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What is "Active" in Troop vs. Crew for Eagle Requirement?

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  • #16
    daveinwa

    You know one problem with the BSA policy of allowing Venturers to continue boy scout advancement through a crew is that a lot of old time scoutmasters severely resent it and are overly critical of the whole idea. In addition it gives them another reason to blame Venturing for stealing their boys. As others have said do not worry about what the rules in the troop are because they have no bearing to the crew. The advancement at this stage are mainly earning the required MB's, done on an independent self motivated basis, and doing an Eagle project.

    To correct Beavah on one part of his post the CC does NOT work for the CO, it is their job to make sure the unit is running smoothly and following the BSA guidelines as well as following any directives set by the CO. Your primary focus is always on the unit.

    Comment


    • #17
      Sorry, BadenP, yeh have to go back to your training. The entire troop committee works for and on behalf of the Chartered Organization, not the BSA. Right there in the Troop Committee Guidebook, and of course a vital piece of da whole Chartered Organization relationship.

      It's important for people to understand and stick to their roles, eh? It helps avoid unnecessary conflicts.

      The CC works for the CO, and is responsible for supportin' the CO's mission and goals for the unit program.

      The National Program Committee (or whatever it's been restructured into these days) works for the BSA and therefore is bound by the Rules and Regulations. It sets the BSA program materials. It can't tell Chartered Organizations or their volunteers what to do, it doesn't have that authority. It can't legitimately redefine "active" because that is spelled out in da Rules & Regulations, and those can only be changed by the National Executive Board. It can, however, publish other works and issue BSA awards even over the objection of the Chartered Organization; it has been authorized to do that by the National Council.

      So if everybody does their jobs, the unit volunteers teach character and values accordin' to the mission of the Chartered Organization. Da council volunteers adhere to the direction given by the council members and board. The national staff and volunteers adhere to the Rules & Regulations and the BSA's goals of developing character, fitness, and citizenship. Nobody tries to tell anybody else what they can or can't do, they just do their own jobs.

      In this case, CalicoPenn has the right of it. The troop does its job and the crew does its job.

      If the lad applies for Eagle in the Crew, he has to fulfill the crew's expectations for "active" and for service in a position of responsibility, then the Crew Advisor does the conference and the Crew Committee approves his Eagle application (and conducts his EBOR if done at the unit level). No reason for the troop to be involved or upset, it's not their business to tell the crew what to do. No reason for the Crew Committee to consider the lad's participation in the troop, it's not relevant.

      If the lad applies for Eagle in the Troop, he should have fulfilled the troop's expectations and da requirements for Eagle in the troop, in which case it's none of the crew's business. There's no reason the troop committee should consider the boy's participation in the Crew, it's not relevant. If they don't feel a lad has been active then they don't approve that, or just do what FScouter suggested and remove the kid from the troop entirely. But the lad can still choose to appeal, and then the national organization can decide to give the lad its award, because after all it owns the award.

      And in turn, if da national organization hands out Eagles for just bein' registered, then employers and colleges and families and chartered organizations can choose not to accord Eagle Scout much value (which we increasingly see).

      No reason for any drama, hard feelings, or confusion. Each person just does his own job without worryin' about whatever anybody else is doin'.

      Beavah
      (This message has been edited by Beavah)

      Comment


      • #18
        Okay guys, let's for the sake of argument, assume that dave's CO only asked his committee to implement the BSA program as best they know how, and maybe make sure the kids offer grace before meals. [If that's not the case, daveinWA, and your attendance rules were handed down from the chartered org, let us know.] Then, we are in the position of helping dave interpret the program as best *we* know how.

        Let's also assume that dave is one guy, and he doesn't drink the Dr. Jekyll potion to put on his crew committee hat. He wants these two units to work reasonably closely together. He does not want to sit down to a BOR and say "Okay guys, are we the troop or are we the crew tonight?" We don't know if his crew advisor and SM are different guys, but if they are, Dave doesn't want to look at a kid and say "Oops, you got your SMC with the troop, but we hardly saw you in troop for six months. Go back and have it with your advisor."

        Ideally, the SMC would have included the SM, ASMs, and Advisors. (Works for us, just sayin.) Either way, whoever cleared him on his requirements was satisfied with attendance. They might not have been pleased with it, but they followed the letter of the law and moved the application along. However that happened, as long as the adults are generally content with the process, the kid is coming to dave with this unresolved issue.

        But dave doesn't want slacker boys taking advantage of this period when the crew's expectations for a venturer's participation in his troop (if he has one) is a little ambiguous.

