the Unit. Scouts who have forgotten their blue card may purchase one at the concession area.
  • Uniform:  Full BSA Class A Field Uniform is the uniform of the day. The merit badge sash may also be worn (optional).
  • Code of Conduct:  The Scout Oath, the Scout Law, and the Outdoor Code will be the required code of conduct at the Advance-A-Rama. A Scout whose conduct is not consistent with this code will be directed to report to his Unit leaders immediately.  Adequate adult supervision is the responsibility of each participating unit, and all leaders are expected to support disciplinary actions deemed necessary by the counselors or event coordinators.
  • Unit On-site Contact:  Each unit is required to designate at least one registered adult leader who is responsible for check-in and check-out for all Scouts from their unit the day of the Advance-A-Rama. The On-site Contact is required to remain on site with their Scouts, helping to maintain two deep leadership throughout the event.
  • Transportation:  Adult leaders must coordinate arrival and departure times as well as transportation to and from the Advance-A-Rama for their Scouts.  Please follow parking signs at the school entrance. Oveflow parking will be in the rear parking area near the stadium. Adult leaders may not leave Scouts alone for pick-up by parents at a later time. All Merit Badge classes will be conducted on the High School campus, so no off-site transportation will be required during the event. Follow the Outdoor Code and be Conservation Minded. Please carpool to conserve fuel and parking places.
  • Clean-up:  A Scout is Clean. We will be the guests of Gwinnett County Schools. Our goal is to be good stewards and to Leave No Trace by keeping the high school premises and classrooms in the same condition as found. Future offerings of the Advance-A-Rama will depend on our conduct and how neatly we leave the grounds. All garbage must be properly disposed in designated containers. 
  • Security:  During the Advance-A-Rama event, the school is usually only open to the event organizers and attending troops. However, due to ice and snow in previous years, there will often be a couple of make-up events held Saturday in other parts of the school. Security will not be rigid and units need to exercise vigilance.  Report any incidents to one of the event coordinators or counselors.  In the event of serious or life threatening medical situations call 911. Each unit participating must have at least two adult leaders at the event to provide proper supervision, and must assist in monitoring of hallways during classes to help ensure security. Scouts will not be allowed out of classrooms except during breaks and lunch.  
  • Scout Email Address and Telephone Number:  The online registration system requires an email address and telephone number for Scouts participating in the Advance-A-Rama. This is intended to facilitate the Merit Badge Counselor providing information regarding prerequisites and material that will be covered in class to the Scouts prior to the Advance-A-Rama. In the spirit of BSA Youth Protection guidelines, please provide an email address and/or telephone number for the Scout’s parents or adult leader rather than the individual Scout. BUT PLEASE MAKE SURE ANY INFO PROVIDED BY THE COUNSELOR GETS TO THE SCOUT!
  • Concession Stand:  A concession stand will be available in the commons area for adult leaders and parents. Snacks and beverages will be available for purchase throughout the day. In the morning, doughnuts may also be available. The concession stand will only be open to Scouts during arrival and at lunch time.
  • Lunch: All scout registrations will include a lunch. Units with multiple scout registrations will get a group lunch ticket and they may enter a separate line to obtain the group's lunches before the beginning of the lunch session to save time. It is up to the Troop leaders to ensure that all of their scouts are registered properly so they can be grouped together (Correct unit number, district and council.)
  • What is a Lunch? A Lunch is not a whole pizza- It is a single serving of food- 2 slices of pizza, with a side item & a bottle of water. Everyone may choose cheese or pepperoni as quantities allow. Adult leaders and parents may also pre-order a lunch. A limited number of lunches will be available for purchase on-site. Attendees are required to eat in the school commons area, and Scouts will not be allowed to roam the halls during the lunch hour.
  • Scouts must Be Prepared for class: Scouts are expected to bring paper, pencil, and a copy of the Merit Badge pamphlet. Any Scout wishing to complete the Merit Badge in class must also complete the pre-requisite requirements, which will be listed on the class registration page. Any requirements not completed in class or as pre-requisites must be completed later at the unit level. Some classes also have age and/or rank requirements. Unless indicated otherwise, all other requirements for the Merit Badge should be covered in class.
  • Merit Badge Pamphlets:  Merit Badge pamphlets are available online at:  https://www.scoutshop.org/books/for-scouts/merit-badge-pamphlets.html  or at one of the NEGA Council Scout Stores in Jefferson or Lawrenceville. Go to www.nega-bsa.org for directions or call 770-962-2105. Limited quantities of pamphlets and blue cards will be available for  sale at the concession stand . For ALL classes, Scouts are required to READ and BRING the Merit Badge pamphlet for the class they wish to complete.


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