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How far do you go to catch up on AOL requirements?

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  • How far do you go to catch up on AOL requirements?

    I have an AOL Den of 11 boys working on their final requirements for AOL and getting ready to bridge in March. One of the boys has missed all of the Den meetings where we worked on the Readyman Activity Badge. Most of the boys had earned it at Resident camp either last summer or the year before, but there were 4 who still needed it, hence the Den meetings to cover/review it. The one stand out chose not to go to camp either summer.

    Now we're 1 month away from Blue & Gold and 9 of the 11 will definitely receive their AOL. (One boy joined this school year and his goal was his Webelos Badge - not AOL.) My suspicion is that his dad (who is the Wolf DL) will talk to his son for about 15 minutes and sign him off. (He did it with other Activity Badges.)

    So how far have you Webelos/AOL Den Leaders gone to catch up someone on a required Activity Badge?

  • #2
    Honestly, I would not be willing to go that far, but some things I look for to make my decision:

    Overall attendance of the scout at den meetings.
    Is he active?
    Was there a hardship/conflict that kept him away from key den meetings?

    In my overall asseessment, if he is an active scout, I will work with him the best I can as my schedule permits. At this point, expectations must be set with the parents and scout. If time is running short, I would have him complete some or all of the reqirements at home and delegate the sign-off to the parents. Before I would award him the badge, I would have him demonstrate some of the key requirements to me at a den meeting. This would give me a comfort as a Webelos Leader that he understands the material. I've heard too many stories of requirements being "pencil-whipped" by the parents, so be ready to have him demonstrate to you what he should have learned.

    Another option: He can finish after Blue and Gold before he ages out.


    • #3
      "My suspicion is that his dad (who is the Wolf DL) will talk to his son for about 15 minutes and sign him off. (He did it with other Activity Badges.)"

      Webelos are different than the other ranks, as the Webelos Den Leader is the one who signs off requirements, and not the parents. If the parent is the one who signed up to teach a "badge", the Webelos Leader should make sure no corners are being cut, as he is the one who approved the parent as the "counselor" of the badge.

      Also, Blue and Gold is not the end all to the scouting year. The Webelos leader (I think that is you if I read your post correctly) should have a talk with the lad and his parents and see if he wants to cross over with his friends or continue and join once he has his badge.


      • #4
        and isn't attendance a hard test to use to determine anything? After all, they are still depending on parents to make the time to take them to the meetings.
        and depending on the parents to receive and act on emails or whatever from the DL re. den meeting schedules, etc....


        • #5
          and isn't attendance a hard test to use to determine anything? After all, they are still depending on parents to make the time to take them to the meetings.
          and depending on the parents to receive and act on emails or whatever from the DL re. den meeting schedules, etc....


          • #6
            couple options...

            check with other weblos dens in the area and see if they are working on readyman that he could join in on....

            check with area boy scout troops (especially one that boy is looking at joining) that might have some working on first aid merit badge that could work him in to get readyman... or has some older scouts that are needing to teach skills for communication merit badge that could teach him readyman (my son did this to help a boy through outdoorsman)

            are there parks and rec type programs that might work? is first aid/cpr taught at school (it is here though they don't get certified until high school)


            • #7
              If Dad is not doing it right and just signing off, then HECK NO!

              See if a First Aid MBC or other qualified person would work with him.

              I know it is not against BSA rules, but I am uncomfortable signing off stuff in my Webelos' book, unless A) it was done in a group setting like Readyman, B)done at CSDC, or C) I was given permission by the WDL to do so.


              • #8
                This is becoming a common theme in cub scouting. There are parents that feel writing the check at sign up night is all they need to do, they forget abut getting the kiddo to den meetings. And there are parents who think the need to do it fr their boy.

                Has anyone asked the child if thy want to be involved, maybe that's why he doesn't come.

                We have a family in our den who has always been a pain, they complain about meeting times, or day or pin requirements or the fact kids need to wear a uniform to any meeting or that the parents need to stay with on on a camp-in ( or get another to say they'll take that boy on). And they text me, email me and other parents their dissatisfaction with the whole cub program, BSA policies, you name it. My group crosses over in march - Lets say it has been a long road since Tigers.


                • #9
                  This was a very interesting read...from everyone.

                  Here is my two cents...for all it's worth.