        In spite of Beav's protestation to the contrary, you can't legislate a warm body into being more active in the troop. The boy could say, "Fine transfer my stuff to the crew, I'll talk to my advisor, see you in a week." If the crew officers think that's a jerky move, they could add some stipulation to their by-laws, but that's a *youth* decision, not a committee decision. And it won't happen quickly. Besides, dave is probably smart enough to not go asking someone to make a rule for him, they just might do it, and the youth might especially hold him to it.

        That's why I suggested a "gauntlet" that involves forcing the boy to reflect on his scouting career. You can't slam the door in the kid's face. But, you can ask open-ended questions that help him think through how is decisions about attendance may have impacted the life of the troop and his own career.

        Heck, you can then ask the kid -- since he is eligible to stay in the crew a few more years -- if he knows of a way the crew can help improve attendance in both units.

        I ask you, isn't that better than bouncing around appeals paperwork between council and national?

        If word gets out that little Joey was stuck talking about attendance problems to half a dozen guys for much of his review, doncha think the boys are gonna take attendance a little more seriously?

        Comment


        • #19
          If that's not the case, daveinWA, and your attendance rules were handed down from the chartered org, let us know.

          Nah, that's not the point, eh?

          The point is what is the Chartered Organization's mission? It's goals and values? Da CC is obligated to support and help administer the scoutin' program consistent with those, eh? If the Committee feels that getting awards for being absent isn't consistent with the CO's goals and values, then it shouldn't authorize that. Or if da crew committee feels that the youth should set the expectations and the youth don't feel that earning an award while absent is appropriate, then that shouldn't be authorized for advancement in the crew.

          The CO doesn't need to (and shouldn't) micromanage, eh? The CC and Committee should live up to the CO's expectations and values without needin' someone to tell 'em how to handle every little thing.

          I can't tell what daveinWA is thinkin' or dealin' with based on his posts. As close as I can figure, they're runnin' a crew sort of like a Venture Patrol (which is an OK if somewhat odd thing to do), so the CO and committee might have a genuine interest in cross-program coordination and expectations.... like expecting the Crew members to contribute to the troop instruction/leadership. I think he wants to make some real expectations on commitment and service clear.

          There are ways to do that. Simplest for him might be to say that their crew does not offer Boy Scouting advancement. So lads who want to earn Star, Life, or Eagle have to stay active in the troop.

          That's all on da programmatic side, though, eh? On the practical side for this particular lad, I think yeh do as qwazse suggests and sit with the lad and have hard conversations about what da Scout Oath and Law really mean in terms of one's day to day life within the program.

          Beavah
          (This message has been edited by Beavah)

          Comment


          • #20
            Beavah,

            While I thank you for the compliment, I think you missed the part where I also said "no matter what "policies" or "requirements" the unit has, it's the BSA's requirements that must be followed - no additions, subtractions or substitutions".

            Now I agree with you that a CO or unit can have their own definition of what active means - but where I disagree is that the unit can't apply that definition to "active" in advancement. The BSA has their policy of what active means, and provides their interpretation of what that means. It's the BSA's interpretation that prevails when it comes to awarding rank. CO's, Units, Districts, Councils, etc., can not add, substitute, subtract, change or modify the requirements, except in very specific circumstances meant to provide a smoother path for Scouts with different abilities. Since the BSA has provided, in the Advancement Policies and Procedures Manual just how the term active is meant to be interpreted, we are to use that interpretation.

            So what do you do with a Unit's/CO's policies? Apply them to retention and rechartering. If a Scout isn't meeting the CO's/Unit's policies, you either simply not recharter them, or ask them to find a unit they'll be a better fit for. I suppose you could just not let them serve in a POR, but frankly, I don't think unit's like that should be held up as a shining example of what Scouting is all about. If a Scout hasn't lived up to a Unit's definition of active, and the Unit has just let it slide until BOR time, then shame on the Unit Leaders - and don't take it out on the Scout.

            I'd be looking long and hard at any Unit that came up with a definition of active of their own (I think it would be pretty rare for a CO to have a definition of active - I think the exceptions might be a religious organization that is using the unit as their youth program and is requiring their youth to be a part of the organization - I just can't see an American Legion laying down a rule that says Scout's in their sponsored unit must attend 85% of meetings, and 3 outings per quarter). If you're in a unit where you have inherited such a rule and no one remembers why it was put in place, I'd be willing to wager a donut that sometime in the past, the unit had a really poor, boring program, and the adults at the time put such a rule in place because they weren't capable of figuring out a better way to improve attendance. If you're thinking about adding an active definition now, I'd suggest you take a long look at your program and ask yourself why you need it. If you're running a good program, that keep's the lad's interest - you don't need an attendance requirement. It makes me wonder if we're seeing a number of parents pushing their kids into getting Eagle Scout early because they read the rules of the unit and know that by High School, their kid is going to have far less time.

