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  • Need Some Help With This One.

    So, I've run into a situation that is awkward for me and I need help. Please bear with me if I ramble a bit in trying to give background.

    One of the troops dropped from BSA and went over to Trails Life. The leadership knew they were quitting the BSA once Trails Life was created ( 2 of the leaders went to the Trail Life founding convention), but they didn't tell any of the Scouts until closer to recharter that they were leaving So from the creation of Trail's Life onward, they essentially marked time. And the leadership thought everyone would stay with them and join Trails Life.

    But 2 of the Scouts in the troop, wanted to stick with the BSA. They spent a month searching for a new troop and found one. Obviously every troop is different, and it can take some time to adjust. But they are happy.

    But here is where I need the help. And I admit some of this is from talking to Mom so take it with a grain of salt. The old troop apparently let the troop keep advancing using the book they joined the troop with. So one of the young men has been using the requirements from the 11th edition BSHB he started with in 2007 for rank advancement for the last 4 years! Now there doesn't seem to be any major differences until you EDGE method for Life.

    The Scout found out about EDGE requirement when he went to his new SM with his old book asking about doing his SMC and set up the Life BOR. That was when it was realized he never had the EDGE requirement signed off, because it's not in the old book. He was given a week to prepare to work with some younger scouts. He did it, but because the younger scouts didn't all grasp skill, needing more time to master it, the ASM working with the Scout on this won't sign off. Understandable. But the Scout missed the chance to get his Life BOR in time to complete Eagle. Plus I’ve seen this guy working with new scouts as my son visited his old troop. Since this Scout was not going on the AT trip with the troop that year, he was doing a church trip ( I believe a mission trip) instead with his family, he was working with the younger scouts and my visiting son while the older scouts prepped for the trip. And he was an effective teacher.

    And that is where another challenges lie. This is Scout would be one of those "deathbed Eagles" as some would call him, getting it right at 18. He needed a BOR by today so he could get Eagle before 18. Now you are probably asking why a scout active for 7 years would need to rush getting Life and Eagle. One reason for that is the old troop's leadership believed in slowing down the scouts, only allowing them to get Eagle at 17 years. Another reason the old troop stopped working on Boy Scout advancement once they knew they were going to Trails Life.

    Now that I’ve given some background, do you think the old troop holding back scouts, using out of date requirements, and dropping from scouting to join Trails Life which caused the Scout to look for another troop to join for a month may be legitimate factors for an extension?

  • #2
    I am, as many know, anti-EDGE. So I simply ask a boy to recall teaching the last time they taught a skill and how they did it. I help him reflect on how to do better next time. (I especially do the reflection if he did use EDGE so he understands how woefully inadequate it is.) This could have been done at the SMC to everyone's satisfaction.

    That said, following the requirements to the letter ... "use the EDGE method to teach another Scout" singular. Having a boy teach more than one scout can be a recipe for failure.

    If the boy is committed to getting Life ASAP, I would file an appeal for an extension. There is enough here to indicate that adults failed the boy. But, that's no guarantee that national would approve it.

    If there is consensus in the unit that the boy had done the requirements, albeit unwittingly, I would just as readily ask to backdate the SMC and BoR.
    Last edited by qwazse; 05-30-2014, 10:21 AM.

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    • #3
      It is not "trails life", more properly "trailer life". Sounds like a "double wide" situation to me. Go to bat for this Scout, he was abandoned.

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      • #4
        Time to talk to the District Advancement Chair and get a ruling. If, I were that person, I would document everything and grant the waiver.

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        • #5
          It's worth a couple phone calls, but keep in mind the Scout needs to continue working toward Eagle. He should start his 6-month Eagle POR today, for example, and not wait for some ruling from council which could take months.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by qwazse View Post
            That said, following the requirements to the letter ... "use the EDGE method to teach another Scout" singular. Having a boy teach more than one scout can be a recipe for failure.
            That was my thought also. The requirement is to teach ONE Scout, one of several choices, so that that one Scout can get signed off on those requirements.

