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Is it ever appropriate to "slow" a Scout's advancement?

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  • Basementdweller
    replied
    squire.....SMC are not pass or fail. you simply need to participate in one......For me the key is participate. so what do you do with a scout who is a yes and no kinda guy??? Won't actually hold a conversation.

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  • qwazse
    replied
    The only kid whose attendance I worry about is the one whose well being depends on it.
    Of course, with venturers, the pressure to peruse awards is far less.
    With the boys in the troop, well they've seen one or two not make rank, so they know the wrong way to go about things. Frankly, I got no problem with a kid picking up scouting skills in a hurry and making rank quickly. But our boys who are taking their good old time advancing seem to be the most active in our troop.

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  • Sqyire21
    commented on 's reply
    Whiel I see the point you're trying to make MB, I'm not sure I agree with what you are saying. (but I think we're very close to seeing some of this issue the same) I will state: My son and I are in Cub's still...so I'm not 100% current with the official requirements.

    As a Youth, my Troop required some sort of leadership position for every rank past First Class. If you weren't actively doing your job, you were removed and replaced. While we were a good sized Troop, we certainly weren't 50 strong...so I could understand limited positions and multiple scouts issues.

    The youth I specifically rememer went to get his SMC, but hadn't held a leadership position, and hadn't been active for months. He hadn't been attending meetings, and seemed to believe he was going to just get a pass on his SMC. This was the reason he was refused.

    I don't however tend to agree with manupulating a situation to have a boy 'forget' to recieve his SMC. Some of the other idea's listed above I also feel are dishonest and contrary to Scouting's principles. If you have a scout who's not active....leadership should be working to ensure he is. My .02...

  • Basementdweller
    commented on 's reply
    You know that dad is ticked off at what the group is writing here....

    We were supposed to support his advancement only scout in his eagle chase....... Poor little guy, the SM was suppose to give him a position because he needed one not because he was ready for it.....

  • mozartbrau
    replied
    Originally posted by Basementdweller View Post
    MB, I think you miss spoke. Prior to the 2011 Guide to advancement National defined active as dues paid and not on suspension. The GTA allows troops to set what being active means for them.....my numbers are above...... Not sure what the Guide to Safe Scouting has to do with it other than taking a lot of fun out of scouting. Bottom line here is the integrity of the program I provide the boys...... Holding the boys accountable, just as I hold myself.......Being Life for life isn't that bad, some of the best scouters I know are in that situation.
    Yeah, my mistake...meant GTA. But the GTA does state the three part test for "active". That third point -- "Scout meets the unit's reasonable expectations; or, if not, a lesser level of activity is explained" -- is the one where I think many get tripped up.

    I know most troops have activity levels documented for leadership roles in their job descriptions. But I do not know many troops that say to be considered active you have to go on (x) number of camp outs or attend (x) number of meetings. So my point was that troops that don't have a documented participation % to define who is/is not active, then you are in a grey area where that "alternate" third test is applied. That's why out troop documented what % of attendance was considered active participation.

    http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/33088.pdf

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  • Basementdweller
    commented on 's reply
    MB, I think you miss spoke. Prior to the 2011 Guide to advancement National defined active as dues paid and not on suspension. The GTA allows troops to set what being active means for them.....my numbers are above...... Not sure what the Guide to Safe Scouting has to do with it other than taking a lot of fun out of scouting.

    Bottom line here is the integrity of the program I provide the boys......

    Holding the boys accountable, just as I hold myself.......Being Life for life isn't that bad, some of the best scouters I know are in that situation.

  • mozartbrau
    commented on 's reply
    Yeah, unfortunately the new interface is rather touchy when you go back to edit, so I have to use the new English they are teaching in schools these days.

  • packsaddle
    replied
    I was also an Eagle at 15. In my troop all of the boys did whatever advancement they did strictly on their own or with help only from other boys if needed. Parents merely transported boys to and from merit badge counselors, for example. The boys learned self-sufficiency, independence, initiative. My advice is for the dad to let the boy do it on his own. Period. It can be done. The dad doesn't have to 'hover'.

    Mozartbrau, "...when I was a kid who played professional sports."
    Wow, you must have been pretty good at it!

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  • mozartbrau
    commented on 's reply
    Problem is a Scout can get Eagle without really being active as long as he is registered, in good standing and either can meet (or attempt to meet) the minimum standards for being "active" for his unit OR provide a reasonable explanation as to what he has been doing with his time. BSA in the GTSS has essentially watered down what being active entails. I know most units have attendance requirements for leadership positions, but few have it written in their bylaws for just an average Scout. So if I am a Life Scout without a leadership position, in most troops I am not required to attend any % of meetings or camp outs...officially. Our troop amended our bylaws for this very reason.

    The problem Sqyire, is that in many councils there are Scouts getting Life by 13 and then dropping off the radar entirely to focus on other stuff. They work on Eagle but they are really not involved in their troops or Scouting. Some do the very least they can do to meet any "active" litmus test just so they can get Eagle. It is for their resume for college, nothing more. I think the reason many want to "slow a Scout down" is so they 1) develop deep skills, 2) get full benefit of what Scouting is about, and 3) learn to give back to their troop.

