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NJCubScouter

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Everything posted by NJCubScouter

  1. NJCubScouter

    Background checks - concerned parent

    They do not re-run the criminal background check for a recharter. I believe, though I am not 100% positive, that they need your written authorization every time they run the criminal background check on you. That authorization is contained in the adult leader application. So, if you apply for a new position where a new application is required, they re-run the check, which you have just authorized. That would include a registered unit leader registering with a different unit (i.e. pack to troop, or troop to crew, or troop to another troop, etc.); a registered unit leader registering at a different level (i.e. district or council); a registered adult registering to also be a merit badge counselor; etc.
  2. NJCubScouter

    Background checks - concerned parent

    I think we need to be clear on what we mean by "background check." The BSA contracts with a company to perform criminal background checks. Supposedly, all applications go through this process. I know they do in my council, and not just for new applications. When I recently applied to be a merit badge counselor (after an absence), I was specifically told by the council registrar that I had passed the background check - which they apparently did even though I have been registered as a troop committee member since 2003 and as a den leader and assistant cubmaster before that. (I believe the background check system probably went into effect around 2001-2002, because it was fairly new, but was in effect, when I applied to be a troop committee member in early 2003. ) Which still begs the question, what is a criminal background check, at least as performed by the BSA? It is a search (on the Internet) of publicly available databases of criminal offenders and offenses. They do not call the references you list on the application. (Supposedly that is up to the unit.) They (probably) will not find a juvenile offense, since those are generally sealed. As I mentioned in an earlier post, they will not find an offense that has been expunged. They will not pull up a speeding ticket. They will not find a drunk driving offense unless it is a criminal offense in that state (in NJ it is a motor vehicle offense, not a criminal offense, no matter how many times someone does it.) I do not think they would find a municipal ordinance violation. They will find crimes of which there is currently a public record. That's it.
  3. NJCubScouter

    10,000 Girl Cub Scouts

    I think the phrase “conditional Scouter” needs to be consigned to the ash-heap of history. And any professional Scouter who thinks it’s a good idea to insult the volunteers needs to be terminated.
  4. NJCubScouter

    Parents of a Life Scout but still soo confused, help please

    Welcome to the forum! How long until your son turns 18?
  5. NJCubScouter

    Scouting Magazine - betting the farm on girls

    It does, and now, here it is.
  6. NJCubScouter

    Scouting Magazine - betting the farm on girls

    Can you give some examples of what you have seen?
  7. NJCubScouter

    Scouts BSA Handbook for Girls?

    The "optics" here are not good. Different handbooks suggest different programs, even if its actually all the same program.
  8. NJCubScouter

    Gender Identity Issue

    I am moving this to Issues and Politics.
  9. NJCubScouter

    Gender Identity Issue

    I see no evidence here that anyone is "encouraging" this youth toward or away from anything. I do agree that the parents should be contacted. They should be told what their child has said and they should be asked if they are aware of it. Maybe they say yes, maybe they tell you about some other wrinkle that you weren't aware of. (I doubt they say they are completely unaware of it, but anything's possible.) If they say yes, maybe you then ask them something like whether they feel it is appropriate for their child to be a member of an organization that is currently open to boys only. If they say yes, I'm not sure where you go from there, if anywhere.
  10. NJCubScouter

    Gender Identity Issue

    Apparently he identifies as neither. I'm not sure what you do in that case (other than talk to the parents and see how THEY identify him, if at all.) My inclination is that if he does not identify as female, and identified as male when he joined, it does not seem right to remove him.
  11. I don't see anywhere in Hawkwin's posts that suggests that qwasze's supposition is correct - or incorrect. But I also don't see anywhere in Hawkwin's posts that suggests that his son asked for an exception to be made based on his inability to attend the next two camping trips. Hawkwin, has your son told the SM that he cannot attend a camping trip until November and that he requests that the conference be held sooner? I think that is the crux of the matter. If he asks for an exception and it is granted, I suppose this is still an "addition to the requirements," but the practical effect is minimal, if anything, so personally I wouldn't worry about it. If the request is denied, then I think further discussions need to be had, because it really is not acceptable under BSA rules. (I can imagine someone saying that the Scout should not have to ask for an "exception" to something that is not a valid "rule," which this is not, but I think that whenever possible, things like this should be resolved in a practical manner rather than people waving rulebooks at each other. Sometimes that isn't possible, but it should always be given a try.)
  12. NJCubScouter