            Teaching one-on-one is much easier than teaching to a crowd. If one, out of all of the Scouts he was teaching, got signed off, the requirement is completed. Also, there is no time frame specified. It does not have to be a single, one time, one meeting, one hour, lesson. This Scout could have met with his one younger Scout everyday for a month to teach him the specific skills the Star Scout had decided on.

            Seems his ball was dropped by more than one Troop.

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            • #7
              Go to bat for this scout. He deserves it. And I can guarantee you that when you succeed this will become one of your own proudest memories of scouting.

              -----------------------------------

              His previous troop leaders dealt with him in bad faith by promoting a culture of slowing up advancement and using old requirements. Then, they went rogue manuvering to transfer the troop to Trail's Life program. Their machinizations damaged kids that had entered a BSA troop.

              Also, note that adult leaders are there to step in to correct injustice created by other leaders or a messed up situation. And this situation, like many I've seen, is about as messed up as you can get.

              -----------------------------------

              RECOMMENDATIONS - Do ALL of these.

              - ASAP - Complete the SMC/BOR. REASON - This stops the clock on Life and starts the clock on Eagle. Then you know how much time is needed. Until the Life BOR/SMC is completed, you don't know the scope of the issue.

              - ASAP - Bring in district advancement chair. Get to know him/her. Get him/her on your side.

              - ASAP - Bring in the council advancement director too. Get him/her on your side.

              - Do NOT start the Eagle project until the Life BOR/SMC is done.

              - Work the advancement so that EVERYTHING is done before the scout turns 18. Only have the time-in-rank and time-in-position-of-responsibliity life. Those are the only two you want extended.

              - Start documenting each and every reason that justifies the extension. Previous troop leaders tried to not have scouts earn Eagle before 17. Previous troop leaders kept scouts accountable to the scout book from when they joined. Previous troop leaders ignored BSA advancement as they started investing time in creating the Trail's Life program. Previous troop transfered to Trail's Life and left this scout stranded without a home. New troop held the scout accountable to requirements that he was not aware of because of the actions of the previous troop. Scout did the EDGE requirement BEFORE the critical date, but the scout that was taught did not pass the requirements ... etc etc etc.

              - Keep documenting the reasons and improving the reasons. They will probably need to be sent to BSA national to get this resolved.

              - Get the parents to document their experience.

              - Talk to the scoutmaster about the justice and fairness of the situation. Recognizing the moral dilemma, ask if he would back-date the Life BOR/SMC to the day the EDGE training was done. It's the easiest way to fix this mess that IMHO was not the scout's fault.

              - Talk to the ASM that would not sign off on the EDGE requirements. The scout is required to do EDGE training reasonably well. But that should be for an average scout. The scout should NOT be held accountable to whether the other scout passed the requirements after being trained. The scout is accountable for doing an EDGE training and doing it reasonably well and not accountable for the other scout's advancement.

              -----------------------------------
              If you need an extension, it's going to to go BSA national. You need to have as small of a time frame window and as good of justification as possible.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by fred johnson View Post
                ...
                - Talk to the ASM that would not sign off on the EDGE requirements. The scout is required to do EDGE training reasonably well. But that should be for an average scout. The scout should NOT be held accountable to whether the other scout passed the requirements after being trained. The scout is accountable for doing an EDGE training and doing it reasonably well and not accountable for the other scout's advancement.
                ...
                I agree with every step that Fred spelled out except this one. Taking the requirement literally, the student should be "prepared to pass the requirements to his unit leader’s satisfaction". If the learner can't perform the skill, the skill wasn't taught. I wouldn't tell an ASM he/she needs to adjust standards if they are taking things literally. But I would encourage him to consider any mitigating circumstances that could lead to the standard not being met in a particular case.

