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fred johnson

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Everything posted by fred johnson

  1. Absolutely agree. Even about two bullet points. Attitude is everything. The challenge though is using representing college was as a long-term way to lift income subverts the attitude and original purpose. Just like the Eagle rank. Now, college value is over-inflated and over-priced. Huge structures have been created around getting the college experience. For myself, my college experience was okay. Some good courses. Rarely were my eyes really enlightened. But for myself, my high school education was outstanding and easily bachelor degree. My math, physics, sciences, Engli
  2. Wow. Lots of strong opinions here. This is a fascinating complex topic. Here are two I'll assert. Boys have far more bad experiences in the primary grades. It starts out in the earliest grades often being behind their female peers. I think this causes a bad experience with "school". Not learning, but "school". Boys see all the academic programs to help girls. If the boy is struggling, it compounds their guilt that they could not succeed with all the advantages they already have as a "boy". I think this causes more boys to think they are not suited for college. Cu
  3. Interesting. Perhaps this is where we as leaders need to constantly adjust to the mix of scouts that we have. What may be easy and manageable for some scouts can be very daunting to other scouts. Perhaps the unit needs to adjust to let the SPL make it a role he can manage and produce good results. And, make it a bit fun.
  4. Yes, you are right. This is a long running, historic argument. As for your case in point specifics ... Ignoring future possibilities (you don't advance based on future promises) ... and considering here and now ... if he meets the rank requirement ... AND THE SCOUT ASKS ..., he must be allowed a SMC, a board of review and he should advance. Your son's case is about as explicitly called out in the Guide To Advancement as possible. Both about how to interpret active, must be allowed a scoutmaster conference and must be allowed a board of review. Now the board could say the scout
  5. I still don't understand. Do you think it's the mix of this set of scouts? Do you think the role is intimidating? Or do scouts remember bad experiences the previous SPL had? Either due to their own capabilities? Or position expectations (too much work)? Or adult interactions? Or scout behavior? Or ???? I guess what are your top several theories why no one wanted to set up to be SPL ?
  6. You are a youth and involved in the troop ... Why do you think no one stepped up ? Another way to ask, do you think it is a commentary on the troop that no one wants to be SPL ? Or, is it just the mix of scouts you have right now. I fear offering too much advice without knowing more. I say this as our troop has had cycles. There were cycles when there was real competition to be SPL. There were other times when all the scouts knew who they wanted. BUT, there was one time when no one wanted to step up. At that time, we had a parent who was loud and opinionated. A
  7. Each troop can define active, but each troop needs to follow BSA Guide To Advancement about using "alternate requirements" (BSA Guide To Advancement) when the scout falls short of the troop's active definition. I get very scared when scout leaders begin talking to scouts about priorities based on something extra the troop adds that explicitly has additional options in the Guide To Advancement. It's like leaders are praying scouts are ignorant of the rules.
  8. You are talking about mentoring as if we believe differently on the topic. It's not in what I've written. Perhaps I've been unclear or we are addressing different questions. This thread is about "active" and in this case there is no issue with the active requirement. BSA explicitly handled it. For us to add one is injecting ourselves in the scouts creating an issue for them to overcome.
  9. I agree. Mentoring and working with scouts is the most enjoyable part. I just don't view my job as adding non-existing extra obstacles to create mentoring situations where the scout comes to us for guidance. There will be plenty of opportunities. We just don't need to add "hard choices" for our scouts that don't already exist. To be specific ... We are talking advancement ... and troop's extra criteria for active ... and BSA's guidance saying that activities such as this scout's soccer involvement would fulfill the "active" criteria if the scout failed to meet the troop's criteria.
  10. I hugely agree, but I'd interpret it differently. IMHO, suggesting a scout start prioritizing between soccer and scouts is effectively telling him to choose. Now, he may need to do that at some point. But if he's passing the BSA criteria for active, it's not my place to raise a non-existing obstacle. You can be in scouts and a committed soccer player too. You write: "Please rethink your thought here, Fred. Mentoring is the scout's valued hope of Adult Association." I agree, but mentoring is not teaching the scout about choices that do not exist except if created by your troop.
  11. I think BSA wrote the Guide To Advancement "Active" section exactly to avoid these "priority" decisions. If the scout is registered, in good standing and he's learning character or fitness or other positive values through soccer, he should still advance. I agree it would be useful to learn more about how the scout is connecting with the troop, but the troop exists to serve the scout. Not the reverse. IMHO, the real question is not "active". The real question is how will the scout fulfill a position of responsibility. It can be done even without attending meetings or campouts.
