Leaders like this are what give Scouting a bad name, not the potential gay leader. We have done SMC and BOR's on campouts dressed in parkas, hats and gloves; and sitting on a rock on the side of a river in bathing suits on a rafting trip. It's what's inside the scout that counts, not the outside.
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- Jan 2002
- 1 Like
- Apr 2013
You mean judge them on the content of their charactor rather than the condition of their uniform?
- 1 Like
- Apr 2011
eagle90 said what I was going to say. Leaders like this give scouting a bad name.
I was going to easily cut the SM slack if the scout was often sloppy in uniform and attribute it to the SM using creativity to solve a recurring problem ... BUT ONLY IF it was the scout rank patch or unit numbers or maybe the patrol patch or similar ... AND ALSO ONLY IF the SM had rarely seen the scout uniformed to the best of the scout's ability ... AND ONLY IF the scout knew this was expected and it had been requested. I'm okay giving the SM a little flexibility thru his helping create healthy scout spirit.
But it's petty and anal to delay advancement because of an out-of-date centennial patch on an otherwise well uniformed scout. That's just petty. I'd worry if I want my son to learn from their example and I'd advise him on handling those adults WITHOUT BECOMING LIKE THEM. Also council him on how he would handle it if he were the adult. Perhaps, a short verbal roll play.
Untimately, I think Beavah had the right comments. And to some degree, your son (and you) have been in the troop for awhile and this should not be a surprise. BUT ... I'd be looking for another troop as I would not want my own son in it.
As for the guide to advancement and uniforming, I can see "some" flexibility in it, but I can't say I agree at all with your troop's interpretation.
"Gotcha" attitude ... My son had several such adults on his 2010 Jamboree troop. It was supposed to be the highlight of his scouting years and instead turned into an exercise in frustration. As BSA is blessed with many wonderful and caring leaders, BSA is also plagued with too many pinheads. As a result, I'll never send my sons on a scouting event again without first knowing the adults and having a choice in choosing them.
A few comments about our troop
- SMCs and BORs are on-demand. Our goal is the same night. Not guaranteed if we are busy, but we try. Ultimately, it's the scout's responsibility to plan ahead, but we try to support them.
- Scouts are not "required" to be uniformed for SMC or BOR ... but strongly encouraged and reminded before and during.
- Scouts are REQUIRED to have their scout handbook with them for the BOR ... because that's where we confirm the requirements are complete. Can't review what is not provided for review. Troopmaster reports, trip records, etc are the adult responsibility. The scout is only responsible for his own handbook. And if the scoutmaster hasn't signed off on the SMC, then we walk the scout and book to the SM and ask if it was done. Then, the SM signs off and we resume the BOR. Even if we did go forward, we can't finish the BOR without signing the handbook. So, we require the handbook.
- Nov 2007
Does anybody think its units like this that drive kids out of scouting less than anything that comes out of Irving?
Scoutdaddy21- Its really your sons battle, you should talk to the scoutmaster about advancement, on a troop level, not just about your son. You should be ready to take over as Advancement Chair as the reason the jerk is such a jerk is because he doesnt think anyone else would do what he does
I agree with this, though Standard Disclaimer #1 applies, namely: parents should give unit leaders the benefit of doubt and not leap to conclusions about motivations and personalities. Take the time to make a thorough and fair evaluation of the Advancement Chair before reaching any conclusions about his residency in jerkdom.
But if you do conclude he is in fact a jerk and presenting a poor example of authority to the scouts, then volunteer for the committee, make yourself a thoroughly useful and valuable member, then chuck the jerk out of his position of authority. That is also a good lesson for the scouts, that when someone has power who doesn't really deserve it, that it takes more than just complaining to solve the problem.
But that fight is separate from your son dealing with his setback. Things operate on two levels -he had to own dealing with the current situation, and it will be a valuable lesson for him. This won't be the last jerk with authority he ever meets in his life. But you own dealing behind the scenes to improve the unit as best you can. Do everything you can to keep those to fights separate, don't step on your son's opportunity to grow and learn, and don't let there be a problem with the AC be just because your son had an issue. If it's not a widespread problem with the troop, then let it go.
As far as uniforms go, our Troop does require full uniform and book for a BOR, but considering that several scouts have borrowed shirts and neckerchiefs from other scouts for the BOR, missing a patch would hardly be a problem. I'm actually quite impressed with the lenghts our Scouts will go to sometimes to make sure their fellow scouts don't miss out on an advancement opportunity.
- Jan 2010
When I read the first couple of posts I figured that this HAD to be a case of the scout is still wearing his second class rank and the SM is at his wits end trying to get said scout to take some pride in his First Class rank. After all you shouldn't show up for a star BOR wearing only Second Class
But a unit patch? a stinking unit patch??
Words fail me. Scoutlike ones a least.
As Scouters we give of our time, money (and sometimes sanity) to HELP the Scouts.
Not repeat not to throw roadblocks in their way
Petty, stupid ones at that
The SM sounds like a wannabe DI. Some one needs to inform him that scoutmaster does not mean master of scouts. but is nearer to the english word schoolmaster meaning teacher
I guess he has taught your son one valuable lesson however, that there are indeed people who love to throw the power of their position in your face. Most of us have worked for one of them at one time or another eh?