    Background checks - concerned parent

    Keep in mind that while you may know the person was convicted of a crime, it might not show up in the criminal background check. The main example would be if the conviction has been expunged. The fact that a person had a ”record” at one time does not necessarily mean they have one now. For more info see https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expungement_in_the_United_States.
  13. I think the "unit leader's judgment rule" works well at the margins. But the issue of whether it is enough for the leaders to be in or near the campsite while the summer-camping Scouts are elsewhere at activities or merit badge sessions, OR whether each Scout must be in line-of-sight of a leader (two leaders?) literally at all times, is not at the margins, it is more like the Grand Canyon. The line-of-sight-at-all-times rule would never work and I don't think that is how the BSA interprets its own 2-deep-leadership rule. And if someone feels that the requirement of just being generally "there" is less effective in preventing YP violations, well, that's true. We make tradeoffs. There is always a balance between safety and the ability to do an activity. The only activity that is truly 100% safe is an activity that gets cancelled. If the activity takes place, there is always a risk. I suppose the BSA could require that every Scout wear a body-cam at all times, with a live feed to his/her parents, then things would be a lot safer. Just kidding, of course. But maybe I shouldn't even joke about that, someone may get ideas.
  14. I don't think the "mandate" is changing for either gender. The rule on adult supervision (and I looked at the new one, which I think takes effect in October) says two leaders must be "at" the activity, or "present at" the activity. We have had discussions before about what those words and phrases really mean in practice. I have never understood the rules (including the new one) to mean that every Scout must be within eyesight of a unit leader at all times while at an activity. (Indeed, there are times when that CAN'T happen even if anyone wanted it to, in light of the YP guidelines regarding "privacy.") And the buddy system, which you mention, also seems to assume that there will be times when an adult is not right there - otherwise, why would you need a buddy system? (Not counting the waterfront, where you need constant adult supervision AND the buddy system, but that's different.) The bottom line is that line-of-sight by adults with all Scouts at all times is impossible, and is not what the BSA means by "present."
  15. NJCubScouter

    Only six months till girls in Scouts BSA.

    Can we please restrict this thread to the subject of preparing for female Scout BSA troops in six months? If you want to discuss water guns for the 100th time, there is no fee for starting another thread.
  16. NJCubScouter

    "Serve actively in your troop"

    Not exactly inspiring, is it? It makes it sound like the standard is "Oh well, good enough", to be accompanied by a shrug of the shoulders. But that's what the book says.
  17. NJCubScouter

    "Serve actively in your troop"