  12. Occam's razor ... I learned it long time ago, but I always wanted to be a Philosophy major ... but the major doesn't pay.
  13. Wishing you the best. I hope you've had good experiences with the scouts. As for troop committees, it's just like working with other adults. Sometimes it works out well. Sometimes not. Sadly, troop committees are strange beasts filled with well meaning, highly invested people. Each with their own pasts and own experiences and different training. Finding the right balance between scoutmaster and committee is very very hard.
  14. I swear I've seen this repeatedly. The volunteer adult leader has lost the perspective of being there to help the scout succeed. They want to box the scout in to help the adult leader succeed with the adult's objective. IMHO, it's off base and the wrong frame of mind. Simply put ... if a scout asks, our role should be to help them succeed. There is zero direct connection between camp outs and scoutmaster conferences. There is no direct way it benefits the scout or helps the scout or enables the scout when scoutmaster conferences are only done on camp outs. The only tenable result is
  15. @Hawkwin - I fear you are burning bridges with the troop. Though I think the scoutmaster is very very wrong here, you and your son have to continue in this troop through Eagle. Or switch to another troop. Scoutmaster can be a fiefdom owned by the scoutmaster. It's not always right, but it's how it often is.
  16. I don't view this discussion as philosophical at all. But you do answer what I would have said later. Our duty is to support the scout. If they ask for a scoutmaster conference, then the scout has done his job. It's now our job to help make it happen. Doing any less is not fulfilling our role in scouts.
  17. Yep. Choice of words and specifics often changes the answer.
  18. I guess this falls into hour our troop works. In our troop, each patrol chooses a "grub master" for each camp out. We don't use the term "grub master". The PL works with his patrol to decide who is shopping for food. Then, the PL and that scout lead the discussion and note taking meal plans and the shopping list.
  19. Ahhh ... For earning first class, that's fine as no position is needed. For Star and Life, odds are your son is okay. Sometimes troops "add" roles and it can cause issues when things collapse and people get legalistic. But, that's very rare. Especially as the only place the position is reported to BSA national is on the Eagle application. Strictly speaking, you can't put down grub master or cook for a rank advancement position. The official positions that count for rank advancement are ... Boy Scout troop: Patrol leader, assistant senior patrol leader, senior patrol leader, troop g
  20. PA ... Patrol advisers scare me. It enables adults to behave as den leaders and creates a perception that patrols need adult mentoring. Further, it subverts the PL, ASPL, SPL and SM. The right context is the adults are on the other side of the room and ALWAYS coordinate through the SM. The SM ALWAYS coordinates through the SPL. This is the ideal that we constantly adjust for the situation and the scouts. GM ??? ... Game master ? I'm not sure what a GM is. It's not a position that qualifies for rank advancement. But then again, he doesn't need a position until he's first class an
  21. "Suspension" ... I've never liked suspensions either. How is it a lesson when you remove from an organization that is supposed to teach him positive values, good decision making and good behavior. It seems like you are throwing adrift. If the troop needs to ask the scout to leave, I can understand. But a six month time out is huge. It's somewhere between 10% and 20% of an average scouting career. Personally, I'd find another unit or somewhere else to spend my time. "kid is fine himself but the " <mom/dad> ... I swear this is a common pattern. I've seen kids that are reasona
  22. I mostly agree. I've seen this pattern in the past. It's a time bomb waiting to off. I'm sure the leaders saw lots of little warning signs. They did not recognize they needed to take action or did not know how to take action. When I've seen this in the past, there were months and months of small incidents that damaged the relationships. Unfairness. Imbalance. Frustrations. Grievances. These little incidents could have been learning opportunities. Instead big damaged was done by one larger incident. The key is that this is a learning situation that could have been intervened
  23. Not necessarily. The council would have to do an investigation and reach conclusions. Generally though, councils don't want to get into these incidents unless it's much more extremely. Also, councils understand that a kid having trouble in one unit can shine in another. I've seen situations multiple times where scouts transfer when things like this happen. IMHO, you really need to ask if your son will get a fair shot later and if you trust the leaders to treat him fairly. If you do, then work through the issues. If you have doubts, look for another unit. Also, six months is
  24. Original poster had trouble with council interpretation. Councils and national are very different organizations. Completely different. Different agendas too.
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