That said listen to da Beavah here, he gives good advice, as do the Eagles and Rat77
If this were my son I would encourage him to try to live up to the law and oath even if the SM is most decidedly not
I also hope you have gleaned from the replies here that not all SM are like the one you seem to be burdened with. If you both decide it is in your sons best interest to join another troop, I wish you all the best. Sew on the blasted patch,get star, and go. He can still be Den chief
- Apr 2012
Beavah hits it on the head well and Kristian copied quote from the 'Guide of Advancement' book are great helps. But there are other things too like the Scouts' uniform inspection sheet, uniform placement sheet, and etc. so things are not always found in the Scout Handbook.
You mentioned that SM and BOR are the always the last Tuesday of the month which gives your son a month time to correct this missing 2 year old patch. One of the things to consider is at Star and Life ranks are preps to the Eagle rank so the same lessons may not have been there for his previous ranks (which in this case could be the 'neat, clean and updated uniform'). Another lesson is ranks are earned not given lesson (which can really affect the Advancement Chair's mentality).
I sympathize your son is upset but ask what your son can do to correct this or plans to do so he sees the lesson/ rank as something achieveable rather than worry about all the different personalities in the Troop. Emphaize that a month is long enough to correct/improve/finish things. This solution to a problem thinking will be what Scouting prepares a Scout for life skills later on.
- Jun 2005
I am trying to coach my kid as how to objectively look at things, do research and stand up for whats right.
So I reckon this is one of those cases which really is a measure of personal character, eh? One to be thoughtful about as a parent. I'll agree with my colleagues that this appears to be a bad umpire.
When dealin' with a bad umpire, yeh can as parent start yellin' and kicking up a fuss, or even go storming out onto the field in front of your son and the other parents, and demand redress! It's always tempting to do that, eh?
When dealin' with a bad umpire, yeh can decide to try to teach your son to go diggin' through da rulebooks to try to lawyer the outcome he wants by arguin' this policy or that wording. That, too, is tempting. At least until yeh have had a few of your own go through their teenage years havin' learned that approach. :P
Or, when dealin' with a bad umpire yeh can stay calm, say to yourself "It's only a game", and cheer for your son win or lose. In Scoutin' it's easier, because almost no loss is permanent. Yeh get as many "do overs" as yeh want.
And then if need be yeh quietly mention to da coach or da head umpire that perhaps someone should think about whether Mr. Bad Umpire needs to take a break for a bit, eh? Followed by "if you need somebody, I would be willing to step up, get all the training, and do the job for da next few years."
Your son will be watching you, eh? Boys learn their lessons by watching, not by listenin' to what yeh say. Da lessons you teach by example will last for most of his life.
Now, if I were in a different role like a UC or a CC or a SM, I would be pulling Mr. Centennial Patch aside for an impromptu conference of my own, eh? And you'll find a bunch of scouters who are servin' in those roles express exactly that sentiment. Heck, for all you know someone might be doin' that in your son's troop even as we speak.
But that's our role, eh? Your role is to be a parent to your boy, so yeh have a different job to do. Teach him respect, and courtesy, and resilience by your example.
- Apr 2009
The boy met the requirements, SMC denied for a requirement that doesn't exist. DAD SHOULD GET INVOLVED.
I would suggest letting the CC and the COR rep know you notified council. Time to weed out the bad eggs in the BSA. Zero toleranvce for those that don't understand why we are here. Setting an example, sending a message, making up your own rules or being in a bad mood has no place for someone that work with kids.
- Feb 2013
All in the details. Ask for a SMC towards the end of a meeting or Friday night in camp? A come back tomorrow/next week answer MAY be OK, but should not ever deny a SMC, perhaps one of the most important opportunities in Scouting. Deny a BOR for a missing patch? Well walked an Eagle into his Bronze Palm BOR last week, noticed he didn't have his MB sash, asked him about it and he turned pale white. Told the BOR members in the room he failed and they could beat him up for the next 20 minutes for wasting their time. 20 minutes later they handed him his palm after some friendly ribbing, but also a little "Be Prepared" speech.
SMCs are in full uniform just as a test run / inspection for the BOR. If something is missing they are told to fix it before the BOR the following week. Not fixed for BOR? For a 2nd Class BOR with a Scout wearing a Scout patch the BOR happens and the Scout is told he gets his 2nd Class rank the night he walks into a Troop meeting wearing a Tenderfoot patch.
Star and Life BORs? They are held out as leaders in the Troop and expected to lead by example. Frankly, I can't remember the last time a Life Scout walked around our Troop wearing a Star patch. they are proud to sew on the new rank when earned.
Now, in camp we do hold up lower level BORs if a patch isn't on. A lunchtime BOR is postponed until after dinner. Frankly, nothing puts smiles on our leaders' faces more than watching a HS junior or senior sitting down at a picnic table in camp showing a 12 year old how to sew for the very first time. The Scout is then asked how it felt to sew on his own patch and the smiles and pride shown are priceless to witness. A poorly sewn on patch looks 10x better than one mom did or worse the glued on kind. (Just like terrible looking Scout made Webelos II pinewood derby cars always look better than the professionally made Tiger cars made by dads.)
- Feb 2013