    I had a coach when I was a kid who played professional sports. We were lucky to have him as a coach since he played at the top level of his game. Back then it was unheard of to have a guy like him coaching a bunch of 11 year-olds. He told us something that always stuck with me, he said "Make sure when you are done with your career -- regardless of what it is, sports, a club, a church -- that you give back to that group. If you continue to take from the well without giving back, the well will run dry." That simple statement has ALWAYS stuck with me and many of my generation. I think the problem is these days there is no sense of stewardship. Kids finish their business and move on. Heck, few even say "thank you" let along give back to their troop.

    I go back to what BD said, it is about the journey not the destination.

  • Sqyire21
    replied
    Read this one with interst.. for a number of reasons.

    1) I was an Eagle at 15, while my older brother didn't finish his until his VERY later 17. I certainly don't think I was too young...and I'm almost insulted to have someone think I was. I was very active, and did summer camp every year, Philmont at 15, etc.

    2) Unless I'm mistaken, when Eagle was first created, the average age for the award was 15, then it went down to 14, and slowly rose and fell over the years. My father was 16 when he earned his in the 60's. I know I've read these numbers somewhere.

    3) I've known SM to refuse the SM Conference for boys. Not due to age, but other 'real' reasons (lack of activity in Troop). So, I do believe there are legitimite reasons this could be done. However, like most people here, I agree.. the idea of a SM holding a Scout back and delaying their progression is disturbing.

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  • mozartbrau
    replied
    Originally posted by Basementdweller View Post
    Those are the numbers we use to define active. I use troopwebhost that has the ability to do it real time from a smartphone without add ons or extra charges....
    As I said in the other forum the cost difference is a few bucks for like services between the two software. ;-) I've done the math recently.

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  • Basementdweller
    commented on 's reply
    So how is the SM going to react if the ASM goes to him and asks for a project for his son or son asks sm for project....Probably not real well.

  • Basementdweller
    commented on 's reply
    Those are the numbers we use to define active. I use troopwebhost that has the ability to do it real time from a smartphone without add ons or extra charges. To this point in my adult scouting career a boy is either active or has quit......I haven't had one leave for football or band and come back yet.

    if mikes son is first class at eleven he could be eagle by the time he is 13.....

  • perdidochas
    replied
    Originally posted by Region 7 Voyageur View Post
    If you cant kick a dead horse when it is down, when can you kick it? This is my opinion, a Scout that is very active, has set personal goals, and works consistently at advancing will achieve the Eagle rank when he is 14 years old. This is good! A Scout may then look to earning Eagle Palms, or joining a Venturing Crew and working towards the Silver Award and the Ranger Award. A Scout may also have an interest in working towards the Quartermaster Award in a Sea Scout Ship. Scouts that I have observed that have earned Eagle at 17+ years of age have usually had long periods of inactivity in advancement and participation in the troop. Many are procrastinators that were pushed in the end by their parents to finish their Eagle. If you believe that a Scout has not earned the Eagle rank then the fault lies with those that have signed off along the way. If a requirement, merit badge, or service project was signed off with out meeting the standards then shame on the person that signed off. It seems to me that most people that have an issue with Scouts earning Eagle before the age of 16 are either: people who earned eagle at the age of 17, or parents of Scouts that earned Eagle at the age of 17. In my opinion they cannot fathom someone earning the rank at a younger age than they or their son did. Was Theodore Roosevelt too young to be President of the United States? (This message has been edited by Region 7 Voyageur)

    My observation about the older Eagles is the same. We hardly see them for a year (as Life Scouts), and then suddenly they are back for their Eagle Project, so they get that done before they graduate high school. Except for obviously immature boys, I see no reason to delay a 14 or 15 yr old Eagle candidate. I see our high school age Life Scouts getting bored with Scouts, and getting more involved with high school life.

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  • perdidochas
    replied
    Originally posted by mikeknr View Post
    I understand that in Apr, 2013, this discussion is now over 11 years old and yet incredibly, it is still pertinent. I am an ASM in a large troop where the prevailing attitude is to be in 'prevent mode', as I call it. There are important items left off the list of thinsg to discuss with first year's, among them are how to work the blue cards (when/who/what to ask, and how and why...) and that certain ranks are needed at certain years for Pipestone, as my Troop attends 7-Ranges each year (Buckeye Council, OH). I have a SM who, during my 11 year old son's SMC told him that he needed to 'hang out with your Dad less'...baffling to us because when were outdoors, we rarely see each other, especially at summer camp, and have to set times and dates to go get an icecream slushie to catch up. Then this SM assigned an Eagle Scout to speak to my son after his First Class SMC about, you guessed it, 'slowing down to have some fun', he actually did this with one other Scout as well, but did that Scout's father the courtesty of telling him he planned to do this prior to doing it. I would not have objected, my son's ambition is bullet-proof at this point, but I do object to the underhanded way he went about all theses activities. 'First year to First Class' is a satndard that he, my son, loved, and he stated to me that he planned to get his Eagle prior to getting his liscense, he is well aware fo the 'fumes' from talking to other adults (perfume and exhaust fumes...) and doesn't want to let those and sportd get in his way, knowing that they inevitably will. My real concern is, given the SMs past behavior, they the SM may try to talk the newly elected SPL out of choosing my son for any positions of responsibilty. What would I do in this case? This would set my son to waiting for 14 months until the next election, for Star rank which should take at MOST 4-6 minths....??
    Another option for Star is to do a leadership project approved by the Scoutmaster. That said, 12 months between elections is way to long, for either the office holders or the people who hope to be office holders. 6 months is about as long as I've seen a boy to function as SPL. At 5 months, they are getting burned out.

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