                  A) Is the parent working with the child, and coordinating with the DL, or just signing it off.
                  - No matter how it's being signed off, if there are questions on the authenticity of the information taught/retianed... interview the scout... allow the parent to be there, but ensure he's only allowed to give 2-3 word 'guidance' when you tell him too... (i.e. "When we did ...")

                  B) Scout doesn't need to cross over with the other boys....but the desire may be there. Remind him of the importance of finishing his AOL. Remind his parents as well. This is the ONLY Cub-Scouting award which will remain with the boy for life. He'll wear it through Scouts, and later in life as an Adult knot. Many adult leaders would gladly give double the required time to go back and finish these awards.

                  c) Talk to the other Den Leaders and Scout troops. See what the boy needs...and help arrange it. Make sure the parents are aware of all of the hoop-jumping you'll be doing, because it's possibly they won't appreciate it....and they need to. The Parents should be driving this train, and you just telling them where to steer it. It doesn't sound like this is the case.

                  I hope my toughts made sense. For our pack, we've graduated 1, and have a few more basically done. I believe 1-2 may not complete... and we're trying to push them through... but the Scout has to want this too...or everyone is workign for the wrong reasons.

                  I look forward to your update.


                  • #10
                    Sit down with the boy and dad at the same time. Go over the remaining list of requirements and what the options are. If they choose to do the teaching at home, set a date for him to come and demonstrate to you his knowledge for signoff. (Readyman is not that hard for a 5th grader.)

                    Then call it good and your best effort. He'll get a lot of FA in Boy Scouts if he continues and hopefully he will.

                    Thanks for your service to the boy.

                    -- AK


                    • #11
                      At this point the fella is on his own to learn the material. If I'm reading the post correctly, he's missed three opportunities. You've done your part in that regard. He could take a community first aid course, read the material himeself or his dad could work with him to learn it. There is nothing wrong with that.

                      As a den leader I do think you owe the Scout an opportunity to demonstrate his knowledge of the material and get it signed off. If the kid knows his stuff, he should be able to go through the requirements in an hour. Set a meeting with him. But make sure he understands that your time is valuable and if he isn't prepared and doesn't know the material, it's going to be tough for you to take much more individual time.

                      If he doesn't finish the requirements in that first meeting, I'm not saying you're done with him, but the math changes. Further meetings will be strictly at your convenience. If it doesn't work out that he finishes the badge, well, learning the world doesn't revolve around you can be a tough lesson.

                      Set the expectations hard up front -- expecially with the dad (who has no part in the sign offs.) Make clear your going to expect his son knows the material and that their lack of earlier participation has put themselves in a situation with a limited number of bites at the apple.


                      • #12
                        I have scheduled meetings to catch up boys who missed activities like some of the craftsman projects, art and readyman........

                        At those scheduled meeting times I have had a nice chat with the minister, unloaded the food pantry truck, vacuumed the fellowship hall.....Of the three that I have scheduled none of the boys whom it was scheduled for showed up.

                        As noted Parents do not sign off on the Webelos activity pins.


                        • #13
                          I have signed off on work with parents after talking with the boy is he did it. I have scheduled multiple make up sessions. I have submitted the AOL award to my CM with the mention it may get pulled at the last minute--did that 1 out of 6 times. Turned out the boy just didn't care.


                          • #14
                            The AOL is not what's important here.

                            What is important: does he know age-appropriate 1st aid? Has he demonstrated those skills?

                            Make it clear to dad that that is what really matters, and say that if the boy needs a couple of months more in the pack to be sure, that's okay.

                            If on the other hand, the boy's old enough and wants to cross-over without AoL and work on 1st aid skills in the troop, that's okay too.

                            If the boy wants to quit scouts and learn 1st aid at the local pool (or wherever), that's also okay.

                            Bottom line: one more boy well prepared. That's what we're after.


                            • #15
                              Thank you everyone, those are some very constructive ideas. I will set up a time outside of the Den meeting if he is interested. And I like the idea of talking to other WDL's and/or Troops to see if anyone else is working of FA activities. I'll also remind him & his parents that he can bridge later.

                              I hope he chooses to complete this last requirement for AOL. He and my son were the first 2 boys in the Tiger den years ago. Unfortunately he and his parents still follow the Tiger Cub idea that mom or dad need to be at every event. I've offered to pick him up for Den meetings as I do with other boys, but they decline each time.