            Comment


            • #21
              Beav, There are ways to do that. Simplest for him might be to say that their crew does not offer Boy Scouting advancement. So lads who want to earn Star, Life, or Eagle have to stay active in the troop.

              I've as much told kids that's how I'd prefer they operate. However, if a venturer says "I want to advance through the crew.", I wouldn't turn him down. And if most of his activity was through the troop, and he hardly attended crew meetings, it wouldn't count against his advancement the way I read the requirements. (It would make me want to call the SM to try and get an idea of where this kid is coming from.) Fact is, so far four of my venturers used their crew PORs towards rank advancement in the troop.

              Calico - I met troops where the boys came up with the attendance requirements. They were a little fed up with half-planned adventures by half attentive SPLs and PLs where only half the boys who signed up would put in even half the effort. So, I wouldn't chalk attendance requirements as always adult-led. But, although boys may start them, it takes adults to hand them down across the generations.

              Comment


              • #22
                I'd be willing to wager a donut that sometime in the past, the unit had a really poor, boring program, and the adults at the time put such a rule in place because they weren't capable of figuring out a better way to improve attendance.

                I'd take that there wager any day of da week and twice on Sunday. I think it's a complete fiction.

                If yeh work with a lot of units, yeh learn that by and large da ones that have formal or informal attendance expectations are very active, youth-run units that do a variety of activities. If you're runnin' whitewater trips, there are attendance expectations for pre-trips. If the youth are leadin', then they're held accountable by their fellow youth leaders and adults for not lettin' their guys down. If the youth are leading, then they usually get very frustrated by peers who are "no shows", especially ones who show for the game night but not da meeting or service project or troop trailer cleaning.

                Da units who don't set expectations are either running same-old-same-old car camping trips where attendance doesn't matter, or are adult-run so youth participation doesn't matter. As long as lads get their badges on schedule, the parents are happy and supportive.

                I just can't see an American Legion laying down a rule...

                Ah, but yeh missed the point, eh?

                I think if you asked anyone from the Legion about the group's values and what they want to teach kids, I'd guess that one of the things they'd all agree with is that citizenship is a commitment. It starts by showin' up. Showin' up to vote. Showin' up to do your duty in uniform. I don't know many Legion fellows who have much patience for those who made excuses or went other places to avoid doing their duty. I don't know any who would give such folks an award.

                So a unit committee for an American Legion unit might find it well and proper, and consistent with da Chartered Organization's goals and values to set expectations on participation beyond just signing up. And since they work for and on behalf of the Legion, they must support da Legion's goals and values in how they conduct what is in reality the Legion's youth program.

                If a Scout isn't meeting the CO's/Unit's policies, you either simply not recharter them, or ask them to find a unit they'll be a better fit for.

                Yah, this is an option, eh? And one a unit might take when they've given up on a lad (or more likely, given up on the lad's parents :P).

                Problem is, it's not good Scouting. In Scouting, when kids don't succeed, we don't throw them out. Nor do we give them awards. We mentor and coach and encourage 'em to try again. So the true, proper scouting approach would be not to award advancement and to use it as a teaching moment to help a lad grow. Not show him to the door.

                Remember, no BSA program material can alter or subtract from the Rules and Regulations of the Boy Scouts of America, and volunteers agree to abide by the Rules & Regulations, not by the various program guides. Da Rules & Regulations are pretty clear about the definition of "active", and additionally specify that when readin' da program guides they must be interpreted in a manner that harmonizes with the Aims of the BSA to teach character, fitness, and citizenship.

                So in their duty to da Chartered Organization and to the BSA, unit committees and unit leaders must interpret the advancement materials in the way that they feel best teaches character and citizenship. That's what they promised, On their Honor...

                Beavah

                Comment


                • #23
                  "So emb, you put no stock in

                  "The official BSA Rules and Regulations that you agreed to when you became a member state the Policy of the BSA:

                  An active youth member is one who, with the approval of a parent or guardian if necessary, becomes a member of a unit; obligates himself or herself to attend the meetings regularly; fulfills a member's obligation to the unit; subscribes to the Scout Oath or the code of his or her respective program; and participates in an appropriate program based on a member's age."

                  ? "

                  OGE- what I do or do not put stock into doesn't matter. I don't set BSA policy.


                  I thought I had made it clear that in my mind, what is put down in the above R&R I happen to agree with. As I stated, most groups I am part of set down their own definition of what THEY define as active (again: pay dues, attend a minimum number of meetings/events).