                I mentioned the difference between teaching one scout (as mentioned above) vs. teaching many. On top of that, the EDGE method omits some key steps. I've harped on "referencing" (e.g., to a book or instruction sheet) before, but there's also "evaluation". Under a time constraint, this step gets short shrift, and I suspect this star scout -- eager to prove himself in this new environment -- didn't really evaluate if any of his students were ready to present themselves to for proficiency testing. Which reminds of an important 1st step: "allocate time" and "set up an environment." It is inappropriate to expect there to be enough time during a meeting for a boy (let alone a number of boys) to master each scout skill. Again, a star scout (the concept, not the patch) is constantly setting aside time and space to nudge novices along in the learning process. But a boy who is new to the troop may not even have his mate's phone number to arrange to meet after school or during lunch.

                Likewise mentoring for teaching involves setting aside time including securing the scout's commitment to teach outside of meeting in a learning-friendly environment, making sure the star scout has adequate references (hint: the current BSHB may not be adequate), making sure the scout can evaluate the quality of his work by soliciting feedback from his peer and asking him to repeat the skill a number of times. Needless to say, if you just use EDGE, you will never do any of these!

                Thus, I don't think the ASM's standard is the issue here. But there are a whole set of things (including the inherent fallacy of EDGE, but no point in arguing that to anyone) that impeded succes. Focus on those things.

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                • #9
                  Qwazse ... well said ... My only comment is the requirement says "prepare to pass", but not actually pass. The receiving scout could fail. There is no tie between the teaching scout's completing the EDGE requirement and the receiving scout passing his requirement. IMHO, we don't tie the advancement of one scout to the advancement of another scout.

                  That would result with the smart scout picking other smart scouts to teach. Why would a scout want to use EDGE with a scout that has challenges learning? Heck, I'd look for a 17 year old tenderfoot scout who is a friend to teach.

                  Also, I'm not sure what you meant by evaluation. EDGE has explain, demonstrate, guide and enable. We evaluate the scout on whether he completed the requirements. So the evaluation of the teaching scout should be evaluating the teaching scout. You don't evaluate a different scout to decide if another scout passed.

                  I just meant that the OP should talk to the ASM that evaluated the EDGE training. If the ASM only evaluated the receiving scout, IMHO that's wrong. Period.

                  IMHO, the only way to evaluate the EDGE requirement is by observing the EDGE training. Not by evaluating the receiving scout.

                  ........

                  FYI ... I also think the EDGE requirement is flawed.

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                  • #10
                    THANK YOU FOR YOUR REPLIES!

                    Wanted to give you an update. I emailed the Scout basically what you guys told me. But I put it question form since I got the original info from Mom, and wanted him to reflect upon the entire situation. Added that he needs to talk to SM about the situation.

                    Long story short, Scout is going full steam ahead, but it sounds like he is prepared for a rejection from national. Was told he wants to follow through with everything irregardless of whether he gets the extension or not. He wants to complete what he started.

                    SM is backing him on this, but unbeknownst to the scout, is contacting the PTB about this process NOW.

                    Again THANK YOU for your responses.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by fred johnson View Post
                      ... Also, I'm not sure what you meant by evaluation. EDGE has explain, demonstrate, guide and enable. We evaluate the scout on whether he completed the requirements. So the evaluation of the teaching scout should be evaluating the teaching scout. You don't evaluate a different scout to decide if another scout passed. ...
                      I forgot I hadn't replied to this. All I meant was that any teaching method should involve the teacher evaluating how well the learner can do the skill. This is the best way to know if you got your message across. The scout should be at liberty to tell us when a student is still having trouble. As far as I'm concerned measuring your own success or failure is as much a part of the process. That's why I think a meeting is an inappropriate venue for this sort of thing. The time constraints are just too narrow. E92, nice to know your scout is making a spirited effort!

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                      • #12
                        What is a "PTB" ?

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                        • #13
                          PTB= Powers That Be, i.e. the district and council advancement folks in this instance.

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                          • #14
                            Hope it works out for the scout, and good on ya for getting him back on the right path. TL sticks in my craw as it is, but to see a boy suffer from the actions of others ("adults", no less) who are supposedly taking a moral stand really grinds my gears.

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