    I don't think I have ever seen the question come up. As far as I know all Scouts in our troop who have been den chief (and there have been many) have done it for at least one full Cub Scout program year (basically the school year) and often for more than one year. It is generally considered to be a one-year-at-a-time job. We have had Scouts who have had another position for at least part of the time that they were also a den chief (leaving one to wonder how good a job they did at either, but as far as I know nobody has ever been refused a signoff for a POR in my troop.) To Eagle94-A1's point, I did not mean to suggest that one can earn the Den Chief Service Award just for showing up for a year. I do not know how many other Scouts in our troop have earned that award. I know my son did. He did do the Den Chief training (in person, because I drove him there along with a few other Scouts from the troop; it was not "online" back in the antedeluvian days of 2006 or so.) I have a suspicion that some of those other requirements may not have been there 12-ish years ago, but whatever the requirements were, the den leader determined that my son did them.
  18. Well, but... yes, he broke no rules and didn't do anything wrong, and he conducted a good service project and achieved a notable rank in Scouting. But he had also set a goal for himself of making Eagle and tried to make it, so based on HIS OWN goals and efforts, he did "miss a deadline" and he "did something late that he committed to doing sooner." Nobody imposed that deadline on him other than himself, when he decided he was going to complete all the requirements for Eagle. We don't know why he didn't make Life until after his 17.5 birthday, but he didn't make it. There is no shame in it. He seems like a great kid. But I don't see how you say he didn't miss a deadline.
  19. There was a Scout in my son's troop (and I'm still there) who had been in Cubs with my son, who came into the troop with the goal of making Eagle before his 14th birthday. I think he had an uncle who had done that and was trying to follow his example. This kid was a great Scout and a great all-around person. Statistically, he was SPL for 2 years and then again for about half a year to fill a vacancy, earned 70+ MB's, went to Philmont twice as a Scout (and I think a third time as a Venturer and maybe a fourth time as an Associate Advisor), was on NYLT staff, but beyond that he was an exemplary Scout in all kinds of intangible ways. When he did his Eagle project (for his own church, not the CO) he went way above and beyond the call of duty, because he wanted to give extra service to his church. (I remember telling him at the time he got committee approval, "Just so you know, this is really like three projects," but that was fine with him.) If one were to get together all the people who have been leaders and committee members in the troop over the past 15 years (the time in which I have been there), and took a vote on who has been the "Best Scout" in those 15 years, it would be this kid, probably unanimously. And yet he did not make Eagle when he was 13. I think he made Eagle when he was almost 17. I think that if all he was interested in was making Eagle at 13, he could have done it, but he realized along the way that he would have a better experience if he also took advantage of the other things Scouting has to offer and make Eagle at a more reasonable pace.
  20. That is an exact description of what my son did, except that he does not have a learning disability. He just procrastinated in spectacular fashion. Literally, if it had rained on the last non-school-day before his birthday, his project would not have been completed in time, and the issue would have been whether it was "complete enough," which would not have been a good place to be. But he made it by the skin of his teeth. Has he improved in the past eight years? Well, he graduated from a 4-year engineering program in 4 years, and now he has had a job with the same company for almost 4 years, and he's still there, and has apparently gotten steady raises and has paid off his student loans and is living under his own roof (well, someone else owns the roof, the point is, it's not MY roof), so the available evidence would suggest, yes, probably.
  21. NJCubScouter

    "Serve actively in your troop"

    I am not sure whether this is a "substantive" question or a "procedural" question. (Sorry, I can't turn off being a lawyer.) If substantive, as in, what is a den chief supposed to do, I think AVTech has it covered. If procedural, as in, what evidence do I need that the den chief has done his work in the den (which is what I think you were asking), we usually get a letter from the den leader. I am not sure whether that is generated by the den leader or requested by the troop. I know in my son's case the den leader put in the paperwork for my son to get the den chief "merit award" or whatever it is called, so when the award came in from council I think that was taken as sufficient evidence that he had done his job.
  22. NJCubScouter

    Eagle Reference Letters

    I didn't realize it, but section 9.0.1.7 of the Guide to Advancement does say: "For reasons of privacy and confidentiality, electronic submissions are discouraged." I have never been quite sure what the BSA means when it says something is "discouraged." Personally, I think that with most unit Scouters, the effect is the same as if the BSA had said nothing about it at all. I also think that there are more ways that a physical letter can be waylaid, mislaid, lost, etc. etc. than an email, so if privacy and confidentiality are the key concerns, I am not sure this "discouragement" is a good thing.
  23. NJCubScouter

    Can you not give it 100%?

    In the Cub Scouts? As a Bear? I know there have been numerous changes in the Cub Scout program since I left it when my son crossed over (2003) but is that what the Cub Scout program is now? We had 2 family camping trips a year plus the kids could go to the council-run summer day camp.
  24. NJCubScouter

    Can you not give it 100%?

    It's not? Now I know where I've gone wrong.
  25. NJCubScouter

    Membership Removal Procedures Booklet

    It has been my experience (during my 32 years as an attorney) that when a lawyer makes an absolute statement like that (BSA can do as they please), which isn't really true, what they are really saying is that they don't think you have a good case, and/or they don't think they can make a profit from your case. But they don't want to tell you they don't think you have a good case, and/or they don't think they can make a profit from your case, so they tell you the BSA can do whatever it wants. I have seen attorneys tell potential clients all kinds of not-quite-right things (and occasionally just plain wrong things) in order to get the person off their back. I don't know if this is what happened to you, but when I hear about something like this I do get suspicious.
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