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NJ_Bald Eagle

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About NJ_Bald Eagle

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  1. More reading, more learning, more questions.... Calico, I appreciate your strong opposition to having the SPL or ASPL be gatekeepers for Scoutmaster Conferences. I do recognize youth leaders can be biased, and popularity or lack thereof can also be a factor. Our SM is active and around, but we often get a quite different perspective from our youth leaders who are peers with the guy in the POR, so that is why we are trying to get their input. So let me ask this, have any of your scouts been relieved of their POR by the SM before the term of service is over and what were the repercussions? If the POR is a 6 month term, we must set expectations ahead of time, allow the scout 1-2 months to "settle in" so he can truly show he is doing his best, then evaluate after 3 months, perhaps follow up at 4 or 5, then 6? Can we add some more time onto the POR or am I missing the point completely? And with a troop having 15-20 POR, that's a lot of oversight! Likewise, does anyone have a situation where their Troop's BOR denied a scout rank advancement after he completed his SM conference (Star, Life) because of the whole POR accountability thing or the scout did not serve actively (note I didn't call it leadership)?
  2. Thanks for all of your valued comments. I particularly like the idea of advising (even going so far as having them sign off) parents so they are aware of what their son is committing to before he is elected to his POR. We currently do have a form with the expected responsibilityies and duties for each youth POR. Is this legit to do, BSA wise? We would not want to be creating a new requirement or else the sky will truly fall Is it me or does every individual have his or her own interpretation of "serve actively"? and.... ASM 1 just came back and responded "Here's what it all boils down to: If a scout is in a leadership position for the required time period he has fulfilled the requirement. Period - no ifs ands or buts. You cannot hold a scout back if after he has fulfilled all the other requirements and held the leadership position for the required time. That is indisputable - and troops that have done this in the past have had their decisions overturned at higher levels when the scout has appealed." ASM1 further added "The only real role the Troop Committee should be playing in this is evaluating the program. If a scout makes it all the way to a rank BOR without doing anything it means that the program is not working in the troop. Then the Committee should be holding the scoutmaster accountable. Not the scout." All for the greater good (wwe hope), turns out that everyone certainly has an opinion to voice... what's yours?
  3. This big ole gorilla of youth leader accountability continues to rear it's ugly head so I seek the wisdom of the board on a situation I will guarantee is not unique to our humble troop. Thanks for your patience in reading, assuming you actually make it to the end. To set the stage: New SM comes from an HR background and is trying to implement criteria/standards to assure scouts are aware of their leadership roles and what is expected of them. So far, responses come from two ASM having different opinions and a former SM. The new Scoutmaster is asking the SPL and ASPL to work together with ASMs and the SM to make certain that scouts have accomplished their leadership requirements before scheduling them for scoutmaster conferences. We need to make sure these scouts have made meaningful contributions before they are signed off. So SM is asking our SPL and ASPLs to ask a candidate for Star or Life what they have done as a leader before scheduling them for a scoutmaster conference. If there are any questions, please ask the scout to talk to any ASM or to the SM. If a scout has not done anything meaningful they are not ready for a scoutmaster conference and should be coached on what to do. One ASM responded: We have to be careful that we are not unintentionally adding additional requirements to the various ranks for advancement. The only "leadership" requirement is that of holding a leadership position for a specific period of time. The requirement does not say that they have to do anything "meaningful" while they hold that position NOR does it require that a scout do any other kind of "meaningful" leadership activities. If a scout has held a leadership position for the required amount of time (regardless of what they have done or not done) they have fulfilled the requirement. This has been upheld at the various scout levels beyond a troop. If a scout is not performing in their leadership position - it is up to the scoutmaster to have a scoutmaster conference with them and counsel them regarding their performance. It is not the responsibility of the SPL or Assistant SPL to check on the whether a scout is performing in their leadership position. The former SM responded that he also struggled significantly with this issue as Scoutmaster and felt he failed due to overwhelming & constant complaining and opposition by certain parents. The parents were the problem, not the scouts. The scouts were (and are) willing to do what is required in a leadership position with a little direction; it is the parents inserting what THEY think they can get away with and have their son get the rank advancement anyway. The aims and spirit of scouting continue to be distorted. If a scout is not expected to demonstrate leadership in a leadership role/position then why have them? The only recourse is for the Scoutmaster to remove the scout from the position . . . try it . . . and see what kind of threats, acusations and action you get from the parents, even when the reason is very clear! Unfortunately, leadership in a scout position is inherently subjective and some parents use this as an excuse to have their son do as little as possible and still obtain the rank advancement. Another ASM responded-- The implementation of the requirements is very subjective, but the subjectivity works both ways, from the scouts perspective as well as the scoutmasters. The scouts and scoutmasters all have different capabilities, attitudes, goals and expectations of what they want from the program. Humans are subjective, we can't change that, but if a troop (or a society)is to function, there must be accountability. The different parts of the troop must function together, individuals can't do as they please when it comes to the collective group, or we everyone suffer. If a particular scout is perceived as not performing his leadership role, I suggest obtaining a consenus from other scoutmasters and possibly scout leaders and scouts. That can reduce the subjectivity and allow appropriate measures to be implemented. Setling for mediocraty provides a dis-service to all. Meaningful is good, doing time is useless. So, if you read through this whole post, what's your view on the matter?
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