                  But has been made clear for many years, the BSA does NOT follow this rule when it comes to define what 'active' means for the purposes of advancement. This is CLEARLY set forth in the the Advancement Committee Guideline book I just quited, to whit: * be on the roster & kept in formed of activities. NOTHING MORE.




                  Comment


                  • #24
                    I agree

                    I wanted to be sure I was not the only one who follows what is printed

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Beav

                      Not wanting to mince words with you but if you check BSA pub The Chartered Organization,page 4 entitled Responsibilities of the Unit Committee, there is a explicit list of what exactly they are supposed to do, the only mention of the CO is "Carry out the aims and policies of the organization to help meet its objectives." Nowhere does it mention that the "committee works FOR the CO." This was from my COR Council Training course in 2008. The CO can ask for certain things to be incorporated into the program, but that does not mean they control the program, and as was pointed out to us this only occurs in some units sponsored by certain churches, not in the greater majority.

                      You know you are the one who always says that not to take what is written too legalistically or to the extreme. Besides in daves case here I think the real issue here has gotten lost in a barrage of mumbo jumbo.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        national has made a sham of the word active. they should simply remove the requirements all together since they have chosen a senseless definition for the word rather than address those few Scouts who have worked to buck the system.

                        You will not find any definitions from any legitimate sources such as websters defining active as having fees paid or being registered.

                        Again, national should simply drop the active requirements altogether rather than making a mockery of the true meaining of active.

                        my 3 cents.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Drivel notwithstanding, the reality is, if you deny a Scout/Venturer his Eagle based on "not being active enough", you will lose. When he appeals to the Council, they will conduct a Council or District Board and award the Eagle, provided he was registered and met all other requirements. If a Scout is not being active, the time to address it is well before the EBOR is convened, which you cannot decline to conduct, if the Scout insists. My experience with Eagle appeals is that Council just wants the "unpleasantness" to go away.

                          And, the CC and all other adult leaders at the unit level serve at the pleasure of the CO, who approves all leader applications by signature. It's not a question of who works "for" whom. If the unit program is not being conducted the way the CO wants, the leaders can be fired and replaced. And I doubt the Council will interfere, since they rarely do in unit matters.

                          PS: Agree with Abel. Must have been typing at the same time.(This message has been edited by papadaddy)

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Drivel notwithstanding, the reality is, if you deny a Scout/Venturer his Eagle based on "not being active enough", you will lose.

                            Maybe yes, maybe no, I've seen 'em go every which way over da years.

                            It doesn't matter. Your only obligation is to make sure you are honorable and do the right thing, eh? That you are the best example to all of the boys, and do your part to teach responsibility and citizenship. Yeh can't worry about da fact that other folks might not behave honorably or live up to their own standards.

                            Da BSA can give an Eagle Scout award to a turnip if it wants. That doesn't mean you have to sign off on it or participate in such a thing. Each person should just do his/her own job, and not worry about whether or not someone else is doin' theirs.

                            And the job of a CC and unit committee is to serve the Chartered Organization. From the Troop Committee Handbook:

                            Your troop is "owned" by a chartered organization, which receives a national charter to use the Scouting program as a part of its youth work. ... Each chartered organization using the Scouting program provides a meeting place, selects a Scoutmaster, appoints a troop committee of at least three adults, and chooses a chartered organization representative.

                            As the troop committee works on behalf of the chartered organization, your troop must be operated within the organization's policies.

                            More to the point, da legal relationships are clear, and the BSA is consistent in all of its legal filings on the matter. The Chartered Organization, not the BSA, has vicarious liability for the actions of all unit leaders and unit committee members. They are agents of the Chartered Organization, not the BSA. Da Chartered Organization, not the BSA, "hires", "fires", and "supervises" its volunteers running its scouting program.

                            Just like da manager of a McDonalds works for the franchise owner, not McDonald's Corp.; only in the case of the BSA it's closer to the BSA being an association rather than a franchiser.

                            Beavah

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              The honest and honorable thing to do is only carry "active" scouts on your charter. Then you won't have such issues. If the scout doesnt show up for an extended time, and you decide what's extended. Call them, ask them if they wish to continue. Then set with the scout goals, if he does not meet them. Do not recharter him, to me thats honorable, having a scout meet his committments

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                I agree with PappaDaddy

                                The honest and honorable thing to do is only carry "active" scouts on your charter. Then you won't have such issues. If the scout doesnt show up for an extended time, and you decide what's extended. Call them, ask them if they wish to continue. Then set with the scout goals, if he does not meet them. Do not recharter him, to me thats honorable, having a scout meet his committments

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